We are a friendly expat couple living in Nairobi for 8 years now. Our apartment is in a resort-like compound, very secure, in a great location in upscale Kilimani. There's a gym, pool, 24-hour security, and wifi coverage in most parts of compound.
We've added a small mirror, a desk calendar, an extra chair cushion, and a side table where you can unpack your luggage.
We live in a two-bedroom ground floor flat in a resort-like apartment complex with a swimming pool, basic gym, 24-hour security, and management-provided wifi coverage in most parts of the compound in upscale Kilimani, Nairobi. Lately though, the management-provided internet has been up and down.
Our place is ideal for those travelling from outside the continent here on business, as student interns, or as tourists. In our previous flat, we often welcomed INGO and humanitarian staff working elsewhere in Africa who travelled to Nairobi either on R&R or meetings and wanted to stay in a more home-like and affordable place.
Our current guest bedroom is spacious with a comfortable king-sized bed made even more comfortable by an orthopedic mattress, a huge duvet to snuggle in, and as many pillows as you want. :-)
Since it's king-sized, it fits a couple or a single guest very comfortably..
The bedroom faces north so, unless it's cloudy, it is blessed with lovely natural light during the day. There is a bedside table with drawers and a lamp. Across the room is a basic writing table and chair. The closet can be locked and you can use as many hangers as you want.
As with most flats in Nairobi, there are no screens on the windows so we encourage you to draw your curtains and close your bedroom door after 5 p.m. to discourage mosquitos from coming in. We do have a plug-in electric mosquito repeller should some mozzies manage to sneak their way into your room.
You will share our bathroom (we try to always keep it clean!) and we will provide you with towels, shampoo and soap.
We like to hang out in our living room and you are perfectly welcome to join us should you feel some company. We don't have a TV/cable since we normally get all we need online. We also like to read and we have plenty of books, mostly fiction, that you may borrow during your stay with us. We also have an extensive movie and TV series selection! :-)
You will also enjoy using our kitchen - we have a 5-burner stove, sandwich griller, and all manner of kitchen accoutrements should you wish to cook. And cooking will be convenient - fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables can be had from either Yaya Centre (a mere six-minute walk away) or Nakumatt Prestige Plaza (a fifteen-minute walk tops) or the Korean meatshop and grocery (easily 3 minutes away on foot).
The compound has a generator so power outages (very common in Nairobi) are hopefully brief. The compound also has its own borehole and the soft water is one of the best quality we've had in Nairobi. There is also a pool and a basic gym. We like walking around the compound at night after dinner.
And oh, we recently became the humans of a very lively (and impossibly cute) kitten... She's very playful and a fast learner. SassCat doesn't have access to the bedrooms and we intend to keep it that way.
We hope to make you comfortable and to feel at home. We try to make sure everything is in order for you.
Wifi internet provided by the apartment complex service provider is available and accessible in most parts of the whole compound (you can sit by the pool with your laptop, if you wish) though it may be iffy inside your own room. Though our compound wifi is pretty reliable, there are times when it's slow or down, especially since the current service provider is upgrading/tweaking their service.
Sometimes, during power outages, there's a delay before the generator and wifi kicks in again. Should there be totally no power and internet (it happens when power company guys work on a nearby transmission line), there are several nearby restaurants with generators and good wifi connection you can go to should you really need to work online during the outage.
Alternatively, we can also lend you a broadband modem stick which you can top up and use anywhere.
Our bedroom, of course, is off-limits..
Interaction with Guests
We both work (office and at home) and workdays can be a bit rushed but generally, evenings afford some relaxation and catching up. We're pretty laidback people and we are always up for a good chat, or a quiet drink or even the occasional movie marathons at home. Wild party animals we're definitely not. :-)
We are so conveniently located in Kilimani! Yaya Centre and Nakumatt Prestige Plaza are just 500 and 900 meters away, respectively. The Greenhouse and Adam's Arcade are a couple of minutes further away. The iHub is approximately 1.1 kilometers away.
There are many restaurants and coffee shops in the neighborhood - from upscale to hole-in-the-wall - all within walking distance. You have a choice of Kenyan, Ethiopian, Italian, Lebanese, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, American, etc cuisines although some of the stand-alone restaurants may be closed on Sundays. But there's always a place in which to eat at Yaya Centre or Prestige Plaza. There are delis in both Yaya Centre, Prestige Plaza, and at Junction Mall (3.1 kilometers away) if you want to go further afield.
Chemists/drugstores/pharmacies, hair salons, bookshops, toy shops, sporting goods, an Apple Store, hardware, banks and ATMs, money exchange, courier and travel agencies, wines and spirits, greengrocers, butcheries, grocery and supermarkets, music learning centre, hospitals and clinics, (yup!), fitness centres, cybercafes, and even the secondhand clothes/toys/household goods place that is Toi Market are within easy walking distance. Seriously! :-)
The Maasai Market selling all manner of curios, blankets, beads, baskets, ethnic jewelry, figurines, is on every Sundays at Yaya Centre and that's always interesting for some souvenir hunting. Bargain well.
While Kilimani is said to be an upscale part of Nairobi, there is still a lack of good sidewalks (which can be muddy when it rains) much like in other parts of Nairobi. Drivers can also be a bit impatient so walk carefully.
Public transport is 500 meters away at Argwings Kodhek Road beside Yaya Centre while Ngong Road is 900 meters away beside Prestige Plaza. Buses and vans will take you downtown within 20 to 30 minutes where other buses and vans can take you elsewhere.
