18 Great Nairobi Hotels

Nairobi Hotels: Nairobi Serena Hotel

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Having lived in Nairobi for almost a decade, I can tell you lots about Nairobi hotels.

I’ve been to each of the places on this list personally. I’ve even spent the night at quite a few of these places over the years.

I hope you find this post useful when choosing where to stay the next time you are in Nairobi. Enjoy!

Best Hotels in Nairobi #1: Fairmont The Norfolk

Nairobi Hotels: View of the Fairmont The Norfolk shot from the Garden
Fairmont The Norfolk seen from its gardens

Old-world charm near the heart of downtown Nairobi.

Fairmont the Norfolk also features beautiful gardens, award-winning culinary experiences, and a fantastic bar.

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Where to Stay in Nairobi Recommendation #2: Nairobi Serena Hotel

One of my favorite hotels in Nairobi (my experience of it spans more than 30 years), the Nairobi Serena Hotel makes me think of one word: excellence.

Beautiful charming décor meets delectable food and efficient, warm staff ready to cater to your every need.

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READ ALSO: The Ikki Twins & Palacina Restaurant

Hotels in Nairobi Recommendation #3: Sarova Stanley

Located at the heart of Nairobi’s central business district, the Sarova Stanley offers you a way to really get a feel of the pulse of Nairobi.

A historical hotel closely tied to the origins of Nairobi as a city (the hotel has existed since 1902 and was Nairobi’s first luxury hotel), the Sarova Stanley offers a lot of old-world charm but also everything you would expect from a modern-day 5-star hotel.

Despite it being so centrally located in noisy Nairobi, the silence achieved in the luxuriously decorated rooms is amazing! I had one of the best night’s sleep of my LIFE(!) at the Sarova Stanley.

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READ ALSO: Accommodation at Tamasha Joint in Karen

Hotels in Nairobi Recommendation #4: Sarova Panafric

Nairobi Hotels: Flame Tree Restaurant, Sarova Panafric
Flame Tree Restaurant, Sarova Panafric

Located right outside Nairobi’s central business district, the Sarova Panafric (which has been undergoing renovations for a seemingly long time) offers what you would expect from any standard business hotel.

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The rooms are clean and the beds comfortable. The Sarova Panafric is less expensive than the three offerings further up this list.

My favorite part of the hotel is the balcony of its Flame Tree Restaurant, which I’ve frequented often over the years, even when not staying at Panafric. They serve a mean quick business lunch!

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Hotels in Nairobi Recommendation #5: Fairview Hotel Nairobi

When I first stayed at the Fairview Hotel in the ’90s, I made a mental note never to do so again. A decade—and a beautiful renovation—later, Fairview Hotel became one of my preferred places for a workday lunch.

Beautiful gardens and several noteworthy eateries to choose from are some of the things that you can expect to find at the Fairview Hotel.

You’ll also find cozy spaces and a general feel of historic-meets-contemporary.

The one thing that bothers me at the Fairview Hotel, though, is the heightened security. The hotel is located opposite the Israeli embassy.

Nairobi Hotels: Fariview Hotel Nairobi
Fariview Hotel

Still, if terrorist attacks while travelling are something you worry about, then this could easily be one of the safest hotels in Nairobi.

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Hotels in Nairobi Recommendation #6: Swiss Lenana Mount Hotel

Swiss Lenana Mount Hotel is a mid-range hotel on the edge of a residential area. Close to the central business district. It has a good sauna.

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Best Places to Stay in Nairobi #7: Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi

Run by the South African hospitality group, Tsogo Sun, the Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi is a good hotel located near the trendy neighborhood of Westlands.

Within close proximity of two major malls and lots of chic restaurants, clubs, and bars, one of the The Mayfair’s main attractions is its location.

It’s also set on beautiful grounds with lots of greenery and has a Spur steakhouse (that serves amazing ribs) on the premises of the hotel.

That said, it’s a little expensive for what it is.

