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Sarova Stanley Hotel

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5 star
Nairobi, Kenya
1200 hrs
1 nights

Sarova Stanley Hotel is amongst the few five star hotels in Nairobi. It launched itself into Kenyan history in 1902. This was the first luxury hotel in Nairobi. Sarova Stanley hotel has been the gracious host to prominent world leaders. Others are renowned authors, and international celebrities.

Sarova Stanley Hotel

Sarova Stanley hotel retains much of its historical charm. This is while at the same time offering all the luxuries and amenities of a five-star hotel. It is a great place to start your Kenya safari tour from Nairobi.

Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi

Today, Sarova Stanley’s heritage character is preserved. But, this 5 star Nairobi hotel offers modern hotel services and amenities. It creates Nairobi’s best hotel experience. It is for those that crave to enjoy the luxurious amenities. Those that are provided by the best 5-star hotels in Kenya. It is also for those looking for a taste world-class cuisines.

History of Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi

The story of The Sarova Stanley hotel begins with the stories of three families. They are the Bents, the Tates and the Blocks – who were its early owners. The stories of these families, as was so often the case in the early days of Nairobi, begins with the railroad.

Construction of the railway began in Mombasa, started in 1896. The going was tough an advance camp was set up in “Nyrobe” in 1897. The tracks would not reach the locale until 1899.

One year later, ‘Pop’ Binks, arrived as a bright-eyed, adventure seeking 20-year-old. Upon arrival at the Railway Station his first impression was not particularly a good one. He asked, “How far is the town?”

By 1902 the town had developed a bit and now had several shops. One of which was the only two-storey building in town, owned by Tommy Wood. The top floor was a ‘hotel’, the first in Nairobi. In reality, it operated more like a boarding house for the railway employees. It was run by one Mayence Bent.

Arriving in Nairobi with the railway, the reasons the Bent to move their lives to Kenya are lost to history. Their role in the blossoming town, yet is not. With a farm just one station away by train, the Bents were a prominent source of fresh produce. They could also bring in dairy products in town. This was to manage the first hotel, Mayence worked as a milliner and dress maker in Wood’s store. As hotel business grew, the operation was moved to a bungalow next to their shop.

In 1903, the British Government announced to have land set aside for Jewish settlers. The idea didn’t exactly come to fruition. Before it was abandoned several families did take advantage of the programme. This  included Abraham Block.

He was an immigrant from South Africa. Block set about making a life for himself by farming dealing in cattle.

The first major setback Mayence faced in her as a hotel proprietor, was  the hardest setback. In 1904, Nairobi was rocked by The Great Fire of Victoria Street. This destroyed most of the buildings in the area, including Mayence’s hotel. Not to be shut down by something so trivial, she moved her guests to the upper unfinished floor. This was a stone building on Station Street, now Government Road. She covered the holes in the not yet completed roof with traps.

This move would prove beneficial in the end. Mayence set up new premises along Government Road, the first true Stanley Hotel. Again boasting the only two-storey hotel in town. The veranda on the second floor offered quite a view, as there were few two-storey buildings in the town. In fact, on a clear day, early Nairobians and guests could see the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance.

The new hotel thrived and garnered a widespread reputation. There were four hotels then in Nairobi.

  1. The Stanley
  2. The Norfolk
  3. The commercial
  4. The Empress

Mayence’s main competition came from The Norfolk. The clientele of the two hotels were quite different.

The Norfolk was The House of Lords due to the prevalence of British nobility in its patronage. The Stanley attracted more businessmen and newcomers to town. This was due to its closeness to the railway station.

Accommodation at Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi

Guest rooms at Sarova Stanley Hotel offer a blend of Victorian elegance and comfort. This is combined with all the practical, executive amenities of the modern age. Antique furnishings and restored period details envelop guests in royal mystique. Sarova Stanley Hotel exceptional suites symbolize all the comfort. There is the warmth and elegance of the “Sarova Stanley style” par excellence. The prestigious suites pay homage to their famous past residents.

Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi

The hotel suites have a fine settings and ambiance. This allow you to have a soothing and enchanting stay at one of the most premium hotels in Kenya. There are three categories of guest rooms at the sarova Stanley Hotel. All feature an outdoor or atrium view, air-conditioning, black-out curtains and sound-proofing.

They have satellite TV, tea/coffee facilities, mini-bar and safe-deposit box. The rooms have direct dial telephone with VOIP and wireless internet connectivity. They come with private bath, shower and WC, hair dryers and razor outlets.


Stanley Club Room offer comfortable stay featuring elegant interiors. Amenities sinclude fresh fruit basket on arrival and a floral arrangement in the bedroom. There is fluffy white terry toweling robes and slippers, daily newspapers. You get free internet access and 42 inch flat-screen televisions. Stanley Club Room guests also enjoy evening canapés on the house. This is followed by aromatic candles and chocolates for turn down service.

Heritage Suites

The Stanley Suite is the official presidential suite of the hotel. It is named after the explorer Henry Morton Stanley. This suite includes an open sitting room and dining area. There is a powder room, a large bedroom with an en-suite dressing room and a deluxe bathroom with a Jacuzzi.

Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi

The suite comes in shades of green with furniture pieces, antiques and old etchings.  This is from the Victorian era which exemplifies the elegant heritage of the hotel. Guest will enjoy seeing the historic buildings along Kenyatta Avenue. It is the only one of its kind at the Sarova Stanley.

