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Reviewed October 24, 2011

I had the amazing privilege and pleasure of staying at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club for extended stays, several times between March and August 2011. Without a doubt, this was the most beautiful property at which I have ever stayed. Waking to a view of Mt. Kenya is glorious in and of itself. The unbelievably manicured, stunningly gorgeous property being added to the equation makes for a truly stunning and unforgettable experience.

The management and staff the the club could not have been better or more hospitable. From Niall, the General Manager, to the front desk personnel, the restaurant and bar staff, the housekeeping staff, groundskeepers and all others, employees were gracious, warm, reliable and attentive. Always with smiles, the staff made certain that every need was attended to perfectly and timely. They went out of their way to make certain that we felt welcome and treated us like true family, always knowing our preferences and taking care of needs, oftentimes without even having to ask.

A more glorious property you'll not find; a more hospitable, attentive staff you'll not encounter.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Jason F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 20, 2011

There were a few bright spots in our overnight stay. It is truly beautiful, the food was good but not exceptional. We were by far the last diners in the dinning room and that wasn't bay choice but by poor service. The people at the animal orphanage were nice, helpful, and courteous. It seemed an imposition for the bartenders to get me a beer at the bar much less come to the table to take any orders. One of the receptionists was helpful and friendly, the other one acted like we were imposing on her. I don't plan on returning to Mt. Kenya Safari Club.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank horseymom42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 18, 2011

We spent three nights at this property while on a safari tour. By this time, we needed a rest from game drives and the Fairmont Mt Kenya Safari Club provided that. It was like stepping into another time and place. Each afternoon we had tea on the lawn overlooking the pool, the maze and Mount Kenya as the sun set. Huge marabou storks and elegant grey crowned cranes wandered about, the latter on the lookout for unprotected sandwiches and tea cakes. About the time one switches from tea to aperitifs, some of the staff perform native songs and dances in colourful costumes, inviting guests to join in.
The hotel is built exactly on the equator with a walkway right down the centre. Despite the fact that we had spent the last week south of the equator, we participated in the hotel's Crossing the Equator ceremony, which involved walking like an ostrich between two unusually-dressed locals to meet a local chief, shake his hand and get a certificate verifying that we had crossed the equator. Of more interest to me was the demonstration of the Coriolis effect wherein water spins down a drain clockwise north of the equator and counter-clockwise south of the equator. Our demonstrator confirmed that if the basin is exactly on the equator, the water shifts back and forth in a confused fashion on its way down the drain.
Near the entrance to the property is the animal orphanage where staff will take you around and give you kernels of corn to feed the resident ostrich, Colobus monkeys and other critters. The predatory residents are kept confined, but some of the other animals are free to roam. The bongos and other antelopes like the yam greens from the garden by the entrance, so pick a bunch on your way in. It's OK.
There are a variety of gift shops on the property offering everything from trinkets and coffee to clothing and fine art. The prices are not unreasonable.
Various tours and services are available on a daily basis. We took advantage of spa prices about 1/3 of what I pay at home to book pedicures and some of our fellow travelers raved about the massages. Be aware, the spa has only two staff, so book their services as early in your stay as possible. Birdwatching walks through the grounds could also be booked with a naturalist and were a reasonable price.
Our room was lovely. We were at the far end of the main building, which meant that we had to stop and rest once or twice on the way up the hill to the dining room and bar. We had a sofa and chair surrounding a fireplace. If you want it lit, you need to ask staff to do so and they will bring wood and lay the fire for you. They also supply hot water bottles for the bed, although it was not cool enough for us to really need them. The toilet has its own very reverberant room off the main bathroom. The light switch for it is part of the bank of switches in the bedroom by the bathroom entrance. I recommend turning on the toilet light and leaving the toilet door ajar before you go to bed. That way you can find your way in the middle of the night but don't have your sleep disturbed by the light.
The staff were all very nice, especially in the dining room and spa. However, they have moved the spa to a different room from what is listed in the hotel room services binder. The reception/concierge staff supplied me with a map, and then circled the wrong set of buildings as where the spa was. The signage on the grounds was inadequate and we finally were led to the right place by the visiting mother of one of the staff. This is a very big property and spread out. They will supply a vehicle (often a golf cart) and driver on demand to get you around the grounds, but they tend to want to drop you off at reception, which was a hike from our room. (We had passed our room getting from the spa to reception by vehicle.) And during busy times when lots of people were arriving, it would take so long to get a vehicle to pick you up that you had time to rest up and do the hike home before the vehicle would arrive.
The food was excellent with lots of variety. You could choose to eat exactly what you have at home or try something new and exotic at every meal. The wine list has reasonably priced and very drinkable options, particularly South African wines. Warning: avoid the seats by the fireplace if it is lit or about to be; you will roast.
I would have liked to stay here for several more days so that I could have taken in more of what the hotel had to offer and still had time to rest and do nothing but take in the marvelous views.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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Thank traveljunkie1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 18, 2011

