There are so many reasons to stay at this beautiful property that I don't think I can name them all but I'll name some of the best.
1. Outstanding architecture: the design of this house belongs on the pages of Architectural Digest...and yes,...it has been deservedly featured in that publication, among others. It's eye-popping and the terraces alone, with their colorful blooms, will have you transfixed so allow yourself plenty of time to relax and take it all in.
2. Alan Donovan. He's fascinating, an absolute treasure and so are his stories. He can describe every piece of art and jewelry, every antique and his passion for what he does is compelling. He loves animals, does not love the traffic congestion and is driven to accomplish a myriad of tasks. I'm not sure how he does it all but he does and he does it with loving care.
3. Beautiful antiques, sculpture and art....everywhere.
4. Delicious food that will make you shed tears of joy. Alan's chef knows what he's doing. Make sure you arrange to have your meals here...and the enjoyment of your meal will be heightened by your conversation with Alan. The best meals of our entire African journey were served at African Heritage House. Pumpkin soup to die for!
5. Easy access from the airport. The traffic in Nairobi is horrific but this secluded house is only about 15 to 20 minutes away from the international airport, depending on the time of day. Don't underestimate the amount of travel time you will need if you stay in the city. Staying here is a much more relaxing option. Alan arranged for Gideon, a very nice driver who's also quite a safe driver, to pick us up. He was waiting for us when we walked out and also returned to Alan's to pick us up. The cost was $20 one way for both of us plus tip. Well worth it! Book the pickup through Alan. Some of the local drivers do not know how to find African Heritage House and are not the best drivers I've seen.
6. Relatively close to the Sheldrick elephant orphanage (don't miss) and the giraffe center. Alan will arrange for transportation to these places too. In our case, Gideon was once again at the ready and was a wonderful person to talk to. He had lots of helpful hints at each location and we appreciated his inside knowledge. He charged us about $70 for the tour, plus tip and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a little bit about him.
7. African Heritage House terraces overlook Nairobi National Park, where we got our first look at zebras and giraffes. Lovely!
8. Swimming pool if you need to cool off, once again, surrounded by art and sculpture and flowers.
9. Peaceful, quiet, serene, relaxing. I am one of those people who wish we had scheduled more nights here. Bring a good book and sit on your terrace and enjoy.
10. Very reasonable price. VERY! You get what you pay for and this is an unforgettable lodging.
And to you, Alan, thanks for making the beginning of our journey to Africa so memorable. Our entire trip was the most amazing of our lives and African Heritage House is a major part of that memory. A very special place and a very gracious host.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The African Heritage House overlooking the Nairobi National Parkis described by the prestigious Architectural Digest as " a vision of usefulness informed by the African genius for decoration" Designed by American Alan Donovan, the house is a combination of architectural styles from across the continent. Tours of the house interior reveal the beauty of Africa's art and crafts. ... more less