15 Oldest Hotels in Kenya

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Some hotels in Kenya were built a few years after the country’s independence while others served as holiday homes for settlers and world leaders during the colonial era. Most of these hotels are situated in the country’s capital, Nairobi.

Here are 15 of the most outstanding historic hotels, lodges and camps.

  1. Fairmont the Norfolk Hotel – 1904

The Norfolk Hotel is a walking distance from Nairobi’s city centre. It has 170 rooms and suites, a modern health club, a heated pool and several restaurants and bars. The most prominent restaurant at The Norfolk is the Lord Delamere Terrace.

  1. Sarova Stanley – 1902

The Stanley Hotel was Nairobi’s first luxury hotel. At the time, it hosted world leaders, acclaimed authors and celebrities.  Ernest Hemingway is one of the elite patrons who stayed in this hotel in the 1930s.

This historic hotel sits in Nairobi’s city centre, its Victorian structure reminiscent of another era. The hotel has a selection of rooms and suites, all tastefully furnished.

Sarova Stanley Hotel.

Sarova Stanley Hotel.

  1. Hotel Ambassadeur Nairobi -1962

This 3 star hotel is of the city’s most popular landmarks. It is adjacent to the Kenya National Archives, opposite the Kencom Bus Stage. Despite the hotel’s location in the middle of chaotic bus terminals, guests enjoy a quiet night since all the 83 rooms and suites are sound-proof.

  1. Sarova Panafric Hotel -1965

Perched on a hill off the busy Kenyatta Avenue, Sarova Panafric Hotel is a five minutes’ drive from the city centre. It was founded to celebrate the Pan- African movement, and it was inaugurated by the country’s first president.

  1. Nairobi Serena Hotel – 1976

Nairobi Serena Hotel is a walking distance from the city centre, and a few metres away from the plush Sarova Panafric Hotel. This hotel was also inaugurated by Kenya’s first president. Serena Hotel hosts business and leisure travellers in stately rooms and suites. The hotel has a selection of restaurants, bars and coffee shops. It also has a modern spa with a variety of treatments for the whole body.

  1. Nairobi Safari Club- 1984

This luxury club is an all-suite hotel founded as a members’ only club.  The hotel’s iconic white building dwarfs nearby buildings along University Way. Its location, close to the main highways in the city, makes it easy for guests to drive to and from key places and attractions in Nairobi.

  1. Keekorok Lodge -1962

It is the oldest lodge in Maasai Mara, set on the route of the great annual migration. This lodge has a variety of rooms and suites. The Presidential Suite has 3 bedrooms, a dining and a living room. Activities at Keekorok Lodge include thrilling hot air balloon safaris and exciting game drives in a 4X4 vehicle.

  1. Governors Camp – 1972

This silver rated eco-lodge is one of the oldest Governors’ camps. The 37 luxury tents of this camp are set on the banks of the Mara River, overlooking the enchanting plains.  The tents are en-suite.

 A luxury tent with a sweeping view of Masai Mara.

Governors’ Camp’s luxury tent with a sweeping view of the endless plains of Masai Mara.

  1. Lake Naivasha Country Club – 1937

This hotel is one of the luxurious hotels in Naivasha. It is located on the lake’s shore, and it provides accommodation in opulent rooms and cottages.

  1. Mount Kenya Safari Club – 1959

This hotel overlooks the exotic forest of Mount Kenya. In addition to bird watching and nature walks, other activities in this hotel are visiting a wildlife orphanage nearby and playing golf.

  1. Grogan Castle Hotel – 1930

It is one of the historic hotels in Kenya. Grogan’s Castle is built on a hill, with a 360-degree view of the plains of Tsavo. It is a 6-bedroom castle, with an adjacent two-bedroom cottage.

 Grogan’s Castle overlooking the plains of Tsavo.

Grogan’s Castle overlooking the plains of Tsavo.

  1. Mombasa Beach Hotel – 1969

This luxury resort is just 18km from Mombasa’s Moi International Airport. Mombasa Beach Hotel is a beachfront residence set on a long unspoilt beach.

  1. Ngulia Safari Lodge – 1969

Ngulia Safari Lodge is located on the edge of Ndewe Escarpment, in Tsavo West.  It has 52 en-suite rooms, an on-site restaurant, two bars and conference facilities.

  1. Nyali International Beach Hotel – 1946

Just 14km from Mombasa Airport is one of the oldest hotels in Mombasa.  The Nyali International Beach Hotel has hosted world leaders, presidents, sports men and women. Its rooms, suites and villas are stylishly furnished, and there is a modern spa.

  1. Treetops Lodge – 1932

Treetops Lodge is one of the hotels in Kenya that survived the country’s violent struggle for independence. The first timbered structure, where Queen Elizabeth had stayed, was burnt down in 1954, and rebuilt in 1957.

Other noteworthy old hotels in Kenya are Lake Nakuru Lodge – 1989, Aberdare Country Club – 1937, the Giraffe Manor – 1930s , and Hilton Nairobi – 1969. Do you know any other hotel that should be on this list?


1 Comment

  1. Sue

    September 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Voi Safari Lodge, 1969, Tsavo East

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