If there were a CNT or T+L rating guide, I'm put Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club as #1 for best hotel shower in Kenya. Folks, we're talking from the ceiling and with great water pressure and lots of hot water (Excuse me, did I just say, "Folks?" Folks reminds me of an infomercial, "Folks, if you call in the next 5 minutes…).
If you've been following along on my blog about the 2010 Virtuoso Chairman's Club Safari (you ARE taking copious notes, aren't you?), you'll know we've been at Fairmont Mara Safari Club for 3 nights. Yesterday was our last full day and I've already chronicled about most of the day. I will add a small footnote and then on to "who, what and where" today:
Yesterday afternoon we were determined to go on the afternoon game drive to hopefully spot the leopard (no pun intended) others saw the other day. During the morning drive, we pressured our guide to find the gorgeous cat who shies away from the bright daylight. Unfortunately, we didn't find him/her so we knew we just had to see him on this drive because it would be the last game drive on the Mara for this safari. Although it rained all afternoon, we veteran safari-goers (help me out with a better word choice, please! Leave your suggestions in the comments) didn't let rain stop us. Two safari vehicles loaded with us die-hards took off for our last drive in the Maasai Mara. With us on this drive were Amy and Stefan Bisciglia, Specialty Cruise & Villas, Kristi Jones, President of Virtuoso, and Albert Herrera, Vice President, Virtuoso Hotels, Destinations, and Tours. By the way, our driver/guide, Sammy, was superb at navigating through the mud—thank you, Sammy! We saw a herd of topi all facing the same way—their rears facing the direction the wind was blowing. Pretty clever way to avoid getting rained at! While those of us in the second row and rear of the vehicle were surrounded by somewhat clear plastic, Albert and Sammy braved the rain with no protection. Is this the same Albert Herrera I know, the impeccably dressed, dapper Virtuoso fashion plate? I think he was taking this dressing down and "roughing it" concept a bit too far! Of course, the designer pashmina wrapped around his neck did add a touch of class to the rain soaked safari shirt he wore. Suddenly lightning struck brilliant on the horizon and immediately we heard thunder. I know there's some formula for counting the time between lightning and thunder to determine the proximity of the strike and Kristi quickly computed that we best head back to Fairmont Mara Safari Club. Alas, no leopard on this safari but I have great leopard shots on Picasaweb.google.com/travelingking1
of some of our past safaris.
On to today: after a delicious breakfast, we headed to the landing strip and boarded our flight for the Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club. 45 minutes later found us off the plane near Mt. Kenya and on a coach en route to the iconic hotel and then, "Jambo, welcome Virtuoso to the Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club." African tribal-dressed men drummed an escort as we drove through the gates. Michael and I were eager to see the face lift performed by Fairmont Hotels Int'l. We had stayed here twice before, and on our last visit in 2004 prior to Fairmont taking over, we panned the property. Grounds were not well kept, the decor was "tired" (don't you love it when I talk "Realtor-ese?"), and the staff surly. Only because I was familiar with the footprint of the property did I believe I was actually at the same place I remember from 2004, the one with the toilet seat that fell off: the grounds are immaculate and flowers are plentiful; the chef has a true chef's garden, replete with everything necessary to prepare gourmet cuisine; the staff is gracious, attentive and friendly; and our suite is just that-sweet!
And that brings me to the title of this post, "And for the best shower, the winner is…" What wonderfully improved accommodations! A true class act! No problems with sliding toilet seats because everything is shiny, new, and functioning. Congratulations, Fairmont, on a job superbly done!
A last comment: Leslie (as in Leslie Dodson, Fairmont Hotels) offered me a snack this noon that looked like dried worms. Silly me—-they weren't worms, they were tiny dried fish who still had their charming little bug-like eyes. Being polite, I ate a few. "Oh, they taste like sardines somewhat," I commented. Now for the truth, Leslie—was this your version of trick or treat?
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