I’ve stayed in many hotels in Africa. As a result, I have very low expectations. I’ve been in hotels with no hot water, hotels with bed bugs, hotels with live wires protruding out of the wall next to the bed, and hotels where they give you a used pair of flip flops to wear in the shower. Is the shower so gross that wearing a used pair of flip flops is a better option?
As you can imagine, by having low expectations, I’m often pleasantly surprised. Just the sight of a complimentary bar of soap in the bathroom is enough to make me smile.
But while I’m often pleasantly surprised, I’m rarely flat-out amazed by a hotel. I’ve stayed in plenty of awesome places, like these super cheap Gatwick hotels, so it takes a lot to wow me.
In fact, the place was so nice that we cancelled our safari plans and just hung out at the lodge all day. Let me tell you, there aren’t too many hotels in this world that make me want to do that!
First of all, I loved that it was so comfortable.
A lot of the hotels I’ve stayed at in Africa lack this basic amenity. Our bed was firm, but not too firm. (Just like Goldilocks would have liked it.) The pillows were soft. The hammock on our porch was made of fabric and didn’t pinch my bed bug-weary skin. Some kind soul even came in to our room during dinner and put hot water bottles in the bed to warm up the sheets before we went to sleep. It was heavenly.
Second, I loved the bird theme.
Every little detail in the room involved birds. Even the toilet seat had a painting of a flamingo on it. This area of Kenya is known for its birds and it was fun to see that the hotel had gone all out with the bird nerd-ness. My husband, the consummate bird-watcher, was enthused by the decor, but he especially loved the fact that the hotel has several bird feeders and bird baths scattered throughout the grounds. We spent several hours sipping tea on the patio while watching colorful birds eat and groom themselves.
Finally, I loved the view.
We’ve stayed in several utilitarian hotels with a view of…another building. But at The Sunbird Lodge, we were treated not only to the lovely bird-watching, but to a stunning lake-side view. I was happy to lay in that hammock for hours and just stare out across the lake.
I was so glad we decided to stay put and relax– it felt like a mini-vacation, and not one of those vacations where you get home and need another vacation to recover.
Do you have a favorite hotel, B&B, or camp site? If so, please tell me about it in the comments. I’m always looking for new recommendations!
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