I would have found the Boulevard Hotel in Nairobi a great hotel anyway, with large grounds, a lovely garden, a restaurant onsite, luxurious surroundings, and comfortable rooms, but after weeks of backpacking and camping throughout Africa, it was sheer heaven! I'm not exactly an outdoors person anyway, and although I DID love the adventure of camping, and knew it was the easiest way to see Africa, I wasn't able for camping, and although I upgraded when I could, the upgrades were often almost as basic as the tents. So after arriving at the Boulevard Hotel in Nairobi, it was like luxury to me. The hotel seemed even more clean and comfortable after weeks of roughing it in a canvas tent, but it was a good hotel anyway, with great rooms- I'd booked a room for one person, and couldn't believe the space I had, plus each room had a fan, a hairdryer, and a kettle for making tea!- and lovely gardens. I couldn't believe the size of the gardens, but what ruined it for me was that there was a huge big billboard on the street outside, just onfront of the hotel, that had that part of the garden in shadow, and ruined the view from that side. Not the hotel's fault, obviously, but it's something to be aware of. That said,I couldn't fault the gardens- especially loved the little bird house, and the flower archways, and it was nice having the swimming pool out the front, and the gardens around the other side. All in all the impression was of lots of space everywhere.
On the first day I arrived, I didn't get there til the afternoon, and I was having a group meal with the others that night, so I didn't eat in the hotel then. But the next day I had both lunch and dinner, and I found those meals very nice, and the staff friendly and helpful. I felt the staff were so obliging, and really went out of their way for me- Tony especially, at the front desk, chatted to me for ages on the day I arrived, and when I told him I had one full day in Nairobi and wanted to see quite a lot of things then, he said he'd take me out himself, for the day, in his own taxi. Tony was as good as his word, and did indeed take me out for the day, and although he had to go off and do another job halfway through, he got his colleague, Harrison, to take over, and made sure I was looked after before he left. Harrison was as obliging as Tony was, and it was so good having the one taxi and being left from place to place, not having to try and hail a cab when leaving every place, and not knowing the driver!
It was also Tony who suggested that I ask the restaurant could they prepare an early breakfast for me, on the day I was flying to the airport, as I had a very early start. It was so good having the breakfast ready for me so early, but it was also a cause for complaint. I took the milk that I assumed was there waiting for me, as it was on the table, poured it onto my cereal and took a good mouthful, only to discover the milk was sour. It was pretty sickening, as you can imagine, but when I told the waiter in charge- whose name I didn't know- he wasn't very helpful or apologetic, and didn't seem to realise how bad it was. He just shrugged, 'Oh it won't do you any harm!' and I said politely but firmly that that wasn't the point, that it makes you feel sick when you swallow sour milk, and he shouldn't have left it out if it was gone off. THat was the only service that I thought hadn't been very good, but all the other reception people and taxi drivers were so good at their job, and so friendly and helpful, especially Tony, who really went out of his way for me.
The only other minor things I have to say is that at that early breakfast, the hotel lights flickered off for a few seconds, and the room was in darkness. And one evening when I was in the shower, the light in the shower flickered off, and although the bathroom light was still on, and the shower light came back later, you'd wonder was the hotel having problems with the electrics, and did this happen on a regular basis? They also seemed to have problems with the mosquitos in this hotel- on my first night I woke up feeling I was literally being eaten alive, and there were mosquitos buzzing all around me. I sprayed some of my repellent on myself and it got easier after that, but you wouldn't expect hotels like that to have so many mosquitos, and to have no nets!
Those points are about the only negative things I have to say about Hotel Boulevard- everything else was excellent, especially the helpful and friendly staff. The people writing bad reviews must have had a very different experience to what I had, and I'm sorry to hear their experience wasn't so pleasant. I was glad I had that real luxury hotel experience after all those nights of camping, and before I went back home!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sentrim Boulevard is located at the end of Nairobi’s Harry Thuku Road, an oasis of peace and quite with beautiful manicured gardens and lawns. There are 70 rooms in 2 stories. The main guest area consists of the reception, lounge area, Restaurant and bar. The Mezzanine floor has the conference facilities. There is a swimming pool and tennis court for your relaxation and enjoyment. For meetings, conferences and family gatherings facilities are readily available. ... more less
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