Shagalabagala House is one of the most distinctive historic colonial homes in existence. Its unique character and charm is unmatched, and the name does not do it justice. Located in Karen on a four-acre property, the peaceful surroundings make it a popular choice for those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The house was originally built as stables in 1926 and was later transformed into a home in 1955. In 2020, the current owners, Alex Walker and Candice Mortimer, acquired the property from a friend who lived there for 16 years. The home now features three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and a cozy atmosphere.
For those interested in staying overnight, Candice offers a hosted Airbnb experience for $1200 (Sh150,000) per night. The fee includes food and drinks, as well as a driver for leisure trips to nearby facilities. Alex, who is in the hospitality industry and owns two camps in Maasai Mara and Tanzania, is a warm and welcoming host. Born and raised in Kenya, he has Scottish descent and is fluent in Kiswahili.
The property is not open to the public, but reservations can be made depending on availability. The blend of history, culture, and relaxation creates a unique experience. The outdoor and indoor environments are a sensory delight with sights, sounds, textures, and smells that make this colonial home special. The lush garden, trees, and flowers, as well as occasional sightings of monkeys swinging from the trees, make it hard to believe that you are still in Nairobi.
The terrace features a panoramic view and banquet-style furniture, including reupholstered local and vintage sofas. The old wooden dining table from the 1980s is a family heirloom and adds to the quaint charm of the space. The bar at the terrace offers refreshments, and their chef, Gideon, specializes in making delicious pizza in a traditional oven. The outdoor area is completed by the eclectic carvings of cats and carved trunks from Lamu.
The indoor space is just as remarkable with a living room that feels like a movie set. The wooden floor, cream upholstered sofa, fireplace, handcrafted chandelier, nooks, and crannies, along with stunning art pieces and souvenirs, create a cinematic atmosphere. The dining area features vintage brown velvet sofas and antique dining table chairs, with a rustic art piece from Lamu on the wall. The master bedroom is tranquil, with a beautifully designed wrought iron headboard and stunning views of the garden from the sash windows.
Overall, it is easy to see that Alex and Candice have invested heavily in this home and it truly shows. From the locally made cow skin table to the 100-year-old vintage trunk passed down through generations, every detail has been carefully thought out. This property is a true masterpiece and a must-visit for anyone who appreciates history, culture, and relaxation.