After a long-haul flight to Kenya, the considered staying someplace luxurious and household pleasant to acclimatise (and discover the capital) simply beats transferring on instantly – so our first cease was a few nights at Hemingways Nairobi with children.
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Flying from the UK, the three-hour time distinction means there’s not an excessive amount of jetlag however any excuse actually!
However can someplace five-star actually be nice for households? Checking in for our keep to evaluate Hemingways Nairobi with children, I set about making an attempt to reply that query.
Hemingways Nairobi evaluate: important statistics
The resort is a part of the Hemingways Assortment, presently a set of 4 properties throughout Kenya – we went on to remain at Hemingways Ol Seki and Hemingways Watamu for our Kenya household vacation (plus lunch on the smaller Hemingways Eden).
There are 43 suites, all with the identical 80 sq. metre format (plus two greater presidential suites), embellished on six completely different themes together with writers, leaders and Africa.
In addition to twin and double rooms, it’s also possible to get rollaway beds and cots added to the room in case you’re staying with children, though realistically you’d want two interconnecting rooms or a bigger suite for an even bigger household or teenagers.
The resort itself is about within the Nairobi suburb of Karen; it’s round a 30-minute drive from each the worldwide airport and Nairobi Wilson airport for home flights, and only a quick drive from Nairobi nationwide park, the Giraffe Centre, and the Sheldrick Wildlife Belief amongst different sights.
There are all the standard amenities you’d anticipate from a luxurious resort too: restaurant and bar, pool and spa, plus there’s an assigned butler for every suite, and golf buggies to take you from reception/the restaurant to your room if you’d like.
The resort is about in its personal grounds, so it’s simple to stroll between the whole lot, particularly in case you’re strolling as much as breakfast or dinner exterior the warmth of the day.
Hemingways Nairobi with children
It’s at all times reassuring to test right into a resort and see you’re not the one individual with children there – in reality the resort’s weekend brunch was evidently a spotlight for plenty of households.
However even with out that, my 10-year-old was as warmly welcomed as I used to be, earlier than we had been whisked right down to our room – the Nelson Mandela suite.
The rooms are beautiful, and many house in case you’re staying with one little one or a child. Our twin beds had been swathed in mosquito netting (and the double beds regarded equally tempting after I noticed another rooms).
There’s a separate house for baggage within the lavatory so that you’re not continuously falling over your suitcase.
Add in a dwelling space with couch and desk, plus a hidden TV which emerges from a retro-style trunk on the click on of a button, and we immediately relaxed with the welcome fruit juice and a few room service.
There are many different little touches relying how your room is themed: at one finish, pictures of elephants within the Masai Mara bought us enthusiastic about our upcoming safari, whereas on the different, there have been pictures of Mandela together with different gadgets regarding his life.
I bought a peek at among the different rooms, together with the most important Karen Blixen suite, and every had its personal little twist.
The toilet appears much more spacious: there are twin sinks, one at both finish, an enormous deep oval tub (though our temporary keep meant I by no means bought to strive it out) and a walk-in bathe with a blissfully highly effective showerhead and toiletries supplied.
There’s a lot of storage and hanging house (with correct hangers!), which you’ll cover away behind the sliding doorways, together with a small secure.
Every room has its personal out of doors house too: a terrace for the bottom ground Deluxe Suites, a balcony for the primary ground Government Suites with cozy furnishings and a stunning view out throughout the grounds to the Ngong Hills. From this facet of the rooms, there’s additionally a path working as much as the resort’s principal constructing.
And that’s the place you’ll discover the restaurant, bar, spa and pool, plus a lounge with squashy conventional leather-based sofas dotted round.
Breakfast with a view is at all times an effective way to start out the day, and right here, there’s the standard buffet plus further choices, together with some nice waffles and eggs, contemporary pastries and bread, beautiful fruit and much more.
The out of doors tables sit by a small pool with fountains – I by no means get bored with the climate being ok to eat breakfast outside – plus tables inside in case you favor.
As a result of whereas temperatures rise in the course of the day, in case you’re up early (as we had been for an early flight on the morning of our departure), sitting exterior would have been on the chilly facet, to allow them to turn out to be useful.
Within the night, extra out of doors tables open up for dinner, together with heaters in the event that they’re wanted, candles and burners to repel any bugs.
There’s an amazing child’s menu together with the most important milkshake my daughter has ever been allowed to drink – her face was an image! – and a scrumptious tuna burger on the grownup menu.
When you have time to go to the bar beforehand, you may get some pretty sundown views too, plus there’s the choice to have afternoon tea in case you fancy.
Sadly there was no time for me to take a look at the spa, however in case you’re on the lookout for a therapeutic massage after being crammed right into a airplane for eight hours, the choice is there in case you can sneak away.
After exploring, we cooled off and chilled out by the stunning pool, snaffling a few loungers within the shade.
It’s price figuring out that resort swimming pools in Kenya shut at 6pm (and that is often enforced), plus they are typically unheated.
With the solar on them, that’s not an issue, however you might need to think about packing quick wetsuits for youthful ones. In February, it was undoubtedly refreshing however not important right here although.
For extra of my ideas for visiting Kenya with children, take a look at all my recommendation for a household vacation
Issues to do in Nairobi with children
Hemingways Nairobi can also be an amazing location in case you’d wish to see among the sights of the capital whilst you’re in Kenya.
