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“Capitalising on zeitgeist”

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Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi
Ranked #10 of 169 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 3, 2008

The holiday Inn Nairobi does not sound terribly exotic or interesting, perhaps another of those bland, forgettable little inns where one spends the night in transit to someplace else.

However, the hotel is one of those truly rare gems: a place of considerable charm and worthy of a visit for its own sake. It is an old "heritage?" hotel of low buildings reminescent of an old colonial style hospital or extended guest house, set in lush and extensive gardens.

The gardens features massive, mature trees, carefully nurtured lawns, and beds of shrubs and colourful plants. Two swimming pools and brick walkways give the impression of a country estate, rather than an urban hotel.

The theme is carried on by the buildings themselves, with airy corridors, dark wood panelling, tiled floors, pastel walls, and those red-brick coloured tiles on the roofs and walkways. The layout, with open corridors linking buildings, reminds me of old colonial style schools and government buildings when land was still plentiful and cheap.

The rooms are nothing special, and have fans only, but they're modern and clean, and feature corniches, and parquet floors.

It's easy to forget that just outside this little haven is the noise and bustle of Nairobi city and that it's the 21st century, rather than colonial post-war Africa, when people in their woolen coats and discussed cricket scores over scones and tea.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Leeyuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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811 - 817 of 951 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2008

We have stayed in this hotel two nights (before and after our safari to masai mara). Location is about 20 km away from the airport & Surroundings were residential. The hotel is near to a shopping mall (Sarit Center). Rooms were clean and spacious. Hotel staff were friendly and helpfull.
The disadvantages were not many food outlets nearby (except in the shopping mall) and does not have any activities for kids .
In overall value for money and recommend for any one seeking a peaceful night in Nairobi.

Stayed: December 2007
2  Thank NJeeva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2007

I stayed in the Holiday Inn, Nairobi for 2 nights prior to my safari on 17 and 18 October 2007. This hotel isn't very far away from the airport but with rush-hour traffic, it took about 1hr 30 to travel approx 20 kms. The hotel is well equipped with a small pool, a pool restaurant/dining area + an american styled diner which I loved!

Nothing was ever too much trouble for the staff from laundry to porterage. I had to exchange sterling travellers cheques into US dollars as a lot of places request payment in US dollars. I asked the security guards on the door about exchanging money into dollars (as the reception doesn't exchange sterling into dollars.) I was told that the Sarit Centre which was a 10 minute walk had exchange centres and that it was safe to walk to it. Being a single,white female with blonde hair it was a little bit disconcerting as there are a lot of men sitting about. I greeted everyone with a "Jambo" and a smile and walked on. I had no dificulty exchanging money and walked back to the hotel with no problems. I would have no qualms about staying at the Holiday Inn again.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled solo
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2  Thank heddey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2007

There are some very good points about this hotel. The setting is attractive. It is near shops and restaurants. Staff is competent. Swimming pool(s) are large and clear -- excellent for lap swimming. But overall, it was not a brilliant experience. When Iarrived in my non-smoking room, the wastebasket had not been emptied, and there was a cigarette pack and some butts in the wastebasket. The windows were wide open, which I didn't think much about, since the weather outside was pleasant. However, it must have been to air out the smoky room. That night, the room was FULL of mosquitos. There was spray in the room, which did have some effect, but a net or incense coil would have been much better. Or keeping the windows closed or screened. The small room also lacked a clock, an iron, and enough hangers. Laundry was expensive, though reliable. Mine might have been bad luck, but one sleepless night was enough to scar the three day visit.

Stayed: November 2007
2  Thank Xamb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2007

For $170, I was really expecting more.

The hotel grounds are MUCH nicer than any U.S. Holiday Inn, but the rooms themselves are run down and motel-ish. We stayed here as a stop-over for one night, and then stayed at the Fairview for one night as we left the country...the Fairview is $10 more and WORLDS better.

Stayed: September 2007
2  Thank MaloneV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2007

My boyfriend and I spent three nights on the way back from Tanzania. The room was fine but the atmosphere was not our bag. It seemed predominantly a business and tour bookings hotel.
Neither of the restaurants were much chop -- I really wasn't after a tex-mex, American Indian themed dinner in the middle of Nairobi (nor piped elavator music for that matter).
That said, the staff were great and grounds quite lush... there was nothing really terrible about the hotel and when booking I did find it really difficult to locate alternative, more boutiquey accomodation in central Nairobi without spending a fortune. (We ate dinner at the Palacina restaurant one night and the food/ atmosphere/ live jazz band were superb -- no idea about the rooms though.)

Stayed: October 2007
1  Thank littlefly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2007

We visited this hotel 3 times during a recent visit to Kenya. Rooms were clean and comfortable and service very good. The steakhouse serve good tex-mex food for the hungry traveller.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Beckyjo100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi

Address: Cnr. Parklands Road & Msapo Close, Parklands, Nairobi 00800, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Casino Hotel in Nairobi
#2 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#8 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#10 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#14 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range: $196 - $305 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi 4*
Number of rooms: 171
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Southern Sun Mayfair Is One Of Nairobi's Best Known Landmarks That First Enjoyed Its Heyday In 1940's Colonial Kenya. It Has Been Extensively Refurbished To Provide Modern Facilities, Yet Retains The Understated Charm And Elegance Of Yesteryear. The Hotel Is Situated Close To The City Centre And Only 20km From Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. We Welcome Guests To Experience The Traditional Warmth And Hospitality For Which Both Kenya And Southern Sun Are Renowned. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi Hotel Nairobi
Holiday Inn Nairobi
Nairobi Holiday Inn

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