I stayed here with 3 of my friend and our two teachers as we were connecting to Kisumu for a school exchange project and needed a room for the night. I have backpacked and camped and stayed in many countries and can do 'no frills' no bother - I'm 17, I'm not out for luxury. However, this really was pushing the limits.
We arrived at the airport and our driver, John, was really a highlight of our short stay. He was brilliant, very informative, even stopped at some local sights the next day en route to the air port for us.
Arrived at the hotel and were jostled going in by the large crowd - people looking for money/food etc, a matatu station right there, and people going through at all hours! On first impressions, it was not good. What looked like scorching around the lights in the ceiling, damp on some of the panels and cracks in the walls. The place really just looked very out date and run down. The porter was friendly and showed us to our rooms, he was really very good albeit a bit pervy!
The corridors did nothing to improve the impression, dirty, smelt stale and were generally just in a state of disrepair. Were originally shown to the wrong rooms and it took nearly half an hour to sort out 3 rooms!
Our room was big enough, but needed a good clean. Light switches and plugs were aged and scorched, my friend plugged in her camera charger and it started to spark, so that was the last time we touched the electrics if we didn't need to! Turned on the shower to get soaked, didn't work apart from spraying a jet of water onto the floor, was not usable. Bathroom itself was filthy, with the floor mat from the last guest still crumpled up on the floor!
The windows were all surrounded by mould and the paint peeling. The 'balcony' was nothing more than a tiny box, with what looked like bare wires hanging over it from above!! We didn't venture out of the door for fear of it collapsing!
However, we could've ignored all these points, it was only for one night, if only we could have slept. But the noise made that impossible!! There was a dance going on somewhere in the hotel, and we might as well have been there the music was that loud. There was no air conditioning in the room, but some sort of machinery was humming away...sorry, thumping away all night!! The people on the street, I understand it is not the hotel's fault, were extremely loud, horns and shouting all night! The noise was so loud from everything that the walls and floor of the hotel was vibrating! In the end, I think I finally fell asleep around 3 from sheer exhaustion of a 8 hour long haul flight.
Trying to find the breakfast room was like looking in a maze! At one point, we went down a set of stairs we presumed to be right, and got shouted at by a member of staff in Swahili! Eventually, all the English we got was "don't dare come down here, you are not allowed!". Really rude staff aside from the porter, driver and some of the guards. Breakfast in the morning was a selection of lukewarm juice that was watered down, some dodgy looking sausages on a bain marie and some hard bakery items. In the end, I think I had one slightly softer croissant and bought a bottle of water, enough to take my malaria tablet! I waited 20 minutes for a pot of tea that came out warm at best, and tasting strongly of chemicals.
Check out was not the quickest in the world, but again, our driver really did make the stay.
For anyone staying here, I'd avoid it unless you really don't mind not sleeping well and the filth of the hotel. It's a shame as it was obviously quite grand in past times and with a bit of TLC and training, it could be again.
- Also Known As:
- Ambassadeur Hotel Nairobi
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