Arriving for the first time in Nairobi can be a shock. After a tiring eight hour, overnight flight from London all one wants to do is get to a comfortable, air-conditioned hotel. So sitting in traffic chaos for nearly an hour as one inches away from the international airport in suffocating heat can temper one's enthusiasm.
Even when our cab arrived we had one more delay, which was an airport style security check in meaning that off, again, came the belt, watch and out with the laptop. At last I was checked in.
My room was just what I had hoped for. Up on the sixth floor it was spacious, had lots of storage, a big, soft comfortable king-sized bed and both a deep bath and a large shower. I was told that if I wanted to I could even use the executive breakfast room, although quite why I should only want to watch executives eat breakfast whilst their mobile phones trill every 20 seconds I cannot imagine. The breakfast room downstairs serves a very fine buffet breakfast and seemed entirely executive free which was great as far as I was concerned.
So far all very, very good. So it must be time for a couple of quibbles and, indeed it is. First off, there is a splendid bar up on the roof where one can sit and chill near a pool and where cocktails, champagnes and a huge selection of wines and spirits are available. It is chic and expensive, but my colleague thought that we deserved a few gin and tonics in order to unwind after our long trip.
When it came time to settle our bill we found that we had been served doubles so that our three gin and tonics each weighed in at around £75 ex service, which had a sobering effect on our otherwise delightful hour up on the roof. I would have liked to have been asked if I had wanted singles or doubles and should have been.
Secondly the buffet dinner is as poor as the breakfast is excellent. Stone cold plates, luke warm roasts and sorry, stone cold vegetables make dinner a meal that one would not wish to repeat. There is, mercifully, an entire room devoted to a sumptuous dessert selection which is as delicious as the starters and main courses are poor.
The Sankara should be an undisputed five star hotel. Its staff are all helpful and friendly and the accommodation is first class even if the location feels a bit on the fringe of city life. But the feeling that I had been overcharged deliberately and a cold meal means that I can only give it four.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sankara Nairobi combines international five-star standards with personal service and the authentic flavour of the new Africa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sankara Nairobi Hotel Nairobi