Downtown Nairobi is 5.8 kilometers away (let's use the Hilton Hotel as a landmark...) We are definitely very conveniently located.
And for those who want a less colorful commute, we have many taxi driver friends whom we have known for many many years. They will give you very competitive rates for trips around town or for safaris upcountry like Hell's Gate National Park, Lake Naivasha, Lake Elementaita, Lake Nakuru National Park, the Masai Mara, Lakes Baringo and Bogoria, Mt Kenya National Park and so on.
Other Things to Note
We are a family-friendly neighborhood.
We have a nice and honest cleaning lady who comes twice or thrice a week to clean, do the laundry, and ironing. She will gladly do your laundry and ironing too for a reasonable fee while we will gladly provide laundry detergent and fabric softener.
Nairobi being Nairobi, there has been a recent spate of robberies, (Nairobbery, as the joke goes), violence, etc. The usual precaution needed in any big city in the world plus more (this is Nairobi after all) is advised, e.g., don't flash your money or electronics, don't ever walk alone after sundown, be aware of your surroundings in crowded places, resist the ubiquitous ladies of the night and the sweet-talking streetwise hustlers, keep a clear head and you will be fine and have a great time. :-) Welcome to Nairobi!
We don't really have many household rules except those guided by common courtesy and respect, thoughtfulness and good sense:
1) Please, kindly remove your street shoes by the entry hallway and make use of our many house slippers. These are kept clean for each new guest.
2) The security in our compound is good and discourages any unannounced visitors you may wish to invite in our home WITHOUT our knowledge, presence, and consent. This is both for your security and ours.
2) Please tidy up after yourself in all common areas like the kitchen, dining and living rooms as well as the bathroom and hall toilet.
3) Should you wish to cook or prepare a snack, we would be happy if you wash up afterwards, including all pots, pans, dishes, and utensils you used and give the stove and countertops a good wipe. :-) This is to discourage pests since we live on the ground floor.
4) Please refrain from eating and/or leaving food crumbs, dirty plates and utensils in your room lest ants and other much less desirable pests pay you a visit.
5) You may smoke outside in our secluded terrace and please remember to properly dispose of your cigarette butts afterwards.
7) Power outages are very common in Nairobi and rates have gone up considerably. All our lights use power-saving bulbs but please turn off main light in your bedroom if you're not there.
Also kindly turn off the water heater please after 20 to 30 minutes since it's a real power hog. :-)
8) Rule of thumb: Please don't do what you would not want others to do in your own home. :-)
I stayed with Mari and Richard for a few days while I was looking for an apartment. They were wonderful hosts and the room was comfortable. The apartment is in a safe part of Nairobi and within walking distance of Yaya shopping center. Mari and Richard were also able to recommend a great sushi restaurant very close to the apartment. Would definitely recommend this place.
Mari and Richard were absolutely lovely hosts! Their home is stylish and comfortable, lots of space, and one really awesome sassy kitten. Mari and Richard are both friendly and helpful, and have fascinating life stories and adventures that continue to unfold. Mari even went to the effort of replacing the fresh bedsheets for me at the last minute for the sake of the colours :). I'd certainly stay with them again next time I come to Nairobi, and so should you!
I had a wonderful stay with Mari and Richard. They were very easy going and helpful throughout my stay. The compound was very tranquil and conveniently located. The apartment itself had everything I needed, hot water and an amazingly comfortable bed. The only downside being that the internet signal doesn't reach the guest bedroom - but this is common in Nairobi. Overall I was really pleased with my stay, and would happily return in the future!
We'd love to have you back anytime, Natalie!
And I know, we're really sorry about lack of internet signal in the guest bedroom itself. It's a current limitation of the whole compound-wide internet service which doesn't extend to the back yet. But, we'll explore how we can get around that. :-)
And we have really thought about redecorating the lighting scheme of the guestroom (and the master bedroom too, for that matter) sometime back . We just haven't found something to our taste yet. ;-) Hopefully, that will all change soon (fingers crossed.)
All the best!
Mari & Richard were amazing hosts - I have had half a dozen AirBnB stays so far, and I can say that this was absolutely the best. They were so kind and considerate - even keen and eager to make sure that I was comfortable and that I had anything I might need (so much so, that they almost seemed "on edge" all the time, which at times was even a little uncomfortable). Mari looked after every little detail - even airing the room out to make sure that it smelled good (I've stayed at at least 3 AirBnB places which all had a distinct and slightly not nice smells, which the hosts just seemed oblivious to, so this was literally a breath of fresh air). And both Mari and Richard were extremely friendly - I enjoyed discussing everything from their travels in Pakistan (which is where I'm from), to the current state of Kenya (which is where I've lived in the past, and thus can discuss the topic) - it was really good to have such great company.
Many thanks for your very kind words. :-) Much appreciated!
We're glad you liked your stay with us. We enjoyed our conversations too and sharing about each other's work. And it was sweetly nostalgic for me to remember my working visit to Pakistan many years ago.
Ooops, sorry if we seemed to come across as a bit "on edge" and thus making you a little uncomfortable for a while. :-D With our past guests, we normally have had at least a full day's notice before they arrived; thus, we were able to personally make sure the room was in total order. Richard and I were both extremely busy during your two-day stay that we didn't have much time to check on the handiwork of our trusted (and reliable!) lady housekeeper and be more chill. ;-p
We look forward to hosting you again next time you're in the old neighborhood!