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Nairobi Hotels: Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi
The grounds at the Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi

Places to Stay Nairobi Recommendation #8: Silver Springs Hotel

Silver Springs Hotel is a 4-star hotel in the busy neighborhood of Hurlingham.

It’s located on the same street as Nairobi Hospital, one of Nairobi’s best hospitals. It has beautiful spacious renovated rooms.

The Deluxe Suites are tastefully decorated, spacious, and fitted with a jacuzzi.

Good food. Pretty decor. Great gym and spa.

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Hotel in Nairobi Recommendation #9: Jacaranda Hotel Nairobi

Nairobi Hotels: Swimming Pool at the Jacaranda Hotel, Westlands
Swimming Pool at the Jacaranda Hotel, Westlands

Located on a leafy jacaranda-tree-lined street at the heart of Westlands, one of Nairobi’s trendiest neighborhoods, Jacaranda Hotel is a 2-star basic hotel.

When I was last there, I remember feeling that it was somewhat dark. For the price and location, though, it could well be the place for you.

It’s in walking distance of malls, markets, interesting stores, services, banks, supermarkets…you name it.

And well, Westlands is known for its chic restaurants, bars and clubs. You get the drift… 🙂

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Nairobi Hotels Recommendation #10: Salmiya Place (Cheap Hotels in Nairobi)

This is a personal favorite of mine and one of my preferred places to stay in Nairobi. Why? Because it offers AMAZING value for money.

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For as low as $65, you can get a room in a luxuriously decorated apartment near Valley Arcade (a small shopping center with many eateries and some basic services).

The service at Salmiya Place, in the form of its caretaker Pauline, is outstanding!

The decor is beautiful; the beds super comfortable.

For me, the location is very prime because most things I usually want to do in Nairobi are an easy, inexpensive Uber ride away.

If you are looking for a great budget place to stay in Nairobi, I HIGHLY recommend Salmiya Place.

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READ ALSO: Kiloran House Nairobi & 4 Other Places to Stay in Nairobi for $50 or Less

Hotels Nairobi #11: Methodist Guest House & Conference Center

As its name suggests, the Methodist Guest House is a Christian facility (and therefore serves no alcohol).

When I think of the Methodist Guest House, the three words that come to mind are basic, safe, and no-frills.

If that is what you are looking for, this could be the place for you (though I think it is expensive for what it is).

Well-located at the edge of Lavington, an upscale neighborhood, the 100-room Methodist Guest House is particularly well-suited for large groups.

Pool at Methodist Guest House
Pool at the Methodist Guest House & Conference Center

Despite my description of the guest house as basic, it does have a 25-meter outdoor swimming pool and nice green grounds.

The Methodist Guest House is close to a bus stop and so is convenient if you plan to navigate Nairobi by public transportation.

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Nairobi Hotels Recommendation #12: Safari Park Hotel

Located further away from central Nairobi than any other establishment on this list, Safari Park Hotel is still worth a mention because it’s a great establishment that’s a world unto itself.

Safari Park Hotel may be the choice for you if you don’t have much business in central Nairobi or if your business happens to be close to where the hotel is located (for instance anything to do with the United States International University – Africa).

Built on 50 acres off Thika Road, Safari Park Hotel feels very much like a resort with an emphasis on “safari chic”.

Beautiful woodsy decor and animal print meet beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces complete with water features and a host of restaurants, events & conference rooms, a casino, a nightclub and more.

Safari Park Hotel
Gardens at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi

Safari Park Hotel serves good food in several restaurants offering different cuisines.

One of the highlights of the Safari Park Hotel experience is the nightly 9 p.m. stage show at the Nyama Choma Ranch restaurant.

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This is worth experiencing even if you don’t stay at the Safari Park Hotel.

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Nairobi Hotels Recommendation #13: Town Lodge Upper Hill

When I think of Town Lodge Upper Hill, the words that come to mind are compact, super-clean, neat, and efficient.

Located next to the more upscale Fairview Hotel and owned by the same hospitality group, Town Lodge is really a 2-for-1 deal: you get to use the services of both establishments at the lower price of Town Lodge.

