What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Castle’? Does it conjure up fine images of ancient, majestic buildings? Are you taken back in time to strong men, armored in suits of chivalry, and finely dressed, delicate ladies?
Well, join me on an enchanting journey to our very own unique, Kenyan castle– Grogan’s Castle Hotel 😉
I stumbled upon Grogan’s Castle by chance on Instagram. I remember thinking to myself-“no way this place is in Kenya!” Thrilled, I quickly tagged Wanjiku Thuo in the picture, saying ‘Must-visit’!
At the time, it felt like a pipe dream…. But, as fate would have it, an opportunity later presented itself for us to visit, and we were more than happy to oblige! 😀
A Memorable Visit to Grogan’s Castle
On the day of our journey, we were like two little children going on a long-awaited school trip! We felt giddy with excitement, so much that everything on the road to Grogan’s Castle felt magical.
And that road was looong…..
Whoa! After about 8 hours on the road, and with all of ‘civilization’ behind us, we arrived at the Castle.
Grogan’s Castle is situated in Taveta County, about 450Km from Nairobi, via Voi town, and 280Km from Mombasa. It is quite close to the Tanzanian border, in Taveta, being 130Km from Arusha.
We were tired, very dusty and hungry, not having had a solid meal all day. Yet, the view that greeted us was enough to take all those complaints away!
There stood Grogan’s Castle, majestically on a solitary hill…
True African Hospitality
We were received by Priscah, the hostess. This was a different kind of welcome; befitting an old-age castle. 😀 It felt more like going back home, to your doting mum, after months of being away, and less like a hotel reception. 😀 She, dressed in a white vest and printed skirt, with slippers on her feet, welcomed us with a big smile on her face. It was warm and authentic. 🙂
Right then, I knew this was going to be a different kind of experience!
We dined in Grogan’s dining room, which has massive windows that afford you the most breath-taking views!
The furniture is aged, with an English-decor feel to it.
Fresh, Home-Cooked Meals
We were treated to a lovely, home-cooked meal that tasted heavenly. Their menu comprises of home-made meals, with seasonal produce, fresh from their farm.
When we were shown to our room, my heart sang with joy! Grogan’s Room is exquisite, with an ancient feel to it. The bed was tempting, while the bathtub looked too vintage to bathe in, and much better to look at… 😀 Luckily, there was a bathroom with a shower.
The castle has 6 deluxe, en-suite rooms, in total, plus a 2 bedroom self-catering cottage on the side.
From the hill’s vantage point you get to catch glimpses of Mount Kilimanjaro, and the surrounding Taveta County… These views from the Castle are beautiful and calming.
I was tempted to spend all my time staring out of the windows, into the beauty of oblivion.
The only downside is the limited electricity, or lack thereof… Apparently this is from a political issue, as other homes in the area are powered… I found that to be quite unfortunate.. They do have a generator, which is switched on and off in the evenings and mornings. Hopefully they’ll consider solar power, as the sun in those parts is enough to power a small village. 😀
This however, did not dim our time at Grogan’s castle, if anything it was more charming. 🙂 With limited power and mobile service-provider network, we had more time to enjoy our abode. 🙂 We could unplug from the world, and plug into the beauty around us.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: WANJIKU THUO
It felt awfully quiet on our first night, being the only guests there. Moreover, they have not included any TV sets in the hotel… 😀 But, we quickly adapted to the quietness, melting into its wide, relaxing arms…
Grogan’s Castle’s Unique Architecture
The architecture is one of a kind… You will fall in love with the circular and semi-circular archways… Plus the high ceilings and massive windows give off a nice feeling of space.
Fun Facts About Grogan’s Castle:
- Grogan’s Castle was originally built by Col. Ewart Scott Grogan in the mid 1930’s. He was a British settler, businessman and explorer.
- Grogan initially intended for the castle to operate as an Agricultural College.
- In 1959, Grogan sold Taveta to the Criticos family, hence the Castle fell into their ownership along with the rest of the land
- Col. Grogan later passed away in 1967
- One of his other accomplishments include putting up the ‘Gertrude’s Garden Children’s Hospital,’ in memory of his wife Mrs. Gertrude Grogan.
- Basil Criticos started renovations on the Castle in 2008, into a tourist attraction. (Based on our last visit, the renovations were still underway in the upper floors)
- If you are not a fan of road trips, there is an airstrip for private planes 😛
I am honored and grateful to have had the chance to visit Grogan’s Castle Hotel. It further convinced me of how amazing our country is…
If you are looking to unwind in a far-off, secluded place, with picturesque views and a homely feel, then this is your perfect destination! To learn more about Grogan’s Castle, send me a quick note via my Contact Form.
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Stay Inspired Always! 🙂
- View my ‘6 Easy Yoga Poses for the Road’ at Grogan’s Castle 😉