You may have seen pictures on Instagram and thought they were photoshopped…surely this place can’t exist? A hotel where giraffes roam the grounds, interacting with guests, eating breakfast with them and even giving them kisses. No, I can guarantee Giraffe Manor isn’t a place of legend…it’s real, I’ve stayed there and it’s just as wonderful as it looks.
An boutique hotel, owned by The Safari Collection, Giraffe Manor really is a place of dreams. In the morning over breakfast the herd of Rothschild giraffes that roam the grounds of Giraffe Manor will stick their elegant long necks through the window looking to share a nibble with the guests…
There’s a larger dining room for all the guests, and there’s also this rather grand private room for breakfast…
A very romantic experience…just Mr S, me and Daisy the giraffe!
If you’re staying in one of the upstairs bedrooms they may even wake you up looking for food in the morning!
We fed Daisy with pellets straight from our hands and she gently licked them off with her long tongue whilst she prettily batted her eyelashes waiting for more! Of course, it was a little strange at first but they really are such friendly animals and actually their saliva is antiseptic, which did make me feel a little better about getting it all over my hands!
After Daisy enjoyed her meal we were both able to get stuck into our own cooked breakfasts in preparation for the day ahead enjoying this magical place! Start early as after breakfast, Daisy and her friends head back to the adjacent Giraffe Centre where they can interact with the rest of the public who are not guests of the hotel.
As you can imagine, I took a gazillion photos whilst staying in this hotel so I thought in this post I’d tell you a bit more about the hotel itself. In the next post I’ll focus on the giraffes and the special afternoon tea that we enjoyed with them that afternoon.
Giraffe Manor is one of four luxury properties in Kenya owned by the Safari Collection. The company was founded by Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley and they have created a unique guest experience in each property whilst discovering the beauty, history and culture of their home country. More about that later as we also stayed in one of their incredible safari properties on this trip.
Giraffe Manor isn’t just wonderful because of the resident Rothschild giraffes but it also happens to be one of Nairobi’s iconic buildings with a history going back to the 1930s when Europeans first started enjoying East Africa safaris.
The beautiful brick building is covered in vibrant green life crawling up the house and at the front of the manor is a gorgeous terrace where you can observe the giraffes close up during tea or at a distance while they’re frolicking at The Giraffe Centre.
The boutique hotel is actually set on 12 acres of private land which include these beautiful gardens behind the house…it’s very calm and peaceful as the hotel is located in the Langata suburb just outside Nairobi.
You may not even spot the topiary giraffe camouflaged in the garden but if you ever visit be sure to look out for it.
And after that you can load up on souvenirs from the shop! As well as buying cuddly toy giraffes for our nieces and nephews, Mr S and I bought some beautiful etched glasses so that we can remember the wonderful experience of Giraffe Manor next time that we share a bottle of wine.
Originally built in 1932 for Sir David Duncan, the inside of the manor retains the safari-chic glamour of yesteryear. The entrance way has this gorgeous double staircase and there are giraffe motifs and artwork throughout, reminding the guest of the hotel’s famous four-legged occupants.
Cosy seating areas with roaring fires add to the intimate homely feel of the place which seems more like a family home but with an ‘Out of Africa’ vibe. Guests can come here for drinks and nibbles before moving on to dinner in the main dining room.
I especially admired this beautifully carved animal chess set which featured giraffes among other African animals.
Giraffe Manor feels incredibly private as there are only ten rooms in the house and when we arrived we were lucky enough to be upgraded to the Finch Hatton suite. Finch Hatton was actually the lover of Karen Blixen, author of the famous novel, Out of Africa, a story which became a running theme during my time in Kenya.
The gorgeous split-level room really was like something out of a romantic novel, perfect for the two of us to enjoy with butter soft leather sofas, wooden floors and deep safari reds. There was even a fireplace to add to the intimacy but it was unnecessary to light it as the staff slip hot water bottles into the bed at night to warm your toes.
Head up that stunning metal spiral staircase and there’s actually twins beds so that a family can share this room, plus another day bed downstairs that can be converted into a child’s bed.
The bathroom may have been a tad retro but I actually loved the old-fashioned glamour of the basin and the wooden bath…
And the extended head of the double shower reminded me a bit of giraffe necks!
Every room at Giraffe Manor is different and there is another suite similar in size to the Finch Hatton Suite as well as eight double, twin or triple rooms. As we had a late flight, the kind staff of Giraffe Manor extended their hospitality and let us have another room to use before we checked out.
These smaller rooms were named after the giraffes themselves, and ‘Helen’ was a comfortable twin room, perfect for us to freshen up before our flight.
And ‘Kelly’ was a rather beautiful room that could comfortably accommodate three in this very family-friendly hotel.
The hotel’s sunny courtyard is the perfect place to enjoy lunch…
But be sure to watch out for the hotel’s other resident creatures…Pumba and friends…
Yup, a gang of friendly warthogs also hang out on the grounds of manor…gobbling up the leftovers from the giraffes and generally pottering around the place. They may not be the world’s most pretty creatures but I actually think they’re super cute and I loved having them as our lunch time companions.
Giraffe Manor is full-board and all food and most drinks are included; house wine and beer are freely available and you’re welcome to just grab a glass yourself whereas champagne and more premium products are excluded. Our dietary requirements were checked in advance as a set three-course menu is offered at every meal.
Food at Giraffe Manor was simple but always cooked well and extremely tasty… the sort of food that pleases guests of any age.
Starters were dishes like caprese salad or sweetcorn soup.
At lunch we enjoyed juicy grilled chicken and pasta and at dinner one night a perfectly cooked steak and on another red snapper with fluffy mash and vegetables.
Desserts were just enough to please your sweet tooth but not so much to leave you overly full.
I think it’s easy to see why Giraffe Manor was one of the most special and unique places that I’ve ever stayed in and I can’t wait to tell you even more about this wonderful place!
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I paid a media rate for my stay at Giraffe Manor