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“A great example of Kenyan hospitality.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi

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Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi
Ranked #10 of 156 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Austria
Level Contributor
155 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“A great example of Kenyan hospitality.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

I've been a frequent guest at the Mayfair for a number of years now. In that time, it's hardly changed - which can only be a good thing. For high end Nairobi, this is great accommodation more so for its tranquil gardens in what is often a very hectic city. The hotel is not downtown which is a huge point in its favor. It's close to Westlands shopping district as well as a number of NGO and UN offices in the north and west of the city. It's always spotless and the staff are a great example of how well the Kenyan hospitality industry works. Ask for a room in one of the newer wings. Rooms in the old wing are a little small and a tad too close to the restaurant. Two lovely pools for a swim at the end of the day.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lily W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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718 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 (127)
Date | Rating
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

The two best parts about the Southern Sun Mayfair hotel are the beautiful grounds and the friendly staff. Though this was my first stay in Nairobi, my colleagues who had visited before were warmly welcomed back and remembered by name. Staff often went out of their way to help us - a room service staffer checked with the chef for me to help me navigate the menu with my dietary restrictions (celiac disease) and a security guard rushed to help us carry conference materials to our room when he saw us struggling with the weight. Our conference facilities ended up being quite nice, and meals by the pool were agreeable. The fitness center was totally reasonable.
On the downside, you can have a variety of different experiences with the room that is given to you. Different parts of the hotel have different types of rooms and character, and I happened to end up in a room with very poor internet and very loud frogs outside. I literally wore my airplane ear plugs to bed; they were that loud. The other negative was that despite booking in advance, our group was bumped to a smaller conference room than we'd requested because another, larger group also wanted to hold an event at the hotel this week. The smaller rooms were much too small for our group and not nearly as nice as the larger rooms, so we ended up having to spend half the week in the nice, large room and the other half of the week at another hotel. Considering how we are regular and loyal clients of the hotel, that whole affair was a bit of a disappointment.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms overlooking the courtyard with the fountain, where the frogs begin their chorus at night...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Meghan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

I stayed here at a client's recommendation for several days in August 2013. The hotel grounds are expansive, with an excellent breakfast buffet, swimming pools, lounges, business center, etc. The rooms were acceptable, with comfortable beds and black-out curtains (which were much appreciated considering how I arrived in Nairobi after 1am). Upon my arrival, I received a card inviting me to a cocktail reception put on by the head of guest services. This was a very pleasant experience, and I spent several hours getting to know people from all over the world, many of whom were in Nairobi for vacation while others were there, as I was, for business. Overall a great hotel that I will happily stay at again on my next trip to Kenya.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BBuotS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

Stayed here as part of a package for a Kenyan Safari. Classical old place with a nice pool/bar area to relax in. Had adjoining rooms to accommodated kids which went well. Close to a great little craft market but not a whole lot else really.
I understand their rates might be a bit expensive though so stayed at alternative accommodation downtown at end of safari.

Room Tip: We had a ground floor room which presented no problems.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
131 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

We stayed in this hotel a couple of times during our trip to Kenya – having booked with Kuoni we didn’t pay the price that was on the board behind the reception. If we had I think our review would be slightly less positive. I want to give this hotel good - between average and very good.

General look of the hotel, grounds and pools ( not including rooms) - 8/10
We had 2 days when we had tours either early or late in the day so we spend a couple of hours by the pool in the wonderful gardens of the hotel.

Breakfast buffet ( included in our rate) – 9/10
Best pancakes we have tasted this side of Paris! – Wide choice of everything

Staff - reception/restaurant – 8/10
Everyone is correct, friendly and willing to help. Lots of security around the hotel.

Oasis restaurant food – 9/10
The buffet was a good choice for about 21euro per person – good selection and tasty. Rather dubious looking women sitting at the bar opposite the restaurant. The entrance of the sports club is through the restaurant - a sweaty body comes by once in a while.

Rooms (based on 3 different ones) – 3/10
The rooms are nearly all noisy. We experienced 3. The least noisy was the room by the 2nd pool, or the side room upstairs (but with a view of the laundry entrance) – the worst room was by the frog pond – not because of the noise of the frogs – but the path which runs next to it from the restaurant to the reception. This is a very busy pathway – so not only noise from people walking and talking but also the load noise of suitcases with wheels from about 5 in the morning.
The décor is depressing – rather 70’s motel style.
Otherwise all rooms where very clean, tv worked, coffee and tea available in the room.

Free wifi – 10/10
It was described by Kuoni as a family hotel but it’s not – the main bulk of the customers are middle management business people from all over the world but mainly India and Africa. This does mean thought that the wifi was really good – everywhere in the hotel. Even by the 2nd pool.

We would recommend this hotel for those looking for a short stop over before going on Safari if you can get it a 4 star hotel rate but I definitely don’t think its worth the - I think I saw - 300 dollar per night rate.

Do consider though that if you need to get to the airport in the morning or afternoon - the traffic is horrendous due to the building of numerous new roads. This will take about 2 years to complete. From about 4 in the afternoon the whole city is gridlocked - it may take about 2 hours to get to the airport.

Room Tip: Sorry but nearly all rooms are noisy - avoid rooms on the street side, frog pool and near the restau...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GLJDavies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zanzibar
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

Southern Sun Mayfair a very nice beaitiful and a quiet place in parklands area.Rooms are very cozy and the gardens are just amazing with many Indineuos trees and Plants.
Breakfsat is more than enough for one to start the day for all you have to do in nairobi.Staff friendly and ample security outside and inside the hotel public areas.
Food is very good and all is prepared for you a la minute.Prompt service and a good management team.Thank you for the stay.Just watch out for the frog Choir at night.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SumaKiwengwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

This hotel wasn't too bad. The staff were very polite but there was one thing that stuck with me. When the staff person showed me to my room he stood at the door with a blank stare. There was a long moment of awkwardness before a dug through my pockets to try to find him a tip. The food was just ok and the check-out process was painless. The hotel also hooked us up with a safari at a reasonable price.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Allen S
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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