Upon deciding we needed a break from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi, we booked one of the cottages at Malu, and what a break it turned out to be.
We were greeted on arrival at the taxi by the fabulous Lazarus who presented us with hot towels to refresh us after our journey (we took a matatu from Nairobi to Naivasha and a taxi from there - a journey you can do in less than 3 hours), and he immediately escorted us to the restaurant where the kitchen had been kept open for our arrival.
After a delicious dinner we were escorted to our cottage where the fire had already been lit. The cottages are beautifully furnished - if a little cluttered - with huge comfy beds and the rather unusual addition of a bath (we haven't seen many since moving to Africa).
Having decided we wanted to do not much at all during the weekend, we had a leisurely breakfast and headed down to the plunge pool. Unless we were both crowded up to the inlet, the pool was a little chilly for us, but really enjoyable in the dappled shade nonetheless. After lunch we released our inner children and milked the cows and met the other farm animals.
We'd recommend taking a variety of clothing with you - the proximity of the Aberdares means that weather can change dramatically over short spaces of time (it rained on Saturday and there was a need for jumpers and trousers but on Sunday we got sun burned despite wearing cream and only being out for 40 minutes). The evenings are also fairly chilly so some closed footwear and a warm jumper are a good idea.
Unlike our dinner on the first evening where we were alone (everyone seems to make the journey on Saturday morning instead of Friday evening like us), our first lunch was crowded with other guests which didn't really achieve the seclusion we were looking for for the weekend. Luckily, you can get meals delivered to your room (/deck outside your room) for free - something we ended up opting for for the remainder of our meals (bar our final lunch where we sat well away from everyone else). Meals are BIG - four courses every time. One of us struggled a little with the portions but they did agree to serve half portions when we asked. Unfortunately the booking office hadn't passed on our request for one set of vegetarian meals so the first dinner was a little thrown together, but very tasty nonetheless.
All the staff (we probably met 8 of them during the weekend) were incredibly friendly, getting the balance of chatty and informative when approached but not interfering just right. The only real suggestion we have (and one we've made with other high-quality accommodation before) is that they provide some good quality soap, bubble bath etc. in the bathrooms. There's a real opportunity for a partnership with something like a community group in Kenya that produces good products that could be used and sold at the lodge. In particular, very few people take bubble bath on holiday, so we ended up using shampoo for bubbles. Not a major let-down but something that would really have topped off such lovely accommodation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Malu!Nestled in an ancient forest with sweeping views over the Great Rift Valley, Malu is a stunning getaway and the perfect base for exploring the Rift Valley and many national parks ...a magical encounter with Africa - just 90 minutes from Nairobi.Malu is a small country hotel offering luxury accommodation, superb service & acclaimed cuisine. On Malu's 1800 acre private forest reserve you have the freedom to walk and ride through one of East Africa's original highland forests, where leopard, buffalo and zebra roam. Our horses & mountain bikes provide a unique close encounter with this untouched wilderness.Malu is a stunning getaway destination as well as a perfect base for excursions to Lake Nakura National Park, Lake Naivasha and Crescent Island, Hell's Gate National Park and Kigio Game Reserve.Malu is a stunning getaway destination as well as a perfect base for excursions to Lake Nakura National Park, Lake Naivasha and Crescent Island, Hell's Gate National Park and Kigio Game Reserve. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Malu Hotel Nairobi