Fairmont’s refurbished safari club
The Mount Kenya Safari Club at Nanyuki 190 kilometres north of Nairobi is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment that will bring the resort back to its former glory.
The hotel, famous for being the original private retreat of movie star and club founder, William Holden, remains operational, still receiving guests daily as the rebuild programme closes only sections of the property at a time.
Features to change are the garden suites which will have walk out gardens of their own and double sided fireplaces. The William Holden cottages will have two bedrooms with patio doors facing the grounds and views of the mountain. Both classes of rooms will be available early in autumn.
Building work will change the shape of the main building and reception areas, with a new coffee and wine lounge a feature. The mountain side restaurant is taking shape too, and the Mawingo or the new wing rooms will have a complete redesign including fireplaces and completely new furnishings.
The pool also gets a facelift – and a new heater. All phases are due for completion by November 2008.
Activities offered include champagne breakfasts in the rose garden, horse back riding excursions, heli fishing in the plateaus of Mount Kenya and evenmassages in front of your own fireplace and butler dinner on your private verandah. The centre of the hotel straddles the equator, so equator ceremonies are also conducted – these can vary from a simple ceremony to an extravagant affair depending the circumstance and guest needs, according to Nancy Shaw of Fairmont Hotels.
“Guests experience the effects of Coriolis (an apparent deflection of moving objects from a straight path when they are viewed from a rotating frame of reference) by visualising it with the assistance of a water demonstration and walking across the equator to the authentic beat of an African welcome from local Chukka drummers,” she said.
The hotel spread over 100 acres of manicured lawns, and is a three hour drive or a 40 minute flight from Nairobi.
The Mount Kenya Safari Club has developed an art for change programme based on a series of plastic recycling initiatives, and joined forces with local artist Godffrey Kimani, who specialised in creating items from recycled plastic. He collects waste plastic from nearby villages and changes it into art.