Kenya - Around the Hotel

Sankara Nairobi
- 13 to 18 March 2013 - 

Between working at the office and seeing the regular tourist sights in Nairobi, there was the hotel which I returned to daily. The Sankara is a non-smoking hotel so I had to go to either the lobby, 2nd floor or the pool and bar on the roof. I preferred the roof.

It is actually an awesome venue, tables all around and friendly people. This venue is called the Sarabi pool and Supper Club and adjoining the club is a cute bar called the Champagne Bar. Most of the time I would just stop by and have a smoke, but there were the few evenings that me and Zima decided to either eat dinner or have something to drink on the roof.

The Supper Club has a very nice vibe to it and is decorated very well. What caught my attention was the funky led lamps all over the place... at the bottom of the lamps was a website if you want to order them, but I will have to ship them all the way from New Zealand if I want some.

One of the nights, Zima and I were relaxing after work when it started raining, at first it was really pleasant but it didn't take long to start pouring and when the wind picked up a bit just about half the place was wet, we eventually moved to a different table.

Sometimes I took my "decent" camera along and sometimes it was just me and my iPhone 5. When it gets dark in the evening the iPhone just isn't good enough to get the shots I wanted.

One evening Zima and I concentrated on getting photos of ourselves, just to record the moment. 

I generally avoid taking photos of myself, but with my DLSR I was able to get some decent shots in the dark.

2 evenings during our stay there was some live music, the first evening they had a solo jazz player performing and on the second evening a larger band with a mix of genres. Both evenings music was good, and the place really livens up with people from all over streaming in.

Even with my DLSR the lighting where they placed the band is bad, only with a blue light on the back wall, no front lighting. This made it difficult to get some decent shots without a flash, but above that is also created a "background music" impression, which at time must be frustrating for the performing artists as they appear invisible to the crowds around them. Maybe this was the intended idea, but the music is so good I think they deserve a bit of spotlight.

Most of the time there was no live music, so I would just have a drink or 2, but like most hotels the prices are crazy and I avoid having anything other than a coke or a local beer. Only problem, like in Ghana, they serve their beer in plastic glasses.... something about   broken glass in the pool, but I did ask them for a real glass one.... promising I will not go swimming with it.

When I wasn't on the roof, I was either enjoying the view from my hotel window, which wasn't a bad view and in my option, Nairobi is quite a beautiful city... very green all over.

The Sankara Hotel, every evening gives you a gift at the turndown service... a little stone carved wild animal... they are really cute. The giraffe is my favourite.

There were 7 of them in total and I wasn't there for 7 nights, but I bumped into the "turn-down man" who was kind enough to give me the missing animals for my collection. So once I had them all I decided to play with my camera.

When Zima and I visited the Giraffe Center I also bought some wood carved Maasai men, and while I was photographing my 7 wild animals I decided to play with them too.

I enjoyed the stay at the Sankara, it is a very nice hotel.


  1. The pool area looks great from the photos alone. I’d love to see it up close while there’s an actual event ongoing (or is the band a nightly occurrence?) The view might not be beach-side, but a great view of the rooftops of Nairobi to wake up to comes close. And the night traffic does look nice too.

    Rowena @ Moonlight Bay Hostel

  2. Nairobi, in my eyes is a beautiful city and the Hotel was excellent. I only saw events on the week-end so I assume it is a week-end thing. BTW, just for interest, the photos of the pool was done with my iPhone...

  3. I think the unlit musicians is intended as is, kinda like a background music rather than a live band. Unless they were actively engaging the audience with questions and banter in-between songs.

    The whole place looks amazing, particularly the pool area. Will definitely check it out if I’m in the area.

  4. Well, enjoy it... It is a good spot.