When it comes to travelling, convenience is key. Sometime last year, I was travelling to Kilgoris in Narok county, and a few months later, I used the same route to Kisii.
For road users, Narok town is probably the most convenient stop over, as it gives you an opportunity to do a few en route things such as shopping (for liquor, refreshments, fresh produce, food) or even to grab some rest.
Those heading on to Masai Mara Game Reserve also pass through the town known to the locals as Enkare Narok, which translates to ‘dark waters’ in Maasai dialect.
For football lovers, Narok town is home to Narok Stadium, where some Kenya Premier League matches are played, which translates to a lot of road trippers flocking the area whenever there is a match in the beautiful stadium.
Besides all that, the town boasts a gem in Mara Link Hotel, which is as popular as the town itself.
The hotel is located in an area known as Total, about 500 metres from the town, along the Narok-Bomet Road and near Masai Mara University.
Recently, I popped in for a night with a bunch of friends. A friendly Benson Rokiten, the hotel’s director, welcomed us. After exchanging pleasantries, he requested one of the receptionists to make sure “his guests” felt at home and settled for the night, as he made other plans for us that would later see us feast on some succulent nyama choma and steaming ugali.
It took us less than 10 minutes to be ushered into the cozy, spacious and furnished rooms, some with balconies. As a guest, you have Deluxe twin rooms that go for Sh3,715 or standard single rooms that go for Sh2,200 per night to choose from.
The charges are inclusive of a buffet breakfast. Facilities for guests with disabilities are limited to the ground floor, as the upper floors on the two-storey building are only accessible by stairs. The adequately staffed hotel has a bed capacity of 101. It offers its guest some peace of mind with its free ample and secure parking.
After freshening up, I lounged lazily in my room, as I flipped over TV channels on the 32-inch flat screen. With nothing to impress me, since there was no footballing action going on, I decided to hang out at the balcony, as I watched a graciously breathtaking sun set over the lush savanna lying in front of my sight.
The hotel itself features an inviting garden segmented into small sitting areas with patio umbrellas for those who want to enjoy a cool breeze or soak in some sun.
The hotel’s bar and grill, located on the ground floor as is the dining and conference facilities, is adequately stocked with affordable prices for beers, wines and spirits. The cool ambience present at this hotel makes it a favourite with guests, especially those on transit to the awe-inspiring Masai Mara.
With twilight approaching, some booming music rends the air from a neighbouring entertainment spot, Club Laleiyio, which Rokiten later informed us is owned by the same company as the hotel. I give my friends a call and we make arrangements to go shake some leg at the club, after another round of mouthwatering nyama choma.
I pride myself as an early bird, but after an exciting and pompous night at Club Laleiyo, it was a tad difficult for me to rise up as early as I had planned. In my natural habitat, I have a super appetite for food in the mornings.
On this particular morning, I woke up feeling so hungry, as if it was the last day of lent. After taking a warm shower, I experienced some serious hunger pangs. I literally flew down the staircase and into the dinning area, where an English buffet breakfast awaited.
I did not need any convincing on why I should heap my plate. Bacon, two beef sausages, minced meat, a spoonful of white rice, grilled potatoes, some vegetables and a glass of freshly squeezed mango juice to down the finger-licking meal. After all, food is for eating and good food is to be enjoyed. Again, you don’t need a silver spoon to enjoy good food.
That sumptuous breakfast summed up our brief stay at Mara Link Hotel. I would highly recommend you to visit or at least make a stop over and enjoy the clear-cut hospitality offered at the humbling facility.