Where to stay in Nairobi – Hotel versus Rented Apartment

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and the largest city in the country. It is the second-largest by population in the African Great Lakes Region after Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with a population of approximately 3.36 million. Nairobi is the 10th largest city in African including the population of its suburb.

The city is an established hub for business and culture, home to thousands of businesses and houses over 100 international companies and organizations. Some of the organizations include the United Nations office in Nairobi (UNON) and United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment). The Nairobi Security Exchange which is one of the largest in Africa and the second oldest in the continent is capable of making 10 million trades a day.

Nairobi is also nick-named Safari capital of the world as it connects many tourists to their safari destinations around the country and beyond through its international airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport with scheduled flights to over 50 countries. It is also one of the few cities in the world with a National Park within its boundaries.

This goes to show that a lot of travellers visit Nairobi either for leisure on safari or for business with the many international organizations and companies. Hence, there is need to establish where to stay in Nairobi whether for a short stay or longer and at the same time, be able to access all the amenities one requires.

Accommodation options

Well due to the high population and the busy life of the city dwellers, Nairobi is bound to have high traffic during the day hence one should take into account accessibility to various places when deciding on where to stay while in Nairobi.

There are over 500 accommodating properties all over Nairobi which ranges from 5-star hotels, serviced apartments to bnb with proximity to various organizations, tourist sites and entertainment places. There various international hotel chains that have set up an establishment in Nairobi like Serena Hotels, Hilton, Intercontinental Group, Radisson Blu, Villa Rosa Kempiski, Best Western among others.

Below are some establishments, comparison between hotels and serviced apartments is based on previous guests reviews that are available online.

Hemingways Nairobi

Hemingways is situated in the southern end of Nairobi in the quiet suburbs of Karen. This is a hotel that offers you luxury and comfort and is ideal for tourist on safari and honeymooners. It is in the proximity of Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Center, DSWT elephant orphanage and the Nairobi National park.

It is also close to the airport away from the busy city life, guests have confirmed to get 100% value for their money due to the exceptional service they received.

Ololo Safari Lodge

The lodge is located on the boundaries of Nairobi National Park lying on the banks of Mbagathi River. Ololo Safari Lodge makes you forget you are in the busy city and gives that awesome safari feeling. The open-air restaurant plan allows one to relax by the pool while enjoying great views of the national park.

The lodge also offers game drives through the park and excursion to DSWT elephant orphanage, giraffe centre and other places around Karen area.

Crown Plaza Nairobi Airport

Crown Plaza is located at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, providing a good place to rest while on transit or when connecting flights. The hotel has a sauna and fitness centre offering you a chance to stretch and relax your body after a long flight or when struggling with jet lag.

One can also enjoy a meal or a drink at the restaurant. The hotel is 11.7 km from Nairobi city centre and airport shuttle services are provided for free at the hotel.

Where to stay in Nairobi

Hob House, Nairobi

Hod House is located in the Northwestern borders of Nairobi in a serene suburb setting. This is a bed and breakfast accommodation setting with a 24hr front desk and restaurant. It is in proximity to the UN offices and the US embassy as well as other international organization.

This makes it ideal for someone who is in Nairobi for a short stay business trip or coming for a conference/meetings in the UN offices.

Where to stay in Nairobi

Salmiya Place, Nairobi

Salmiya Place is a serviced apartment that offers bed and breakfast at the heart of Nairobi. The rooms have a shared lounge with every room having a private bathroom. It is located in Kilimani area which is proximity to the Nairobi Business Districts and major shopping malls like The Junction, Valley Arcade, Yaya centre etc.

This makes the apartments suitable for anyone who wants to explore the Nairobi city or is in Nairobi for business and needs access to the administrative areas.

Cozy Room, JKIA

Cozy Room is a three-bedroom serviced apartment located in Mlolongo, 9.5 km from the airport and a few minutes drive from the Syokimau Railway Station. The house has a fully functioning kitchen in case one wants to make their own meals and there are many grocery shops nearby.

The apartment is ideal for a solo traveller who is exploring Nairobi or one who is on transit making a connection from JKIA to other parts of the country or other countries in Africa due to the close approximation to the airport.

Pumzika Place

Pumzika Place is located in Embakasi area with a close approximation to the airport. This is a fully furnished apartment ideal for a family that is on transit and wants a home-stay rather a hotel. It has a fully fitted kitchen with an oven and there is an option of making meals for yourself.

Guests like this apartment due to the great value they get in terms of cost, good communication and planning done by the host.

Where to stay in Nairobi

Reata Serviced Apartment

Reata Apartments offers modern rooms fully equipped with a kitchen. There are an onsite restaurant and a fitness centre. The restaurant prepares international cuisine and comes with an open-air terrace where one can enjoy drinks from the bar.

This is an ideal place for one who is on tour for some days in Nairobi and wants a homely feel rather than staying in a hotel room. Guest have rated the place as a great value due to the 5-star treatment they receive just like in a hotel.

Where to stay in Nairobi

Karen Little Paradise

Karen Little Paradise has serviced apartments with each unit offering a fully furnished kitchenette, seating area and a private bathroom with some rooms having a terrace/balcony.

A continental breakfast is served every morning. There are a shared lounge and a children’s playground.

The place is ideal for one who is on vacation and wants a homely relaxing stay away from the busy city life. The apartments are located close to some popular tourist attractions sites like The Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre, DSWT elephant orphanage, Nairobi National Park etc.

Where to stay in Nairobi

There are quite a number of properties in Nairobi to suit the different needs of travellers all over the world. You can check out more of these properties here depending on which side of Nairobi you intend to visit and your reason for visit.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travellers have to say about Nairobi at TripAdvisor

You can check out some activities and place to visit below links.

Why I love Nature.

Best places to visit in Nairobi.

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6 Responses

  1. j52powell says:

    In the 1970s I was in the Peace Corps in Senegal and had perhaps the most memorable experience of my life. Since that time I have wanted to get back to Africa and see a bit more of it. Of course Kenya is the classical place to go for the culture and for the wildlife and scenery.

    Your post has a lot of great info and links to a lot more details and it is well organized. I would like to ask, though, can you tell me where to look for the low budget end of the spectrum regarding accommodation?

    Thanks a lot. You have really peaked me interest.

    • Anita says:

      Hello, great to hear you have been to Africa before, a lot has changed since the 70s. You should come back and this time to enjoy the best this land has to offer.

      For accommodation, it also depends on tourist seasons, like now we are in peak season hence prices are high. You can also check on Airbnb for cheaper accommodation prices or check my post on doing a budget safari in Kenya.

  2. Joe Powell says:

    Thanks a lot for your suggestions. Your post on a budget safari is informative.
    Is Christmas time a good season to visit Kenya?

    • Anita says:

      Glad I was of help, for a Christmas vacation you need to book early, two months or so in advance as there is a lot of domestic tourism with families taking their annual vacation during this period. The weather is normally great though most hotels are normally fully booked.

  3. Karen Coller says:

    Thank you for this fantastic virtual travel to Kenya…..My friend returned a few days ago….and after after her’s and yours stories I see that Kenya just must be in my travel plan

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