This was our first trip to Nairobi and we didn't know what to expect. The taxi ride from the airport through dark streets, crazy 'round-abouts' and the all-night party in front of the hotel left us wondering what we had got ourselves into. But once we walked through the metal detector into the Stanley, we found ourselves in another world. Here we were greeted by smiles, warm wash cloths and cool juice before we even registered. The Stanley belongs to another age and proundly displays it with its fine old architecture (strictly Queen Victorian) and excellent service. One example: the security guard on our floor (the hotel is filled with them) remembered who we were and kindly re-directed us to our room when we got lost upon returning from dinner. Many of these "old" hotels display good service in the lobby, but not in the remainder of the hotel. But in the Stanley it is always service with a smile from the bartender to the locker-room attendant.
After seeing the loud street party outside the hotel I asked for my usual quiet room and to my surprise I actually got one. We were at the hotel for Friday and Saturday nights, but never heard a peep from outside of our room. Next to the great service, the best thing about the Stanley is its architecture - which I would describe as "there will always be an England." Right down to the original overhead fans in the bar this place reeks of history and a more sensible time, when travel was for the refined.
Wanting to rest up from our jet lag before embarking on safari, we never left the Stanley for 1/1/2 days. We found all our meals to be quite good. The morning buffet, served in a delightful setting adjacent to a busy Nairobi street, was particularly good with a wide selection of foods and again great service. Dinner was on the terrace overlooking the pool and turned out to be very enjoyable.
I recommend a swim in the pool, if for no other reason that to experience the old world charm of the locker rooms. My wife had a massage at the spa which she found very restful and inexpensive by western standards. I hit the exercise room - well equipped - with an attendant who made sure I knew how to operate the equipment, something one hardly ever experiences in the US.
All in all a very restful stay at a grand old dame. I would highly recommend this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kenya’s first luxury hotel, Sarova Stanley opened its elegant doors in 1902. Since then, it has been making history- hosting royal safaris and legendary personalities such as Edward Prince of Wales and Ernest Hemingway. Today, as the hotel enters its second century, it continues to maintain its unique heritage and provides state-of-the-art services and facilities for business and leisure travelers. All guestrooms are a blend of luxurious Victorian grandeur and modern comfort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi
- Sarova Stanley Nairobi