19 Best Places to Stay in Kenya

Considered the birthplace of safari, Kenya is one of those African destinations that can easily conjure up a sense of romantic escapism. You’ll certainly find your Out of Africa moment at the luxury accommodation in Kenya. With the Masai Mara providing a stage for the Great Wildebeest Migration, Amboseli’s mesmerising views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Samburu’s beautiful leopards and Laikipia’s unsurpassed wildlife conservation areas, Kenya is one of Africa’s best safari destinations.

Choosing a place to stay when embarking on an African safari is almost as important as the destination. To make things a little easier, we’ve rounded up the 19 best spots for luxury accommodation in Kenya:

Meru National Park:

1. Elsa’s Kopje

Elsas-Kopje

Meru National Park is one of Kenya’s best-known parks and one of the two areas in which conservationists George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa, the lioness of Born Free fame. Named after the beloved big cat, Elsa’s Kopje is an unashamedly romantic safari lodge settled on a rocky hill in the heart of Meru. The views are breathtaking, the service exceptional and the quality of guiding is superb. Not only will you enjoy great sightings of lion, elephant, leopard and cheetah, but also endangered rhino, as Meru is a thriving rhino sanctuary.

Highlights:

  • Award-winning lodge sculpted into Mughwango Hill
  • Built above the original Born Free camp site
  • 360-degree views of Meru and Mount Kenya
  • Watch big game drink from a spring below the lodge
  • Game drives in elephant and lion country
  • One of the best locations to track & view rhino

Best for:

Families & honeymooners.

Chuyulu Hills:

2. Ol Donyo Lodge

ol-donyo-lodge

Set on the private Mbirikani Group Ranch, located between Tsavo East and Amboseli National Parks, Ol Donyo sits among the foothills that border the Chyulu Hills National Park. Explore this beautiful slice of Africa – owned by a community of about 4 000 Maasai – on twice-daily game drives, guided walks, horse riding and mountain biking excursions. There are also several conservation and community out-reach programmes for guests to take part in.

Highlights:

  • Gorgeous views over the plains to Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Spacious villas with lounges, verandas and private pools
  • Sleepouts under the night sky in roof terrace star-beds
  • View wildlife from an open-air hide
  • Horse riding, mountain biking & guided nature walks

Best for:

Couples & family getaways.

Lake Naivasha:

3. Loldia House

loldia-house

Loldia House evokes a sense of nostalgia reminiscent of a slower, more gracious time –  where playing croquet on the lawn and nights spent chatting around a roaring fire were commonplace. Lying on one of Kenya’s oldest farms, Loldia is within arm’s reach of everything from dormant volcanoes and beautiful lakes to the spectacular canyons and hot springs at Hell’s Gate National Park (which was the inspiration for scenes from the original Lion King movie).

Highlights:

  • Idyllic lodge in a bird-lover’s paradise
  • Tennis, golf, angling, swimming & croquet
  • Boat excursions & horse riding
  • Stunning views of Lake Naivasha & Mount Longonot
  • See animals like the colobus monkey, endangered white rhino, lion & leopard
  • Witness a million pink flamingos feed in Lake Nakuru (June to August)

Best for:

Couples & family getaways.

Tsavo National Park:

4. Finch Hattons Luxury Tented Camp

finch-hattons

The epitome of wild luxury, Finch Hattons is the most upscale and opulent camp in Tsavo National Park. Overlooking a freshwater spring that’s popular with resident hippo and crocodile, and boasting incomparable views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Chyulu Hills, the camp provides a perfect blend of modern-day comforts and old-world safari experiences. From the tranquil yoga room and chic contemporary décor to the game drives through the wild-life rich park and watching elephants roaming near camp, guests are treated to an authentic safari experience without missing the creature comforts they’re accustomed to.

Highlights:

  • Reliable elephant sightings around camp
  • Hammam, fitness training & yoga room
  • Beautiful views of Mount Kilimanjaro & Chyulu Hills
  • The Chyulu Spa is the largest bush spa in East Africa
  • Kids’ play area & bush activities
  • Crater climbs & scenic air flights

Best for…

Family & group getaways.

Southern Rift Valley:

5. Lentorre Lodge

lentorre-lodge

When staying at Lentorre Lodge, you’ll feel as if you have the entire Southern Rift Valley to yourself. Set far away from the crowds, the lodge is the only property on the Olkirimatian Conservancy, a Maasai community initiative developed to help the local people protect their wildlife, traditional lifestyle and heritage. Set on a spine running off the Nguruman Escarpment, Lentorre has uninterrupted views of Mount Shompole and Ol Donyo Lengai (an active volcano), and provides unencumbered access to this slice of wild and untouched Africa.

Highlights:

  • Exclusive access to the Olkirimatian Conservancy
  • Breathtaking views of the Nguruman Escarpment & Mount Shompole
  • Walk with baboons, track lions & herd livestock back to their boma
  • Tubing on the Ewaso Ng’iro River
  • Scenic helicopter flights

Best for…

Families & romantic getaways.

