World’s Most Unusual Hotels: Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya
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If you’ve ever dreamt of the kind of African adventure where you not only gawk at animals but are actually woken up by giraffes poking their long necks into your bedroom window, book a flight to Nairobi and stay here, pronto.
Imagine eating a delicious, fresh breakfast when suddenly, you feel a soft nuzzle on your shoulder. No, it’s not a stray cat or a nosy neighbor — it’s a giraffe. Like, a real one. It’s a daily occurrence at Giraffe Manor, a boutique hotel located on a 12-acre property in a Nairobi, Kenya, suburb.
Giraffes pay a visit to the manor each morning and evening, peeking into the windows and to receive snacks, which, of course, the manor provides so guests can enjoy the incredible experience of feeding them. Then, the graceful animals head back to their home in the nearby woodlands.
The hotel has charm well beyond the giraffes. At first, the building feels decidedly British, a brick manor reminiscent of the English countryside. But the space also has a real African feel to it — yes, beyond the exotic creatures that you’ll be sharing the space with — thanks to the bright, sunny gardens, courtyards, terraces and all-around luminous, airy spaces decorated in deep red, gold and mahogany tones.
Each of the 10 rooms and suites is delightfully decorated with elegant furnishings but still feels modern and comfortable with an Art Deco style. Enjoy one of the double rooms, such as The Betty, which has a roof terrace, in-room fireplace and en suite original Art Deco bathroom with bath and shower. Or check out the luxe Karen Blixen suite, pictured above, which sleeps up to five and is ideal for families, opening up to a beautiful courtyard. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the property, and there’s an onsite massage therapist as well, offering treatments in a potting shed-turned-massage room. The manor has plenty of unique activities you can participate in — try playing croquet or painting in the orchid garden if you want to unwind a bit.
Room rates start at $550 per person per night, and include full board as well, meaning guests get all meals and most drinks for free — including house wines, spirits, beer and soft drinks, but excluding Champagne and specially imported wines and spirits — as well as complimentary chauffeured vehicles for sightseeing, though you may have to share these with other guests. You can also combine a stay here with a customized safari experience in conjunction with some of Giraffe Manor’s sister properties.
Keep your eyes peeled for deal alerts to Nairobi from the US, though you will have to connect somewhere along the way. Fly nonstop from New York (JFK) to Johannesburg (JNB) or from Washington, D.C. (IAD), to Accra (ACC) on South African Airways — a solid United MileagePlus redemption option) — then, hop over to Nairobi (NBO) from there. If you’re willing to connect in Europe, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, the options are endless. Once you’re in Nairobi, Giraffe Manor is only a 30-minute drive from the airport.
Would you stay in this wacky hotel? Have you stayed there before? Sound off below!
Featured image courtesy of Giraffe Manor.