The rooms are very small but have everything you need.

Town Lodge is somewhat no-frills but the services provided are done so perfectly.

Just like at the Fairview Hotel, the security at Town Lodge is tight because of the interconnectedness of the two establishments and their proximity to the Isreali embassy.

Town Lodge Nairobi
Town Lodge Upper Hill

Town Lodge is close to several good medical facilities in Nairobi, namely Upper Hill Medical Center and Nairobi Hospital.

It’s also quite close to Nairobi’s central business district.

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So…Where Is the Best Place to Stay in Nairobi?

Frankly, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. A lot of it depends on your budget, on your travel style, which part of the city you have business in and lots more.

If you want a specific recommendation for your personal situation, feel free to ask me in a comment below, and I will do my very best to give you a personal recommendation based on what I know of the city.

See you in the comments section!

Biche

Hotels Near Wilson Airport Nairobi

Will you be coming into Nairobi from out of the country and transferring out of the city to another part of the country on a flight departing from Wilson Airport?

If so, are you particularly interested in getting accommodation near Wilson Airport so that you are in good time to catch your flight? Then, here is a list of good places for you to stay all within 1.3 kilometers of Wilson Airport:

  1. Weston Hotel
  2. Nairobi West Suites Apartment
  3. West Suites Sherry Homes
  4. Tasami Home
  5. Deluxe Homes

Because Wilson Airport is in an area that is primarily residential, there aren’t many good hotels close to it. That’s why many of the suggestions above are apartments that are rented out for short term stays.

Casino Skin Hospital Nairobi

The Special Treatment Center (STC) Casino is a clinic on Latema Road (downtown Nairobi) that focuses on skin conditions and sexually transmitted infections. Learn more about the clinic in the video below.

Photo Credit: KenyaPoa, African Mecca Safaris, Sarova Hotels, Gamewatchers Safaris, African Mecca Safaris, Air Freshener, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor, Booking.com

22 comments

  1. Hi Biche,

    I arrived at Nairobi about three weeks ago and just last weekend I thought its time to start exploring town. I came across your website while “google”ing for Salsa clubs in Nairobi. Partying Thursday night seemed like a wild thing to do and I though I should take it slow. So I skipped Pavement and went to the intercontinental on Friday night. I must say I really enjoyed it. The music was good and everyone was having a real good time.

    Some people I met there recommended I also check out Serena Hotel Saturday night, and so I did. Just like the intercontinental, there was a live band playing Salsa but there were less people, apparently the band starts around eight and wraps up by midnight to avoid disturbing the hotel’s guests. But it was just as good.

    On my way back to Westlands around 1:00 am, I got stuck in the traffic in front of Gypsy’s, there was some good Hip Hop music playing and it seemed like there was a party going on. I also saw a small sign at the gate that says “age limit 20”. So what’s the deal? I thought it was a restaurant!

  2. Hahahaha Enas,

    Welcome to East Africa where restaurants by day (or week) become clubs by night or on the weekend! 🙂 (Oh, also, welcome to ChickAboutTown!)

    Great, I see you’ve already gotten a good taste of the salsa scene in Nairobi. Yep, both Intercon on Friday and Serena on Saturday are pretty good. Since you mention people giving you information about other salsa nights, then I guess you also experienced first hand the friendliness of the Nairobi salseros. Are you a salsa dancer, or do you just like the music?

    Now, about Gypsy’s, Gypsy’s is a restaurant/bar that holds open air street hangs on the weekend. They are quite popular and always crowded. I really, really like them myself. I particularly love the music, the hustle and bustle of the crowd, and the airiness of being outside.

    The rumour around Nairobi is that Gypsy’s is a gay club/hang, but I have never had conclusive evidence of this. The crowd can be quite sleazy though with a lot of prostitutes and shady characters – in my opinion, not disturbingly so.