Amboseli National Park:

6. Tortilis Camp

tortilis-camp1 

A sprawling luxury lodge with large tents set far apart, a sizable swimming pool and some of the best views of glacier-topped Kilimanjaro, Tortilis is nestled amid the cooling shade of thriving acacia tortilis trees after which the lodge is named. With a private entrance on the border with Amboseli, Tortilis gives you the best of both worlds: access to the national park and a private space all to yourself.

Highlights:

  • Uninterrupted views of Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Large tents set far apart for maximum privacy
  • Reliable elephant sightings
  • Delicious Italian cuisine made from the freshest ingredients

Best for:

Honeymooners & couples.

Samburu National Reserve:

7. Sasaab Camp

sasaab-4

A Moroccan-inspired tented camp, Sasaab brings a touch of luxury and contemporary style to the raw, wild landscape of Samburu National Reserve. Boasting mesmerising views of the sprawling golden plains of the Laikipia Plateau and Mount Kenya, Sasaab offers unique activities that ensure guests’ experience the Kenyan wilderness to its fullest.

Highlights:

  • World-class treatments at SpaSaab
  • Sleep under the stars in a Fly Camp
  • Camel rides
  • Stunning views of Mount Kenya & the Uaso Nyiro River

Best for…

Family & romantic getaways.

8. Saruni Samburu

Saruni-Samburu-Lodge

Admired for its innovative architecture, design and décor, Saruni Samburu boasts spectacular views over Kenya’s Northern Frontier District. Go on morning and evening game drives to look for the Samburu ‘Special 5’: Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, Somali ostrich and gerenuk (also known as the giraffe gazelle). Walk with Samburu warriors to explore the Kalama mountains and ancient rock art before returning to camp to relax and revive at the fantastic Maasai Wellbeing Space.

Highlights:

  • Innovative & eco-friendly design with stunning views
  • Built into & around a giant volcanic rock face
  • Junior rangers programme for kids
  • Comfortable photography hide overlooking a popular waterhole
  • See the Samburu ‘Special 5’
  • Cultural interactions with one of the oldest remaining tribes in Africa

Best for:

Nature-loving couples & families with young children

Nairobi:

9. Hemingways Nairobi

hemingways-nairobi-2

A boutique hotel located between Nairobi National Park and the Ngong Hills, Hemingways is the perfect spot to relax after a long-haul flight before heading off into the African wilderness. Set away from the hustle and bustle of city life in the peaceful neighbourhood of Karen, guests are guaranteed a blissful stay. Visit nearby attractions like the AFEW Giraffe Centre, where guests can interact with Rothschild’s giraffe. Or stay in and indulge in gourmet fine dining and world-class spa treatments – a day or two at Hemingway’s is nothing short of exceptional.

Highlights:

  • 5-star hotel in south-west Nairobi
  • Close to AFEW Giraffe Centre
  • Balcony views of Ngong Hills
  • Personal butler service
  • Worsld-class fine dining & spa treatments

Best for…

Families, groups & couples.

10. Giraffe Manor

giraffe-manor

When in Kenya, it’s an absolute must to spend the night at Giraffe Manor. A bucket-list item of note, people flock en masse from all over the world – seeing the likes Ellen DeGeneres and other big names – for the unique experience of having breakfast with the resident herd of Rothchild’s giraffe. The charming old-world building transports you back in time, while the modern comforts make it an ideal overnight stay before or after spending a week on safari. With a waiting list as long as an Antarctic Winter, it’s best to book your stay at Giraffe Manor straight away to be sure you don’t miss out.

Highlights:

  • Charming old-world guesthouse
  • Have breakfast with giraffes
  • Stones-throw from Nairobi National Park
  • Romantic candlelit dinner in the Orchid House
  • Chess, croquet & boules
  • Horse riding

Best for…

Families & couples.

Diani Beach:

11. Kinondo Kwetu

Kinondo-Kwetu

Lazy days on the beach are a staple of any good holiday. Stop off at Kinondo Kwetu for a few days of peaceful relaxation on Kenya’s coastline after your African safari. Located on the pristine shoreline of Galu Beach (just south of Diani Beach), this laidback resort has everything needed for the perfect beach getaway. From the various watersports on offer to romantic horse rides and dinners on the beach, Kinondo Kwetu is the perfect place to end your African adventure.

Highlights:

  • Laidback hotel on Galu Beach
  • Beach & forest horse rides
  • Boating excursions & sailing
  • Golf, tennis, yoga & wood-fired sauna
  • Watersports, including kite surfing, snorkelling & canoeing

Best for…

Honeymoons, family vacations & group getaways.

12. Alfajiri Villas

alfajiri-garden-villa

Rated one of the most luxurious villas in the world by Conde Nast Traveller, this is a beach getaway like no other. Set on the shoreline of Diani Beach, Alfajiri offers dramatic views of the white-sand shoreline and turquoise Indian Ocean. The three unique villas each come with their own butlers and private swimming pools, guaranteeing a personalised experience. Alfarjiri is perfect for ultimate relaxation; whether in the form of a standalone beach holiday or after a week in the African wilderness.

