Monday, October 31, 2011

East Africa Report: Nairobi

After a smooth flight from SEA to AMS and on to NBO, I was met on arrival by our Gamewatchers Safaris driver, Paul, and transferred about 10 mins to the Ole Sereni Hotel. The Ole Sereni is the equivalent of an "airport hotel" in Nairobi (Panari would be the other option, but my vote is Ole Sereni). The hotel is housed in what was the interim US Embassy after the 1998 downtown attack and before the embassy moved to the other side of the city. Public areas are nicely decorated and the bar/cafe area was quite chic; the Big Five Restaurant offers buffet and ala carte and has a pleasant outdoor area overlooking Nairobi NP.

I was in a standard room (road view, not park view) and I would highly recommend booking clients into a park view room. The room is a bit tight, but for a transit night, it is just fine. Bathroom is nice with shower, toilet and separate sink area. The writing desk is ideal for laptop (48 hrs of free wi-fi!) and there is safe and mini bar. Security getting into the hotel was quite good, with two different security checks for entering vehicles as well as a metal detector when entering the building. I feel quite secure, plus it is nice not to be downtown, especially when simply jetting back to the airport today to continue on to Entebbe!

My only complaint is that the hallway is quite noisy as it is tiled and not carpeted, so when travelers woke at 4am to leave for the airport, it was a bit loud. Service has been good and my breakfast was tasty - good Dorman's coffee, as well! The swimming pool looked quite clean and welcoming and eating on the verandah with the sun rising over Nairobi NP was lovely. Took me back to my college days in Ongata Rongai!

Stay tuned for further reports as internet access allows - heading to Uganda today!

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