|When Geoffrey Kent launched the first luxury tented photographic safaris in his home country of Kenya in 1962, it’s unlikely he foresaw how that initial foray into experiential travel would serve as a foundation for the decades-long success of his tour-operator company Abercrombie & Kent. Born in 1942, while his British parents were on safari in Zambia, Africa has always been in Kent’s blood. So it makes sense that Africa, and the safari experience in particular, are so close to his heart. He was the first to introduce mobile tented camps with refrigeration (making access to fresh food possible) and launched some of the world’s first private-jet safari itineraries. So its fitting that the new suite at Sanctuary Olonana Camp in Kenya has been created in his honour.
Sanctuary Olonana is the flagship property of the Sanctuary Retreats collection that Kent founded in 1999. And the recent renovation of Sanctuary Olonana Camp in Kenya has provided the perfect opportunity to reference its founder’s origins and celebrate his enduring legacy .
The exclusive-use two-bedroom Geoffrey Kent Suite is set apart from the other suites and is far and away Olonana’s most extravagant accommodation option. With its clean lines and sleek modernist silhouette, stylish, contemporary interiors finished with locally quarried stone and Kenyan wood are furnished with bespoke furniture including plush king-sized beds and elegant nature-inspired furnishings. Each bedroom comes with its own coolly elegant slate and marble ensuite bathroom equipped with a rain shower and a generous freestanding bathtub so bathers can take in the sun or watch the stars from the water. Even better, the lodge is bordered by floor-to-ceiling windows that face towards the river below, as well as a wraparound deck incorporating its own raised infinity pool – the perfect spot to relax and unwind after a long day of game viewing.
Everything, in fact, is positioned to allow the Geoffrey Kent Suite’s guests to feel as if they have Sanctuary Olonana all to themselves. The lodge is accessed by a private road and features an exclusive lounge and dining area, a personal chef on standby to prepare meals and snacks on demand and a fully stocked bar at the ready for first-class cocktails mixed exactly how you like them, not to mention the lodge’s own dedicated safari guide and vehicle.
Since opening its doors in 1999, Sanctuary Olonana has always been something of a trailblazer, wining numerous awards and accolades throughout its 20-year history. Ranked number 1 amongst Africa’s top resorts in the 2017 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, the luxury camp is renowned for its exceptional customer experience and individual service.
Set in lush woodland on the banks of the Mara River in Kenya’s Masai Mara, a key staging point for Africa’s annual Great Migration, the new-look Sanctuary Olonana brings the outdoors inside. Apart from the Kent Suite fourteen other spacious glass-sided suites designed especially to maximise the wilderness experience for guests and providing panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the Mara River.
Sanctuary Olonana can also arrange activities like hot air balloon safaris, school visits, nature walks, and cultural excursions, while back at the Camp guests can also unwind at the spa, which offers treatments using products by Africology and the French marine-based Thalgo line.
Prices for the Geoffrey Kent Suite start from USD 5,500 per night (for up to four people), for 1 – 3 nights, including all meals and drinks (excluding premium brands) and transfers to and from the airstrip.
Luxury Link: www.sanctuaryretreats.com/kenya-camps-olonana
Hilary Doling, 29/04/2019