Checking out Nairobi’s hotels

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City overview

Nairobi is the largest city between Johannesburg and Cairo – a bustling centre for commerce in East and Central Africa, and the gateway to the world’s largest safari tourism operations. Due to a high altitude, Nairobi enjoys a temperate climate, with the sunniest and warmest months lying between November and February. Home to many companies and organisations, including the United Nations Environment Programme and the UN Office in Africa, Nairobi is established as a hub for business and culture. The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) is one of the largest in Africa, ranked fourth in terms of trading volume. The city has a strong and diverse multicultural composition, and the atmosphere is always one of friendliness and hospitality. 

Hotel:  The Sarova Stanley

Rooms and Leisure

The Sarova has a total of 217 individually air-conditioned rooms over eight floors. There are 142 Deluxe Rooms (80 Doubles and 62 Twins), 32 Club Rooms (larger, with all amenities listed below including complimentary Welcome basket), 16 Executive suites (includes separate living room and bedroom with a guest WC), three Junior Suites (two bedrooms separated by living room), two State Suites, and the Presidential Suite which includes a bodyguard room. There are also five twin rooms for the physically challenged. All rooms feature an in-room safe; bath, shower and WC; sound-proofing through double glazing, and free modem access. There is also a security guard present on each floor of the hotel. The Thorn Tree Café still serves as one of the most original meeting places in East Africa, with the legendary acacia xanthophidea hosting a message board which has formed the centrepiece of the hotel since 1959.  There is a ‘Pool Deck’ and ‘Thai Chi’ restaurant, as well as the popular ‘Exchange Bar’.  From 6.30 p.m. onwards there is live Jazz, Salsa or African fusion at the Thorn Tree.

Business Facilities

There is a dedicated conference and banqueting team that offers a service tailored to the needs of your business or function. The largest room, the 227 square metre Churchill Ballroom can seat 250 for dinner and 350 for a conference. There are also seven other rooms available that, depending on configuration, seat between 14 to 25 in a ‘boardroom’ configuration, or up to 80 in a ‘theatre’ configuration. The first floor ‘Authors Suite’ is a conference room that can be divided into three soundproof sections: the Huxley, the Patterson, and the Hemingway, each seating 40 guests in a boardroom layout. The Batian, Lenana, and Baker Suites offer a more intimate atmosphere, and host around 15 guests per suite. The Baden Powell room (seats 25), opens into a central courtyard which can also be used for open-air business lunches or post-work cocktails, and the well equipped Business Centre links the conference centre and individual guest rooms to the outside world.

Price

Midweek Executive Suites currently cost USD400per night (bed and breakfast), while the smaller De luxe rooms cost USD150.

Summary

The grand dame ofNairobi hotels, the historical Sarova Stanley has hosted some of the world’s most renowned figures in literature, politics and film, as well as visiting members of the royal family. The best option for larger conference events and functions like award ceremonies or international launches. Excellent service, with an atmosphere of class and distinction.

Contact 
P.O. Box 30680, 00100 –Nairobi,Kenya
Telephone: +254 – 020 – 2757000  Fax: +254 – 020 – 222 9388
Reservations: +254 – 20 – 2714444
sarovahotels.com/stanley

Hotel 2: The Fairview

Rooms and Leisure

The Fairview has just over 100 rooms. Single rooms are divided into Economy, Economy Plus, Business, First, and an Executive Suite. Double room alternatives are divided into Economy, Business, First, and Executive Suites. The Business Singles room are more spacious, and measure up to around 355 sq feet. Several of the business rooms come with their own balcony and a good view of the well-kept gardens. Entry is by electronic key card, and these rooms, importantly, have access to a separate water source and electricity generator. There is a business centre with all the regular office equipment, as well as an impressive 3mb Internet bandwidth. All room prices include breakfast, in-room Wi-Fi and taxes. There is a resident-only swimming pool; a small but up-to-date gym, and a ‘sports room’ – where large sports matches are watched in a separate, more social setting. The Fairview boasts a fantastic selection of dining alternatives, with a Pool Restaurant, a Garden Café, a Brasserie, and arguablyNairobi’s best sushi bar. The owners aim to ensure that food has a ‘home-cooked’ appeal, that’s ‘tasty, comforting, and ample’.

