Luxury hotel description
From the day it opened its doors in 1902, Sarova Stanley, a 5 star hotel in Nairobi, has been making history - hosting royal safaris and a long line of living legends. The stature and historical importance of Sarova Stanley was aptly described in a article that appeared in The East African and Rhodesian in 1930 that said, „There is probably no other colony in the British Empire where a hotel has been more intimately associated with communal development and welfare than has The Stanley of Nairobi with the modern history and progress of Kenya. That celebrated establishment has been so long a popular rendezvous of the colonists that it has acquired an individuality entirely of its own“.
The moment you pass through the century old revolving doors, you enter another world, the heat and bustle of modern Nairobi left behind as you tune into the cool Victorian elegance of Sarova Stanley. A spacious foyer, with its patterned marble floors, chesterfields, old clocks and ancient photographs all come together to transport you to another era.
Sarova Stanley, which is one of the eight hotels owned by Sarova Group of hotels, Resort & Game Lodges, offers a wide range of accommodation and services with all rooms elegantly furnished with an ambience that remains as friendly and welcoming as it has always been since its humble beginnings in 1902.
Sarova Stanley has 217 guest rooms over eight floors in different categories including Heritage Suites, Executive Suites and Club Rooms. Dining facilities include the legendary Thorn Tree Cafe, Thai Chi Restaurant which has been awarded as the most authentic Thai restaurant in East Africa, Exchange Bar which was once the venue for Nairobi‘s first stock exchange, Pool Deck Restaurant and 24 hour In-room Dining.
Sarova Stanley as the hotel is now called, is one of the three hotels in the entire continent to be listed in the Summit Hotels in the World, a prestigious honour based both on the highest of standards and on the venue’s culture.
Sarova Hotels, Resorts and Game Lodges took over management of the hotel in 1998 and has since then maintained the same values that earned the hotel its reputation from the early days when Mayence was first getting started.
The sense of the hotels historical values is intangible, a heritage that the management holds dear. With gorgeous décor that emphasizes the stage that have brought The Stanley to this point in its existence, walking through the hotel – stepping into the same room where Princess Elizabeth once was honoured with a banquet, or sitting where Ernest Hemingway once dank- is truly like walking through the ages of Kenya’s history.
Guest rooms at Sarova Stanley offer a blend of Victorian elegance and comfort, combined with all the practical, executive amenities of the modern age. Antique furnishings and restored period details envelop guests in royal mystique. Sarova Stanley exceptional suites symbolise all the comfort, warmth and elegance of the “Sarova Stanley style” par excellence. The prestigious suites pay homage to their famous past residents.The fine settings and ambience offered by the hotel suites, allow you to have a soothing and enchanting stay at one of the most premium hotels in Kenya. In addition to the suites, there are three categories of guest rooms all of which feature: outdoor or atrium view, air-conditioning, black-out curtains, sound-proofing, satellite TV, tea/coffee facilities, mini-bar, safe-deposit box, direct dial telephone with VOIP, wireless internet connectivity, private bath, shower and WC, hair dryers (voltage of 240 volts) and 50 cycle razor outlets operating on both 220 and 240 volts.
Stanley Club Rooms
Club rooms offer a very comfortable stay featuring elegant interiors and amenities such as a fresh fruit basket on arrival, a floral arrangement in the bedroom, fluffy white terry toweling robes and slippers, daily newspapers, free internet access and 42 inch flat-screen televisions. Club room guests also enjoy evening canapés on the house followed by aromatic candles and chocolates for turn down service.
Stanley Deluxe Rooms
Deluxe rooms at Sarova Stanley offer the rare luxury of space, the largest in their category in the city, having been built at a time when space was never a constraint. The rooms are done up in classical style with chintz furnishings and plush carpeting.
The Stanley Suite
The Stanley Suite is the official presidential suite of the hotel and is named after the explorer Henry Morton Stanley. This suite includes an open sitting room and dining area, a powder room, a large bedroom with an en-suite dressing room and a deluxe bathroom with a jacuzzi. The suite is decorated in shades of green with furniture pieces, antiques and old etchings from the Victorian era which exemplifies the elegant heritage of the hotel. Guest will enjoy seeing the historic buildings along Kenyatta Avenue. It is the only one of its kind at The Stanley.
Sarova Stanley offers an eclectic mix of dining and entertainment options. One can enjoy the legendary Thorn Tree Café – reputed to be Nairobi’s first post office or the casual atmosphere at the Pool Deck Restaurant. Thai Chi restaurant is reputed to be the finest in Thai cuisine within the region. The Exchange Bar is an elegantly decadent, plush lounge bar; home to the Nairobi Stock Exchange since incorporation, for a period of over fifty years.
The Exchange Bar
The Exchange Bar in Sarova Stanley has a presence to it that most rooms cannot boast. The rich red palate, which is the first thing to hit you, almost seems to have a texture on its own, one made up of cool, smooth leather, polished by years of use, and glossy, shining mahogany – two materials you will find in abundance at the bar, a testament to the precisely considered and matched furnishings that have been used to fill it. Rounding out to the look and making you feel as though you’ve stepped back through the years are the palm ceiling fans, although they are now operated by electricity.
