on November 5, 2008
There have been times when I have stumbled back from the Thai jungle, the Australian Outback, the Rajasthani desert or the Brazilian wetlands that only the smothering comfort of a really good hotel will do.I spent three nights under canvas in the Masai Mara so when I got back to Nairobi I thought deserved a bit of luxury. On the hills overlooking Uhuru Park is the Fairview. It’s an old colonial building built out of stone and is tucked away in extensive gardens. Security is very extensive and you have to pass through a roadblock to get to it. Security is so tight as the Israeli Embassy is next door.The forecourt is always busy with taxis and safari vehicles but once past that the lobby is quite beautiful and teak inlaid. The most basic single is a minimum of £90 and all types of credit cards are accepted. The rooms themselves are in different parts of the mansion and the mansion is ranged around green gardens and courtyards. The garden at the front is emerald green and decked out in tropical plants it has an enormous rockery/waterfall gushing into a pool. The first of the three restaurants overlooks this and specialises in delicious ice cream.The middle courtyard was where I was. The restaurants acclaimed sushi restaurant adjoins this where a piano player entertainers diners in the evening. The restaurant also does a superb breakfast buffet each morning with chipolatas, toast, bacon, scrambled egg, baked beans, mushrooms and passion fruit juice. The central courtyard itself is gorgeous and is covered in topiary, trellises and bowers of tropical plants. The main selling point of the Fairview is the amazing gardens where African birds can be seen at close range.My room is on the second floor of the courtyard block and although smaller then I expect it was still quite lovely with walk-in shower, writing desk, double bed and 24 hour cable TV. Any spare time I had at the Fairview was spent at the swimming pool. Its winter on the equator but it was still warm enough to enjoy the clear swimming pool and enjoy the sun loungers with a good book. Most of the tables around the pool were occupied by Kenyan business meetings and The Fairview is a little bubble against the real Africa.But sometimes you need recuperation time – and this hotel is one of the best places in Nairobi to do it.
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