Whenever I hear of Machakos or Masaku, rugby and crowds of rowdy Millenials come to mind. If you look up ‘Masaku’ on the internet, you will be served with salacious and unsavory images of delinquents in compromising situations, enough to make any parent cringe and leave a nation wondering what its fate will be if its future leaders will come from this crop of youth. I’m inclined to think that this is a shared notion if headlines and blogs are anything to go by.
Nevertheless, Machakos County has seen considerable growth in recent years. Tarmacked roads, street lighting and a general cleanup of the place have transformed the town from what it used to be. The last time I was here was back in October, 2017 and I can attest that there is noteworthy infrastructural advancement. Machakos being Kenya’s first administrative headquarters has a rich history. Visitors flock the county all year round to enjoy many attractions and for business purposes. 3 days ago I was back in Machakos Town and unlike in my previous visit, it wasn’t for a hike. My mission was to test out the beguiling Kyaka Hotel, which has welcomed visitors since February 2014. TravelwithEliud and discover this gem with me.
This is by far the easiest hotel to locate when you are visiting for the first time. Only 63km from Nairobi it should take you less than one hour to get to. It’s in close proximity to the Office of the Governor, the Kenya Red-Cross Society (Machakos branch) and Kenyatta Stadium, and only less than a 5 minutes’ drive to the Machakos town centre. On the left at about 1.5km from the Office of the Governor is a signpost of the hotel. The edifice is also visible from this point.
On arrival, I was warmly received by a pleasant lady and a gentleman at the reception. This made me feel welcome. The lady was dressed in traditional Maasai regalia and I was on a mission to find out the reason behind it.
I was processed for check in, then Faith (the Conference and Banqueting Manager), offered to take me round the hotel.
I was thereafter shown to my room; a superior room with a king size bed, spacious bathroom, wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, study table and chair next to the window, flat screen TV with a decoder, bedside stools and a coffee making set. I was already anticipating an enjoyable stay.
The Kyaka Hotel is a large facility with 96 rooms in total: 70 executive rooms, 8 fully furnished apartments, 4 superior rooms and 14 standard rooms.
The hotel is in the process of constructing an additional block that will host a gym, a restaurant, a spa and 88 other rooms. A swimming pool is also under construction and will be ready for a dip in less than two months. The plan is for this block to be ready for occupancy before August this year.
One of the blocks (block B) has 8 fully furnished two-bedroom apartments. They are fully equipped for self-catering and go for only KSh 12,000 per night and KSh 130,000 per month. The apartments are decorated in warm color themes, adding to the homely feel. They are fitted with a kitchenette, hot shower, balcony and a flat-screen TV with a digital decoder. Free toiletries are included in the private bathroom. These self-catering units are ideal for getaways for families and groups of friends. They’re also perfect for corporate long-stay accommodation.
Back to my room. On the study table sat a card with a welcoming message and assurance that my needs and whims would be catered to throughout my stay by my attendant, Jacob.
I got to meet him on the second day of my stay. Jacob is a happy-go-lucky person with an infectious laughter. He seemed genuinely interested in making my stay comfortable. He also offered to take me for a tour of the different rooms in the hotel. He confessed that of all the rooms, he liked mine best.
The Kyaka Hotel has four restaurants. Two of them serve on ala carte mostly to in-house guests and walk-ins. The other two restaurants serve conferencing guests.
When the hotel has a large number of guests especially during conferences, then they prefer to offer meals on buffet. This is common for lunch on weekdays. The scrumptious meals are served by smiling waiters, ensuring you an all round satisfying experience. Notice how many times I have mentioned smiling staff members? This is the one hotel I have visited where every person at your service is constantly pleasant, including the General Manager.
The hotel is a giant for conferencing in Machakos County. It can hold up to 1,240 delegates on theatre style in different halls at a time. Being only an hour from Nairobi, this is a convenient location for conferencing, training, team building, or AGM getaway.
Each conference hall is fitted with amenities such as a projector, PA system, white board and comes stationery such as markers, pens and writing pads. They also offer water and sweets. The WIFI connection is very strong throughout the hotel.
I had noticed an African setup at one of the restaurants. Lesos had replaced tablecloths and they served African cuisine. I enquired and found out that it was Cultural Day. The hotel holds a cultural day once every week on Wednesday, however, the day may shift depending on the occupancy level at the time. They take turns celebrating different Kenyan cultures. Initially the day was introduced to celebrate the Kamba culture, but they later decided to include all cultures in order to have a closer connection with the guests.
Adjacent to the restaurant is a bar. It has cosy couches where the guests can relax and enjoy a drink of their choice. Adding on to the ambience is the soft music that is usually heard coming from the music system.
There are a few more activities one may enjoy during their stay. If you’re into dance and fitness, the hotel offers aerobics and Zumba classes to guests who sign up. You may also go for morning jogs and walks, led by an animator. While staying at the hotel, there are several places one can visit that are at close proximity. The hotel has a partnership with Machakos Golf Club to offer special rates to its guests for team building. Machakos People’s Park, Kyamwilu Hills (the place where the laws of gravity don’t apply), River Mwania (has beautiful rock and is ideal for picnics), Miti Muonza (7 big trees), Kiima Kimwe Hill (hiking and paragliding) are some of the places to visit for enjoyable activities.
If you are planning a getaway out of Nairobi, I recommend The Kyaka Hotel. It’s a pocket friendly destination and a great hideout. It is the best conferencing destination in Machakos for both locals and people in Nairobi. For more information on rates and availability, feel free to contact the General Manager, Ms Chao Mwadime, on 0721745051. You can also book your stay through Safiri Nasi Limited.
Until next time, keep traveling…
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