I travel extensively for work and have done so for the past 15 years. Hence I've seen "hundreds" of hotels in many different locations. Admittedly I tend to stay in the chain hotels such as IC, Hilton or Marriott, mainly to limit the research effort and since I should know what to expect (although that is clearly a hit and miss between the member hotels...)
I' d never heard of Sankara before and it was booked through one of our foreign offices. I assumed it'd be part of an Asian chain or what have you.
OK. They messed up the pick-up from the airport. But that was really the only let down during our stay.From then on it was stella performance all around.
The standard is second to none (alright except perhaps for some of the high-high end and select Dubai hotels). The only structural thing I reacted to was the fact that the ceiling was pretty low. I'm not even 5 10 and I could reach the ceiling with my hand.
Food selection for both lunch and dinner very good. I had breakfast in my room so cannot judge the breakfast buffet. What I got was delicious.
The gym is of a high hotel standard, too.
So the "bare" necessities are all covered from a pretty spoiled business travellers point of view.
What really makes the hotel outstanding though is the staff (and I presume management, I couldn't always tell who is who). I don't ever think I've been to a hotel where every single person was this friendly, from the maid through to the front desk management. Highly professional at all times, but still with a good sense of humour, approachable and always trying to help and make your stay better. I believe I had a similar experience once in the Conrad Bali, but nothing else comes to mind right now.
I don't get to go to Kenya very often. So now I'm only disappointed Sankara is not a worldwide chain after all....