Hotel check: Tribe Hotel

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What’s it like?

As a member of the exclusive Design Hotels group, it comes as no surprise that this hotel is cool, clever, and connected. This is the place to see and be seen among Nairobi’s big wigs, diplomats, and business folk. Fountains trickle away at the entrance, leading guests into the reception area hopping with techno music and onto a large glass wall of windows overlooking the pool and waterfall. The hip atrium is awash with designer chairs, modern artwork from across the continent, and smiling staffers. Many guests emerge refreshed after a treatment in the surprisingly large Kaya Spa and fitness center, which often stays booked up with local appointments. Those looking to release tension can let loose in the gym’s boxing room.

Where is it?

Perhaps one of the property’s best features is its location away from the frenetic downtown area. Traffic is lighter around the hotel, which sits in the diplomatic district near the U.S., Canadian, Belgian, Austrian, and Malaysian embassies. Also close is the U.N. Headquarters (the third largest in the world) and the Village Market shopping center, one of Nairobi’s most popular shopping malls. Both the hotel and the mall are within a gated security area, since they are under the same ownership, which makes them popular with expats.

Room Facilities

The hotel has 137 rooms and suites, each decked out in polished hardwood floors, natural stone surfaces, and handmade mahogany furnishings. Flat-screen TVs, high-tech phones, DVD players, full-length mirrors, safes, free wireless high-speed Internet, and mini-bars stocked with complimentary drinks and snacks are appreciated. Beds are wrapped in 300-thread count linens, plump duvets, and stacks of both firm and soft pillows. Separated by a frosted glass wall, the baths are among the city’s most impressive, with rainfall showerheads, large towels and eco-friendly toiletries, hairdryers, and bottled water. In combination with the hotel’s green footprint, air conditioning and electricity are controlled by key slots at the door to save energy. Windows open for fresh air, and views are either of the lush pool area and restaurant or the front entrance and gardens. Five junior suites, a Penthouse suite, and the Presidential suite are the cream of the crop.

Restaurants & Bars

This hotel is most famous for JIKO, the gourmet eatery that has everyone clamoring for a reservation. The Italian chef places an emphasis on using local ingredients and produce for his fusion menu of Swahili and European flavors. Most notable here are the homemade pasta dishes and seared steaks. Breakfast and lunch are also served at JIKO, either buffet style or a la carte. Many guests choose to dine by the pool as they listen to the crashing waterfall and mingle with guests or colleagues. Those with a penchant for something truly unique can opt for a meal at the granite table submerged in the swimming pool. The fourth floor shisha bar is especially popular with locals, thanks to a great pool view and funky music.

Business & Meeting Facilities

Boardrooms feature the latest in audiovisual technology, and functions or receptions can be held around the pool. A business center offers Internet-equipped computers, work stations, and printers. VIPs can make a grand entrance arriving via the hotel’s own helipad.

Verdict

This boutique-style hotel has made a big impact on Nairobi, and Tribe steps it up multiple notches to appeal to a design-savvy crowd. Once guests step into this impressive compound, one could mistake it for Cape Town-chic.

Contact

Address: The Village Market, Limuru Rd, Gigiri, +254 20 720 0000, tribe-hotel.com

Ramsey Qubein