Heritage Tourism: White Rhino Hotel

Offering commanding views of the towering snow-peaked Mount Kenya and Aberdare Ranges, Nyeri town is surrounded by hills and fertile agricultural lands consisting mostly of coffee and tea farms. Established during the colonization era, Nyeri hosts a rich history in Kenya’s struggle for independence and development of the scouting movement.

With a rich heritage and history dating back to the Kenya’s hunting era, White Rhino Hotel is a key landmark in the development of Nyeri and the Mount Kenya tourism narrative. Started during the British East Africa colony in 1910 by Lord Cranworth, Sandy Herd and Berkeley Cole as a private and exclusive hotel for Europeans for accommodation and entertainment; White Rhino Hotel did not admit African patrons. The hotel was supposedly named after a rhino that was shot at the site where White Rhino Hotel stands during one of the hunting safaris escapades.

Ramnic Bhadrese, an Asian businessman bought the hotel after independence in 1965 and began refurbishment of the rooms into 27 self-contained facilities and converted the bar into meeting rooms and it was during this time that Africans were allowed to patronage at the hotel.

In 1970, the hotel changed hands to Amos Wamuyu who also refurbished the hotel by reducing the number of rooms to 22 and partitioned the bar into two areas; one section for elders to drink and discuss matters of importance and the other section for other patrons.

Mr. David Munene Kairu bought the hotel in 1985 that also saw further developments following his passing and later management of this family business led by his wife Lucy into a modern hotel facility. Over the years, the hotel has rebranded, renovated and rebuilt its accommodation and restaurant offering and was later gazetted as a historical monument in 2000 due to its significance in shaping the story of Nyeri town to what it is today.

In 2010, the hotel’s management decided to expand the 22 roomed facility to an ultra-modern six-stored building with 105 rooms that range from superior, deluxe, executive and penthouse suites.

For that special treat you can stay at the penthouse suites with jacuzzis and private balconies that overlook Nyeri town. The hotel still maintains four rooms that were part to the original structural heritage of the old White Rhino Hotel; all rooms have an electronic key card system that is used to access entry.

For physically challenged people, the hotel has provided rooms and washrooms to cater for their needs. For that extra shine on your shoes, the hotel has an automatic shoe polisher to help enhance your appearance and give you a sleek and sharp look.

White Rhino Hotel offers on-site and on-the-go diverse dining option to residents, business and conference clients that includes; Café 1910, Take Away Restaurant and Thingira for beverages and snacks.

For good quality wines, beers and other alcoholic drinks you can unwind at the Marura Bar and Club Kifaru.


For fine dining options you can opted for the Queen’s Cave Pavilion, Kifaru Restaurant, The Terrace and Heritage Dining Room that offers a relaxed atmosphere that overlooks and opens into the terrace.

On the sixth floor is the Lord Aberdare Lounge that is tastefully furnished and offers privacy and panoramic views of the Nyeri Golf Course. The lounge is ideal for guests interested in chatting and relaxing over drinks over an intimate private setting.

Some of the hotel’s outstanding improvements include; a state-of-the-art sound proof meeting rooms, elevators to ease movement from one floor to another in-house entertainment facilities like the Paradise Corner and Outdoors Children Play Area. Other notable facilities within the hotel include; lush green lawns for hire that are lit by solar power at night and also ample cabro-paved parking for visitors.

White Rhino Hotel has not only been a pace-setter but also a change changer in the hospitality industry in Nyeri County. For booking and reservations to Nyeri contact us via info@beadsafariscollection.co.ke or call 0717110803.