Can you guess what the top 10 places in Kenya to stay in 2013 are? TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, earlier in March announced the winners of its 2013 Travellers’ Choice Awards for Hotels for Families.
A total of 231 family-friendly properties and some of the finest accommodation were identified from 26 regions and countries across the globe, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, China, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Middle East, South America, South Pacific, and the US.
The awards are based on the highest ratings given to hotels by the millions of travellers who rely on the site for their travel decisions. Here, for the first time on the Safiri Kenya Travel Blog, we revisit the top 10 places in Kenya featured in that list.
This deluxe 5-star hotel takes hospitality back to its essence. With its unique tropical early 20th-century style of wooden roofs and elegant wooden floors, it occupies the top-most position in this list. Situated on the sand dunes beach, about two kilometres north of Malindi, the hotel is also ranked among the top best hotels in Africa.
Sarova Mara Game Camp bagged the second position. Located in Narok County, this 5-star luxury hotel lies at the heart of the world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve. At the Mara Game Camp, you are offered front seats to nature’s most breathtaking show – the Great Wildebeest Migration. The rolling plains around the tented Camp teem with wildebeest, gazelles and zebras, during the migration months and the Camp is situated right in the centre of their migration path.
Located on the world famous Diani Beach, Baobab Beach Resort and Spa is set within 80 acres of tropical gardens, overlooking the Indian Ocean. An oasis of tranquillity and serenity, the Resort’s picturesque location is nestled on a coral headland overlooking vast stretches of golden beach. Shaded by indigenous coastal vegetation and exotic coconut palms, the resort stretches over 500 metres of golden beach front offering the ultimate luxury beach holiday.
Fairmont Mara Safari Club is considered the epitome of ‘tented luxury’. It borders the Mara River on one side and the Maasai Mara – the ‘New’ Wonder of the World. Fairmont Mara re-opened in 2009 following an extensive renovation program. Fairmont has in the past featured on the Top 20 Luxury Resorts list by the Travel & Leisure Magazine. Today, the Fairmont Mara Safari Club offers one of the most luxurious hotel accommodations in the Maasai Mara.
The Pinewood Beach Resort is a multi-award-winning boutique hotel. Here, they say, ‘natural beauty and inspired design are merged to create the perfect romantic destination’. Situated on the unspoiled shores of the wonderfully warm Indian Ocean, this intimate and stylish beach resort prides itself on exceptional personal service and attention.
The Turtle Bay Beach Club is regarded as Kenya’s first all-inclusive Beach Resort. It comes complete with restaurants, bars, an entertainment lounge and a swimming pool. The club is located 200 metres from the world-acclaimed Watamu Marine National Park. The park ranks among the world’s top 5 beaches. In other words, everything about and around this resort is world-famous.
Mnarani Hotel, named after the nearby village of Mnarani, bagged 7th position. That is how it made it to our list of top 10 places in Kenya to stay in 2013. The rooms at Mnarani Hotel are simply and tastefully decorated with hardwood furniture and a touch of Arabic style. The all-inclusive hotel nestles amid Kilifi Creek and the glittering Indian Ocean in Kenya. One leading travel website calls it ‘a beach-side paradise touched with authentic African flair and hospitality.’
No one can put it any better than the guys at Sankara. They say Sankara, ‘combines international 5-star standards with personal service and the authentic flavour of the new Africa’. The hotel in Nairobi fuses contemporary architecture with beautiful East African art. You see this in virtually every part of the hotel. Management says this was done intentionally to offer visitors that ’emotional connection to our culture’.
The Tribe has not stopped causing waves. Since this luxury boutique hotel in Nairobi appeared on Conde Nast Traveller’s ‘Hot List’ in 2010. Today, the hotel continues to take hospitality back to its essence. The Tribe recently received a Wow Pick by Kiwi Collection. It also featured on the prestigious Top 100 Hotels in the 2013 list of the Robb Report.
Baobab Kole Kole, Diani
Concluding our list of the best accommodation facilities in Kenya in 2013 is Kole Kole. Part of the Baobab Beach Resort and Spa it shares the same coral headland. It also enjoys similar commanding views of the Indian Ocean.
As you plan for your 2014 holidays, we urge you to consider these in your list of top places to stay in. If you have stayed in any of these places, we would love to hear your views and the experience you had.