A stunningly beautiful 1930s manor house turned all-inclusive boutique hotel, Giraffe Manor is set within an indigenous forest where critically-endangered Rothschild’s giraffes roam freely. The recipient of countless accolades, Giraffe Manor has enjoyed an avalanche of publicity in recent years, becoming an Instagram icon, so much so that you may recognize the photos before you recognize the name. After all, where else in the world can you eat breakfast with giraffes?
However, staying here does come at a price and the question I am asked most often is, “Is it worth it?”
The answer is a resounding, “Yes, it’s worth every single cent!”
Perhaps the second-most often asked question is, “What’s it like to stay there?” Simply put, Giraffe Manor is the most incredible boutique hotel I’ve ever experienced.
Originally built as a family home for Sir David Duncan in 1932 and modeled after a Scottish hunting lodge, Giraffe Manor boasts 12 impeccably-furnished guest rooms of varying shapes and sizes. Each one offers its own individual advantage. From in-room fireplaces and winding staircases to private rooftop terraces, balconies and verandas, there is something to suit absolutely everyone’s taste.
Each room in the manor is beautifully appointed in a 1930s style, with a particular focus on giraffe-themed art. All throughout the house, you’ll find countless works of art, many, if not all, made by local artisans. The attention to detail is outstanding.
During my most recent stay, I experienced both the Finch Hatton Suite (a two-storied suite complete with winding staircase) and the Helen Suite (a front-facing, second-story suite with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow direct access for feeding the giraffes).
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s begin at the beginning.
Located a short 30-ish minute drive from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, getting to Giraffe Manor is easy, making it an ideal place to get your safari off to a gentle start, or to perhaps bring it to a wonderful conclusion. (Complimentary transfers are included with your stay.)
Greeting me warmly at the airport was George. George’s smile, coupled with his thoughtful handling of my bags set the tone for what I was about to experience. Making our way from the airport to the Manor, George offered a wonderful running commentary of Nairobi and our surroundings. Soon enough, we’d arrived. And, as we approached the grounds, I caught my breath. It was stunning!
Gorgeous and grand, the old manor house is impeccable decorated. The vibe is old-world elegance meets Agatha Christie and I am here for it! It truly felt as though I’d traveled back in time. I found the attention to detail in the drawing room particularly stunning.
Because my visit coincided with chillier weather, the fireplace was ablaze and all I wanted in that moment was to curl up with a hot cuppa tea and giraffe watch. And so I did… with a twist.
Beneath the long legs are a number of shorter ones, albeit slightly less beautiful. Warthogs are a hilarious, happy presence here and watching them stalk the grass was as relaxing as it was entertaining. Lunch was an elegant affair, as was afternoon tea. Tea was served outdoors just before sunset and, much to my delight, the giraffes wandered up to join us. Sandwiches, scones and slices of cake were on display; and, as this is an all-inclusive experience, cocktails were also on offer.
Within super-easy walking distance is the Giraffe Center. Follow the walking path between the Manor and the Center and it is here you will have an opportunity to learn more about the critically-endangered Rothchild’s giraffes and the Center’s tremendous conservation efforts. Please do not overlook the opportunity to adopt a giraffe (or two). Estimated to be less than 2,500 individuals remaining in the wild, your support of these gentle giants is crucial. I adopted Sasha and and her calf, Jock.
From breakfast to tea, from sunrise to sunset, hands down, Giraffe Manor is seriously the most insane, most incredible boutique hotel I’ve ever experienced — and I can’t wait to have breakfast with Edd, Betty, Kelly, Daisy, Nicole, Stacy, Sasha and Jock again!