Hemingways Nairobi sits on the eastern edge of Nairobi National Park, where serene private balconies overlook the famous Ngong Hills that Ernest Hemingway evoked in The Green Hills of Africa and Karen Blixen lulled us to love in her memoir, Out of Africa. A luxurious start or end to any East African safari, complete with your personal butler, the 45-room boutique hotel is nestled in Karen, Nairobi’s tranquil, upscale suburb located about 40 minutes from the international airport.
The plantation-style property is airy and spacious, displaying a contemporary-chic design aesthetic with a hearty nod to vintage East African safari. Each suite features high ceilings, four-poster beds, en-suite bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and showers, plush sofas, writing desks and balconies. Surround yourself with classic elegance, played out in muted tones and touches of brass, mahogany and leather. Rooms have air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, ceiling fans, hair dryers, direct-dial telephones, mini bar and coffee and tea. Swim in the spacious central pool or take advantage of the full-service spa.
Meals are shared at Hemingways Nairobi Brasserie, the hotel’s European-style restaurant. Sumptuous breakfasts are served with elaborate pastries and bread that are baked daily in-house, plus fresh squeezed juices. At champagne afternoon tea, a cake stand emerges with hand-crafted miniature cakes, gateaux opera, fruit delice, mini-eclairs and freshly-baked scones with Cornish clotted cream, home-made strawberry jam and lemon curd. Watch the sun set over a contemporary cocktail in the lounge with all the ambiance of a private club. At dinner, the restaurant is famous for its steaks, specially-fed beef grilled on an imported charcoal oven. The wine cellar is laden with bottles of Old and New World wines, and the bar has a collection of rare cognacs and single malt whiskies that can be enjoyed with a cigar, outside on the smoking terrace.
Produce is locally sourced and local farmers and growers are showcased in a show of support. The hotel also promotes expert local craftsmen and artisan boutiques for Kenyan souvenirs. An internal water and energy conservation eco-system and sustainable waste management help protect the local environment. In addition to the national park, the hotel is within easy access of Karen Blixen Museum and the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.