The Fairview has been a family-run hotel since 1946, but the Szlapak family now has new partners. 2012 saw South African hotel group City Lodge acquire a 50% stake in Fairview Hotel Limited, which owns and operates the Fairview and the adjacent 84-room Country Lodge, which is set to be rebranded as a Town Lodge – City Lodge’s 2-star brand.
Where is it?
In Upper Hill, just five minutes’ drive from the city centre. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is approximately 20 minutes’ away, but the Nairobi traffic is notorious, so leave plenty of time for your airport trip or any meetings in the city. Along with Westlands, Upper Hill is one of the newer hotel ‘hotspots’, with a Crowne Plaza already in place and a Radisson Blu set to open there in 2014.
The hotel has 120 rooms and I was accommodated in a ‘Business Class’ double room that looked onto the gardens and was in close proximity to the pool. The leafy surroundings are definitely a strength of the hotel, lending itself to a more relaxed, country getaway-type feel. Personally, I prefer carpeted hotel rooms, but the cooler uncarpeted flooring at the Fairivew I’m sure comes in handy in summer. On that note, no air-con in my room, but apparently that is one of the changes mooted for the near future. I liked the big work desk, with plenty of space, whilst also allowing for a view of the gardens. Also big was the bathroom, with two basins and stand-alone bath and shower, whilst the firm bed was also to my liking. Interestingly, the room came with a trouser press, which is not something you see often, but is really handy, along with an iron and ironing board, for those crumpled shirts! Otherwise, the room featured fairly standard facilities, in the form of TV with selected satellite channels, tea/coffee, electronic safe, clothes hanging space, coffee table and mini-lounge suite.
Restaurants And Bars
There are three main dining areas: Pango is the hotel’s fine dining restaurant; Mukutan serves all-day snacks and drinks in the gardens; and Pwani offers the poolside dining, which is what I went for. I opted for the chicken mango for dinner and it arrived sizzling on a hot slab, with battered pieces of chicken on a bed of stir fry vegetables, consisting of carrots, green beans, onions and mushrooms, and accompanied by a bowl of rice. It was nothing short of delicious and was washed down with one of the local brews, Tusker Lager. Breakfast the next morning took place in the Atrium, and there I sampled an excellent version of eggs florentine, along with great coffee and orange juice. My only complaint – I’m not a fan of those small juice glasses you find in many hotels. A great option for pre-dinner drinks is the hotel’s wine cellar, and worth asking for if there is a group of you.
Business And Meeting Facilities
The Fairview has six air-conditioned conference rooms, including a boardroom. They are all fairly intimate, with the largest catering for up to 60 delegates. The conferencing equipment includes projection screens, high-end flip charts and white boards, both wired high-speed Internet and complimentary Wi-Fi (throughout), wireless voice network, and there’s energy back-up in the form of a UPS. The hotel also has a business centre and First Class lounge.
There’s a gym with cardio-vascular machines and weights, along with the swimming pool already mentioned, which is long enough to do a few lengths, should that be your thing. There’s also an onsite shop with curios and basics.
A more homely feel than you’ll get at most internationally-branded hotels. Not much in the way of frills, but instead, old fashioned hoteling, with great food, beautiful surrounds and comfortable accommodation, together with the requisite mod-con, in the form of an efficient Wi-Fi system. Big tick.
Address: Bishop Road, Nairobi
Tel: +254 20 271 1321