Of the 7 places we stayed at while on safari in Kenya and Tanzania, this one was at the bottom of my list. Our room was nice but the bathroom floor was dirty with dead bugs and the sink was stopped up which took several hours to be fixed. The staff was rude in some cases and slow in others, with the exception of Rosemary who was friendly and helpful. The restroom outside of the restaurant had no towels, and didn't get replenished after letting the staff know. The worst part though was the unrequested 4am wake-up call that was repeated again at 5am. On a positive note, the orphanage was fun to see.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 15, 2011

The Mt Kenya Safari Club is a real treat.
A tree full of colobus monkeys that I could see while walking to my room. The rooms are lovely, comfy beds, bathroom has a separate toilet area, shower is great. Vanity area could of had more room but it,s just fine. The room has a fireplace in it that a staff member will light for you - it is wood burning. It's cool here at night so take a sweater or light jacket with you when you go out in the evening. The room also has doors that will open for some fresh air. I also spotted 2 baboons walking down the path, the animals do roam free & while there are walking trails beware, you may run into some baboons - & since this is 'their' place let them go on their way & don't get steen them & their young.
The bar - called Zebar is fun as the equator goes right thru the middle of it - so you can have a drink from the northern & the southern hemispheres. The restaurant - called Tusks - serves a great buffet breakfast - don't miss out on having a smoothie in the morning. Lunch is a must on the outside deck. You will look out & see the pool & beyond rthe pool is the maze. We were told the maze is free but if you need to be rescued - it will cost you! Give the Maze a try - however I don't recommend going in alone. My friends & I did have to cheat to get out!

The safari club offers horse back riding, a spa, bike rental, a 9 hole golf course - this is not a
golf destination golf course. If you are a golfer, you must go as the 7th hole plays along the equator. Green fes are in expensive, rental clubs are adequate, you must take a caddy who get quite good at clubbing you & they will gladly sell you some golf balls - LOL! After our round we gave the remaining balls back to our caddy - I'm sure these golf balls have been sold & resold many times. The grass on there's boxes are quite long & on the putting green - let's say hit your putts very firm! Did I mention - you need to hit the putts very firm! The yardage is in meters - so keep that in mind when you pick your club. No wild Nimals sited but we did see some droppings. The caddies will keep you safe. The course is a combination of par 3 & 4's.

A don't miss highlight at the safari club is the animal orphanage. Most of these animals have become quite tame & a guide will lead you around, giving you food to feed the animals, most of the 'tamer' animals roam free. The orphanage is quite large, you will be walking around. You will see the crowned crane, bushbucks, bongos, ostrich, a very old tortoise which you can ride, cheetahs (which are behind a fence), and many monkeys who love to jump into your arms if you hold out your hands & have food in them. There is Pygmy hippo in it's own pool. It's great to get up close to some of these animals, & good to know that these animals will be reintroduced into the wild.
A bit too cool to take advantage of the pool but it looked very inviting.
Mount Kenya can be seen but you do need to get up before sunrise - in September this is around 6:00 am. But once the sun comes out there can be quite a glare & you will have a hard time getting a good picture. So there is a fine line between dark & sunrise where you will be able to see Mt. Kenya. During the day the clouds can come in, your best bet for seeing the mountain is in the morning.
In the courtyard of the hotel is a fellow who has a few tables set up with wood carvings, Jewlery, the usual trinkets that you may have seen if you have been stopping at shops along the road - but the prices here are very reasonable.
Wifi is free & the best connection is in Zebar.
Pay attention to any tabs you will receive from the bar & the restaurant VAT is added, as is a gratuity.
You must have your picture taken by the sign that says Mt Kenya safari club, elevation 7000 ft.

Wish we had more time to spend here, to enjoy the many activities the club has to offer & to
soak in the refreshing scenery. And don't let the big marabou stork who almost walks into the dining room in the morning throw you off the staff will chase him off! There are also cottages that you can rent - those go for $2100 US a night - so out of reach for the average bear.

Room Tip: All the rooms face Mt Kenya
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank flatfoot2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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