Mount Kenya Safari Club – Nanyuki, Kenya

Unashamed Luxury in the Shadow of Mount Kenya

The up-country Mount Kenya Safari Club has been a Kenyan tradition since American movie star William Holden fell in love with its blend of romance, history, and extraordinary scenery and bought it, with two friends, in 1959.

Built directly on the equator (the tennis court crosses the line) and along a dramatic ridge 7,000 feet above sea level, the hotel boasts a magnificent view of Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest mountain. Peacocks, ibis, cranes, and marabou parade across the sweeping green lawns; forested foot­hills extend from the impeccably manicured 100-acre property. Its casual elegance harks back to earlier days as a private club, when its roster of celebrity members was as impressive as that of today’s guests.

Of the wide range of accommodations – almost all with verandas, views, and wood-burning fireplaces – the ones with the most character are the older William Holden Cottages; the most luxurious, the new riverside villas. Distractions include game viewing, horseback riding, and golf. But the hotel – a microcosm of Kenya’s majestic beauty – is itself worth the trip.

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