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Best Nairobi Hotels

Nairobi Introduction

Kenya's capital has a modern centre, with skyscrapers dominating the landscape, yet borders on the vast plains of Nairobi National Park. Staying in Nairobi means you can enjoy the culture and history of this bustling city, yet enjoy colourful and exotic lands just a short drive away. Full of newly built shopping malls and world-class restaurants, Nairobi is a densely-packed city that manages to feel close to nature.

Hotels in Nairobi

There are Nairobi hotels to suit all sorts of budgets. If you just want a base to explore the city, choose one of the 1 or 2-star guesthouses which are popular with backpackers. They have simple rooms, usually just featuring a bed, mini-fridge and kettle, but these cheap Nairobi hotels often include free WiFi and breakfast in the price. There are some amazing luxury hotels in Nairobi, especially around the national park area. With outdoor pools, full-service spas and health clubs, they're great for relaxation and pampering.

Where to stay

Upper Hill is where many of Kenya's biggest corporations have offices – the skyline is dominated with sparkling skyscrapers – and it's where you'll find some of the bigger hotels in Nairobi. Some of the city's best restaurants are to be found there, too, serving Kenyan classics such as nyama choma, heavy skewers of grilled meat. Westlands is a quieter area to the north that many Nairobi reviews recommend for a family break. Popular with expats, there are stylish modern shopping malls full of international brands, plus imposing embassy buildings and well-groomed parks.

Things to see

Nairobi National Park is just a short drive from the city centre and because it has vast, flat plains, you'll often be watching zebras and giraffes run freely, with skyscrapers peeking out from the horizon. However, once you get deeper into the park there's more of a safari atmosphere and as you are driven down winding dirt roads you'll see exotic animals in their natural habitat; some of them will be curious enough to come right up to the car. Karura Forest is on the northern outskirts of Nairobi and is a lush, dense area of woodland that has many hiking trails. Walk through this shady forest and you'll sometimes see monkeys playing overhead in the trees, as well as porcupines, bush babies and civets scuttling around the ground. Among the forest there are tumbling waterfalls, rocky areas covered in green moss and serene wetlands that all add to the peaceful atmosphere.

How to get to Nairobi

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is just to the east of the city, about 20 minutes from the centre by car or taxi. Some Nairobi hotel deals include a shuttle service, or you can take the CityBus, which takes you to the major city hotels in about 45 minutes. The airport has arrivals from across the world on many major airlines. The city also has the smaller Wilson Airport, which has arrivals from across Africa and is just a 10-minute drive from the central areas. There is a bus that takes you to Nairobi Bus Station in 30 minutes. Trains arrive from Mombasa at Syokimau Station, about 12 miles south of the city, and there are connecting services to Nairobi Railway Station.