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Daily Nation : February 27th 2014
2 When they developers of Enashipai Resort and Spa set up the five-star facility , they decided to pay tribute to the Maasai by also having a museum that portrays the community as it sees and defines itself DN coverstory DAILY NATION Thursday February 27, 2014 At Enashipai, the modern and traditional coexist in harmony FILE | DAILY NATION BY MUGUMO MUNENE firstname.lastname@example.org roof. Besides, they do not seem to sit well on the trusses below them, thanks no doubt to the beating they have taken from the elements. And the house itself appears to be from a long bygone era. The house, which looks nowhere T near as magnificent as the rest of the five-star, modern architecture around it, remains an integral part of Enashipai Resort and Spa in Naivasha. Sitting on a little grassy patch across the fence is a replica of a traditional Maasai manyatta. Next to it is a lifesize model of a cow, fashioned after what traditional Maasai cattle looked like before the introduction of exotic breeds by European farmers who came to their country at the turn of the 20th century. The house was built in 1926 and was used to receive guests from abroad during the era of hydroplanes, aircraft that would land on water, before the era of planes that use runways. Indeed, it is said that the first planes to come to Kenya landed on Lake Naivasha. At the time the farm was converted into a hotel, Naivasha was shifting from he corrugated iron sheets that look like they have seen better days stand in stark contrast to the all-white building they cattle rearing to flower farming and other ventures. “Some of the cowsheds were converted into bandas and nyama choma joints while the original farmhouse was first used for accommodation,” says General Manager Mr James Rattos. “As the dream of converting the farm into a five-star facility was born, it was felt that the original farmhouse should be preserved for historical and sentimental reasons.” That’s how what were once cowsheds and cattle tracks became part of the five-star Enashipai Resort, one of the latest additions to highend accommodation and business facilities in Naivasha. The town, which is about one-and-a-half hours’ drive from Nairobi, is famous for its colourful history, romantic settings and farming. The resort boasts 40 executive rooms, 47 executive cottage rooms in two- and three-bedroom cottages and the Siyara Spa. The developers of the facility felt that the creation of the resort alone was not enough; they felt a strong need to restore and preserve the original house and convert it into a museum to preserve authentic Maasai culture. “The resort was called Enashipai simply because of its location. It’s located in Maasailand, and it was only proper that it have a local name,” the says Mr Rattos. Enashipai means a place of happiness in the Maa language. The resort’s design theme is earth tones, with lots of natural stone and brown to match the Maasai names and interior designs that pervade the place.The lobby has two large seats in the corner made from cowhide. The main restaurant is called The Maasai have been wrongly depicted as naïve, but I felt we could show enough to represent them and come up with a script that properly defines their sophisticated storyline, GROUP EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Joseph Odindo GROUP MANAGING EDITOR: Mutuma Mathiu FEATURES EDITOR: Bernard Mwinzi REVISE EDITOR: Mary Wasike SUB-EDITOR: Naliaka Wafula PHOTO EDITOR: Joan Pereruan CHIEF GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Roger Mogusu DESIGNERS: Nzisa Mulli, Andrew Anini, Dennis Makori, Alice Othieno, Michael Mosota, Ken Kusimba, Hassan Ibrahim, Benjamin Situma, Joy Abisagi, Virginia Borura, Teddy Murimi, Linus Ombette REPORTER: Joy Wanja COVER & GRAPHIC CONCEPT: Hassan Ibrahim Senteu, after a famous man in Maasai folkore. “The pitched roofs and design were inspired by the acacia trees that abound in Naivasha.... All the buildings are either single or double storey and this was deliberate to avoid creating a concrete jungle and to ensure that our guests feel they are away from Nairobi and the hassles of city life,” said the hotel’s marketing consultant Wanjeri Mahiti. The restaurant is next to the swimming pool and the gym and children’s play area beyond the pool for those who love to work out. A more recent addition is the Entumo conference centre, which seats up to 500 participants and is equipped with modern gadgets The rooms take the Maa theme as well, this time from the women. The beds’ headboards and the seats borrow from the bead necklaces worn by Maasai women. Artefacts are also displayed in nearly every room in the hotel. The reception desk is designed like a giant necklace. The bar is named Oltepesi, which is Maa for acacia. Then there is the Siyara Spa, which is situated some distance from the other buildings, unlike the more common set-up where a spa is located next to a gym. At the entrance is a water fountain, which has a calming effect. The large marble desk and the corridors adjacent to it are painted in colours that create an illusion of space. Soothing set-up Piped jazz music and the sounds of running water and chirping birds complete the mood, which is complemeted by coloured lighting. From the reception, men and women are directed to their respective lounges through a quiet corridor. Upstairs are the grooming and wellness centres. On one wing is an executive salon and barbershop with a white colour scheme while on the other is a salad and juice bar with a brilliant orchid and lime green colour scheme for those who would wish to detox. To create their latest addition, the Maa museum, Enashipai approached museum designer and constructor Mr Eustace Gitonga, who had worked with the National Museums of Kenya for more than two decades. There was a legal hitch, however. They would require government approval to set up a private museum. is published every week by Nation Media Group Limited. It is distributed free with every Daily Nation. Unsolicited manuscripts, artwork, transparencies are submitted at the sender’s risk. While every care will be taken on receipt of such material, the Nation Media Group Limited cannot accept responsibility for accidental loss or damage. ©Nation Media Group Limited, 2009. All rights reserved. A room at the Enashipai : the resort’s design theme is earh tones, with lots of natural stone and brown to match the Maasai names and interior designs tha pervade the place.
February 26th 2014
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