Hemingways in Nairobi is a decadent, colonial-style hotel situated on lush, well-manicured grounds at the base of Ngong Hills in Karen, a quieter and more affluent suburb of Nairobi.
Ksh 12,500 for a double room; Ksh 6,500 for single occupancy. Children under five go free. Nanny accommodation available.
Hemingways is perfect for those who love the finer things in life: impressive rooms, a full-service spa and superb chef are a few of the highlights of this high-end hotel. Located just far enough away from the traffic-laden roads of Nairobi, the hotel is a peaceful oasis that makes you forget you’re a few minutes away from the ensnarement of Ngong Road.
The price is highly prohibitive for most. The hotel can feel stuffy and doesn’t lend itself well to families with young children or loud parties.
Style and character
Guests are welcomed by a set of curved stairways that frame the extravagant lobby, which is decorated with wide-mouthed vases of fragrant white lilies and roses. Common areas feature high ceilings, leather lounge chairs, small trinkets and airy bamboo fans that reflect a style of yesteryear.
The Brasserie is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A wall of quotes from adventurers of an earlier era serve as a backdrop for the expansive buffet breakfast, which is located just a short stroll from the main pool, fountains and mature gardens.
The hotel is 40 minutes’ drive from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and between Nairobi National Park and Ngong Hills. Hemingway’s Nairobi is located to the southwest of the city in the suburb of Karen. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and The Giraffe Centre are a few minutes’ drive from the hotel. Nairobi National Park is also nearby.
Service & Facilities
From bellhop to chef, Hemingway’s staff strives to provide a level of comfort and attention to detail that is rarely found in Kenya. Personalised butler service is available for a charge.
- Restaurant and bar/lounge
- Full-service spa
- Outdoor pool
- Health club
- Conference centre
- Airport shuttle
- Terrace and Garden
- Baby-sitting service available
With netted four-poster beds, claw-foot bathtubs and flat-screen televisions that appear from the inside of a vintage travel trunk, Hemingway’s rooms combine a classic colonial aesthetic with modern-day luxury.
There are 45 high-ceilinged suites, two of which are penthouse-style that offer an even more luxurious experience.
Food and Drink
The breakfast buffet is impressive as a standalone, but guests can also request made-to-order items like pancakes, waffles and omelets. The dinner menu is exceptional and includes a cream-based gnocchi and a surf and turf combination.
If you’re looking to host a larger group, book the glass-enclosed Wine Cellar, which seats up to 12. The nearby bar offers a collection of cocktails, rare cognacs and whiskies, wines and champagnes and other refreshments. Snacks are available at the pool bar and afternoon tea in the lounge and terrace.
With delicate trinkets, expensive leather chairs and slippery marble floors, Hemingway’s is not a hotel that caters to young children.
Value for money?
Hemingways Nairobi provides an unparalleled experience in the capital city – if you can afford it.
Reviewed February 2018 by Katie G. Nelson