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“An OK Hotel with great potential to be so much better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi

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Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Cnr. Parklands Road & Msapo Close, Parklands | PO Box 66807, Nairobi 00800, Kenya   |  
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10% OFF DINNER AT OASIS
Ranked #21 of 96 hotels in Nairobi
Amersham
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
“An OK Hotel with great potential to be so much better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

I travel a great deal with my work and have the pleasure (?) to stay in many hotels - mainly for business purposes.

Plusses/Minuses:
The hotel has a good location and is generally quiet, although if you take a room adjacent to the fish pond beware - at night the noise from the 'frog chorus' is deafening! We were there for 5/6 nights and one of my colleagues was placed in a room overlooking the delivery bay (room 130) and was woken by delivery vans at 4:30 complete with whistling drivers. When they had finished it was time for the bin men to clear away the hotel's trash.

Poolside restaurant: good breakfast, good buffet at night - lots of choice for both carnivores and vegetarians. The BBQ beef is superb. However, charging KS: 600 for a piece of crumbly, old, and tasting like it's been sitting in a fridge for a few days Coffee and Walnut Cake is simply outrageous.

Wi-fi: I was without wifi for 3 days in my room (room 261). Everywhere else had it. To make personal Skype calls home I don't want to sit in reception! It seemed to take an eternity to fix.

Rooms are in need of investment and re-furbishment as they feel old and tired. The fabric/furniture quality here in comparison with other hotel properties of a similar rating isn't as good or stylish.

Staff are very friendly and warm, I was always greeted with a smile and a hello/Jambo wherever I went. Some of the staff have a propensity to say 'yes' to a guest request and then fail to deliver, we encountered this a few times. The bar staff in the restaurant need some training to spot customers sitting at a table and wanting service, we had to remind them several times that we existed. On one occasion despite there being 4 waiters hanging around the bar we had to collect our own drinks which had been sitting there for several minutes - completely ignored by the staff who were chatting!

With some basic improvements in decor and some service tweaks this hotel would warrant a 4 or 5 rating.

Room Tip: Stay clear of the pond area rooms and rooms 129/130/132 as they are directly over the delivery drive...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (64)
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Hobart
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

According to the printed hotel blurb in the rooms, the hotel has gone through a few lives since originally opening in the 1940's and for a while operating as a private university.

The note from the GM on arrival acknowledges that the rooms are undergoing refurbishment and whilst they are clean and comfortable there is still work to be done. Nairobi was cool at night so aircon was not an issue and everything worked well.

The staff, from arrival through security, reception, room service, the poolside bar and restaurant, business lounge and business centre are friendly and efficient.

Security in Nairobi is a big issue, this hotel is located in the Parklands suburb just to the west of the CBD and offers a nice garden environment surrounded by secure perimeter walls and fences. There is a large shopping centre just 5 minutes walk away which appeared to be a quite safe walk during daylight. At night, taxis are cheap and plentiful.

Nairobi hotels are quite expensive for accommodation, but I was quite surprised at the very reasonable costs of food and beverage. My room rate included breakfast that consisted of a very wide choice, beautifully cooked and served in a friendly manner.

I had no problems with free wi-fi and the staff offered an additional voucher for my iphone.

The really nice part of this experience is the garden setting in the middle of a chaotic, traffic congested city.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

while the grounds and buildings are absolutely beautiful and a great introduction to Nairobi if its your first time, the rooms and the business services are lacking-including the internet connectivity and this has been the case the past few times I have stayed there.
It is one of the few kid friendly hotels in Nairobi that is still within walking distance to malls, they have great food and the staff is very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

My wife and I spent one night at this hotel at the beginning of our honeymoon. We were looking for a good nights rest before a safari trip but ended up not sleeping much at all. The hotel grounds were beautiful and the staff were very kind.

We were shown to our room and that's where the disappointment started. The room looked pretty beat up and in need of some TLC. It had a pretty bad smell as if a quick coat of paint had been applied to a heavily smoked-in room. My wife immediately asked me to go exchange the room but I made the mistake not to pursue it, we were exhausted from our travels and just wanted to sleep. Looking back, I should have asked for a different room, I'm sure they would have helped us out. My wife was able to fall asleep while I prepared the luggage for the next day. While she slept, I encountered a nasty white worm(?) crawling up the wall. If she would have seen it, that would have been the end of our stay there. I didn't mention the worm until we left but I told her that I did take care of it so it wouldn't follow us in our travels.

Other than the room experience, the hotel had great service at the restaurants and the food was good as well. If they can clean the rooms up this would be a very nice hotel.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

Stayed here 1 night before and 1 after safari. It is a lovely hotel, friendly staff and good breakfast. I wished we had booked our last 3 nights here too. There are 2 pools to chose from, one being very quiet and one by the restaurant. I highly recommend.....

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

My wife an I stayed here for 3 nights. When we arrived the reception staff were happy and helpful - right from the entrance to checkin - most accommodating. We were given a lovely room on the first floor with a private balcony. It is a very relaxing and peacful place, well laid out and has most immaculate lush gardens and fish ponds tastefully designed as you walk around the grounds. Both pools were clean and inviting. All the staff were interested in our stay and very keen to assist with advising and arranging site seeing tours. The room was large, clean and really comfortable - no problems whatsoever. The restaurant has a great selection for both breakfast and dinner and the pastry chef and egg chef were efficient and amazing - really nice food. Although there seemed to be a lot of local business conventions, meetings etc taking place we felt we were treated as privileged guests and did not feel isolated by the general 'hum' as people moved about. They have a small but crammed gift shop that has great staff and 'good value' items - I bought a couple of nice shirts that I saw no where else in my travels. We felt safe and comfortable here - it was one of the best choice hotels we booked on the strength of Trip Advisor and friends recommendations and I can recommend this Hotel with confidence.

Room Tip: Ask reception what room facilities you want
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

A good business hotel in the sense that you have the quiet space to work and the facilities to hold meetings within the hotel. A decent level of privacy if its necessary for your work. I had issues with internet connectivity throughout my stay, which is bad for business.

I found the service at the Oasis rather slow and the hotel grounds are rather expansive making room service even slower. Service at the Spur restaurant was much faster and the quality of food much better than Oasis, even though neither are memorable.

Room Tip: Choose a room towards the front of the hotel, they seem better furnished or recently refirbished. Av...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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:
#10 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#14 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#14 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi 4*
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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