Lodging in Nairobi

Feb 15th, 2007, 06:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Lodging in Nairobi

At the risk of sounding like a nervous Nellie. . . What hotel(s) in Nairobi are generally considered safest (arrivals and departures, area, drive to and from airport and sights, etc...)? We will be arriving by plane around 8 pm and I am feeling a little nervous about getting from the airport to our hotel after dark. We will have a representative from our safari co. meeting us there and transporting us. We have not finalized where we will be staying (2 nights before safari and 1 night after) but are considering Serena, Stanley, Panafric... I've read that Serena is not in the best area. I have also read that it's not a good idea to be out and about after dark. What types of security measures do these hotels implement? Anyone have thoughts, suggestions, advice? Thanks in advance.
catherineb is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 07:11 AM
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From the outset you should understand that my comments are from an Africans perspective as I am a native of the continent.

My first choice of hotel in the Stanley. I like its location as it is downtown and in the hub of all the actvitity that makes Nairobii so charming.

I am not a fan of both the Serena and the Norfolk for precicely this reason. Both seem to be located in areas that are in a way santized from the actiovity of the city center.

Safety: I know from past experience with the staff at the Stanley that Sarova hotels is active in the community assisting with funding the police and providing assistance to community nuisances and threats to the public. They are involved in a street urchin "upliftment" program, which effectively targets the orphaned, glue sniffing youth, moving them off the streets into training and development centers elswhere.

Having said that all, the choices of hotel that you have elected should all be crime free, clean and of acceptable standards for the price they charge.

Don't wander the city at night on your own.
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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Most visitors arrive at night, met at the airport and drive to their hotels. After your long flights, all you'll be interested in will be your bed/pillows. No need to be out at dark in this city, or many others. Next you'll see will be daylight in the morning, and you'll be fine. Assuming you commence your safari this morning, so you'll be out of Nairobi. If spending the day touring, you'll be with your guide and will be fine.

The Serena is probably the most expensive, then the Stanley, the Panafric the least costly.

You may want to consider the Intercontinental, which checks all vehicles entering their property, the undercarriage, trunks/boots; a security guard on all floors. It's a full-service hotel with good restaurants, shops, business center, spa.
Feb 15th, 2007, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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You might also consider the Fairview Hotel. A friend who used to live in Nairobi and travels there often (importer) highly recommends it. That's where I'm staying in June.
ShayTay is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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I like the Stanley and the Norfolk.
dssxxxx is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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We enjoyed the Fairview but it comes with an issue. It is across the street from the Israeli embassy.

Consequently the street probably has the higest security in Nairobi....armed soldiers, obstacles etc. So if security makes you feel safe it is a good bet. If security makes you nervous, I would stay somewhere else.

We stayed there for several days after an accident put us into hospital. We loved the facility as it has a nice pool garden etc. and is out of the core.
john2003 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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The only bugs I ever saw in my rooms on a 3-week safari into the bush of Kenya & Tanzania were at the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi...imagine that!
LionQueen is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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I had to laugh, LionQueen! The very first night I ever spent in Africa was at the Norfolk. I woke up at about 2am with a mosquito buzzing in my ear. I jumped up and raced for the insect repellent! You're right...that's about the only bug I found on the whole trip.
ShayTay is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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Not only laugh, but a rarity, as Nairobi is at 5,000-ft, and very unusual for mossies to be found at this altitude. Reason those living here do not take malaria meds.
Feb 15th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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I also didn't have any problems with bugs in Tanzania but, oh boy, did I ever get chomped on by some invisible little ba$tard$ in Karen.
These things literaly sent me running to my room from the outdoor cafe at the Karen Blixen cottages.
Remember it like it was yesterday - still have some marks.
cybor is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 09:48 PM
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The Norfolk has been taken over by Fairmont hotels, and their rates have shot through the roof. The Serena like the Intercontinental checks all cars coming in. Despite the Fairview being near the Israeli Embassy, the security there is very tight. It is a great hotel, and has excellent food choices.

The Serena and The Norfolk are not typical city hotels. They have great gardens, and outdoor areas. The Intercnt., has a concrete area around the pool, and no gardens at all. Bit too sterile for me.

I live in Nairobi, and my choices would be 1. Serena, 2. Fairview, 3. Norfolk.

I would not walk the sreets after 6:00pm.
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 11:12 PM
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i stayed one night in the stanley (before departure for arusha) and one night in the serena (between tanzania and kenya safari part) last year... i basically loved them both...the stanley is old charm, but along with that the rooms are somewhat darker and of course, the furniture is old... but it still has this charming feeling i thought. My husband then again prefered the serena, more modern, fantastic dinner buffets and as already mentioned some outdoor green space, with a very clean swimmingpool, a jacuzzi (inside) and sauna. But for both goes, you'll probably not be wandering outside the hotel on your own. Just see nairobi as a transfer hub
janischa28 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 03:14 PM
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How about the Mayfair Holiday Inn? How does it compare?
simbakubwa is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 08:30 PM
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Mayfair Holiday Inn is a smaller hotel. 3 star. Nice gardens, very little food choice, and not all the rooms are air conditioned. Also the bathrooms are very small.
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 04:28 AM
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Catherine, Iím kind of a nervous Nellie myself but I have no problem at all arriving in Nairobi around 8 PM without anyone meeting me. I just take a taxi and go to the hotel and itís perfectly safe. I also feel safe walking in the city centre at daytime- among the hotels mentioned by you the Stanley has the best location for doing this. Sometimes I walk after dark as well, but then I donít feel safe at all. Also, there are lots of perfectly adequate hotels that are significantly less expensive than the ones mentioned in this thread.
Nyamera is offline  

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