The Brandy Bus is a quaint guesthouse in the leafy neighbourhood of Karen. The space defines unique with its enchanting décor and eccentric little details. Ever thought you would say: “I spent the night in a double decker bus?” Us neither.
The bus is a relatively new AirBnB guesthouse, converted from a 30-year-old double decker bus. Cool, right? It gets its distinct name from old Courvoisier brandy adverts that used to be plastered on the sides.
Established within a shared compound in the heart of Karen, the bus is close enough to Nairobi for a quick spontaneous getaway, but far enough for some much needed fresh air and an escape from city life.
The bus can technically sleep six. There are two queen-sized beds upstairs separated by a curtain, and two sofa beds downstairs in the common area. Each bedroom has its own wonderfully quirky look and feel, from vibrant throw pillows to stacks of books – there’s something about this place that makes you feel right at home. There is one bathroom with a hot running shower and a toilet. The bathroom is modern and resourceful and is everything you need for a short stay. If travelling at capacity, be ready for a queue to get to the bathroom.
There is a fully-kitted kitchen with a microwave, gas cooker, utensils and even some cooking basics. You can request a Cookswell Jiko to be set up outside for roasting and baking. The kitchen also features a French press, a charming coffee counter with bar stools and fresh flowers that delicately brighten up the room. For more extensive meals, there is a round table outside on the patio which you can set up with candles and a fire by the
furnace for those chilly Karen nights.
Although it’s a compact space, the host has managed to fit everything you need into the bus. The charm of the bus comes from its global inspirations: from woven baskets originating in West Africa to Mexican tiles,
it’s the little details that make it the unique and eccentric space that it is.
You can find The Brandy Bus on Kibo Lane in Karen (approximately 45 minutes from Westlands, Nairobi). The host will share the exact location once you book.
• Distance – a quick getaway from Nairobi
• Unique – will you ever get a chance to stay on a bus again?
• Exclusivity – the bus is all yours whether two or six guests
• Details, details, details – we loved the fresh flowers
• Space – it may feel cramped if there are six of you (there’s only one bathroom)
• Privacy – it’s a small space so go with people you are comfortable with!
• The WiFi connection isn’t great
WHAT TO DO
The Bus is somewhere to go when you want to do nothing but sip on black coffee, read novels and embrace the fresh crisp air. There are also tennis courts available on-site and Nairobi National Park is roughly a 20-minute drive away if you want to get in an early morning safari.
HOW TO BOOK
Find it on AirBnB by searching for “The Brandy Bus.”
This review is independent and unbiased. The authors of this piece pay for their own accommodation.
The Bus can be booked from $80 a night. Prices vary on weekends and with the number of guests.
Budget friendly: 4/5
Unique Factor: 5/5
Family friendly: 3/5