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Luxury holiday home getaways

Laikipia home on the foothills of Mount Kenya
Laikipia home on the foothills of Mount Kenya (left) and Tandala which is located in the secluded hills of Amboseli. PHOTOS | COURTESY 

Easter Holiday is with us again and with children out of school, many parents will be hoping to go out of town for a holiday as will groups of friends.

Usually, these groups will be heading to hotels down at the coast or elsewhere by why not break the norm and do things differently this Easter holiday and go for holiday rental homes which sleep several people instead of hotel rooms?

The idea of travelling as a group is appealing especially if you opt to stay in a holiday home, which is a cheaper and convenient accommodation option since the cost is shared among several people who opt to holiday together.

Some of these homes and villas dotted around the country are even more luxurious than ordinary hotel rooms - and cheaper as the charges, which may appear high are charged per day for the facility and not per person as the hotels charge. For instance, a five-bedroom luxury villa in Watamu which can sleep up to eight adults charges Sh30,17,300 per night, a cost that can be shared by the group.

The costs vary by location and type of home and the facilities available. There is a lot of convenience as most houses come with a housekeeper and cook so you do not have to spend your whole holiday toiling in front of a stove to feed the large group. 

The BD Life team has compiled a list of holiday homes perfect for an Easter family getaway or reunion. Have a look at the list below as you decide on your next destination.
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Kajiado county

Oltalet Cottage and Oloika Cottage

Located 40 Kilometres from the City Centre along Magadi Road, the cottages are within the same area as Ole Polos Country Lodge famed for its nyama choma.

The cottages sleep a maximum of six people at Sh19,000 a night depending on the season.

The area is accessible without the need for an off-road vehicle, has TV, hot water, an indoor fireplace and is suitable for children and the elderly.

For the extra amenities, you can carry along your own DSTv card and there is a cook with basic skills available as well as most kitchen appliances.

Loidariok

The house sleeps eight persons comfortably but can accommodate up to 15 person which attracts an additional charge of Sh1,500 per person.

Also along Magadi Road, this house is a stone throw past Olepolos Country Club and goes for Sh20,000 per night during low season and Sh25,500 in the peak season, and Sh23,900 in between. Public holidays fall under the peak season rate of Sh25,500.

It is equipped with a gas cooker-top (no oven –), refrigerator, cooking utensils and cutlery plus running water.
It also has a mini-bar and lounge set-up, steam, sauna, a heated plunge pool, BBQ Grill and an outdoor fire pit (Bring own wood/charcoal for the grill and sauna).

Nanyuki

Kahiga homestay

This is one perfect getaway away from home. It boasts of superior finishings, a beautiful landscape and a homely feel. The four bedroom house all ensuite has a spacious kitchen for self –catering and hosts up to 8 people.

Located in Nanyuki, the home is ideal for a family or team building sessions and is near the Aberdare national park. The rates are Sh28,000 per night

Creaky cottage This is a charming upcountry retreat which was designed and built into the riverine settings of the Tamtrout Farm. Located in a loop of the Burguret River, with the rushing waters flowing around three sides of the cottage, this unique property sleeps up to 6 guests in two double bedrooms and a twin loft, with a shared bathroom for only Sh12,500 per night.

It is located only 200 metres from the farm’s own trout ponds and the famous Trout Tree Restaurant. It features a cozy living room with a fireplace, a spacious veranda for enjoying one’s sundowner and a fully-fitted kitchen

Mukima House

This is another enchanting colonial house with cedar framed windows overlooking Mt Kenya set on 360 acres of African bush. The house has eight bedrooms, 5 doubles and 3 twins that are all ensuite.

Amenities available include a swimming pool, tennis and badminton court, and a boating lake. One can also enjoy nature trails, horse riding and white water rafting. Mukima house is a four-hour drive from Nairobi and 15 minutes from Nanyuki town.

Laikipia home

This is also a private home nestled in the foothills of Mount Kenya. It accommodates five guests in the 3 bedrooms, 10 minutes drive to Mount Kenya’s Sirimon route in Timau and 90 minutes from Samburu National Park. It is a perfect countryside retreat for walking, running or mountain-biking.
It is on self-catering basis at a cost of Sh.34,220 per night.

Ol Pejeta

Located in the Mt. Kenya Wildlife Estate, adjoining Ol Pejeta Conservancy the house is tastefully furnished with a mix of furniture made from old sailing dhows and from local reclaimed cedar. Even the curtains and dishes are made locally. There are four bedrooms and five bathrooms that sleep a total of 8 guests for Sh21,235 per night.
The fully- equipped kitchen is available for self-catering but you have to bring is your food and drinks, there is also a washing machine if you need to do your laundry.

Kichakani paradise

Located next to central Kenya’s only permanent lake, Lake Olbolosat, this place provides a perfect getaway spot for people looking to bond with family. Kichakani has 3 cottages each with two bedrooms that can sleep a maximum of four people.