Business Facilities

The recently installed 5-star conferencing facilities are equipped with all the necessities, with all rooms having access to a high-speed wired Internet connection as well as Wi-Fi. There is also a wireless voice network connecting the conference hosts to the hotel’s Conferencing Coordinator, insuring that all your needs and requirements are swiftly met. There is also an external power source which prevents the projectors failing in the event of a power cut. There are three meeting rooms available, the largest being ‘Kijiji’ – (Swahili for ‘The Village’), which can host up to 60 people depending on the layout. The room can also be divided into two rooms – accommodating 20 people in Kijiji A, and 40 in Kijiji B. Laptop and video projectors are supplied, and the room is air-conditioned. The facility overlooks its own private garden – a great feature to enjoy on coffee breaks. The ‘Aquarist’ room can accommodate up to 45 people, and comes with the same facilities as Kijiji, but instead overlooks a quiet courtyard, and benefits from natural light. The ‘Manjani’ accommodates up to 16 people in a smart ‘boardroom’ type environment, which benefits from a private garden to be used during breaks.

Prices

Currently KShs 8,600 for a single economy room (KShs 11,600 for a double), and KShs 11,400 for a business room single, (KShs 13,200 for a double).

The verdict

Comfortable, intimate, and personal – a ‘home away from home’ atmosphere, away from the bustle of Nairobi city centre, and set amidst lavish gardens on Nairobi Hill. Simple yet efficient, a good choice for medium-sized events, with little distraction from surrounding city noise and congestion.

Contact:

Bishops Road, PO Box 40842, 00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: (+254 -20) 2881000.  Fax: (+254 – 20) 272 1320.
Reservations:  (+254 – 20) 2881419 book@fairviewkenya.com
Conference Reservations:  (+254 – 20) 2881509 banqueting@fairviewkenya.com.

Hotel 3: Nairobi Serena Hotel.

Rooms and leisure

There is a total of 184 guest rooms: 71 Standard Bedrooms (twin beds), 92 Standard bedrooms (queen-sized beds), five Superior rooms, six Executive Suites, five Business Suites, three Garden Suites, the Bateleur Suite and the Presidential Suite.  Rooms come with complimentary newspapers, Satellite TV, an in-room safe, mosquito nets (by request) and air-conditioning. There is also a house doctor on call 24 hours. Hotel facilities include the Maisha Spa, offering a luxurious range of Elemis treatments as well as separate ladies and gents steam room, sauna and Jacuzzis. The treatments can be personally tailored, and many of the products are made by the in-house therapy team who blend local fruits, flowers, and medicinal plants. Try the ‘Lime and Ginger Salt Glow’ to revitalise the body after a long flight, or perhaps treat yourself to the ‘Maisha Combination’ – a body wrap, scrub and massage.  There is a fully equipped modern gym, a yoga and aerobics studio, and wireless Internet connectivity around the heated pool – a juice bar provides refreshments.

Business Facilities

The state-of-the-art business centre offers global connectivity, business needs support, and even travel advice. It can supply office equipment, plan all your events, and is adept at all aspects of commercial presentation. All secretarial work can be provided as a service, as well as word processing and photocopying, printing and document presentation. Internet, email and fax facilities with conference and event management are also available. There is a travel desk and courier service within the hotel, and the team is capable of setting up any audio/visual equipment – being on hand at all times should you need assistance. The hotel can also arrange for your company ‘high-achievers’ to be treated to trips to the coast, hot-air balloon rides, and safaris – a very attractive incentive package.

Price

Business suites are currently priced at USD700 per night. Standard bedrooms are at USD385, and there is no difference in price between a midweek stay and a weekend.

The verdict

As a member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’, the emphasis here is definitely on a stay that promises efficiency in service as well as total luxury through its excellent spa, pool and gym facilities.  A good choice for guests who need a bit more pampering at the end of a long conference; the views are spectacular towards Nairobi, and the decor is elegant and ecologically responsible in its construction.

Contact: 

Kenyatta Avenue,P.O. Box 46302, 00100,Nairobi,Kenya
Telephone: (+254 – 20) 282 2000 Fax: (+254 – 20) 272 5184
serenahotels.com/kenya/nairobi.

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