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 youngsters.
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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 assessment Hemingways Nairobi with youngsters, I set about attempting to reply that query.
Hemingways Nairobi assessment: very 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 structure (plus two larger presidential suites), embellished on six totally different themes together with writers, leaders and Africa.
In addition to twin and double rooms, you can even get rollaway beds and cots added to the room should you’re staying with youngsters, 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 brief drive from Nairobi nationwide park, the Giraffe Centre, and the Sheldrick Wildlife Belief amongst different sights.
There are all the same old 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 straightforward to stroll between all the things, particularly should you’re strolling as much as breakfast or dinner exterior the warmth of the day.
Hemingways Nairobi with youngsters
It’s all the time reassuring to verify right into a resort and see you’re not the one individual with youngsters there – in truth 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 attractive, and plenty of area should 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 area for baggage within the lavatory so that you’re not always 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 acquired us enthusiastic about our upcoming safari, whereas on the different, there have been pictures of Mandela together with different gadgets referring to his life.
I acquired a peek at a few of the different rooms, together with the largest Karen Blixen suite, and every had its personal little twist.
The toilet appears much more spacious: there are twin sinks, one at both finish, a giant deep oval tub (though our transient keep meant I by no means acquired to strive it out) and a walk-in bathe with a blissfully highly effective showerhead and toiletries offered.
There’s plenty of storage and hanging area (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 area too: a terrace for the bottom ground Deluxe Suites, a balcony for the primary ground Govt Suites with cozy furnishings and a stunning view out throughout the grounds to the Ngong Hills. From this aspect of the rooms, there’s additionally a path working as much as the resort’s primary 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 all the time a good way to begin the day, and right here, there’s the same old buffet plus extra choices, together with some nice waffles and eggs, contemporary pastries and bread, attractive 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 adequate to eat breakfast outdoor – plus tables inside should you want.
As a result of whereas temperatures rise in the midst of the day, should 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 aspect, to allow them to come in 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 ideal child’s menu together with the largest 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 will get some beautiful sundown views too, plus there’s the choice to have afternoon tea should you fancy.
Sadly there was no time for me to take a look at the spa, however should you’re on the lookout for a therapeutic massage after being crammed right into a airplane for eight hours, the choice is there should you can sneak away.
After exploring, we cooled off and chilled out by the beautiful pool, snaffling a few loungers within the shade.
It’s price understanding that resort swimming pools in Kenya shut at 6pm (and that is often enforced), plus they are usually unheated.
With the solar on them, that’s not an issue, however you might need to think about packing brief wetsuits for youthful ones. In February, it was positively refreshing however not important right here although.
For extra of my suggestions for visiting Kenya with youngsters, try all my recommendation for a household vacation
Issues to do in Nairobi with youngsters
Hemingways Nairobi can be an ideal location should you’d wish to see a few of the sights of the capital when 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 just lately opened has helped lighten a few of Nairobi’s site visitors, however sitting in queues of vehicles isn’t a enjoyable factor to do on vacation, so it pays to keep away from too many lengthy drives.
One of many greatest highlights in Nairobi with youngsters is a visit to the Giraffe Centre in Langata, dwelling to endangered Rothschild giraffes.
Though the principle focus helps to guard the rescued animals, with guests in a position to be taught extra about these stunning creatures, the large spotlight is with the ability to feed them.
If you arrive, you’re given a coconut shell bowl crammed with a few varieties of pellets, and there’s a raised walkway the place the giraffes can come to eat out of your hand.
Beforehand you may ‘kiss’ the giraffes by placing a pellet in your mouth however – fortunately, given how lengthy their tongues are – that’s not allowed.
It’s unbelievable to have the ability to get so near them. In the event that they don’t need to, there’s area for them to roam within the timber close by, however as one positioned himself cleverly to take pellets from three totally different teams one after the opposite, I’m fairly certain 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 a few of 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, you can even 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 to kind your tickets early if it’s in your listing.
It’s price understanding that there was once an choice to go to later within the day should you sponsored an elephant (and an opportunity to satisfy the one you’d sponsored on the identical time) however this feature has now been stopped.
Yow will discover 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 earth with a nationwide park on its doorstep, and it’s an ideal place to get a style of safari with out a further cease (or value).
You may take a guided tour of the nationwide park, or a non-public tour of Nairobi Nationwide Park is usually a good choice should you’re visiting Kenya with youngsters, 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’, centered on human origins in Africa, there are additionally displays on the historical past of Kenya, together with the totally 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 in regards to 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 earth) – evidently, all saved safely separate from guests!
You may work together with a few of the extra innocent snakes and reptiles and even deal with them should you fancy. Mixed tickets for the snake park and Nairobi Nationwide Museum can be found.
Hemingways Nairobi assessment: 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 way 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 properly price saving at the least sooner or later to get a style of the Kenyan capital.
Whilst you may not have plenty of conventional family-friendly choices like a child’s membership at this explicit resort, the situation makes it straightforward 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 a few of the sights in our restricted time, it additionally made all the things really easy, particularly should you haven’t travelled a lot in Africa with youngsters, are battling jetlag and don’t have lengthy to discover.
The downsides? Realistically, should you’re travelling with older youngsters or bigger households, the room set-up isn’t designed for including plenty of beds, however the rooms are spacious sufficient that it really works with youthful ones.
For sure, it’s not the most cost effective keep, however with the possibility to bundle the evening right here in with each safari and seaside, you will discover packages protecting all three accommodations 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 exhausting to beat Hemingways Nairobi with youngsters.
Disclosure: My keep at Hemingways Nairobi with youngsters was courtesy of the resort as a part of a press journey, together with flight help from Far & Wild. All opinions, together with one of the best issues to do in Nairobi with youngsters, stay my very own. This publish 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 photographs copyright MummyTravels