BACKGROUND: The 5-star Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club is a cluster of Victorian-style buildings with 130 rooms, studio suites and cottages, with a capacity of 248 beds. The hotel opened in 1992 and overlooks an 18-hole championship golf course, which threads its way through coffee farms and a tropical indigenous forest.
WHERE IS IT? The hotel is surrounded by farmland and forest and is on the road leading to the Kenyan Highlands. It is situated on the outskirts of Nairobi, approximately 15-20 minutes’ drive from the CBD. But, as with the proposed 45-minute drive to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, your journey can take a lot longer than that, depending on the notorious Nairobi traffic.
ROOM FACILITIES: The hotel’s Victorian-style rooms are divided into twins, doubles, studio suites and cottages, all overlooking the golf course. I was given a room in one of the hotel’s cottages, sharing a ground floor unit with another room, with a lounge in between featuring a TV, piano, fireplace and lounge suite. My cottage was a two-minute walk from reception – alternatively, there was a golf cart doing the rounds and assisting with lifting. My room was generously-sized and I also liked the big, old school bathroom with separate shower (with massive Savoy-style shower head) and deep bath. There was also lots of bottled water in the room and more available on request. A big four-poster bed dominated the centre of the room, a few paces from an old mahogany work desk with reading light. Additional features included a fridge, a closet with plenty of hanging space, and a small safe, unfortunately not very big and able to accommodate my large laptop. Further to that, there was a coffee table with a couple of chairs in the corner, leading to an outside patio which was adjacent to the first hole of the golf course. I made use of the complimentary wi-fi and was impressed by the speed. The old-school TV was a bit complicated to work, but did have a selection of local, news, sport and movie channels – it was just a bit temperamental. Also on offer was a plug-in ethernet cable and luggage stand. The bathroom had complimentary toiletries, but strangely there was no tea and coffee in the room.
RESTAURANTS & BARS: Having arrived late, I opted for room service over restaurant dining. I went for the spring chicken, which was a little dry, although the mash potato and fresh vegetables were both very tasty. I had breakfast on the terrace outside the Windsor Room, overlooking the golf course’s 18th and ninth greens. The service was efficient and I enjoyed delicious Kenyan coffee along with tasty eggs benedict, fruit and yoghurt. The spread was extensive, with a load of hot options, including fish, potato, sausages, variations of eggs, baked beans, a wide selection of pastries, and juice. The other food and beverage options are the Conservatory, the Library Bar, and the Kingfisher Bar, which is open 24 hours.
BUSINESS & MEETING FACILITIES: I attended a function for 200 hundred people in a marquee situated adjacent to the 10th tee, and the event was pulled off with ease, with two buffet food stations on either side of the marquee making dinner serving seamless. The hotel looked like it was accustomed to events of this size. Away from that, I loved all the nooks and crannies in and around the hotel reception area, including the Library Bar, all decked out in dark mahogany furniture with old ‘Tudor’ feel. Great for meetings with good wi-fi access as well. The hotel also has a business centre, with printers, copiers and computer work stations, whilst there are five meeting rooms with capacity ranging from 12 to 240 delegates.
LEISURE FACILITIES: There’s a swimming pool just metres from the general reception area, and the hotel also has tennis and squash courts, cycling and jogging tracks, a salon, spa, and fully-equipped gym, whilst the golf course is the standout feature, dominating the hotel surrounds.
VERDICT: There’s an old school English countryside charm to this hotel.
Address: Kigwa Lane, Ridgeways, Off Kiambu Road
T: +254 20 233 8093