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“Nice Oasis in the City” 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 #15 of 111 Hotels in Nairobi
Westmount, Canada
Top Contributor
186 reviews 186 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Nice Oasis in the City”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

The highlight is the setting; with gardens, greenery, swimming, and a nice gated escape from the busy streets. My room was clean and fine, but nothing special. I had an air conditioner, but check that your room will have one when you reserve (apparently not all rooms have AC). Breakfast was a very good buffet. The fitness centre was quite good too. It also seems to have a nice bar + restaurant (although I did not visit/use them). I would certainly consider staying there again which is often the best compliment. Liked the free wifi.

Room Tip: Make sure your reserved room will have air conditioning (because not all do - yet)
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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419 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 (86)
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Sandbach, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

Arrived at the Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel after a very exciting drive through busy Nairobi at 5pm on a Friday Night - an amazing (though nerving) experience.

Check-in was effortless and we were led to and shown around our room.

The room was very pleasant, nice view of the gardens, we laid out, air-conditioned, great bathroom, TV, ceiling fan and just what we wanted after 6 long days on safari.

We dined in the adjoining spur restaurant which is just a basic American diner. There is another buffet restaurant available if you wish.

The hotel has a great deal of history it also used to be a university campus until it was recently renovated and turned back into a hotel. The internal grounds are superb with some stunning flora and fauna. It has lots of extra facilities, business lounge, two pools, gift shop etc…

Breakfast is by the pool and I’ve never seen such an amazing choice of food to choose from. Everything for the modern palate. Everyone was very nice and friendly.

A great little find and we’d happily stay there again.

Room Tip: Room facing into one of the inner courtyards might be preferred. better views and may be a litle qui...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

I stayed here for 2 nights. The first night was great no issues..Good breakfast and very large variety of items.I was to check out on sunday morning to catch an international flight. Had my breakfast which is served till 11am on weekends went back to my room and into the shower. This is when the problems started.
In the middle of the shower and with wet hair the water stopped running. I called reception who said they would contact housekeeping and get back to me in 5 minutes. Waited over 10 minutes and called again. Still the same promise..will call me back in 5 minutes. All in all after 40 minutes no response. I was then told the manager would speak to me. Again had to ring reception 3 times before finally getting to speak to the manager who assured me the problem would be solved in 6 minutes. I explained that I had been waiting for over 45 minutes and had an international flight to catch. He came to my room and saw the problem for himself.He was very casual about it..so I explained to him that I could not travel on an international flight wtihout a shower or shave...and probably smelly ...I was NOT offered another room where I could use the shower etc. I had no option but to start packing as otherwise i would miss my flight and incur penalties. ...all in all NOT a good experience and when one is paying the kind of prices charged one expects better service and responses from management. Will never stay here again for sure.

Room Tip: Dont stay here if you like good service etc.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

We stayed here for just three days prior to a safari. It definately has a transit hotel feel to it. It's very pretty to look at, the grounds are nice and the rooms a good size and faacilities all there.

The rooms are single glazed and we were unfortunate to be on the main pathway (315), we didn't realise the impact until about 5am on the first day when I thought people were in the room due to the noise. It's so loud it's very difficult to sleep beyond 5am - this was a real down side.

There are two swimming pools, the one at the restaurant is more for decoration but there is a pool at the back for swimming and lounging but the water is way too cold to be comfortable.

We used the beauty salon for mani and pedis and this was good. We also used the hotel casino, it's just the other side of the car park. It was good fun and very cheap so made a nice night out.

Finally, we found the reception staff pretty unhelpful. One evening we asked them for a restaurant recommendation. After looking blankly at us for a few minutes she rang the attached fast food restuarant to see if they knew anywhere! Really you don't have a book of recommendations?? This was typical of the service on reception we found.

Room Tip: Avoid anything on the path!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

Given Nairobi's shortage of reasonably rate comfortable rooms, I would rate this hotel as 'fair'. Small but clean, quiet and comfortable rooms. Pool is small and the water cold. Food was great and reasonably priced.

Room Tip: I like the garden facing rooms.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Amersham
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
44 helpful votes 44 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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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:
#8 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#10 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#12 Romantic 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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