A few years ago, John Mckelvey would see Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro from either side of his office. But today, the managing director of Brackenhurst Hotel and Conferences will need to travel a couple of kilometres to see the iconic African tourist attraction sites.
After an ambitious reforestation initiative, Brackenhurst, which sits on 100 acres in Limuru, is now surrounded by indigenous trees from around Africa.
Besides the trees, its well-manicured lawns make it the perfect location for a siesta after either a long workshop or a heavy meal.
“When you come here, I’d advise you to have something to eat, a snack, tea, coffee from the café and then sit outside and enjoy the sunshine on a day like this,” says Mr Mckelvey.
“…walk on the nature trails and see the collection of trees and rare species that we have here all of which are indigenous to Africa, about 99 per cent.”
Although one could walk in and have a meal, Winnie Mutua, the marketing and reservations manager, advises that you make a prior booking to avoid disappointments.
The hotel has a capacity of 250 people, making it a favourite venue for companies’ team-building programmes. The programme is run in partnership with Blue Sky.
From an early morning 2.5km nature walk around the forest to teasers during official workshops, the team is guaranteed to jog not just your muscles but also your brain.
The highlight of the programme is an experience with the high ropes.
“The high ropes are about 10 metres and are meant to get people off their comfort zone. These are very safe because they are built to standards and we have professionals handling them. They are also certified periodically. We have never had anyone injured,” adds Mr Mckelvey.
The cool Limuru weather will also keep the attendants awake during sessions, providing a conducive environment to put together ideas. The nights can get cold, so it is advisable to always carry warm clothes to Brackenhurst.
The hotel runs on a no-alcohol policy.
“Many companies get more done; groups that meet here are more productive. I think that’s a benefit. This is a very family-friendly place,” says Mr Mckelvey.
“We also don’t have TVs in the rooms and that’s deliberate because we want people to get away from the world and news. We, however have Internet.”