Meet Alba, the Meru beauty
SEE ALSO :Boost to tourism as hotel opens upBack then I had used the Embu-Chogoria route with its notorious twists and turns that were associated with deadly road smashes. A number in our party had no qualms about such old tales and opted for the route. On the other hand, my group chose the longer Nanyuki-Timau route in order to enjoy a closer view of the mountain. This route too, has its hair-raising bends more so as you approach the Meru-Isiolo junction. What mesmerises me about this junction is the clear divide between the ‘green’ Mount Kenya region and the “brown’ Isiolo land. But that is nature for you. Changing town A lot, as you can imagine, has changed in Meru especially with Devolution. New apartments are coming up in every corner. New malls are changing the landscape of the town and people’s lifestyle preferences too. On the hospitality side however, Meru has always been in the shadows of neighbouring Isiolo and Laikipia counties. Despite Meru National Park being close by, getting adequate accommodation was always a nightmare. That is until Alba Meru happened on the scene. Alba is arguably Meru’s finest. For starters, the 51-room hotel located in the quiet Milimani suburb that opened in 2013 is said to be the first building in Meru to install an elevator. Apart from the usual deluxe or superior rooms, Alba has a junior suite, one and two bedroom suites for busy guests who may want to host guests or conduct business in the living quarters. Then there is the Presidential suite with splendid views of Mount Kenya. The suite was a regular haunt for President Uhuru Kenyatta especially during the 2017 campaign period. From the ornate décor in public areas to room serenity, it certainly sets the standards for the local hospitality industry. Meru is an agricultural community, a fact that is also evident from the hotel balconies. It is not unusual to wake up in a four-star hotel room to be greeted by mooing cows and bleating goats from the neighbours. On a hot afternoon, the scorching heat is broken by a soft breeze from banana leaves on the opposite side of the fence, close to the hotel’s swimming pool.