Against the backdrop of Mt Kenya and facing the Lolldaiga hills in Laikipia County is a luxury property that has grown into a major attraction for Kenya’s elite.
Maiyan derives its name from the Maasai language and means ‘God’s blessing’, and to call it luxurious would be a disservice.
Located about 20km north of Nanyuki, Maiyan is a sight to marvel, boasting exquisite design, landscaping and services.
On top of that, its location in the deserted savannah plains of Laikipia means it guarantees privacy. No wonder it is a destination of choice for bigwigs and celebrities to wine, dine and unwind.
Controlled development for investors
At first sight, Maiyan looks like any another upcountry resort, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Yes, it does offer hospitality services but it also doubles as a real estate development property.
Maiyan was started in 2016 as a controlled development for investors seeking to own holiday homes sitting on 84 acres of lush ranchland. It is part of a 146-acre estate, including the upcoming Swara Ranch.
Six blocks of one-storey luxurious villas were initially built as a model for a long-term investment plan in the real estate and hospitality industries.
To own a villa, the owners forked out between Sh29.9 million and Sh35 million for a single unit and Sh5 million for furnishing. A whole block goes for Sh70 million.
As pricey as it may seem, all the units are currently sold out, with one of the blocks said to be owned by a flamboyant city lawyer.
Besides the chic furnishing, a three-bedroom villa comes with a Jacuzzi, a heated rooftop swimming pool and a patio to optimise relaxation.
Given its location about 240km from Nairobi, it was envisioned that most investors might have reservations about settling permanently. So in order to get value for their money, a proposal was made for the property owners to let Maiyan and Falcon Heights Hotel manage the villas as holiday homes.
Basically, the owners of the villas allow their homes to be used as hotels when they are away in the capital.
“The owners have an option of living in the villas permanently or to et us manage them when they are away. We share the revenue monthly with the owners, that way they get value for the property,” Maiyan CEO Omar Ikram told nation.africa.
A single-room deluxe full-board package will set you back Sh21,000 per night while a full-board package in a three-bedroom villa with access to the living room will cost Sh95,000 for a minimum of six guests.
If you are feeling rather flamboyant and want the whole block to yourself with access to six bedrooms, two living rooms, Arabic showers, a Jacuzzi and a heated pool, you will need to fork out a hefty Sh193,000.
Mr Omar, however, maintains that considering the value of the property and top-notch services offered, the prices are quite fair.
“If you look at it, you are paying Sh20,800 to stay in a Sh11 million room. We actually have not increased our prices for three years,” he said.
The resort is open for residency and walk-in guests, with the management saying most of its guests, 95 per cent, are domestic tourists from across Kenya.
In the hospitality wing of the property, Maiyan has put up a modern restaurant, a clubhouse and conference facilities that blend in with the natural scenic landscape.
One of the conference halls that at times doubles as a dining area, floats on a man-made lake, which is also open for fishing and bird watching to residents.
Additional facilities at the resort include an outdoor heated pool, a tennis court, a basketball court, an outdoor gym, a football and rugby pitch and tracks for jogging and cycling.
To put icing on the flamboyant cake, residents get to enjoy equestrian activities like horse riding and polo.
The resort also has an organic farm whose fruits and vegetables feed guests.
Currently, Maiyan is looking to expand, with three more villas coming up. At the same time, Swara Ranch is lining up to enter into more real estate projects by building apartment blocks.
The apartments will be designed as loft, studio and two-bedroom units. The prices will range from Sh2.4 million to Sh6 million.
“We are eyeing more business and want to be the best in real estate and hospitality locally and internationally. We have products for everybody and our doors are open to everyone,” Mr Omar said.