My wife and I are on our way to Rwanda and decide to stay 2 overnights in Nairobi. We were a bit concerned about "Nair-roberry" and wondered about finding a safe, old world charm hotel for our day stay. We arrived late at night and check in was carried out by wonderful smiling staff. We were a bit surprised that they were so happy. Our room was great. Good modern air conditioning, a large Sony TV monitor with a good range of cable TV so we could watch some TV and get a sense of what Kenya and Nairobi is all about, and plenty of UK power sockets for us to recharge all our batteries we will need in our safari in a few days, but the internet could have been a bit faster. Later the next day we wanted to go to a day trip to do a "game drive" in the Nairobi National Park as we were itching to see the animals !
We chose their in-house taxi and found the driver, Solomon, to be extremely courteous and he did everything with a deep hearted smile. We asked him all sorts of questions ; about the animals, politics and general life in Nairobi. He was well versed with all these topics and made our trip very informative.
Later, we had a late lunch at the hotel restaurant downstairs. Again, all the staff were very courteous. It reminded us of the staff at the Savoy in London who are just as courteous - not the typical american establishment who are courteous because they are expecting a fat tip. The staff here are courtious because it comes from somewhere deep inside and not from a clever training program.
This hotel is the real deal. Its the Savoy of Nairobi.
We realised that whatever this hotel has, it needs to be exported to many other hotels. Later we received our laundry which is a same day service - useful for us as we are leaving first thing in the morning. We were surprised that three of my underpants were missing. We called their Laundry department. The lady who answered said "I'm sorry - I will be there right away" and hung up. I thought - what happened ?. Why did she hang up on me ? Then right away there was a ring on the door and the lady was up with our missing laundry and was very apologetic. I was happy but also surprised again by the quick attention that my three missing under pants received. Anywhere else and I would be having an argument about my missing items. Here, they quickly focused on the problem and solved it.
I cannot comment about breakfast as we slept in recovering from jet lag, but lunch and dinner were superb. Regarding dinner we went to their Thai restaurant. We had no idea this is a 5 star restaurant and you need a reservation, but were happy for us to come in with our jeans and sleeveless tops. We were made welcomed and a low table (Japanese style - a bit odd) was made available for us. The restaurant staff were delightful, full of smiles and joyful infectious happiness. They employ two Thai chefs and their chicken satay sticks were made exactly as they should be made - a great creamy peanut sauce with small bits of peanuts over thinly slices chicken on small skewers. If a restaurant can make good chicken satay sticks, then they have nailed it in my opinion.
Now a quick one on Nairobi. Yes, there are issues - in the morning we heard gun shots as robbers tried to rob a place and we understood were gunned down by the police. We though it was an isolated incident but in talking to the staff here we understand that its more of a regular thing. Well, this old world charm hotel makes you feel very safe with their security screening all cars and people before they get into the hotel so its as good as it gets.
After we had dinner we were planning to go to our room to get packed for tomorrows early morning trip to Rwanda but we took a side stop at their old world bar just because its old charm was irresistible, We spoke to Beatrice the manager there and she was extremely focused on hearing both our positive and negatives views of the hotel ; the negatives so she could do something about it and improve. Well Beatrice, we cannot find anything but praise for your hotel. One of their staff at the Thai restaurant asked us to mention them on Tripadvisor. Normally we are not that interested in doing this as its an effort/ I'm lazy, but after all the good service with a deep smile, my wife and I cannot help ourselves in giving a detailed review of our experiences. I cannot speak about the other hotels in the area, but you won't be disappointed with this place at all.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kenya’s first luxury hotel, Sarova Stanley opened its elegant doors in 1902. Since then, it has been making history- hosting royal safaris and legendary personalities such as Edward Prince of Wales and Ernest Hemingway. Today, as the hotel enters its second century, it continues to maintain its unique heritage and provides state-of-the-art services and facilities for business and leisure travelers. All guestrooms are a blend of luxurious Victorian grandeur and modern comfort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi
- Sarova Stanley Nairobi