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First Look: Nairobi’s Hotel Eden from Anna Trzebinski

Upon arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and after a 45-minute drive to the city’s Langata neighborhood, you arrive at the oasis that is Eden, only to be swiftly enveloped into designer Anna Trzebinski’s world. Samburu warriors greet you in traditional clothing, as you pull through the gate and up to the main house. The fire in the living room is blazing, the sounds of the forest ringing in your ears. The energy is palpable as is the feeling of immediate connectedness to a culture. 

While Nairobi has traditionally been looked at as a quick overnight destination before moving to the bush, Eden might change your mind. Anna’s hope is that her new hotel is seen as a retreat, a place to spend multiple nights to reconnect while disconnecting. 

If you are interested in learning more about Melissa Biggs Bradley’s upcoming Insider Journey to Kenya in January 2021, please email insiderjourneys@indagare.com for details and to join!

Set on leafy grounds, the property comprises two houses and eight rooms in total: three in the main house and five in the studio annex. The main house is equipped with a beautiful open-plan dining area, bar, living room with fireplace and veranda as well as a divinity room. The studio annex has three standalone rooms with a bedroom and bathroom on the bottom level and living area on the top floor, and two bedrooms above another enchantingly designed open-plan living room with fireplace, bar and dining area. The communal spaces at Eden are serene and calm, but they are shared, facilitating encounters with fellow guests. Mount Kenya, the main house, has bedrooms named after its three main peaks: Batian is the most spacious, with a walk-in wardrobe and large private balcony. Eden also houses an Artist Residence Cottage, called Ololokwe—after the sacred mountain that stands alone north of Isiolo—which is available to rent on a weekly or monthly basis.

The fact that you’re staying in the home of a fashion designer is evident in the deeply stylish, personal decor. A coffee table constructed of dhow wood features dozens of ostrich eggs under a glass top. Tables are displays of colorful glassware from Nairobi’s version of a Murano glassblowing studio. Butterfly murals line the hallways. Trays are painted with animals by the Hog Ranch Studio artists who worked with Anna’s friend, the late photographer Peter Beard. Paintings by Anna’s late husband, Tonio Trzebinki, are displayed throughout, as are the works of their children (her daughter is a ceramicist; her son a sculptor). An additional perk of staying here is the proximity to Anna’s working atelier and boutique, so guests will have the opportunity to shop for her high-design coats, shawls and bags, all with gorgeous African embroidery.

If you are interested in learning more about Melissa Biggs Bradley’s upcoming Insider Journey to Kenya in January 2021, please email insiderjourneys@indagare.com for details and to join!

Related: Indagare Global Conversations Podcast Episode 14: Fashion Designer Anna Trzebinski

There’s a sundeck facing a pond, the perfect location to watch the sunset and enjoy a sundowner or a meal. At Eden, everything from the cocktail menu and coffee selection to the delicious food is authentically Kenyan.

Unless you take over the main house or studio annex rooms, it is important to enjoy communal living to get the most out of an Eden stay. Also, the hotel is best for those who are not bothered by animals roaming the property, from monkeys and guinea fowls to peacocks and Anna’s dogs (her own home is next door to the hotel). It’s possible a monkey jumping on the roof will act as your morning wake-up call. 

While based at Eden, guests can go on forest walks in the hotel’s own backyard with the Samburu, visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust; the Giraffe Center (home to Giraffe Manor’s Rothschild’s giraffes); and the Karen Blixen Museum, which houses many of Blixen’s personal effects and props from the movie Out of Africa (the book has often been published under Blixen’s pen name, Isak Dinesen). For more adventurous travelers, there is also the opportunity to visit artisans, markets and shops that are farther afield in the city. A note on disconnecting: Anna is serious about it. At Eden, phone usage is strongly discouraged in the common areas. There is no WiFi in the main house or studio annex. Guests who need WiFi, have to make do in the hotel’s media room or bring their own mobile hotspot that will work throughout the property

If you are interested in learning more about Melissa Biggs Bradley’s upcoming Insider Journey to Kenya in January 2021, please email insiderjourneys@indagare.com for details and to join!

Related: Indagare Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley on Rediscovering the Meaning of Travel During Covid

Contact Indagare to plan your trip to Kenya and our best advice on safari-planning in Africa and what you need to know while traveling during Covid. 

– Kathryn Nathanson on October 21, 2020

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You arrive at the oasis that is Eden, only to be swiftly enveloped into designer Anna Trzebinski’s world. Samburu warriors greet you in traditional clothing, as you pull through the gate and up to the main house. The fire in the living room is blazing, the sounds of the forest ringing in your ears. The energy is palpable as is the feeling of immediate connectedness to a culture.

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