Without question, the best feature of the Jacaranda is the location -- smack dab in the middle of Westlands and the many malls, restaurants, shops, and nightlife. The pace here is different than the chaos of centre city Nairobi -- still bustling, but the heartland for expats ands middle/upper-class Kenyans enjoying the creature comforts that you would find in most western countries. This convenience is a huge advantage for staying there (indeed, the back gate of the hotel grounds behind the restaurant opens directly to the Sarit Centre mall).
Construction was going on during my last stay there, and there were minor inconveniences associated with this -- hopefully the changes will be completed soon and will add to the hotel experience. There is a nice pool (unheated - something that those unfamiliar with Nairobi may be surprised to find out can often matter), a very nice fitness centre, and a pleasant central courtyard.
The rooms themselves are somewhat average -- medium sized, bathrooms that need to be updated, small twin beds in the double rooms, and reasonably comfortable seating.
The breakfast buffet is quiet extensive and tasty - but the restaurant's dinner choices are more limited and a bit pricier than they should be. But if you're in Westlands, there are so many great choices in the neighbourhood, there is no need to eat anything other than breakfast at your hotel. (I'd probably avoid the hotel's own "Pizza Garden" - the pizza and burgers weren't bad, but we found the other items we ordered pretty below average).
When we were there, WiFi access was available for more than $20 USD a day -- ouch! No excuse for not including it in the room rate.
The small, fairly standard hotel gift shop actually had some surprisingly great, reasonably priced handcrafted souvenir choices -- stuff you won't normally see at such a hotel shop. Nice.
If you're looking for a place to base yourself for a few nights in Westlands during a Nairobi stopover, this is probably your best choice. The ample opportunities for great food, great shopping and great nightlife more than make up for any downsides.
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- Also Known As:
- Jacaranda Hotel Nairobi