Have you visited Rolf’s Place? The bush resort housed in a mansion feels like an ancient fortress. Add the fact that it sits on the edge of a cliff on the southeast border of the Nairobi National Park and you have your adventure. The resort is the brainchild of veteran German-born Kenyan chef, police reservist, Judo black belt and Hollywood film star, Rolf Schmid.
Besides the world-class food and spectacular views of Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ngong Hills and, of course, the national park, Rolf’s Place boasts a 40 M suspension bridge that gives you the feeling of being at the onset of a jungle adventure. As much as the bridge is not for the faint-hearted, it is the only way to the resort from the car park.
The resort’s interior is as breathtaking as its rugged exterior. The allure of the place begins as you enter the lounge. An aura of a bygone colonial era greets you. A showcase of animal trophies reminiscent of the big game hunting days covers virtually every corner of the walls.
Besides the trophies are an assortment of regalia from films such as Out of Africa, Gorillas in the Mist and Africa Mon Amour – probably left behind by the cast he catered as a way of saying thank you for the great meals they had here.
Others film cast Rolfe catered for include Tomb Raider, Constant Gardener, and The Last King of Scotland. So you understand why people coming to Rolf’s Place say they are going to the Kenyan Hollywood.
The seven rooms at Rolf’s Place are tastefully furnished and all en suite, making the resort an ideal place for honeymooners. Newlyweds will enjoy the serenity and ambience of the place while indulging in a sauna and massage session.
The swimming pool which overlooks Nairobi’s skyline and the national park provides a panoramic view of the expansive wilderness.
The 40 or so acres of land here additionally provide ample space for a range of sporting and team-building activities. You can pre-book a game of paintball or archery. Alternatively, you could do mountain biking, football, volleyball, tug of war or some horse riding. You can also enjoy some indoor games such as darts and pool.
Today’s Rolf’s Place is a far cry from its star-studded past. How could a celebrity chef with Rolf’s profile, come off his trucks? This man catered for the palates of the high and mighty of Kenya’s society like a legend.
Perhaps it may have suffered from the absence of its visionary. Rolf sadly succumbed to cancer at the age of 69. He had just published his colourful autobiography. No Need to Lie, but like its founder, it certainly has nine lives. Be that as it may, we most likely have not seen the last of its Hollywood cuisines and jungle adventures!