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Book this ultimate day pass in Nairobi to unplug and hang out with giraffes

Aug. 26, 2021
6 min read
Waridi Room at The Retreat at Nairobi, Kenya's Giraffe Manor
Book this ultimate day pass in Nairobi to unplug and hang out with giraffes
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A search for the top photos hashtagged #nairobitravel on Instagram reveals a common, leggy theme.

Lots of snaps of friendly giraffes poking their heads into the windows of the famous Giraffe Manor hotel in the Nairobi suburbs — often helping themselves to a handout from a guest’s breakfast plate (or doing something similarly cheeky).

With the recent opening this month of a new day-use expansion at Giraffe Manor called The Retreat-- featuring, among other amenities, a giraffe-friendly infinity pool -- expect to see photos of the iconic African animals peering down on doggie-paddling guests filling feeds soon, too.

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Nandi Room at The Retreat at Nairobi, Kenya's Giraffe Manor (Photo by Brian Siambi courtesy of Giraffe Manor)

Available only to guests of Giraffe Manor and The Safari Collection’s other Kenya properties — including three luxury lodges in Samburu, Laikipia and the Maasai Mara — The Retreat is designed to be a place for guests to spend several hours kicking back someplace far more pleasant than an airport terminal at the start or end of an East African safari adventure.

Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you book a day pass at The Retreat (besides the potential for poolside giraffes, of course).

(Photo by Brian Siambi courtesy of Giraffe Manor)

Located on the same stretch of private, forested land outside of Nairobi as Giraffe Manor and just a short stroll from the main property, The Retreat centers around a roughly 70-foot-long infinity pool where guests can spend their Nairobi layover relaxing atop chaise lounges and basking in bucolic views. There's also a sundeck and rooftop garden for alfresco relaxing.

One side of the pool opens through an archway to allow serendipitous visits by the manor’s herd of Rothschild’s giraffes (the same ones that arrive for breakfast and afternoon tea at Giraffe Manor). There’s no guarantee if or when they’ll show up to say hello, of course, but their appearance is sure to make a splash (we couldn't resist).

The property looks similar in design to Giraffe Manor, with arching windows bringing the outdoors in and nods to the original manor's 1930s English Country style throughout.

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Four bedrooms on The Retreat's first floor are available for day use only and look like luxurious hotel rooms -- down to their spacious balconies and huge walk-in rain showers.

And while no sleepovers are allowed (the latest you can stay is 10 p.m.), the beds look as comfortable as you’d expect from a luxury hotel. It’s a far more inviting place than an airport terminal, anyway, for catching some sleep before catching a flight, rearranging your luggage or just taking a breather. Also, name an airport terminal with giraffes loping past.

(Photo by Brian Siambi courtesy of Giraffe Manor)

There's an on-site wellness area at The Retreat, too, with two treatment rooms for spa therapies (deep tissue massages, foot massages and the like) as well as a sauna, steam room, hot tub and a fully equipped gym. So you can spend your layover getting a good dose of downtime and self-care before heading off to your next safari stop.

The Retreat also has an onsite restaurant, Daisy’s Cafe, serving “farm to fork” meals, salads, smoothies and the like (food is not included in the day rate).

Layovers at The Retreat don't come cheap

Suffice to say, basking in an infinity pool where giraffes are prone to come sauntering by hardly comes cheap. But depending on how long of layover you have, it might be worth it.

Guests already staying at neighboring Giraffe Manor, which has only 12 guest rooms, get complimentary access to The Retreat’s pool and wellness area (with drinks, meals and spa treatments billed separately).

And for guests arriving or headed to other The Safari Collection properties who wish to spend time at The Retreat, there are a few options when it comes to packages you can book. It's important to note that staying at The Retreat doesn't get you access to Giraffe Manor.

If you don’t need access to a day room but want to spend an entire day on-site, there's The Retreat Pass (from 10 a.m to 10 p.m.). For $250 per person, it gets you all-day access to the pool and wellness area as well as complimentary water. Food, drinks and spa treatments are excluded. Kids two and under can stay at The Retreat with their parents for no extra charge.

The Retreat Early Bird Package (from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.) is good if you’re arriving in Nairobi on an early flight and want a relaxing, scenic place to kill some time. For $250 per person, it includes continental breakfast at The Retreat (note that the giraffes don't show up to breakfast here) as well as access to the pool and wellness area and complimentary water. Again, you’ll pay extra for spa treatments and all other food and drinks.

For maximum comfort at The Retreat -- and especially if you have a whole day to kill and want to get some proper sleep -- consider booking a day room, which starts from $800 per room (based on double occupancy). Extra day room guests will run you $350 per person and kids 2 and under don't count toward in-room capacity. The rate includes complimentary water and soft drinks, a snack and use of all the facilities (again, you’re paying extra for the extras -- and they'll add up).

Bottom line

Whether you just plan to spend the morning at The Retreat or want to pull a 12-hour day on-site or rent a day room to really settle in, you're going to be dropping some serious cash here -- especially if it's not just you on the tab. But a day spent ogling giraffes and sipping something frosty from an infinity pool is also something that doesn't happen every day in this life--and it sure beats listening to boarding announcements drone on in a crowded airport terminal.

Featured image by brian siambi
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023