Hemingway’s Resort : One of Nairobi’s Best Kept Secrets
The Hemingways Collection recently built an opulent 46 room boutique hotel in the plush suburbs of Karen, Nairobi. Since the hotel is virtually next door to the Karen Blixen museum, part of its design theme is to celebrate Kenya’s historical role in books and in Hollywood’s blockbuster films.
The long driveway leads into a sunny, imposing entrance hall. Alastair Addison, Hemingway’s C.E.O states, “We made it grand so that when our guests get here they immediately get the sense that they have arrived at a very impressive place that meets, and even exceeds their high standards.” Still, as classy as it is, Hemingways Nairobi is designed to be relaxing, not intimidating. It feels welcoming to tired visitors, is the perfect Spa retreat for a pampering treat and an easy, luxurious honeymoon night destination. For families the kid-friendly Sunday brunch is great for an unparalleled afternoon of fun and bonding.
The pastel green and white exterior is inspired by the Plantation style of architecture from the the Southern United States. Hemingways combines a homely and welcoming atmosphere with an air of refinement and exclusivity where no expense was spared. Indeed the entrance hall itself is extraordinary. Fine Italian marble graces the floor, and the vast double-sided staircase was created by a specialist flown in from South Africa. The open-plan lobby leads out into the garden and the rooms. From the entrance the luxurious view and cool breeze are highly enticing. We were greeted by the Head Butler who informed us that this resort places big emphasis on personalized butler service for each and every guest.
The library is to the right of the foyer – it is a large, relaxing, space. Massive handsome bookshelves from Indonesia are here combined with designer furniture done by Andrew Martin of London. The upstairs area is carpeted to create a different feeling, with deep leather armchairs in the bar and pale elegant chairs in the fine dining restaurant. Downstairs the brasserie makes for a fun, almost whimsical space where you can relax and enjoy a different menu.
On the wall are quotes from historic African leaders like Nelson Mandela, Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere and others. A life-sized replica of the Academy Award Oscar trophy stands in the spotlight surrounded by posters of famous movies filmed in Kenya. Each of the suites is named after a historical figure who has made an impact on the world and who is connected to Kenya. Lord Errol, Beryl Markham, Leakey, Daphne Sheldrick, Meryl Streep and Robert Redford are but a few examples. The rooms all boast stunning views of the ngong hills and its surrounding forest.
Indeed, the Author Ernest Hemingway was a great Bon Viveur who visited Kenya on a number of occasions and ate life with a big spoon. The inspiration to name this establishment after him reflects his legacy of a fun, action-packed way of life surrounded by luxury and adventure.
For Nairobi residents, the Hemingways Spa will have you coming back again and again. Their friendly and professional team offer a full range of world-class pampering for both men and women. Their most popular services include the homemade Cinnamon and coconut body scrub, Zanzibar coffee scrub and massage as well as their made-to-measure facials. For directions and to experience Hemingways for yourself, find out more here.