A spectacular Kenyan resort site brings renowned hoteliers out of retirement.
Why Go: When guests of Angama Mara walk up to the front of their suites, the canvas safari tents looks as you would imagine. But pulling open the door reveals something truly unexpected: thirty-foot-wide floor-to-ceiling glass walls along the entire back of the tents, which are perched on the rim of the Great Rift Valley’s Oloololo Escarpment. Below, the Maasai Mara stretches out farther than the eye can see. Super-king beds dressed in red chenille throws, galvanized bathtubs by Patricia Urquiola, and sleek white couches adjacent to red ottomans all face the view. A dining table and two red rocking chairs furnish each spacious back deck, which both birds of prey and hot-air balloons fly past with regularity.
What to Expect: Steve and Nicky Fitzgerald, the visionary hoteliers who opened over 60 lodges for andBeyond, came out of retirement to head up Angama Mara. A lodge at the site burned down in 1997, and the land’s lease had been tied up until recently. Scenes from Out of Africa were filmed on one of the site’s three hills, and a significant Mara River crossing is just a 20-minute drive from the camp. Thus, guests get to see the East Africa they have long imagined, both in scenery and in action. The views are unmatched, as are the opportunities to see predators hunt migrating wildebeest (July to October). Some 140 staff members serve the 30 tents (from $750 per person, all inclusive). They bring breakfast after morning game drives, pack lunches for midday excursions, and prepare dinner for large appetites back at the central pavilion—which grants even more memorable Mara views.
How to Get There: Visitors take a 45-minute flight from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport directly to the lodge’s private hardtop airfield. (angama.com)