Although currently undergoing significant renovations, our stay at the Panafric was relatively undisturbed by the construction work as they are closing off entire sections while the refurbishment takes place. The previously mentioned gift shop isn't there at the moment, but i suspect will return after work has completed.
As to our stay, as we were there 3 separate times within a 3 week duration as "stop-overs" between other events on our schedule. We stayed in both the old and the new refurbished rooms at various times.
The new rooms are very nicely redone, very elegant and cleanly put together with an extremely comfortable bed & relatively decent cable on a new flat-screen television. They include a mini-bar as well as a room safe too, Room wise my only issue was extremely minor, and that was that with the shower design it was entirely too easy to flood the bathroom floor, even when being careful while taking a shower. If anything this is just a minor "heads up" that you could get the floor wet, and the new tiling is extremely slippery when wet.
The non-refurbished rooms are almost as nice, with still very comfortable bedding. There is nothing negative to note about these rooms except that although others have complained about the level of noise that comes in from the street when staying at rooms with a balcony, i was barely able to notice the noise as both the double glazed glass door and the double layered curtains made short work of the street traffic, at least in the rooms we stayed in. At this point i will note that the only refurbished room we stayed in wasn't facing the street, so i am in no position to evaluate how the new rooms with a balcony would handle street noise.
Staff-wise we had only minor concerns on one of the three times we stayed there, with one of the staff members insisting on carrying our bags for us (despite having loaded ourselves up to carry them up ourselves) and then getting caught up elsewhere and only coming up with our bags after we called reception. This was quite likely just a once off.
The one thing that continually happened though, is issues with staff efficiency when checking in and checking out. When we checked in, one staff member would handle the booking and then refer us to the cashier to make payment. The cashier would then process the payment, and each time this happened, somehow calls had to be made to another office for a few details and the floor manager had to get involved to make sure everything was processed smoothly. Each time checking in went from what should have been a maximum of a 10 minute process (including confirming reservations, copying passports payment and me filling out forms with my details), to something which my wife referred to as "an event" which had everything over-complicated compared to what it should have been. Staff training, independence and responsibility in reception is something that needs a little polish for smoother operation in future.
Otherwise i cannot fault the staff at all, everyone from the doorman and security through to the waitstaff and managers were extremely friendly and helpful at all times. I would recommend staying here, but just be a little patient during check-in, it may take a little longer than you expect.
The in-house restaurant has superb food which was of extremely good quality, and was also quite good value, my personal favourite was the pork belly with apple sauce, absolutely divine at 1000ksh a serve.
The business centre was also well equipped with modern computers and a decent internet connection as well as a colour printer. at 10ksh/minute and 50ksh per page printed it was great value as well.
As to room cost, it is a little steep for what you get, with the minimum room cost when we tried making a booking in person being $220US per night. It was a little more than anticipated, but did include a full and extremely tasty buffet breakfast, so we were able to ensure we had full bellies when we walked out the door each morning.
Just remember that although the refurbishments are going on, i noticed minimal interference with the day to day running of the hotel, and at the rate the work is being done (7 days a week) i would guess that a full refit should be completed within very short order.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Idyllically located 5 minutes drive from the CBD and 18 Kms from Jomo Kenyatta Internationa Airport, amidst beautifully landscaped gardens in a quiet suburb of Nairobi, Sarova Panafric offers 164 rooms in a range of standard, superior, club and suites- all recently refurbished and decorated in a contemporary vibrant African style. Named in honor of the Pan African movement, Sarova Panafric was inaugurated by the first president of Kenya H.E. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta on the 5th January 1965 and truly represents Neo Africa. Enjoy leisurely meals at the lively and warm Flame tree restaurant, once the watering hole for freedom fighters, spies and foreign correspondents and named after the Flame Tree that holds pride of place in the gardens. Sarova Panafric offers state of the art banqueting and conferencing facilities with a range of meeting and function rooms equipped with the latest audio visual and WIFI equipment. To wind up the day, take a dip in the pool or go for a leisurely massage – or simply enjoy a cool drink to the soothing sounds of Africa’s rhythm Sarova Panafric is also located a short 0.5 Kms from Kenya's Landmark 'Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC)' , an events venue in Africa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sarova Panafric Hotel Nairobi
- Sarova Panafric Nairobi
- Panafric Hotel Nairobi