After a long flight it’s nice to know that you’re heading to a brilliant hotel after you land, so when we booked our flights to Nairobi to kick off a week of safari recently, we went on the lookout for a hotel that was going to make us forget all about the 9 hour flight. We ended up at Hemingways Nairobi, and it couldn’t have been a better place to start our trip to Kenya. 

Hemingways Nairobi is located a little bit west of the city, so it’s a bit further from the airport than staying downtown. As we were driving on Lake Naivasha the next day, this didn’t matter to us at all. The other benefit of this location is that it’s so peaceful – the old colonial style villa building of the hotel is set in beautiful gardens well away from busy roads. If you’re staying around a couple of nights, it’s also very close to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, famous for rehabilitating orphaned elephants, and the Giraffe Sanctuary.

As our flight arrived quite late, it was probably around 10pm by the time we arrived so it was even better to pull up here. Check-in was a breeze and we were taken straight to our room by our own butler (each room has one). After being shown all the room’s bells and whistles we had one thing on our mind – food. We ordered directly from our butler and relaxed with a long soak in the bathtub. 

The rooms are decked out to match the colonial style of the architecture. Ours had a huge leather travelling case that hid a TV, magically revealed at the touch of a button; a sofa and armchairs; a writing desk; and of course a big four poster bed. We also loved the walk-in wardrobes, the wooden beams on the ceilings, and the old vintage photographs on the wall. Perhaps the best bit though was the large outdoor terrace directly overlooking the gardens. 

Up early the next morning we had a swim in the outdoor pool and walked around the grounds, before settling down to breakfast at the restaurant’s outdoor courtyard. There’s a big spread of local produce, fruits, fresh juices, cereals and pastries. Then there’s also a big a la carte choice of eggs, bacon, and more – everything we needed to set us up for the day and our drive to Lake Naivasha. 

Relaxing, luxurious, and with a great location, Hemingways Nairobi is a perfect place to start or end your Kenya trip. Look out for our articles on our safari adventure in Masai Mara coming up next.

Words: Joel Porter