This hotel existed in the Westlands area of Nairobi for several years before becoming part of the Holiday Inn chain. The rooms reflect the blandness of an American middle-class chain, but in an African city, this can be seen as refreshingly comfortable to Western tourists. Not all rooms come with air-conditioning, make sure you ask for it when you make your reservation. Reservation, check-in, check-out and a few small requests during our stay were handled promptly and courteously.
An upsurge in tourists in the last 4-5 years has dramatically increased the rates to more than $200 per double. This is consistent with most comfortable tourist hotels in Nairobi. If you're a business traveler planning to be in Nairobi for several nights, check out some other cheaper options such as Country Lodge. Otherwise, this is a fairly good location for a tourist hotel. It is close to the Triangle, where a jumble of shacks will sell you all the wood, stone, glass souvenirs Kenya has to offer, and Sarit Center, a mall with a food court, supermarkets, and some interesting shops, including the Banana Company, which sells handicrafts made by local artisans and women's groups.
The grounds are well-maintained, and the two swimming pools are maintained daily. But during the dry seasons, the grounds can take on a characteristically Kenyan look that is just slightly dilapidated, thanks to the lack of lush, green vegetation.
Like all hotels, breakfast is included, and is quite good, with a large variety. Fruit juices appeared to be fresh, and change with availability of the fruit. The compulsory egg and crepe stations will make your eggs to order, and delicious crepes and pancakes. The attached restaurant has an American Western and native American theme - but the food is so-so. Better to go out to the Westlands shopping centres and try the restaurants there - e.g., Tamambo, Open House (Indian), etc. Chowpatty serves pure vegetarian Indian food.
Walking around the hotel and in Westlands is generally safe, though you should avoid unlit areas at night, and if possible, be in a group.
- 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