Art and giraffes decorate two desirable Kenyan hotels

An artistic retreat in Lamu, and a smart stopover in Nairobi

View from the restaurant at Majlis hotel, Lamu.
View from the restaurant at Majlis hotel, Lamu.

The new Majlis hotel (pictures one to three) on Manda Island in Kenya’s Lamu archipelago has a surprise in store: it features several works by Julian Schnabel. In the dining room of the 25-room beach hotel hang a couple of Schnabels, as well as a gilded elephant head by Armando Tanzini (www.the majlisresorts.com; doubles from €480 full board).

“Semi-detached living room” at Majlis hotel on Manda Island in Kenya’s Lamu archipelago.
“Semi-detached living room” at Majlis hotel on Manda Island in Kenya’s Lamu archipelago.
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The Royal Suite at the Majlis hotel on Manda Island in Kenya’s Lamu archipelago.
The Royal Suite at the Majlis hotel on Manda Island in Kenya’s Lamu archipelago.

To reach Lamu, you’ll probably need to overnight in Nairobi, in which case the refurbished Giraffe Manor (www.giraffemanor.com; doubles from $645) makes a practical stopover (pictures four and five). Just 30km from the airport, this former Scottish-baronial hunting lodge has been acquired by the Carr-Hartley family, who also own Sala’s Camp in the Masai Mara. There is a safari element here too, as eight rare Rothschild giraffes roam the grounds.

A rare Rothschild giraffe at Giraffe Manor near Nairobi.
A rare Rothschild giraffe at Giraffe Manor near Nairobi.
A room at the Giraffe Manor, near Nairobi, Kenya.
A room at the Giraffe Manor, near Nairobi, Kenya.
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