I travel through Africa a lot - this month alone I will be transiting through Nairobi three times. On previous trips, I'd always stay at the Ole Sereni, an excellent hotel right next door to the Eka. But this month, it was fully booked - in fact all of the hotels I had stayed with in the past were fully booked on the dates I required. So, I tried Eka - a hotel that I had never even heard of before.
The hotel itself is about 1 ½ years old, so everything feels "newish". The security entering the facility was good, the doorman was friendly, and check in was easy and painless.
The rooms are nice - rainfall showers with good pressure and plenty of hot water, big bed, large windows that open, a desk that you can actually work at, and a nice flat screen television. There is no clock, which seems weird, but I guess that's why you have a phone and/or a watch. There is a safe in the closet and a nice assortment of bathroom toiletries.
The bed is probably the firmest that I have ever slept on without being uncomfortable. I have had back issues, so I'd much rather be firm than soft, so I didn't mind at all. Some people might not like it, but it is not lumpy - it is just really firm.
Breakfast is a good buffet, with made to order eggs and omelets and bacon. There is fresh fruit, pastries, yoghurt, cereals, juices, and coffee and tea. The dining area is sufficient for the need, never needing to search out an empty table.
The hotel can get you to and from the airport, which is probably the way to go - especially when you are first coming into the country. You won't have to change money, simply look for the uniformed driver holding the Eka Hotel sign with your name, and go to the hotel. I think the cost is $20 for the ride. Not as cheap as you can get if you know what you're doing with negotiating the cost (try for 1500 kes) but it is much less energy expended!
There is a small gift shop, and another restaurant that is kind of like a Chili's (if you know US brands). The bar isn't much, but you can get a cold Tusker and whatever else you are thirsty for, just don't expect a lounge environment.
The staff is tremendous and very helpful. I have my next trip already booked to return here. So, how does it compare to its neighbors? It is not as posh as the Ole Sereni, but definitely no where near as expensive, and it's also not as expensive as the Panari, but in my opinion far, far nicer.
So what's it like? Think of a Hampton Inn, with a really great breakfast, and a full kitchen, and you probably have it! It's all I need for a transit hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Eka Hotel a Nairobi hotel is ideally located along Mombasa Road in Nairobi the capital city of Kenya. It is situated minutes away from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, 5km from Wilson Airport and 5km from the bustling central business district. If you are looking for safari hotels, Eka Hotel is within easy access to the city’s many attractions and entertainment venues which make Eka Hotel an ideal safari accommodation hotel. ... more less
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