Is this Kenya’s most exclusive lodge?
By Peter Muiruri
| June 30th 2016
Have you heard of Sirai House? If not, then you are yet to discover some of the exclusive holiday havens in Kenya that ultra-high net worth individuals would pay an arm and a leg for to spend a night or two.
Sirai House is located in Laikipia County, one of the few places on earth where the world’s richest hobnob without a care – from princes to princesses, kings, queens, movie stars and renowned athletes. Laikipia’s tag as the millionaires’ playground is not an illusion.
Sirai House is an exclusive, contemporary African lodge with six guest suites tucked in the highest point on the 35,000-acre Borana Conservancy in Laikipia. Sirai is Maasai for euphobia tree which, along with ancient wild olive trees and indigenous cedars, dot the ridge on which the house sits. The site was chosen for its breath-taking views, ensuring that the stunning scenery is visible from every room and angle.
Then there is some information about the owner, British billionaire politician Michael Spencer. He is one of the richest men in Britain but who spent his early childhood in Africa. His father was a colonial administrator in Ethiopia where young Spencer rode horses barefoot. Though he later went to school in England, he would still come to Africa for holidays.
But that is not what makes Sirai tick. United Kingdom’s Sunday Times recently listed Sirai among some of the world’s exclusive locations where bookings are made not in terms of the money one has, but the extent of your character. In short, having an account flowing with currency is not enough to guarantee you a place in Sirai’s visitor’s book.
The property features in the portfolio of Browne and Hudson, one of the world’s luxury travel companies based in the UK. Apparently, the company charges £1,000 or Sh135,750 just to create an itinerary for you – that is if you pass their holiday personality test. In short, if your name is not in the travel agent’s list, you are not going on holiday in places like Sirai.
So what does it take to have your name in this “holiday book”? According to the Sunday Times, you may have to satisfactorily answer a few personal questions. These include: What elements best describe you? What is your best culinary experience? Why do you want to know more about us? Who recommended you to us?
Even if you pass the initial test, the company may still test your character by offering you a weekend, say in Paris. “For us, it is not simply that you might have £250,000 (Sh34 million) to spend, we want to work with like-minded people. We don’t like to talk too much about what we arrange, but it’s definitely not just if you can afford it,” Times quoted one of the agents as saying.
Well, after reading the Times article, I went to the web to try and dig out some information about Sirai. The entire exclusivity bit was there – at a cost. If your exclusive online booking goes through, it will cost you Sh1.16 million a day to have Sirai House to your group of six. You must make use of the house for at least three nights.
To make sure that your money is spent well, this booking will allow you to make use of the private wine cellar with over 3,000 carefully selected wines. With a little more to spend, you can have the services of a helicopter that will give you an aerial exploration of the area around Mount Kenya.
So, let me not give it away. If you are interested, get to Sirai’s website and they will gladly connect you with whom they term as their “trusted agents” to commence your booking procedures.
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