Design & Interiors

‘We turned our home into resort’

owners of Tumaini Garden resort during the interview
Mr & Mrs Njoroge, owners of Tumaini Garden resort during the interview. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Several years ago, with no knowledge in running a hotel, a couple left their promising careers to establish a family resort.

William Njoroge, 62, a pharmacist by profession says, when they opened the resort, his wife Rose, a human resource executive became the executive chef.

In 2009, the couple had bought a bushy neglected land about 25 kilometres from Kitengela town.

The Njoroges built a simple cottage which was a family weekend getaway. To them, this give their then young children a chance to watch wild animals that used to roam the area freely.

Their friends began requesting them to offer their cottage for weekend adventures. Soon the bookings were overwhelming and they decided to expand it into a hotel.


They gradually turned the 10 acres into a haven of tranquillity, planting Italian Cyprus and other exotic trees and built artistic cottages that would house guests.

Mr Njoroge says the road to put up the facility has been bumpy and financially draining to an extent that the couple thought of quitting midway.

“My wife used to work at the United Nations as a human resource manager and I was working with an NGO as a pharmacist but we decided to quit our jobs to an unknown world. Raising the construction money was a daunting task and we were forced to sell off some of our assets. We also approached a financial institution for a loan,” says Mr Njoroge.

Tumaini garden resort landscape

Tumaini Garden Resort landscape. PHOTO | COURTESY

It took the couple four years to complete the first phase of the hotel that opened its doors in 2014.

With several gazebos in the fields, the restaurant is perfect for sightseeing where the visitors enjoy sundowners and bird watching. Tens of lovebirds in pairs, red eye doves, weaverbirds among other dozen species make the resort lively.

From the balcony, guests can also watch wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and other wild animals to patronise the neighbourhood freely.

The resort now has more than 42 rooms with plans to increase it to 60. No rooms have TVs, so as to “lock’’ the visitor away from the noisy outside world.

“We wanted our visitors to only be disturbed by chirping birds and crickets in the thickets but not the television. This is a place to savour a few hours of solitude. Actually visitors love the idea of no TV,’’ says Mr Njoroge, adding that the resort has conference rooms and now attracts foreign envoys and groups meeting for team building.

Mrs Njoroge still runs the kitchen as the executive chef after undergoing a food and beverage training.

“We grow about 60 percent of our food organically,” she says, adding that she now has 25 employees.

The Njoroges live in one cottage within the compound for easier supervision with the husband taking the role of the director and a part-time medical expert with an NGO.