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“Good place to stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi

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Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Cnr. Parklands Road & Msapo Close, Parklands | PO Box 66807, Nairobi 00800, Kenya   |  
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Ranked #19 of 106 Hotels in Nairobi
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
“Good place to stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2008

This hotel existed in the Westlands area of Nairobi for several years before becoming part of the Holiday Inn chain. The rooms reflect the blandness of an American middle-class chain, but in an African city, this can be seen as refreshingly comfortable to Western tourists. Not all rooms come with air-conditioning, make sure you ask for it when you make your reservation. Reservation, check-in, check-out and a few small requests during our stay were handled promptly and courteously.

An upsurge in tourists in the last 4-5 years has dramatically increased the rates to more than $200 per double. This is consistent with most comfortable tourist hotels in Nairobi. If you're a business traveler planning to be in Nairobi for several nights, check out some other cheaper options such as Country Lodge. Otherwise, this is a fairly good location for a tourist hotel. It is close to the Triangle, where a jumble of shacks will sell you all the wood, stone, glass souvenirs Kenya has to offer, and Sarit Center, a mall with a food court, supermarkets, and some interesting shops, including the Banana Company, which sells handicrafts made by local artisans and women's groups.

The grounds are well-maintained, and the two swimming pools are maintained daily. But during the dry seasons, the grounds can take on a characteristically Kenyan look that is just slightly dilapidated, thanks to the lack of lush, green vegetation.

Like all hotels, breakfast is included, and is quite good, with a large variety. Fruit juices appeared to be fresh, and change with availability of the fruit. The compulsory egg and crepe stations will make your eggs to order, and delicious crepes and pancakes. The attached restaurant has an American Western and native American theme - but the food is so-so. Better to go out to the Westlands shopping centres and try the restaurants there - e.g., Tamambo, Open House (Indian), etc. Chowpatty serves pure vegetarian Indian food.

Walking around the hotel and in Westlands is generally safe, though you should avoid unlit areas at night, and if possible, be in a group.

  • Liked — Location, comfort
  • Disliked — price
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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384 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
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English first
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2008

we arrived into Nairobi on the evening flight from Kilimanjaro ,so when we arrived security was very tight and we were very glad to get to the hotel .
next morning we were delighted to see the ground lovely gardens and two pools and a small gym ,the breakfast was very good alot of chioce .
we never left the hotel due to the situation,after the election so we hung around the hotel for the day ,there are three shops to take a look at and we found all the staff to be friendly and helpful.we celebrated the new year and the evening buffet was also very good ,lovely atmosphere.if we ever returned to Nairobi we would stay at the holiday inn again

  • Liked — food and location
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
76 hotel reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
170 helpful votes 170 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2008

The holiday Inn Nairobi does not sound terribly exotic or interesting, perhaps another of those bland, forgettable little inns where one spends the night in transit to someplace else.

However, the hotel is one of those truly rare gems: a place of considerable charm and worthy of a visit for its own sake. It is an old "heritage?" hotel of low buildings reminescent of an old colonial style hospital or extended guest house, set in lush and extensive gardens.

The gardens features massive, mature trees, carefully nurtured lawns, and beds of shrubs and colourful plants. Two swimming pools and brick walkways give the impression of a country estate, rather than an urban hotel.

The theme is carried on by the buildings themselves, with airy corridors, dark wood panelling, tiled floors, pastel walls, and those red-brick coloured tiles on the roofs and walkways. The layout, with open corridors linking buildings, reminds me of old colonial style schools and government buildings when land was still plentiful and cheap.

The rooms are nothing special, and have fans only, but they're modern and clean, and feature corniches, and parquet floors.

It's easy to forget that just outside this little haven is the noise and bustle of Nairobi city and that it's the 21st century, rather than colonial post-war Africa, when people in their woolen coats and discussed cricket scores over scones and tea.

  • Liked — colonial style atmosphere and charm, gardens
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2008

We have stayed in this hotel two nights (before and after our safari to masai mara). Location is about 20 km away from the airport & Surroundings were residential. The hotel is near to a shopping mall (Sarit Center). Rooms were clean and spacious. Hotel staff were friendly and helpfull.
The disadvantages were not many food outlets nearby (except in the shopping mall) and does not have any activities for kids .
In overall value for money and recommend for any one seeking a peaceful night in Nairobi.

Stayed December 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Antrim, NI
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2007

I stayed in the Holiday Inn, Nairobi for 2 nights prior to my safari on 17 and 18 October 2007. This hotel isn't very far away from the airport but with rush-hour traffic, it took about 1hr 30 to travel approx 20 kms. The hotel is well equipped with a small pool, a pool restaurant/dining area + an american styled diner which I loved!

Nothing was ever too much trouble for the staff from laundry to porterage. I had to exchange sterling travellers cheques into US dollars as a lot of places request payment in US dollars. I asked the security guards on the door about exchanging money into dollars (as the reception doesn't exchange sterling into dollars.) I was told that the Sarit Centre which was a 10 minute walk had exchange centres and that it was safe to walk to it. Being a single,white female with blonde hair it was a little bit disconcerting as there are a lot of men sitting about. I greeted everyone with a "Jambo" and a smile and walked on. I had no dificulty exchanging money and walked back to the hotel with no problems. I would have no qualms about staying at the Holiday Inn again.

  • Liked — Rustic style, pool and american diner
  • Disliked — Nothing really
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
120 hotel reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
125 helpful votes 125 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2007

There are some very good points about this hotel. The setting is attractive. It is near shops and restaurants. Staff is competent. Swimming pool(s) are large and clear -- excellent for lap swimming. But overall, it was not a brilliant experience. When Iarrived in my non-smoking room, the wastebasket had not been emptied, and there was a cigarette pack and some butts in the wastebasket. The windows were wide open, which I didn't think much about, since the weather outside was pleasant. However, it must have been to air out the smoky room. That night, the room was FULL of mosquitos. There was spray in the room, which did have some effect, but a net or incense coil would have been much better. Or keeping the windows closed or screened. The small room also lacked a clock, an iron, and enough hangers. Laundry was expensive, though reliable. Mine might have been bad luck, but one sleepless night was enough to scar the three day visit.

Stayed November 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2007

For $170, I was really expecting more.

The hotel grounds are MUCH nicer than any U.S. Holiday Inn, but the rooms themselves are run down and motel-ish. We stayed here as a stop-over for one night, and then stayed at the Fairview for one night as we left the country...the Fairview is $10 more and WORLDS better.

Stayed September 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi

Address: Cnr. Parklands Road & Msapo Close, Parklands | PO Box 66807, Nairobi 00800, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#13 Business Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi 3.5*
Number of rooms: 171
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SOUTHERN SUN MAYFAIR IS ONE OF NAIROBI'S BEST KNOWN LANDMARKS THAT FIRST ENJOYED ITS HEYDAY IN 1940'S COLONIAL KENYA. IT HAS BEEN EXTENSIVELY REFURBISHED TO PROVIDE MODERN FACILITIES, YET RETAINS THE UNDERSTATED CHARM AND ELEGANCE OF YESTERYEAR. THE HOTEL IS SITUATED CLOSE TO THE CITY CENTRE AND ONLY 20KM FROM JOMO KENYATTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. WE WELCOME GUESTS TO EXPERIENCE THE TRADITIONAL WARMTH AND HOSPITALITY FOR WHICH BOTH KENYA AND SOUTHERN SUN ARE RENOWNED. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi Hotel Nairobi
Holiday Inn Nairobi
Nairobi Holiday Inn

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