The cottages also have kitchens making it suitable for those looking for self-catering accommodation. There is a restaurant where the guests can have their meals and there is also an option of having a chef come cook the food you have brought for an extra fee.

Sangare Gardens

The perfect getaway for couples and family who cherish that quality time with serene scenes and home-cooked meals by an expert cook. The house is magnificently situated on expansive farm, where the gardens offer a breathtaking breeze combined with excellent views of Mount Kenya and the Aberdare ranges.

Located in Nyeri County, Kieni West Constituency, 26kms from Nyeri Town, this is a private home that is let out when owners are not around. The villa is a perfect retreat escape from the city times with a dam and forest nearby that is ideal for picnic sites. The villa has 6 bedrooms at Sh22,300 per night and can accommodate 12 people.

Samawati conservancy

It shares a boundary fence with Kichakani and sits on a 20-acre piece of land overlooking Lake Olbolosat. With only four cottages, the management has not spared expenses to make the guests feel comfortable while enjoying the upcountry feel.

Their accommodation is self-catering though for an extra fee, a chef will come cook the food you brought with you. Three of the cottages have two bedrooms on the top floor with a lounge and kitchenette on the ground floor.

These can sleep up to five people as the sofa in the lounge can be converted into a bed and a baby cot placed on request.

Each cottage goes for about Sh12,000 per night. As there is no restaurant on the premises there are no drinks available and guests have to bring their own.

Amboseli

Tandala, Maparasha Hills, Il’ bisil

Little-know but luxurious Tandala, or Kudu in Swahili is located in secluded hills in the Northern district of Amboseli at an altitude of 5070ft. The house overlooks a waterhole for the wild animals to drink and has a view of the Pelewa Hills.

Tandala sleeps 10 guests, essentially eight adults and two children, in its two double ensuite bedrooms and one twin room with its own bathroom.

On the west side of the house are the family rooms, offering a double bedroom with ensuite bathroom and a joining  twin bedroom which is ideal for children. Some bedrooms and bathrooms have log fireplaces and all beds have feather duvets and pillows.

The kitchen is fully-equipped with modern appliances. The large sitting room has a log fireplace and leads to an elegant  dining room. The roof terrace offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and bush and is a great place for sundowners.

Both catered and self-catered options are available.

Rates start form Sh51,500 per night with a minimum two-night stay.

Tsavo

Kanzi House

The Kanzi House is a villa available for renting out to groups and families. It is usually rented out one group at a time for a minimum of three nights.

Set in Tsavo West National Park, Kanzi House offers self-catering accommodation with free WiFi. It provides free private parking.

An oven and a stovetop can be found in the kitchenette and there is a private bathroom with bath robes and slippers. A flat-screen TV is offered. Other facilities at Kanzi House include an outdoor pool and a fire pit.

On a fine day, you might catch a glimpse of Mt Kilimanjaro. It has three double rooms and two twin rooms which can accommodate up to 10 people.

The house attracts Sh15,100 conservation fee per person per day in support of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. At the House, guests are hosted by Samson Parashina, president of the Trust, who has been feted by the United Nations as Champion of the Earth.

Bike hire is available at the property and the area is popular for horse riding.

Nyeri

Sandai House

found in the midst of native flora, the guest house and cottages are located close to the Aberdares National park where you will experience the wild as you go for game drives. The farm house consists of two guest houses with four rooms and is comfortably furnished.

The main house has two more guest rooms, a kitchen and dining room. The house is one hour’s drive from Nyeri town on the Nyeri-Nyahuhuru route just past Mweiga town.

Mboi Farm

the house with a colonial feel is located high up in the Aberdare ranges and about 10 km from Nyeri town. The house is a spacious three-bedroom house that can handle a maximum of nine guests with amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

You will enjoy activities such as village tourism, tea and coffee picking, river fishing and game drives. It is close to a stream and waterfalls where guests like to unwind. Rate is Sh12,000 per night for the whole house.

The Manyika house

being a colonial house located in Thika 45 km from Nairobi the traditional English style house is a historic homestead of a pioneering aviator and horse trainer Beryl Markham. The farm house has a four-bedroom with two baths a large living room with a children’s playground.

It is surrounded by a coffee plantation where guests can take a tour of the landscape in the 5-acre garden with farm animals. The house sleeps a maximum of 10 guests and has a cook at Sh67,500 on an extended weekend Friday to Sunday .

Fishing Lodge

This cabin is nested inside Aberdare National park with diverse wildlife. The secluded haven is ideal for various outdoor activities such as hiking, trout fishing, walking safaris, and a chance to see spectacular waterfalls. One can enjoy the moorland scenery from the lodge which has a capacity for seven people at Sh14,000 per night.

Naivasha

Ajabu

Ajabu’s main house, positioned among fig trees on the waterfront cliff above the Northern shores of Lake Naivasha, with panoramic views of Mt Longonot, the Aberdare mountain range and the rift valley across the lake, can sleep up to 4 adults with an ensuite master bedroom (which fits 2 extra children on a sofabed) and a family room with its own bathroom. The house has a comfortable sitting room, verandah and large kitchen area.

