Luxury bedding and hot tubs are all well, good and relaxing, but when did you last check into a hotel where live animals add to the comfort?
Nestled on a 20-acre land in Karen, Nairobi, the Stedmak Gardens is an ideal place to reconnect with nature in a unique resort setting. On arrival, I was taken aback by the hotel’s physical appearance, because I had thought the hotel was the usual setting of brick and mortar, but that was not the case.
The hotel is designed in an eco-friendly manner. Apart from the one storey building that hosts the conference facilities and lounge, the place has five floating restaurants and gazebos in the main garden, which can accommodate up to 200 people.
My love for animals took me to discover this place because there is an animal park inside the hotel, where guests can spot more than 50 species of mammals including snakes, cheetahs, lions, ostriches, peacocks and tortoises.
“Our animal park is open everyday to the public and we charge an entrance fees of Sh300 for adults and Sh200 for children,” the park manager, Nathaniel Waweru, told me.
As I was going round the park I was surprised to see how well the animals are taken care of and the best part that I enjoyed the most was when I was given the opportunity to feed the lions and take a close up photo with the big cats.
After the park tour, I was hungry from all that exploring and I couldn’t wait to grab something from the restaurant. I chose to sit, relax and dine at Kiki, one of the floating restaurants. The hotel offers local and international cuisines and since I wanted to try something new, I ordered Luwombo, a Ugandan traditional dish.
Apart from the animal park, the place has other facilities including a salon, barbershop, fitness centre and accommodation. Ten minutes later, as I was interacting with different staff, my food was ready.
The meal, matoke, chicken stew, chapati, grinded groundnuts and kachumbari, was more than delicious. It was absolutely finger licking. I enjoyed it to the fullest. I downed it with a cold glass of freshly squeezed mango juice. I’d say that all the components in my meal were well prepared and nicely presented.
The facility also provides a garden, which can be used for a wedding, photo shoot and team building activities. For wedding, they have a favourable and affordable honeymoon package. Other activities one can enjoy while there are horse riding, boat riding, sport fishing and koroga.
For accommodation, their tented deluxe suites, which goes for Sh10,000 per night, provide a comfortable and enjoyable retreat. Standard rooms go for Sh5,000 (bed and breakfast) and Sh4,000 for bed only. Guests have the option of cooling off in the heated swimming pool or in the fully stocked bar, offering the finest wines, spirits and beers.
I totally liked the hotel’s high degree of cleanliness and outstanding hospitality and service.