We only spent one night in Nairobi after our missed connection in Doha. I had booked two nights at the Sankara Nairobi, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel. At various times when I previously booked this trip, I had reservations at the Hilton, which is closer to downtown and not in a nicer neighborhood like the Sankara. I settled on the Sankara because our safari company recommended it and also because I had two expiring free nights from my Marriott credit cards which I used for one room and 35,000 Marriott points per night for the other room. Cash rates were around $200 plus taxes so it was a decent, if not spectacular use of the certs and points.
In the end, the hotel claimed they would refund the points for the first night as we only used one night there. I’m still waiting to see if that happens and not super hopeful. After all, we canceled the first night after the check-in time once we missed our connection around 6:15pm so I don’t really expect the hotel or Marriott to actually refund the points. Those are the risks when you use points for the first night after a long trip.
Now, on to the hotel itself. We arrived around 8:30am and not surprisingly, our rooms were ready as they were likely sitting there ready from the night before. My wife and I had been upgraded to a beautiful suite and our kids were in an adjoining room. When the connecting door was opened, it basically turned the room into a 2BR, 2.5BA apartment (minus a kitchen of course). I’m a lifetime Platinum and was still Titanium with Marriott when we stayed at the hotel.
Here are some pictures of the rooms.
We were out from about 10am until 3pm and returned to the hotel for an afternoon nap. The blackout shades were really helpful in letting us rest.
I woke up around 5pm and my younger daughter was also awake so we headed to the lounge where afternoon appetizers were being served along with an open self-pour bar (no extra charge). We had some tasty hot food and I had a couple of whiskeys which I assumed would help me sleep off the jetlag that night. Here are some lounge pictures.
Later that evening, my wife woke up and ordered some room service which was reasonable priced and arrived hot and promptly unlike many US hotels.
The next morning, we went to breakfast together. It was included for my wife and I thanks to my status and was $30pp for my kids. It was well worth it to pay for them. There were the usual eggs made to order and hot/cold buffet items, plus Indian, Kenyan and other delicacies. Coffees and other drinks were made to order and brought to the table. It was one of the most extensive hotel breakfast buffets we’ve seen anywhere in the world.
After breakfast, we packed up and headed out on safari. We received Titanium elite welcome gifts chosen from a small catalog (instead of 1000 points) and my wife chose a set of animal sculptures.
I highly recommend this hotel if you happen to be in Nairobi pre or post safari. It’s especially great if you have Marriott status as they treat elite members extremely well.
Up Next: Off on Safari – Aberdare & The Ark
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