Quirky, unique and adorable. The Brandy Bus is a rare find in the heart of Karen, perfect for a quick weekend away or a longer stay to rejuvenate, rest and gain some inspiration!
A quick history…
We love learning how and why the places we stay at have come about. This double-decker bus belonged to the owners’ grandfather and was settled in his garden for over 30 long years. Sitting around collecting dust, she then decided to make it into this fun little guesthouse which everyone can enjoy. Fun fact: the bus was covered in old Courvoisier Brandy adverts before it got renovated resulting in the bizarre name which somehow fits the feel of the place so well!
How to get there
The Brandy Bus is simple to get to. It’s located on Kibo Lane, off Bogani Road in Karen. You can also easily find the address on Google maps, thank you technology! The host will give you the exact location once you book.
It’s all about the detail at the Brandy bus and let’s face it- it’s the little things that count, right? From the fresh flowers positioned all around the bus to the assortment of books placed in the all little nooks (even the bathroom.) The interior of the bus has that cosy home away from home feeling.
We especially loved the Mexican tiles and the Peperuka cushions that had some real words of wisdom etched on them.
“Travelling is Learning“
They even have a wide selection of CD’s and a music system. Stumbling upon some elevating Cuban music which was conveniently already in the system made cooking breakfast a very merry affair. We’ve all have those days where we don’t feel like cooking and simply want to indulge in a greasy (or healthy, each to their own) takeaway. Well The Brandy Bus has you covered, there’s a file full of nearby takeaway menus that you can call when you don’t feel like using their fully stocked kitchen. Rhoda even has the hook up to the local Dominoes, YAS! If you’re a sucker for warm candlelit evenings you’re in luck. With plenty of candles and a fire pit at the ready we guarantee your outdoor dinner whether takeaway or home cooked will be dreamy.
The bus can sleep up to 6 people. It has two rooms upstairs consisting of two queen sized beds and two single sofa beds downstairs in the kitchen area. The top bedrooms contain everything you need including extra blankets in case it gets cold (which it did in Karen), mosquito repellent in case those pesky mozzies decide to come for you at night, solar lights in case there is an infamous power cut (although the rooms are perfectly well-lit otherwise) and even mirrors in each room. The rooms have enough storage space for a couple of nights, so un-pack your bags and make yourselves at home! The rooms are lightly separated by a curtain and there isn’t much privacy in the bus, so go with people you are happy to spend all your time with.
The two beds at the bottom transform from the sofas in the common area/ kitchen. Two children will fit comfortably; however it may be a slight squeeze for an adult.
There is only one bathroom in the bus, this may be a downside if you are more than two. The bathroom however is relatively spacious and contains all the necessities. Flushing toilet- tick, hot rain shower- tick, fresh towels- tick, sink with a mirror- tick. We really couldn’t complain.
The kitchen is adequately equipped. There is a small fridge, 2 hob gas cooker, a microwave, all the cutlery and crockery you could need and a few of the cooking essentials such as oil, salt, pepper, sugar, coffee, tea, milk and water.
They also have a Cookswell Jiko which you can request to be set up outside if you want to bake or roast. The rest is up to you- but there is a well stocked supermarket ‘Hardys’ just a 10 minute drive away. The kitchen has a mini counter with four bar stools so you can enjoy your morning coffee with a view. This was definitely our favourite area of the bus, the perfect little work spot so full of inspiration… and bacon!
Dining is best done under the beautiful Kenyan stars, there is a large outdoor table where we spent most of our time eating, star-gazing, taking in the warmth of the fire and playing games on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Again you really appreciate the details here, just look at those fresh flowers placed on the table during the day and the candle light at night.
The bus shares a compound with a couple of other houses, unfortunately you can’t use the swimming pool but there is a tennis court with rackets and balls available. The WiFi isn’t great from the bus, so if you really need to be connected you might want to think of alternatives. Apparently, it gets better as you move towards the main house but to be honest we were enjoying the bus too much to even need it.
Rhoda the caretaker is always around in case you have any enquiries or need any help. She even helped us direct the delivery man to the bus. Firewood is set up in the furnace, so all you need to do is throw in a match and viola- fire!
Things to do around the area
Feeling adventurous? Take a quick hike through Oloolua nature trail only 10 minutes away. Here your inner nature lover can be set free without having to venture too far out into the wild. With plenty of thick greenery, chirping birds and a cascading waterfall you can find your zen and be at one with nature.
Feeling Peckish? The new Boho Eatery is just around the corner. If you are a fan of the nouveau hipster vibe this place is for you. With a large vegan selection (and more) this is the ideal place to go when you feel like experimenting and indulging.
Feeling wild? The entrance for Nairobi National Park is only 15 minutes away. The park boasts animals from the Lion to the Rhino, giving you a unique backdrop of the CBD skyline. Take an early morning drive to see the best game and end your drive with a breakfast picnic at one of their sites.
All in all, an eccentric experience that was the perfect way to re-charge our batteries and head back to hectic city life.
Find The Brandy Bus on AirBnB by clicking on the link.
Happy Travelling! x