Closely located to the Main House is Siriane Cottage, which sleeps 4 people in 2 large superior bedrooms (a double and twin), both en suite, and has a verandah and private dining room of its own.

The third accommodation unit, the Muse, overlooks the gardens and features 3 ensuite bedrooms (one of which is a family room).

This property is situated on a 5,500 acre private wildlife sanctuary, making an incredible weekend escape only 1hr 45m from Nairobi.

The grounds are well-suited for families, with manicured lawns and terraced gardens, and a wildlife wall surrounding the property. To expel a bit of energy there is also a clay tennis court, a trampoline, game drives, and of course Lake Naivasha on your doorstep.

The property also features an organic vegetable garden, which supplies the house with an array of fresh vegetables and limes. With free range chickens and lambs on offer from the farm as well (for purchase by self-catering guests).

The property has a team of 4 staff to care for your needs, and can cater for both self-catering and full-board guests. A masseuse can also be arranged by advance request.

Local Activities:

Tennis, Boating, Horse Riding, Game Drives, Golf at the Rift Valley Golf Club, Climb Mt. Longonot, Lake Elementeita (45 minutes drive), Hells Gate National Park (1 hour drive).

Rates range from Sh26,120 for upto four guests in the main house to 18 guets when you take the whole place at a rate of Sh 65,308 per day.

Boat and boatman Sh1000 per hour, chef Sh1200 per day + 2000 transport fee.

Marula House

(Garden Villa 6200)

This self-catering house is at the Great Rift Valley and Golf Resort. It is tucked away 5 km from the main road.
The villa can comfortably accommodate six guests at a time at a cost of Sh34,500 a night.

With prior arrangements, however, this spot with self-contained luxurious bedrooms can accommodate up 10 guests.
The villa boasts of a well-manicured garden, a barbecue area and balconies with great views of the area surrounding the golf resort.

Lihai house

This small bit of paradise is set within exquisite gardens.

Guests can enjoy a sweeping views of the Great Rift Valley at the Lihai main house that can accommodate six people at a time.

The house has two double rooms ensuite and a further double (with separate bathroom). Charges per night for the guests is Sh35,000. The house is available for a minimum of 5 days.

Activities there include swimming, tennis and golf. The rooms are named after Kenyan wildlife and are built from local materials, with beds made of vines, and walls inlaid with glass bottles.

A night at the facility costs Sh16,540 per person full board. Activities include hiking, boat rides, swimming, viewing the sundowner by the fire.

Olerai house

This private self-catering cottage in its own garden, ideal for family or group of friends. Located in the private 300-acre Olerai Sanctuary, on the northern shores of Lake Naivasha, this cosy private house sits under the canopy of towering acacia trees.

It is characterised by emerald green lawns that stretch down to the lake shore. Over 500 animals including zebras, giraffes, water buffalo, gazelles and monkeys, graze harmoniously on its grounds.

Each of the five independent rooms in the house is personally decorated by Oria, the owner with colourful Indian tapestries and local art.

The rooms are named after Kenyan wildlife and are built from local materials, with beds made of vines, and walls inlaid with glass bottles.

A night at the facility costs Sh16,540 per person full board. Activities include hiking, boat rides, swimming, viewing the sundowner by the fire.

Guesthouse Jane

This gem tucked away in the heart of Naivasha can sleep 25 guests at a time with the main house taking in 13 and the three apartments taking four guests each.

Both the main house which has one triple room and five double bedrooms sit in the same compound as the apartments where they share a solar heated pool.

The location is ideal for a family getaway given that its kitchen, dining room and living room are fully-furnished

No need to worry about security as a police station sits only 200m from the guesthouse.

The minimum stay is one day and payment must be made in full three days before arrival. You need to make a minimum deposit of Sh5000 to ensure the booking is confirmed.

It is worth noting that no alcohol is served at the guesthouse and those keen on having a drink will have to do a two minutes’ walk to a bar outside the compound.

Kiangazi house

If a private and intimate getaway is what you are yearning to have with your family or friends this Easter, then this homely place is one spot you won’t regret visiting.

The place has 2 beautifully appointed double ensuite and one twin bedrooms within the main house. A further 4 double rooms sit a short walk away from the main house.

All bedrooms are characterised by large beds and furnishings carefully selected to give each room its own unique ambiance.

A number of rooms have fire places yet others boast spacious bathrooms with organic handmade bathroom products from Northern Kenya.

Engage in easy conversations over a drink, at the veranda as you watch the sun go down in the horizons. The house is surrounded by the Oserengoni wildlife sanctuary corridors while its rustic swimming pool is nestled in to the gardens with views of the water hole and Lake Oloidien.

Professionally-trained chefs are on hand with mouthwatering menus whose ingredients are sourced from the house’s garden.

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