Highlights:

  • Three luxury exclusive-use villas
  • Personal butler service
  • Fresh sea-to-table seafood
  • Various water-based activities, like snorkelling & kite surfing
  • Golf & sky diving

Best for…

Families, couples & honeymoons.

Laikipia:

13. Segera Retreat

segera-retreat-2

Laikipia lies on the rim of Africa’s Great Rift Valley and is a sanctuary for endangered animals like the patas monkey, African wild dog and about 40 percent of the world's remaining Grevy's zebra. Segera Retreat offers its guests superb privacy, luxury and fantastic indoor and outdoor settings for unforgettable dining experiences. Game drives on the Laikipia Plateau will bring guests close to lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyaena, elephant and buffalo.

Highlights:

  • Sleepouts under the night sky in the star-bed
  • Spectacular wildlife views from hides & lookout points
  • Scenic helicopter excursions
  • World-class spa
  • Superb service & excellent cuisine

Best for:

Couples & family holidays.

14. Loisaba Tented Camp

loisaba-tented-camp-3

This camp has the pool that probably has the most perfect panorama in all of Kenya. Loisaba’s infinity-edge swimming pool looks out over the Laikipia plains below and allows you a cooling spot from which to track families of elephants down below. Filled with all modern conveniences, including high-tech shower and lighting systems, Loisaba matches its phenomenal views with superb service and delicious cuisine.

Highlights:

  • Very upscale camp with magnificent views
  • Hearty meals prepared with fresh organic produce from surrounding community ranches
  • Spend a night in the private star-beds
  • Camel safaris, mountain biking & horse riding

Best for:

Couples & family getaways.

15. The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille

the-sanctuary-at-ol-lentille-2

Nestled on the verdant hills of the Laikipia’s northern escarpment, The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille has unmatched views of the sprawling lush valley below. Offering complete privacy and seclusion in one of Kenya’s most popular regions, The Sanctuary provides 40 000 acres of untamed wilderness for guests to explore through a variety of different activities. From  game drives and guided bush walks to quad biking and kayaking, there’s plenty for a classic safari or one with more of an adventurous spin.

Highlights:

  • Spectacular views of the Laikipia Plateau
  • Individually designed luxury villas with butler service
  • Quad biking, cycling, horse riding & camel safaris
  • Yoga, croquet, boules & jogging trails
  • Kayaking & river rafting

Best for…

Family getaways & couples.

Masai Mara National Reserve:

16. Sanctuary Olonana

sanctuary-olonana

Bordering the iconic Masai Mara National Reserve, Olonana is a luxury safari camp that practically guarantees front-row seats to the Great Wildebeest Migration. This camp offers ultra-comfortable spaces from which to view the Mara’s splendour, all cocooned in contemporary design and modern comforts.

Highlights:

  • Scenic hot-air balloon rides over the Mara
  • View the seasonal Wildebeest Migration (July–October)
  • Spectacular views of the Mara River
  • Cultural visits to a Maasai village

Best for:

Couples & small groups.

17. Angama Mara

angama-mara

Meaning ‘to be suspended in mid-air’ in Swahili, Anagama is true to its name. Perched atop three kopjes at the very edge of the Rift Valley, the lodge has breathtaking views of the rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara that seem to stretch on forever. At the edge of the Mara Triangle, which is wedged between the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Mara River and Oloololo Escarpment, this may be the most coveted spot on safari.

Highlights:

  • Ultra-luxury lodge set above the Mara Triangle
  • Fantastic Great Wildebeest Migration viewing (August–November)
  • Walking safaris & hot-air ballooning
  • Garden-to-table lunches in the private garden
  • Reliable predator & black rhino sightings
  • Photography studio

Best for…

Couples & honeymooners.

18. Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp

cottars-1920s-camp

Established in 1919, Cottar’s Camp exudes the same grandeur of the era in which it was born. The camp is set on the Olderkesi Private Conservancy bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. This unique position means that the conservancy forms part of a corridor that boasts not only the largest concentrations of terrestrial wildlife on Earth, but also some of the most dramatic vistas in Africa.

Highlights:

  • Vintage-style luxury tented camp with butler service
  • Front-row seats to the Wildebeest Migration (August–November)
  • Unique Maasai cultural experiences
  • Hot-air ballooning & helicopter flights
  • Swim in the nearby waterfall
  • Wood-panelled 1920s safari vehicle

Best for…

Safari enthusiasts & nature-lovers.

19. Bateleur Camp

bateleur-camp

Bateleur is a classic and elegant safari camp set in a private concession on the edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Blending vintage safari elegance with an intimate ambience, Bateleur Camp will mesmerise you with its intriguing antiques and tasteful décor. Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts will revel in game drives, guided bush walks and hot-air balloon safaris in Bateleur’s breath-taking Masai Mara location

Highlights:

  • Intimate camp in a beautiful private concession
  • Private butler service
  • Excellent year-round Big 5 sightings
  • Witness the Wildebeest Migration (August–November)
  • Hot-air ballooning over the Mara

Best for:

Couples & honeymooners.