Someone asked me where we people living in the holiday destination that is Mombasa take our breaks. Personally, sometimes I stick to the coast but mostly I go to the hills and green of upcountry. This time round, my good friend Travel Guru pointed me to Ray’s Place in Kericho. As far as simple get aways go, this place ranks tops for me.
Ray’s is all that. Serene, enchanting, quaint. The view from the terrace is an entrancing panorama of Tinderet and Nandi Hills in the far horizon. To the East is magnificent South West Mau, and closer home are disciplines upon disciplines of tea bushes. The air is fresh and crisp.
Ray’s is about 265 Kms from Nairobi. Part of the road branching off to Kericho from the Nakuru-Eldoret highway is currently under construction and at some point there’s a torturous one hour drive through a diversion but that should be no dampener. It snakes through beautiful countryside and other than get all grumpy about it, one can opt to take it as part of the adventure.
I’m a no frills person and simplicity was my first attraction on arrival at Ray’s. There’s nothing cushy or glamorous about the place. It’s a 1948 built country house that has mostly been left unmodified. With wooden floors, basic furniture, barely there decor and a log fireplace beside which I started scribbling this article, I felt totally at peace.
Ray’s has just 5 rooms to its name, hence service so casual and so demystified that you can walk up to the chef and ask for a pot of tea. Guests and staff, including the Manager and said Chef are pretty much family. In the evenings it’s not unusual to see them congregate around the common fireplace in the living room to watch TV and sip on what Kericho produces best – Kenyan tea.
It’s not all about tea though. For those who prefer other beverages, there is a well and fully stocked bar.
The vast well manicured gardens and surrounding green and scenery makes Ray’s a perfect location for weddings, after which you could very well have your honeymoon right there and spend your wedding evening gazing at your lover’s eyes at the fireplace.
Being a cold area, it’s just the place for those curled up with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate moments. And much more depending.