Sanctuary at Ol Lentille
The Kenya of Isak Dinesen may be a thing of the past, but a private place in the country’s lush hills can still be found. A 6,500-acre conservancy on the Laikipia Plateau is now home to four recherché rental villas and a spa. Each house is a kingdom unto itself, with its own pool and a dedicated staff that includes both a butler and a safari guide. Interiors are characterful and idiosyncratic: the Sultan’s House has a papyrus-thatched roof, four-poster bed, and low-slung Moorish sofas, while the Colonel’s House is furnished with campaign desks and English scroll armchairs. The property backs style with substance—the land-lease agreement preserves traditional Masai ways of life—and provides plenty of ways to explore the surroundings: game drives and guided tours on foot, horseback, and camelback. For less effort, you can peer through the GPS-controlled telescope on the viewing deck for a good look at Mount Kenya, 50 miles to the south.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.