Situated on the edge of downtown Nairobi, not far from the much grander Norkfolk Hote, the Boulevard is a slightly run-down and faded place but reasonably clean and tidy. The tacky African tribal/safari decor in the corridors adds to its charm. There's a helpful tour desk, internet access, handy shop for everyday groceries and a surprisingly good (by Kenyan standards) restaurant. Breakfast is also not bad at all with superb English sausages, great fruit salad and delicious Kenyan coffee, my only complaint being that the food is generally cold to lukewarm. Perhaps it would be an idea for the chef to put the lids on the hot food trays on those cold Nairobi mornings ?
Bedrooms are cramped with awful looking 70's furniture, the bathroom toiletries never seemed to be replaced and like all hotels in Africa there aren't any coat hangers. The TV didn't work but at least the fridge did.
The hotel is located in beautiful gardens next to a river, which you can hear but not see due to a high hedge. These gardens are lovely for morning and evening strolls, they are also completely safe due to good security and fencing. The pool is pretty good too, although being unheated its a bit chilly early in the morning.
Staff were friendly if a little incompetent. Our room key card, like everyone elses, was invalidated during breakfast EVERY morning. The hotel told us our stay was for 2 nights when in fact we had been booked in for 3 nights. Ordering food or drinks was a little challenge as often the order bore little resemblance to what was asked. Example: ordering a sparkling mineral water with a slice of lemon resulted in getting a bottle of Sprite ! As has been said above, nobody ever replaced the toiletries, all I had was a sad half-empty bottle of hotel conditioner sitting on my bathroom shelf for 3 days.
So far so good, but why only 3/5 ? The NOISE ! We had the misfortune to be on the side of the hotel next to the main road and boy was it noisy. The rooms aren't the slightest bit soundproofed and the constant noise from one of Nairobi's busiest roads goes on 24/7. Even at 3am on a Monday morning the traffic was roaring past, I used to live next to a main road and am used to coping with traffic noise but this was something else, it felt like I was sleeping in the central reservation ! In 3 nights I never got more than a snatch of sleep.
Other people commented on prostitution at the hotel - absolutel rubbish, the only people here are Western tourists and the occasional local and very respectable Kenyan coming for a meal or drink. No disco either, just a bar in the grounds with a bit of music, it was normally way too quiet to keep it open later than 10pm.
All in all a safe and relaxing place to start an African safari, just a shame they can't make the road-facing rooms quieter.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sentrim Boulevard is located at the end of Nairobi’s Harry Thuku Road, an oasis of peace and quite with beautiful manicured gardens and lawns. There are 70 rooms in 2 stories. The main guest area consists of the reception, lounge area, Restaurant and bar. The Mezzanine floor has the conference facilities. There is a swimming pool and tennis court for your relaxation and enjoyment. For meetings, conferences and family gatherings facilities are readily available. ... more less
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