You walk up a few stairs inside Kitui Villa, a hotel owned by US-based law professor Makua Mutua, to a small bar. It is relatively well stocked if you love fine whisky, wine or beer. For now, most of the beers are local brands but what won’t disappoint are a selection of the professor’s favourite Scotch whiskies; Glenlivet, Glenfiddich and Glenkinchie.
Facing a swimming pool, the bar which is open to the public has extra seats outside. The hotel manager, Vincent Akala, says the outdoor seats are best for guests who want to watch the scenic Ngiini area while they drink. One can also sit near the long rectangle shaped open walkway or under the shade of tall gum trees.
“Ours is not like most bars where people crowd into one large noisy room, it’s for those who love privacy,” says Mr Akala.
Prof Mutua turned his five-bedroom home into a four-star hotel which is set to house especially scholars, researchers and policymakers.
It has a library used by hotel guests, a business centre. “We have African novels, autobiographies and biographies, law, political science, history, classics, human rights literature, international law and civil rights books,” says Prof Makau.
The hotel that is located about two kilometres from Kitui town also has intimate spaces for those who want small private gatherings. There is a chef’s room that hosts about 12 people which has one-way mirror walls, allowing those inside to see the outside lawns. The law professor says he put up finishes to the hotel that speak of intellectual serenity. Portraits of renowned world revolutionary figures like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jnr and Malcolm X, Patrice Lumumba, Julius Nyerere hang on the walls.
“Kitui Villa is inspired by the concept of Ubuntu. It’s for people who want to think great thoughts and help change our world ,” he said.