Within the suburb of Karen, it’s not removed from both airport or from loads of the animal sights within the metropolis. A brand new expressway which has not too long ago opened has helped lighten a few of Nairobi’s site visitors, however sitting in queues of automobiles is rarely a enjoyable factor to do on vacation, so it pays to keep away from too many lengthy drives.
One of many largest highlights in Nairobi with children is a visit to the Giraffe Centre in Langata, house to endangered Rothschild giraffes.
Though the primary focus helps to guard the rescued animals, with guests in a position to be taught extra about these stunning creatures, the large spotlight is having the ability to feed them.
Whenever you arrive, you’re given a coconut shell bowl stuffed with a few sorts of pellets, and there’s a raised walkway the place the giraffes can come to eat out of your hand.
Beforehand you possibly can ‘kiss’ the giraffes by placing a pellet in your mouth however – fortunately, given how lengthy their tongues are – that’s now not allowed.
It’s unimaginable to have the ability to get so near them. In the event that they don’t need to, there’s house for them to roam within the timber close by, however as one positioned himself cleverly to take pellets from three completely different teams one after the opposite, I’m fairly positive we’re the equal of a breakfast buffet.
The Centre additionally has a brief nature stroll path throughout the street, the place you may uncover among the native timber and crops. It’s price visiting early earlier than the crowds arrive and the warmth builds.
Sheldrick Wildlife Belief
In addition to getting up near giraffe, it’s also possible to meet elephants on the Sheldrick Wildlife Centre close by, which rehabilitates orphaned elephants.
Guests are solely allowed right here between 11am and 12 midday so it does get booked up in a short time, particularly throughout holidays, so do ensure that to kind your tickets early if it’s in your checklist.
It’s price figuring out that there was an choice to go to later within the day in case you sponsored an elephant (and an opportunity to satisfy the one you’d sponsored on the similar time) however this feature has now been stopped.
You could find skip-the-line excursions which go to each the Giraffe Centre and Sheldrick Wildlife Centre, together with transport
Nairobi Nationwide Park
Nairobi is the one metropolis on the planet with a nationwide park on its doorstep, and it’s an amazing place to get a style of safari with out an extra cease (or price).
You possibly can take a guided tour of the nationwide park, or a non-public tour of Nairobi Nationwide Park is usually a good choice in case you’re visiting Kenya with children, as there’s extra flexibility than with a bigger group.
When you have longer to spend, there are additionally day excursions from Nairobi to Nakuru Nationwide Park and the hippos of Lake Naivasha
Barely additional away from Karen and Langata, you may go to the Nairobi Nationwide Museum, which is a superb introduction to Kenya’s tradition, historical past, arts and nature.
Alongside shows on the ‘Cradle of Man’, targeted on human origins in Africa, there are additionally displays on the historical past of Kenya, together with the completely different communities and language teams, colonial interval and independence.
Entry is round £7.50 for adults (1200 Kenyan Shillings) and half value for under-16s.
Nairobi Snake Park
The Nairobi Snake Park is about within the grounds of the museum if you wish to be taught extra concerning the nation’s reptiles too. A rescue and rehabilitation centre, all its creatures have been rehomed right here after being taken from unlawful collections or deserted.
There are crocodiles and tortoises in addition to the snakes, which embrace puff adder, black mamba, Egyptian cobra, African rock python and Gaboon Viper (which has the longest fangs of any snake species on the planet) – evidently, all saved safely separate from guests!
You possibly can work together with among the extra innocent snakes and reptiles and even deal with them in case you fancy. Mixed tickets for the snake park and Nairobi Nationwide Museum can be found.
Hemingways Nairobi evaluate: the decision
With the possibility to go on a household safari and to lounge by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, it may be tempting to hurry by means of Nairobi and head straight on from the capital.
However not solely is it a good suggestion to interrupt your journey after a long-haul flight for sensible causes, it’s nicely price saving not less than someday to get a style of the Kenyan capital.
When you may not have a lot of conventional family-friendly choices like a child’s membership at this explicit resort, the placement makes it simple to discover and the pool and lovely rooms make it very tempting to remain on website anyway.
The service is unbelievable too, so kids are as welcome as adults (if no more so), and there’s by no means a sense that households are merely tolerated right here.
With a resort driver to gather us from the airport and ferry us to the subsequent one, in addition to driving us round to see among the sights in our restricted time, it additionally made the whole lot really easy, particularly in case you haven’t travelled a lot in Africa with children, are battling jetlag and don’t have lengthy to discover.
The downsides? Realistically, in case you’re travelling with older children or bigger households, the room set-up isn’t designed for including a lot of beds, however the rooms are spacious sufficient that it really works with youthful ones.
Evidently, it’s not the most affordable keep, however with the possibility to bundle the evening right here in with each safari and seaside, you could find packages masking all three motels with a greater general charge than reserving particular person nights – ours was booked with Far and Wild Journey.
However for a totally indulgent begin to a visit, it’s onerous to beat Hemingways Nairobi with children.
Disclosure: My keep at Hemingways Nairobi with children was courtesy of the resort as a part of a press journey, together with flight help from Far & Wild. All opinions, together with the most effective issues to do in Nairobi with children, stay my very own. This put up accommodates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee
Nairobi Nationwide Park picture courtesy of Depositphotos, all different pictures copyright MummyTravels