10.30 a.m. finds me waiting for my host at the CafÃ© American, to the left of the entrance of Nairobi Hilton. Thereâ€™s a distinct aroma of freshly brewed coffee that makes me want to stay and Iâ€™m lost in thought as I try to make out the faces of the Hollywood stars, whose photos grace the walls of the CafÃ©. A few guests are chitchatting over breakfast and the occasional sound of the coffee maker startles me from my reverie.
The aura of luxury at the lobby doesnâ€™t escape me, and the crystal chandelier hanging from the high ceiling emits light that tends to say welcome in a ton of languages. Then thereâ€™s the opulent furnishing, the metallic embellishments and the patterned red carpet that add a princely touch and make you walk with your head high, because only confident souls have treaded these paths. The large open space inspires a sense of freedom which makes you feel like you can become whatever you want to be as you seat on the luxurious couches. Besides, the soft shades of yellow that comprise the decor brighten up the room and uplift your spirits; and you know thereâ€™s no limit to what you can conquer if youâ€™re confident.
A peek at Travellerâ€™s restaurant as we head to the Jockey Pub makes me miss their amazing Vanilla and Strawberry ice-cream. Though Jockey doesnâ€™t open till 4 pm, I can already visualize how the space transforms to one of the hippest entertainment joints in the evenings. Designed with a British jockey in mind, the pub offers a wide range of local and exotic brands, and the front is modified to accommodate a live band or in house DJ and dance floor.
We take the elevator to the Swimming pool area and the Pool restaurantâ€™s striking tranquility makes it a great spot to take repose. The heated pool is not deep enough for diving but itâ€™s extensive and the sun-beds adjacent to potted plants on all sides of the pool bring an outdoor feel. The view of the sky as you backstroke on the heated waters is breathtaking although nothing beats waking up in the guest rooms that open out to the pool.
The mellow patterns on the pearl coloured walls of the Health Club lead you to the massage rooms on one end, and the fully equipped gym on the other. You can choose the Health club membership packages that include steam bath and sauna services or enroll for Zumba dance classes at the studio. Ultimate sensation packages include a massage, body scrub and 10 minutes of the steam bath/ sauna though you may opt for any of the relaxation therapies offered.
Nairobi Hilton boasts of over 250 luxurious guest rooms including the presidential suite, and thereâ€™s the option of a tiled room for those who are allergic. Thereâ€™s a Residentâ€™s Lounge for guests and an Executive lounge with restricted access.
The tastefully decorated conference rooms come with incredible half or full day conference packages and can be set up for events, meetings, conferences and even weddings. The elegant and exclusive Meta Meta room can host up to 30 guests while the magnificent Tsavo Ballroom can host about 560 guests. Mwanga, Taifa, Ivory Lounge and Amboseli can host between 40 and 160 guests.
Nairobi Hiltonâ€™s central location and rich appreciation for history makes it popular among business clients and vacationers alike. The hotel is refined to a fault and they give you reason to stay, and want to return once you leave. Besides, the picturesque view of the city from the tower is worth remembering!
Photo credits: Nairobi Hilton