The Sankara Nairobi, along with The Tribe, is part of a new breed of 5-star properties looking to take advantage of the increased interest in the Kenyan capital as a business travel and central diplomatic destination. It opened in November 2010.
Where is it?
The hotel is in the suburb of Westlands, which is five kilometres from the city centre. However, be warned, if you plan to commute between the hotel and the CBD, traffic is a problem and that five kilometre trip can take up to an hour. The Sankara Nairobi is 20 kilometres from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, but again, allow extra time for traffic, as road works on the main road can result in that trip taking a couple of hours.
What’s it Like?
It’s 5-star, chic, luxurious, comfortable, clean, sparkling, secure (with security guards on each floor), and with some nice touches that befit a 5-star establishment.
There are 156 rooms, made up of Superior Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Junior Suites, Executive Suites and Club Rooms. I was accommodated in a Club Room. All rooms are equipped with king-size beds, flat-screen TV, with surround sound and a plug-and-play panel that allows for connection of other devices. The hotel provides a fair selection of satellite channels (movies, news channels etc) and a nice touch is the personalised welcome message that greets you, on-screen, when you first enter.
The Club Rooms are 32-34 square metres and comfortable in size and features, which include standard offerings, such as mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities (I would have preferred fresh milk in the fridge, instead of Cremora), along with a nicely-designed work desk, sideboard and a big window looking out onto Westlands. There is also complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. The bathrooms are equipped with separate shower (rain shower) and bath, toiletries (including disposable razor and shaving cream), telephone, TV speakers, and separate shaving mirror. There were a couple of nice touches, in the form of the fruit basket delivered to my room on the first night and the pillow menu next to the bed, which allows you to order exactly what kind of pillow you prefer.
Available to guests booking Club Rooms and Suites is the Club Lounge, where the following is available: complimentary pressing of two items, personal butler service, early arrival and late checkout, spa discounts, newspapers, gaming console, mobile phone recharging station, gourmet breakfasts, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and evening canapés, and access to two state-of-the-art eight-seater boardrooms. The Angsana Spa wouldn’t be done justice in just a few lines. Suffice to say that it offers a range of treatments – including the signature Rain Mist and Coffee Delight treatments – in a luxurious setting. There’s also a rooftop lap pool and fully-equipped gym with steam room and sauna, secure parking, airport pick-up and in-house boutique.
The hotel has 250 square metres of multi-functional space, on the first floor, catering for small and large events, with the standard state-of-the-art technology and audio-visual support. There are no standard packages, as the Sankara Nairobi prefers to tailor conference offerings to each client.
Restaurants & Bars
There are four dining options. Artisan offers global cuisine between 06h00 and 23h00, with an outside terrace. Muhibbah serves up South East Asian cuisine and is open between 12h00 and 23h00. The Gallery is the hotel’s delicatessen and wine bar and recently picked up the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for 2011. I, though, opted for the Sarabi Pool and Supper Club on the roof, for dinner, and wasn’t disappointed, with lovely views of Nairobi and an enjoyable Tapas-style meal.
A stunning edition to the Nairobi hotel scene and one that is sure to give the more established brands a real run for their money. It’s 5-star luxury, with incredibly attentive service, along with the kind of attention to detail that will set it apart from other establishments.
Address: Woodvale Grove, Westlands, +254 20 420 8000, sankara.com