According to Prof. Google, a staycation is a holiday spent at one’s home area that involves day trips to local attractions. This past weekend my local attraction was Ngong Hills Hotel on Ngong Road, Nairobi Kenya.
In my ongoing quest to scout for hotels within Nairobi that would make for a perfect weekend getaway, Ngong Hills Hotel came up as a strong suggestion from three of my friends. At first, I was a bit hesitant because, having lived on Ngong road for a better part of my life, I assumed there wasn’t something really fancy about the hotel. Especially given the fact that I knew Ngong Hills Hotel as one of the oldest hotels in the area.
The Pleasant Surprise that was Ngong Hills Hotel
I checked in at the hotel Friday night for the two-night stay. The security detail at the entrance was something else. I wondered how they balanced thorough and pleasant at the same time. Clearance at the main gate was quite fast. From observation, Friday must be the busiest day at the hotel because securing a spot at the car park was a task. There was yet another security scan at the main entrance of the hotel. Polite staff I must say.
The lady at the reception gave me what I would easily call the warmest smile that evening. Check-in was faster than anticipated and in a few, I was in the elevator in the company of yet another lady, who took me to my room. I loved the fresh fragrance in the air that paired well with the carpeted hallway and the pin-drop silence as we made it to my room.
Initially, I was checked into a standard room that I instantly bonded with, as soon as I put my bag on the luggage rack. I was impressed by the chic, sleek and classy finishing and furniture. At some point, I started to calculate how much a week-long stay would cost because this is the kind of life you can easily get used to. As the lady walked away, she pointed out that they were just a phone call away in case I needed anything. (This is the kind of customer comfort and assurance that makes me choose some hotels over others.)
My eyes wandered. My fingers ran across all the surfaces. I wanted to feel the bedding, the upholstery, the pillows, the towels, the leather side seats, the mirrors, the marble tops in the bathroom and just to smell the fresh welcome fruit basket that was on the table. I read the welcome note word for word and immediately got lost in the quiet, peaceful elegant space that was to be my home for the weekend.
I was in a happy place. Just next to my fruit basket stood a nice welcome bottle of ruby-red, sweet wine, with soft rose petal fragrance and flavors of ripe plums, strawberries, and exotic spices that I knew would work magic with my then read; Letters to my Daughter by Maya Angelou and my latest selection of Al Green.
In the opposite wing next were the VIP suites that I was later upgraded to. Ngong Hills Hotel has a total of five VIP suites, two of which have balconies. The rooms speak class and opulence. They have an open kitchen, lounge, and a master ensuite. There is also a business executive desk for that business traveler who wants to feel at home.
Ngong Hills Hotel’s Art and Soul lounge is one of the few places I know of, that specifically plays soul music. That explains why Friday was one of the busiest days at the hotel. The lounge attracts a mature crowd that looked like they appreciated the fine things in life served with good food and expensive drinks. The bar at the lounge was well stocked. The wait staff was super attentive. If cocktails are your favorite, John the mixologist is the person to look for! Not that I was looking at people plates(hehe) but it went without saying that Nyama Choma was a favorite.
Esquire restaurant is the hotel’s main restaurant and it is open 24 hours. There is a choice of either buffet or à la carte depending on your preference. If ever you get to visit, consider their pan-seared tilapia and vegetable salad which I must have ordered more than twice during my stay.
With the scorching Nairobi sun, I doubt there is any other place you’d want to stop for a nice, cold, freshly squeezed fruit juice. Across the main dining area was a coffee house and a small patisserie with an outdoor setting that had super chilled vibes. I loved the pergola covered with translucent sheets at the top and a nice peripheral hedge that gave it a natural look. For some reason, the space was very calming. I loved my breakfast served at the restaurant.
I noticed quite a number of business meetings and high teas happening at the space as well.
Meeting and Conference
The other thing Ngong Hills Hotel is known for is; the preffered meeting and conference venue. The conference rooms have modern audiovisual equipment, with the largest conference rooms having a capacity of about three hundred. At my time of visit, there were some guests who had just wound up their week-long workshop at the hotel. You should probably get in touch with them, for a tailored made conference/workshop package for your organization.
Do I recommend Ngong Hills Hotel for business meetings, conferences, staycations, and just a polite chill out with good music? Absolutely! Let me know how you like it when you visit.
For more info:
Ngong Hills Hotel,off Ngong Road
P.O. Box 40485 – 00100, Nairobi, Kenya