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“Surprisingly comfortable”

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Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi
Ranked #10 of 165 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
98 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Surprisingly comfortable”
Reviewed June 28, 2008

I usually stay elsewhere when in Nairobi for business, but I was booked into the Holiday Inn by a travel agent. Surprisingly comfortable and very good breakfast. Nairobi is expensive (for decent accommodations) and the Holiday Inn has lovely grounds and was clean and convenient. I have no hesitation recommending it.

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank drdia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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897 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (144)
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English first
Washington, DC
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2008

There are some truly lovely hotels in Kenya. The Holiday Inn is not one of them. I chose the hotel because of the location. The nicer hotels, such as The Serena, are in town and so stuck in the traffic nightmare that is downtown Nairobi. The Holiday Inn is between Westlands and Parklands, so it's near many restaurants, bars, etc.

Apart from the location, the hotel was such a disappointment. The rooms are old, there was virtually no water pressure in the showers (I've had better showers in tents in the middle of the bush!), and the noise was ridiculous. The doors slam non-stop (mostly from the cleaning staff), you can hear people through the walls, etc.

Two redeeming qualities: The gym is fantastic, and the staff is very friendly and helpful.

Other than those two qualities, this hotel is definitely not worth the ridiculous price.

  • Stayed June 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ColHeightsChic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2008

Got at first a terrible room smelling from paint. Not possible to stay there, so I switched to another, bigger one, in the main building. Same thing occurred to a colleague of mine. Can't understand how they could sell those rooms?

We switched to the Intercontinental after just 1 night's stay, which was a really good choice. It was like coming to castle -- from a cottage. In fact, the rate was lower at the Intercontinental as well. Thus I have some difficulties understanding how the Holiday Inn here @ TA is higher rated than the Intercontinental.

Note that there is no AC, just a ceiling fan.

Quite nice steak restaurant attached to Holiday Inn, called Spurs? Quite some additional obvious traffic there than just food & beer.

Like the breakfast viewing the pool area. Try the delicious pancakes!

  • Liked — The breakfast pancakes
  • Disliked — Overall bad value in comparison with other alternatives -- in same price range
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank svensktiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2008

We used this hotel as a night stopover before going on safari or to the beach a few times and always find it welcoming, clean and the gardens really well looked after. There are two pools and the one at the back of the hotel is very peacefull to lounge after a long night flight or after a visit to Karen Blixen's house which we always seem to end up visiting. The food is good and breakfast plentiful and I wish we could have been there this year as we miss visiting Kenya

  • Liked — Cleanliness lovely gardens and pool area
  • Disliked — nothing really
  • Stayed February 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank havasafari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2008

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.

  • Liked — Location, comfort
  • Disliked — price
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank faura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
44 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2008

we arrived into Nairobi on the evening flight from Kilimanjaro ,so when we arrived security was very tight and we were very glad to get to the hotel .
next morning we were delighted to see the ground lovely gardens and two pools and a small gym ,the breakfast was very good alot of chioce .
we never left the hotel due to the situation,after the election so we hung around the hotel for the day ,there are three shops to take a look at and we found all the staff to be friendly and helpful.we celebrated the new year and the evening buffet was also very good ,lovely atmosphere.if we ever returned to Nairobi we would stay at the holiday inn again

  • Liked — food and location
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank rkaty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Level 6 Contributor
221 reviews
133 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — colonial style atmosphere and charm, gardens
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Leeyuk
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

Property: Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi
Address: Cnr. Parklands Road & Msapo Close, Parklands, Nairobi 00800, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
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
#4 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#8 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#10 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#14 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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