I could spend the rest of my life rocking in a chair to the music of chirping birds at the back of Garden Lodge and looking at the Timau riverbed below. Garden Lodge is a gorgeous, rustic cabin located in Nanyuki’s Tandala Ranch, where owners Susan and Marcel have created a new space with a range of accommodation types, restaurant, artificial lakes and art gallery. Other places to stay within the ranch include Rock Lodge and River Lodge, but I have a soft spot for Garden Lodge’s cosy ambiance.
Garden Lodge comprises one large bedroom with a queen-sized bed and ensuite living room. The decor is simple but eccentric. For instance, the windows are shaped like flowers and flanking either side of the bed are some DIY-style lampshades. Bird paintings adorn the walls, which seem appropriate considering the colourful birds that fl it about the ranch.
As an ode to the breathtaking views around it, Garden Lodge boasts both both a front and back terrace. From the front, you get a clear view of Mt. Kenya, almost daunting in its sheer size. Throughout the ranch, outdoor setups of chairs and tables allow you to take in the view of Mt. Kenya and beautiful surrounding hills. Sectioned off from the main section, is a spacious bathroom, with a dressing area and cloakroom.
Away from your room, you can also visit the art gallery which loosely doubles up as a library and game-room area. The ranch has a restaurant called Nyumbu Grill on site, with decent, but not spectacular, food. There is also an open-sided communal area with comfy seating if you want to get away from your room.
The ranch is a thirty-minute drive away from Nanyuki. If you travel by public transport, inform the hostess in advance and she will be more than happy to pick you up from town. Note that there are no Uber options in Nanyuki and taking a matatu from Nanyuki to the ranch can be a bit hectic.
- Very helpful hostess.
- A great place to get away from it all, with a minimum of distractions.
- Lots of good walks in and around the ranch.
- Shower was tepid at best
- At the time of my visit, Garden Lodge did not have plug sockets, but there are plans to install them.
- If you are scared of dogs, there are quite a few that roam the ranch, but they seemed friendly.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There are some nice hikes on the ranch, and in the dry season, you can get across to the other side of the property, through which a river runs. If you’re lucky, you might spot some wildlife on the ranch. Otherwise, come here just to get away from it all, chill with a beer at sunset in front of Mt Kenya.
HOW TO BOOK
Garden Lodge is listed under “Garden Lodge at Tandala Ranch” on Airbnb or call Susan directly on 0711955431.
Garden Lodge can be booked for $60 (or Ksh 6,000) a night, and sleeps two people.
Overall Rating: 7/10