The Historic Swedo House at the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages, Ltd. was the original hunting lodge/farm house which was built around 1906 to 1908. It is located approximately a half mile from the Karen Blixen (Bogani House) museum, and is 15 minutes from downtown Nairobi. When the house was built, it was surrounded by indigenous forest (bush and grasslands), most which was cleared for use as agriculture, particularly coffee in the first quarter of the 20th century.
In 1904 Ewart Scott Grogan Grogan returned to Kenya. His first home was a tent on site which is now the Chiromo complex where he built the Grogan palace and Grogan Lodge (now moved from Riverside Drive to the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden as the Grogan/MacMillan Manor House. The historic Grogan/MacMillan Manor House was moved brick by brick from downtown Nairobi to the Coffee Garden in 2008 to save it from destruction.
The cottages are located in Karen, a beautiful, peaceful suburb approximately 20 miles from downtown Nairobi. The cottages are located in the midst of one of the oldest formal gardens in Kenya which have huge jacaranda, candelabra, cactus, bottlebrush, and other trees. Over 200 types of flowers bloom through the year and numerous bird feeders attract hundreds of varieties of birds.
Cottage facilities house as many as 30 guests. Eight of the cottages have individual suites and three have two bedroom suites with a common large sitting room. The honeymoon cottage has a large bedroom and sitting room each with a fireplace.
The cottages have been designed after the historic Swedo House to give a sense of reliving history in elegant style. All well appointed cottages have hi-beam ceilings with fireplaces, wood and mazeras stone floors. Mini bars, satellite TVs and internet connections have also been installed.
Each bedroom has a large bathroom with its own shower and bath. Internet connections and phones are available in all rooms. Three cottages have two private suites with a separate dressing room.
All cottages have a verandah for relaxing while enjoying the birds, butterflies and flowers of the garden. We provide feeders to attract a wide variety of birds.
Residents can also enjoy twenty-four-hour room service. A private swimming poll and private garden bar are available for a relaxing afternoon or for small group get togethers. Private outdoor dinner parties by the pool can also be arranged.
The Restaurant and Bar are now undermanagement by the Tamarind Group of restaurants that are famous for their Carnivore restaurant and the Tamarind Restaurants in Nairobi and Mombassa. The restaurant is the Tamambo Karen Blixen and is open for early breakfasts and reservations for late arrivals can be made.
The Restaurant is open for breakfast from 700hr daily and the kitchen remains open until 2200hr. (A light menu is available in the bar for late night snacks and a clay pizza oven is being built.) Diners have their choice of five areas for lunch or dinner. Residents can also enjoy dinner in their rooms or poolside.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
The hotel is ideally placed for visits to Nairobi's many attractions, such as; The Railway Museum, Nairobi National Park, the Central Market, The Kenyatta Conference Centre and the Karen Blixen Museum.
:: Golf at Karen Country Club or Race Course Golf Club by Reservation
:: Horseback riding at Karen Riding School
:: Table Games available at Reception
:: Sight seeing tours in Karen and Nairobi
:: Horse Racing (most Sundays)