Most safaris in East Africa begin and end in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.  This vibrant city has so much to offer, including unique wildlife encounters like the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and fabulous shopping at the boutiques of local artisans, just to name a few. If you have a night or two to spend in Nairobi, there is plenty to see and do!

Last month we had the opportunity to catch up on all things Nairobi and wanted to share the very latest with you! Here are our top picks for the best places to stay in Nairobi Kenya.

The Emakoko

Nestled between a river and soaring escarpment at the edge of Nairobi National Park, the Emakoko is a fabulous introduction to Africa.  After just a few miles on the main road from the airport, you’ll hop into Nairobi National Park for a beautiful 20 minutes or so transfer to reach the property. Such an incredible feeling to be a few minutes from one of the largest cities in Africa yet feel like you are completely in the bush.

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We love the cozy décor, including overstuffed sofas in the lounge, dark wood, whitewashed walls and fireplaces throughout the property. You certainly won’t have this experience at one of the internationally branded chain hotels in the city center!

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The Emakoko is owned and operated by Anthony and Emma Childs, who live on site along with their children. They are always happy to help guests plan a perfect day in Nairobi, organize something special for dinner or just sit and have a sundowner together while watching the sunset over the park.

And be sure to check out their beautiful boutique on site, featuring jewelry and other gifts, all hand made by local artisans.

Palacina

Located near the city center, Palacina is another fabulous option for a hotel in Nairobi that feels just like home. The rooms are spacious, with a sitting area, large porch, sleeping area and bathroom with shower and bathtub.

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The on site restaurant is fantastic; perfect for a late night meal if arriving into Nairobi late in the day.  And the décor is truly unique. The hotel’s sister company is a local interior decorating business, which explains the chic style throughout the property.

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Mornings on the porch of the Palacina, listening to the birds and enjoying a cup of fresh Kenya coffee is something we look forward to each and every time we return to Kenya!

148 Giraffe Sanctuary

This is Kenya’s newest – and most exciting – property! While still very much in the works and under construction, this is a private home- turned boutique hotel in the desirable neighborhood of Karen. Located just steps from the Karen Blixen Museum and the AFEW Giraffe Center, this new boutique property includes a main house with 3 rooms and 5 cottages in the garden.

We recently had an opportunity to take a look at the property, though still very much in construction mode, and loved the cozy atmosphere and fabulous taste with which the home is decorated and designed. The walls are full of art by the highly-acclaimed Kenyan artist Tonio Trzbenski.

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We’ll be sure to share more about this new hotel as it nears opening later this year or early 2017.

Want more about the best places to stay in Nairobi Kenya? Check out some of our favorite Kenya safaris!