Karen Blixen Suite

The Karen Blixen Suite commemorates the Baroness Karen Blixen. She was a Nairobi resident between 1914 and 1931. She was the author of ‘Out of Africa’ and ‘Shadows on the Grass’. Karen Blixen was a frequent diner at Sarova Stanley. This suite has a spacious sitting room, a large bedroom, a powder room and a bathroom with a Jacuzzi. There are pictures in the suite with photos spanning the Baroness’ life in Kenya. There are reproductions of her famous paintings ‘Juma’ and ‘The Kikuyu Girl’.

The Lamu Suite

The Lamu Suite is named after the Swahili archipelago island of Lamu which lies off the Kenyan coast. The suites decor is reminiscent of the islands romantic ambience. Guests staying here will enjoy sleeping on an attractive four poster bed.

Antique Lamu inspired furniture and Persian rugs decorate the suites spacious sitting room. It comes with a powder room, large bedroom and luxurious bathroom. The latter has a Jacuzzi and a ‘his-and-hers’ counter sink. The Lamu Suite is perfect for the couple celebrating recent nuptials. Guests occupying the state suites will enjoy the Kenyatta Avenue view.

The Two Bedroomed Suites

These are the Connaught suite, Tate suite and the Delamare suite. The two-bedroomed suites come with two bedrooms. They are connected through a common sitting room and they overlook the hotel’s atrium. The suites are ideal for family fun and for those guests who like a little more space. They are well appointed with stylish furnishing and modern facilities and services.

The Connaught commemorates the first visit from a member of the British royal family to Kenya. The Duke and Duchess of Connaught visited in March 1906. The Tate Suite is a tribute to Mayence and Fred Tate. They were the founders of the hotel and the helped the birth of Kenya’s hotel industry.

Stanley Premium Club Room

The Stanley Premium Club Room have one spacious bedroom. It comes with a separate dressing area and powder room, an en-suite lounge and bathrooms. The rooms are decorated with a classic contemporary feel and are an ideal home away from home. These suites are ideal for regular and long-staying guests.

Eating at Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi

Sarova Stanley hotel offers an eclectic mix of dining and entertainment options. One can enjoy the legendary Thorn Tree Café. It is reputed to be Nairobi’s first post office or the casual atmosphere at the Pool Deck Restaurant.

Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi

Thai Chi restaurant is reputed to be the finest in Thai cuisine within the region. The Exchange Bar is an elegantly decadent, plush lounge bar. it was home to the Nairobi Stock Exchange since incorporation, for a period of over fifty years.


Thai Chi has been named the most authentic Thai restaurant in East Africa. It comes with traditional Thai decor and delectable Thai specialties. This is prepared by experienced chefs from Thailand. Thai Chi is best described as a small piece of Thailand in Nairobi.


The Thorn Tree Café is a legendary open air, bistro style pavement café. It is most famous for its message board located at the centre of the restaurant. The Thorn Tree Café – named for a single central situated acacia tree. This became a makeshift post box for travellers who left mail pinned onto its trunk. ‘Tree mail’ endures despite email. The Thorn Tree Café flourishes as the crossroads of Africa.

From time in memorial the café has been the perfect meeting place for friends. It offers a remarkable dining experience in the central business district. It has a deli counter, serves pizzas from a wood-fired oven. You can order fresh juices, beers and the widest range of coffees. the restaurant has a varied menu which includes popular continental and nouvelle dishes.

Exchange Bar

History comes to life at The Exchange Bar. This was once the site of Nairobi’s first Stock Exchange, from 1954 until 1991. The Long Bar was  the Stanley’s precursor to The Exchange Bar. In 1922 it took delivery of the first ever order from Kenya Breweries. They are the makers of such famous local brews as Tusker and Pilsner. It is now the largest brewery in the country.

Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi

The Exchange Bar retains the feel of a traditional English Gentleman’s club. It comes exuding a casual elegance and warm atmosphere. This provides a lively meeting place for people from all walks of life. It is a perfect place to enjoy a single malt and fine cigar. You can get a sensational cocktails accompanied with a variety of bar snacks.

The Exchange Bar stocks all major international newspapers. This is in keeping with its origins there is also a Reuters screen. You get the latest news and movements from major stock exchanges of the world.


It is tucked away on the 5th floor of the Sarova Stanley hotel. It is an Oasis offering refuge against the hustle and bustle of town. The Pool Deck is characterized by its al fresco dining concept. This allows you to relax and dine in the comfort of the open air.

Sarova Stanley Hotel Meeting and Conferencing

Sarova Stanley is a luxury business hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. It offers all business facilities such as wireless internet. There is a business centre with secretarial services. This 5 star Nairobi hotel has nine fully-equipped meetings and conference rooms. They come with state-of-the-art technological advancements. Combined, the conference rooms can accommodate over 800 people.

This Nairobi hotel has a modern and professionally manned business center. It is  on the Conference Floor for easy access. Guests can access email, print, fax, photocopy and surf the net. The Business Centre opens daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

If you are looking for the best executive business hotels in Kenya, Sarova Stanley is it. Here you have great opportunity to access various top tech amenities. The personal services allows you to fulfill your business needs.

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1200 hrs

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