In keeping with its reputation as an international travel destination, hotels in Kenya, including a plethora of lodges and speciality accommodation, are uniformly world class. All the principal regions, national parks and coastal reserves have a specific selection with rates and services across the price spectrum. Several international hotel chains, and many international tour operators and investors own and operate hotels and lodges in Kenya. Competition is fierce so standards are high.
Throughout Kenya there is an astonishing variety of lodges, hotels and tented camps, some associated with particular tour operators, some with the various national parks authorities, and others privately operated within or adjacent to specific national parks. There are also an increasing number of communally operated and run facilities that attempt to maintain and circulate tourist revenues within local communities in order to provide incentives for natural resource conservation.
It is often the case that the most select hotels, lodges and tented camps in Kenya provide an integrated service with facilities to access or observe the particular park or attraction that you are visiting. In most cases there are professional guides and experts on hand to conduct individual tours and game drives. These establishments are often booked up well in advance, and a degree of research and prior planning is necessary to avoid disappointment.
Warning: While it is unfair to assume that all locally based tour operators are untrustworthy, there is much to be said for arranging as much of your accommodation and itinerary as you can in advance. Most outside booking agents work through local contacts whose reputations depend on reliable service. By this means you avoid the risks of falling victim to unscrupulous or fly-by-night local tour operators and booking agents.
There are a good many hotels in Kenya that either cater ot the black middle class or the lower class of local truck driver or traveller. These come in all shapes and sizes, and are not difficult to spot. There is no hard and fast rule about checking in, other than that it is a fully local experience. Keep your wits about you as a rule of thumb, and if you hit the bar expect to by many drinks for a minimal return. It can be fun, if a little rough, but rough travel is rough travel.