    I had no idea that Gypsy’s had an age restriction. Either it’s always had it (and I just never caught a wind of it), or it could be something new probably targeted at young Universtiy students back in Nairobi for the summer. I’ve seen a number of those at Gypsy’s before. Thanks for sharing that info. If you didn’t stop the last time you passed by Gypsy’s, it’s an interesting place to check out. As you noticed from the street, the music is really good!

    Thanks for your comment. I wish you a great time discovering more of the Nairobi social scene! 🙂

    Biche

  3. They were friendly indeed, I expected it to be posh and a little over the top (as salsa clubs are in Cairo) but everyone seemed cool and enjoying their time. I love salsa music and dancing, I’m not a great dancer, but I’m getting there!

    I was talking to a male friend last night and I mentioned Gypsy’s. I’m afraid he confirmed the rumors. Apparently he was once “molested” there and vowed never to return! Hahaha

    But what the heck, gay bars are the best place for a girl to enjoy her time without having some guy hit on her! I think I will make a stop there next Saturday. Will let you know.

    Cheers!

  4. What are salsa clubs in Cairo like? What do you mean they are over the top? Nope, none of that in Nairobi. The salsa hangs are so laid back – they really are just about the dancing.

    Wow! I wonder what your friend considers being molested. You know how heterosexual men can have hyperactive imaginations at the slightest mention of anthing gay.

    Well, I hope you enjoy Gypsy’s when you go next weekend. Let me know what you think.

    Biche

    1. Hi Anyango,

      Welcome to ChickAboutTown!

      Luckily, I can tell you a bit about Flex Gym, since I was a member there a couple of years ago (assuming things haven’t changed too much). For starters, it’s located directly behind the Kenya Re-insurance building in Upper Hill. I remember paying close to 5000 KSh for a monthly membership at the time (though I think it was slightly less). I hate to tell you but I really disliked gymming there. There were few machines, which were complicated to operate. The trainers were unprofessional and inappropriate with their female clients (in my opinion, and I am not a prude). I, too, used to work in Upper Hill, but my gym of choice was Body & Soul. Now, there’s a gym I can recommend, though it can be a little pricey. Check both out and compare!

      I hope you find this information useful.

      Biche

  5. Hi Ambani,

    Welcome to ChickAboutTown! Thanks for your comment.

    What salsa activity takes place at Norwich House? (Where exactly is Norwich House? I am so horrible with building names. :-))

    Yes, Nairobi is quite the salsa hotspot. Now if only Dar es Salaam could become one too. I’d be thrilled! 😉

    Biche

  6. Hi Onchoka, Welcome to ChickAboutTown. I haven’t been to this salsa night in a long time but when I did go regularly, it began around 7-8 p.m. and would end after midnight. Perhaps you could call the Intercontinental Hotel for more reliable information. Their telephone number is at the top of this post. 
    Biche

    1. Good afternoon Godfrey. In March of 2016, I went to Intercontinental Hotel and was duly informed that Salsa was disbanded ages ago. It was kind of disappointing. Natt

      1. Hi Natt,

        Welcome to Chick About Town, and thanks a lot for the update! That’s sad to hear: this used to be the best salsa night in Nairobi at some point. I’ll be sure to update my post accordingly.

        Biche

        P.S. So did you ever find a good salsa night after that?

  7. Hi. Long time. Thanks a lot. I do visit Kenya twice a year. Last September I went to The Meridian Hotel as well as Art Cafe in Westlands. I enjoyed the atmosphere are Art Cafe.

    1. Thanks for the update, Natt. I’ve heard about the salsa event at The Meridian Hotel but had never heard of the one at Artcaffe. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. HI Biche: In fact the two Art Cafes (Hub – Saturday – and at the Oval on Fridays) used to have Salsa events. Now its only Art Cafe Oval that still has the event – usually with live bands – on Friday evening. I have also heard a lot about the Brew Bistro Lounge. I will check it out in April when I visit.

    1. Hi Natt,

      Thanks for the update. My brother just came back from Nairobi two weeks ago and was telling me about the new Brew Bistro Lounge in Westlands. Do you mean that one or the one on Ngong Road?

      Biche

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