Although the exterior of the Stanley isn't much to look at, the interior is richly beautiful in an old-world style. Original carved woodwork and other touches give the hotel a historic feel but with all the modern amenities. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. I stayed on the third floor and used the stairs to come and go, and I was typically greeted by as many as 5 staff people on my way to or from my room. Every staff person I interacted with could speak English well.
My room was very nice, with a desk, a sitting area with the TV, and the bedroom. Channel options were limited--several news channels, some sports channels, and little else. Everything in the room worked fine, and the wi-fi signal was strong, although the speed of the connection was quite slow--good enough for emails, but not fast enough to stream a movie. My "view" was of a building just a few feet away, so I kept my drapes drawn throughout my stay. The bathroom was nicely appointed and included a 115 volt outlet that I used to charge my phone without the need for a special adapter.
The breakfast buffet was an enormous spread of meats and hot side dishes, baked goods, cereals, fresh fruits and juices, and a few African specialities each morning. There was also chef making omelets to order. My only complaint involved the coffee. Kenya produces some of the finest coffees in the world, yet a luxury hotel, such as the Stanley, serves Nescafe. Worse, when your cup is empty, it remains empty, until you flag down and server and ask for a refill.
I had one dinner meal in the hotel, at the Pool Deck Restaurant, which provides open-air dining. The meal and service were very good.
The fitness facilities were compact, but adequate, and the gym also has a sauna and steam room. The pool is on a roof terrace, and it was well maintained and provided some limited seating for relaxing.
The hotel is located in a busy part of downtown, only a few, walkable blocks to the Kenyatta International Conference Center. However, because of the location, the hotel does require that you pass through a metal detector, and hotel staff give a quick look in any bags you carry in to the lobby. After a few trips in and out, the staff recognized me and gave me a very cursory "inspection."
I needed to use the Business Center while at the hotel, to print out handouts for a presentation (the airline temporarily lost the bag containing the copies I brought with me). The staff person printed 75 copies without previewing them, and the edges of my document were cut off. When I complained, she offered to print 50 more properly sized to fit on the page, at half price, which I accepted at the time. After some thought, I went down to the desk and said I'd be happy to pay full price for the 50 correctly printed copies, but didn't see the point in paying anything for the unusable 75 copies. When I checked out, the entire print order had been comped, which was a generous resolution on the part of the Stanley.
For future trips to Nairobi, I will definitely come back to the Stanley.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kenya’s first luxury hotel, Sarova Stanley opened its elegant doors in 1902. Since then, it has been making history- hosting royal safaris and legendary personalities such as Edward Prince of Wales and Ernest Hemingway. Today, as the hotel enters its second century, it continues to maintain its unique heritage and provides state-of-the-art services and facilities for business and leisure travelers. All guestrooms are a blend of luxurious Victorian grandeur and modern comfort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi
- Sarova Stanley Nairobi