Hotel Review: Grogan’s Castle Hotel

We were invited to visit Grogan Castle Hotel  in Taita, Taveta. We have been to Tsavo East before but this was our first time in Taveta and we must say, it’s pretty much what we imagined.
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The Journey

The co ordinates are S 03 26.94 E037 44.57

From Nairobi via Loitokitok:  (4×4 recommended!)

  • Mombasa Road – 125 kms
  • At Emali, turn right to Loitokitok, tarmac road to Illasit – 110 kms
  • Illasit turn left to Taveta, murram road up to junction, VERY ROUGH! 67 kms
  • Turn left at junction, over the bridge and travel 4 kms
  • Turn right and travel 7 kms to Castle which is on the right.

From Voi

  • Go to Voi, turn left onto Taveta road at Caltex coming from Mombasa or right coming from Nairobi, which is tarmac up to Taveta.
  • Next road left, approximately 133 kms, a further 7 kms to the Castle. (Bad road if raining!)
  • Total of 110 kms from Voi to Castle

From Ziwani Gate

  • Exit Ziwani Gate
  • Go through Ziwani farm towards the main road – it is sign posted
  • Turn left towards Voi – approximately 2 kms
  • Turn right – you can see the Castle from the road.

From Tanzania

From Tanzania border post Holili, it’s 3 kms to Taveta town.  Go through town and turn right at Cess.  Then travel 7 kms to the Castle, which is on the right.

 

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The Hotel

Grogan’s Castle Hotel is situated below Mt Kilimanjaro on a hilltop with  a 360 degree view of the Pare mountains, Lake Jipe, Lake Chala and Tsavo National park. This hotel is perched on top of a hill commanding magnificent views of the surrounding landscape. The Moorish /art decor designed castle was built in the 1930s by Ewart Scott Grogan, who became famous around 1900 for walking from Cape Town to Cairo to win the love of his life, Gertrude, who later became his wife.

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We arrived to a warm reception at the castle at around 4pm, where we were welcomed by James, the manager and his incredibly friendly staff. They offered us a quick snack before a tour of the castle. Beyond the portal is a patio with a fountain in the middle and well manicured grass.

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This castle in the middle of nowhere, is old-fashioned, quirky and funky. It has 2 big lounges filled with  historical readings about Ewart Grogan, piles of Old Africa magazines and books. The walls are adorned with both traditional and modern art, antiques which are Grogan’s memorabilia. Expect sheer relaxation in a beautiful, serene and an unusual setting.

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The castle is gradually being renovated back to its former glory. Some of the furniture is original, Grogan either purchased or hand made.The dining room was a communal area where guests get to interact and share stories, lucky for us we were the only guests at the time. We were served with a 3-course homemade delicacy intricately prepared by the resident chef.

Win!

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Dining room

Rooms

There are 6 huge en-suite double bedrooms with the possibility to add extra beds for a family; Grogan’s and Gertrude’s rooms on the upper floor and the rest on the ground floor . Each room is unique and tastefully decorated in the theme of that era, all have majestic views and are dominated by arches, high ceilings and space.

A delightful self catering cottage adjoins the castle. With two bedrooms and a huge deck that comes with a fully equipped kitchen and can accommodate 4 people comfortably. It’s ideal for those looking for a smaller but equally beautiful space for both short and long term stay.
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You can sit in the silent courtyard under the Fragipani tree, with red flowers dropping on your table or enjoy a dip in the small, and we mean small pool
🙂
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What a site when you’re having a sundowner or simply reading a book or enjoying the views from the hilltop.Bird watchers can also enjoy the various species of birds that frequent both the castle and the vicinity when you take a drive. The castle is powered by a generator which is turned on at 6pm till midnight.
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Fun places to visit nearby;
  • Lake Chala
  • Lake Jipe
  • Tsavo West National Park
  • WW1 battlefields and war cemetery
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We had a memorable stay at the castle thanks to Grogan Castle Hotel for hosting us!
For reservations or general inquiry kindly reach us on;

 

 

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