To fully appreciate this bar, which is more than just a local watering hole, you have to understand how important it and the building in which it stands - not to mention the families that built and operated it –were to the development of Nairobi and, resultantly , to the nation as a whole.
Situated on the fifth floor, adjoining the swimming pool, The Stanley Health Club includes a gymnasium, aerobics studio, spacious sauna, steam and relaxation rooms.
For the fitness minded, the gymnasium offers a range of state-of-the-art exercise equipment including cross trainers, exercise cycles, free weights, multi gym, rowing machines and treadmills, free of charge to guests. There are also highly qualified instructors on duty at all times to assist you in your workout.
Walking through the corridors of Sarova Stanley, you can’t go 10 meters without coming across some stunning black and white shot, either capturing the several iterations of the hotel itself on some historical occasion or one of the many famous and influential guest that have frequented this locale. A snapshot of Princess Elizabeth just before she became Britain’s sovereign hangs in one room near one of the hotels guests on the day of European victory in World War II, which in turn is not far from a photo of Ernest Hemingway and his wife cuddling a lion cub- all people and events that, while contributing to the hotels lore, have had a profound effect on Kenyan and global history.
Such is the nature of Stanley, Kenya’s first hotel. But while an impressive title, ‘first hotel’ does not fully capture its part in the development of the city it lies within. Simply put, The Stanley has been and will always be an institution in Nairobi, as important to the country’s culture as it is to its hospitality.
The first major setback Mayence faced in her long career as a hotel proprietor, was essentially the hardest setback any proprietor could face. In 1904, Nairobi was rocked by The Great Fire of Victoria Street which destroyed most of the buildings in the area, including Mayence’s hotel. Not to be shut down by something so trivial, she simply moved her guests to the upper unfinished floor of a stone building on Station Street, now Government Road, covering the holes in the not yet completed roof with traps.
This move, however, would prove beneficial in the end, as Mayence eventually set up new premises along Government Road, the first true Stanley Hotel. Again boasting the only two-storey hotel in town, the veranda on the second floor offered quite a view, as there were few two-storey buildings in the town. In fact, on a clear day, early Nairobians and guests could see the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance.
The new hotel thrived and garnered a widespread reputation. While there were four hotels then in Nairobi, The Stanley, The Norfolk, The commercial and The Empress, Mayence’s main competition came from The Norfolk. The clientele of the two hotels, however, was quite different, with The Norfolk jokingly being called The House of Lords due to the prevalence of British nobility in its patronage, while The Stanley on the other hand attracted more businessmen and, due to its proximity to the rail station, newcomers to town.
first luxury hotel in Nairobi
Sarova Stanley launched itself into Kenyan history in 1902 by becoming the first luxury hotel in Nairobi and the gracious host of prominent world leaders, renowned authors, and international celebrities. These early years depicted the dawn of a new era, and Sarova Stanley immediately distinguished itself as a beacon of luxury and unrivalled hospitality.
Today, Sarova Stanley‘s heritage character is preserved whilst offering modern hotel services and amenities to create Nairobi‘s most special city hotel experience. The hotel is also a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, in the Lifestyle Collection. If you crave to enjoy the luxurious amenities provided by the 5 star hotels in Kenya or taste world-class cuisines, then booking an accommodation here lets you achieve it.
Meetings & conference facilities
Sarova Stanley, a luxury business hotel in Nairobi, Kenya offers all business facilities such as wireless internet, business centre with secretarial services, and nine fully equipped meetings and conference rooms with state-of-the-art technological advancements. In combination, the conference rooms can house over 800 people.
For those who are looking for the best executive class business hotels in Kenya, the Sarova Stanley gives great opportunity to access various top tech amenities and personal services for fulfilling business needs.
The Thorn Tree Cafe is a legendary open-air, bistro style pavement cafe and is most famous for its message board located at the centre of the restaurant. Legend purports that the Thorn tree cafe - named for a single centrally situated Acacia tree - became a makeshift post box for travelers who left mail pinned onto its trunk. ‚Tree mail‘ endures despite email and the Thorn tree Cafe flourishes as the crossroads of Africa. From time immemorial the cafe has been the perfect meeting place for friends and offers a remarkable dining experience in the central business district. It has a deli counter, serves pizzas from a wood-fired oven, fresh juices, beers, the widest range of coffees and a varied menu which includes popular continental and nouvelle dishes.
Business facilities include wireless internet, fully-equipped business centre, meeting rooms in varying capacities and secretarial services. The heated pool on the 5th floor adjoins a fully equipped health club with gym, steam, sauna and massage facilities. Sarova Stanley‘s mini shopping arcade houses Gift Shops, Newspaper Stand, Bookshop, Boutique, Curio shop, Chemist, Optician, Locksmith, Art Gallery and Car Rental outlets.