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“Serene, rejuvenating retreat -- just too lovely!”

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Rondo Retreat Centre
Ranked #1 of 7 Kakamega B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Serene, rejuvenating retreat -- just too lovely!”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

I spent three says at Rondo and can't say enough good things about it. It is the perfect getaway for any nature lover, as Kakamega Forest is chock full of fascinating flora and fauna. Rondo is right in the middle of the forest, and you can spend days exploring the forest just steps from your room--no car required. The lodge can arrange for guides to take you on nature walks, which is so worth it. I highly recommend reserving a walk with Winston, if you can get him. I've never met a more knowledgeable guide; he knows every species of bird found in the forest by call, appearance, flight pattern and behavior and was able to help us see 83 different bird species in just three days. Not to mention he's the nicest guy ever.

Rondo isn't luxurious, but instead feels like you're staying at your grandmother's vacation home, complete with hearty meals, afternoons napping by the fireplace, and tea and cake every afternoon on the veranda. I was a little worried the Christian bent might be a little much, but as a non-Christian I felt perfectly at ease there. I can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: We stayed in one of the separate cabins and loved it. But be prepared to hear monkeys on your roof i...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank ep363636
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Excellent service with as usual top notch East African hospitality. Tour guide Wycliffe was very friendly and knowledgeable. Rooms are a bit dated but fully functional. Perhaps best of all are the hotel grounds - its worth a walk down to the lake through the forest!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Njs100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2013

I have stayed at Rondo five times during the past few years and love it. The location is superb: wonderful, peaceful gardens set in the heart of the forest. Staff are outstanding and food is consistently good. Vegetarians catered for, no problem! The walks in the forest are outstanding with a good variety to keep you interested. Not only birds, but the beautiful butterflies are an unexpected bonus. Local guides, who can be arranged via reception, are knowledgeable and helpful. I can't wait to make another visit.

Room Tip: No two rooms seem to be identical, but they are all good.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank UkArjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centurion, South Africa
Level Contributor
179 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

The Rondo Retreat Centre is one of those places known mostly to Kenya residents. It’s off the beaten safari path, but well worth a night or two if you are in Western Kenya. Started as a Christian retreat facility, it still offers discounts to missionaries - although all faiths are welcome and you will find no proselytizing.

What you will find is simple, comfortable accommodation (with cottages for families or groups, as well as single rooms), a peaceful atmosphere, and a stunningly beautiful setting in the midst of the last vestige of a rainforest that once stretched from Central to East Africa. The lodge will arrange guide nature walks, or you can just sit quietly on the spacious lawns while monkeys play in the surrounding trees and many different bird species watch. Meals (fixed menu) are delicious, and the staff couldn’t be more helpful.

When you are tired of the fast track (whether on business or as a tourist), this is a wonderful place to stop, relax and marvel at nature’s beauty.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Phil C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

After a few days deep in the rainforest, the old-colonial style luxury of Rondo was at one time intimidating,and glorious. Soon I was made welcome, and being a lone traveller, the staff helped me to get chatting to others. Rondo is in the middle of the southern part of a magnificent rainforest of which a small adjacent part has been managed with pathways and benches. After a few minutes sitting very still, you'll be rewarded with birdsong, the antics of the blue monkeys (and black and white colobus) and an astonishing variety of butterflies. Guides can be arranged for you form the Kenya Forest Service - and are very knowledgeable, not only about the wildlife, but about traditional applications. I recommend the sunrise walk on Lirhanda Hill; unforgettable.

The Rondo doesn't have an alcohol licence, but plenty of glasses if you want to bring your own. Oh and they have the best pastry outside Vienna, that's a promise!

bBest with a car, but they will arrange lifts from Kakamega town, I took a motorbike Taxi (boda boda) which was exhilarating.

Room Tip: the lower cottages are closest to the forest, and you'll woken by the early antics of the monkey...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Judy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
82 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Rondo Retreat Center was among the best of our accommodations while in Kenya! We stayed three nights among the tranquil gardens and birded the surrounding remnant rain forest. The service and food was terrific and I'd stay here again in a heartbeat. I recommend stopping in Kakamega to pick up any alcoholic beverages that you might want since they lack a liquor license, but they are happy to refrigerate and serve your own beverages. Very accommodating. And, they have a nice gift shop, with clearly marked prices, so you know what you will be paying for a purchase,unlike many of the shops elsewhere.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank GailGarber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kakamega, Western, Kenya
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2012

My wife, Penny, describes the Rondo Retreat as her garden of Eden.

For us it is the perfect place to escape and catch up with your thoughts and to connect with some beautiful nature and wildlife.

The accommodation is 'quaint' each room is located in one of several colonial style wooden houses that are delightfully equipped with suitable furniture that is in-keeping with the surroundings.

If you enjoy walks, spotting wildlife and looking at some spectacular scenery, you'll find this a perfect location - there are monkeys and beautiful and rare birds aplenty. You can hire a local guide and be taken on a informative walk to suite you. Currently, there is a Crested Eagle in residence within the grounds - seeing this amazing creature soaring above the tree canopy is a breath-taking experience.

Or, if that's not to your liking, you can just relax in the beautifully maintained gardens and enjoy afternoon tea and cake.

Dining is good, the food is of a good quality and the staff are all very friendly and helpful, just make sure that you have smart clothes (long trousers and a shirt is fine for men) to wear for dinner.

If you want an activity filled break then this isn't going to be the place for you.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Derek O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rondo Retreat Centre

Property: Rondo Retreat Centre
Address: P.O. Box 2153, Kakamega, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Western Province > Kakamega
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Kakamega
Hotel Class:2 star — Rondo Retreat Centre 2*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The tranquil Rondo Retreat Centre in the Kakamega Rainforest welcomes you to make it your home for some memorable days, pursuing your hobbies as a butterfly collector, beetle specialist, frog fancier, spider hunter, tourist or bird watcher. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rondo Retreat Centre Hotel Kakamega

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