This beautiful private home is partly sculpted into the rock-bed and its subtle entrance opens into a fragrant, greened space with generous Swahili curves and an air of monastic calm. Stone walls create vaulted walkways that lure you into cool shade towards a gym, spa and hammam, tennis court, dappled sun traps and Lamu daybeds. Alongside a gnarled African Olive tree, a slice of pool hangs over the untamed wild of the Sieku valley in the Borana Conservancy. Rates on request. www.arijiju.com
FORODHANI HOUSE, LAMU
Photos barely do this Swahili-style house justice. Its corner positioning (it stands on the spot of the old watchtower) means that guests can enjoy 270 degree views out towards Manda, and down towards Lamu town from its expansive terrace. A nicer spot for a sundowner is hard to imagine. It comfortably sleeps 10-13 and has plenty of lounging areas by the pool, garden, dining area and more. The cost for the whole house is about Ksh 50,000.
MSAMBWENI BEACH HOUSE, SOUTH COAST
The property has a main house that sleeps 10 with a 14m infinity pool as well as three completely private villas, each with its own private pool and panoramic sea views. It lies along a private beach and the villa’s pools range from 10 to 30m, from where many an Instagram picture has been snapped. Choose from a jacuzzi overlooking the sea or a private sundowner overlooking a 500 year old baobab tree. Rates start at Ksh 25,000 a night.
MARA SIRIA, OUTSIDE MAASAI MARA
The real draw of this place is the staggering view. Perched atop the Siria escarpment, it overlooks the vast area of the Maasai Mara. The tented lodge is not in the reserve itself but on its Western border, and the feeling of wilderness is maintained. The camp is not fenced and plains game like antelopes and zebras are known to wander around. January to march rates start at Ksh 10,900 for full board and Ksh 16,500 for the ground packages in the cottages.
GIRAFFE MANOR, NAIROBI
A darling of Instagram, Giraffe Manor is a well known global destination where influential figures visit to dine with the resident Rothschild giraffes that often stop by in the morning and evening, stretching their long necks through the windows to your table hoping for a treat. Dating back to the 1930s, it has served as a giraffe sanctuary since the 1970s. It houses 12 rooms and walking in is said to be like stepping onto the set of Out of Africa.