This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu
Aero Club of East Africa
Aero Club of East Africa

Aero Club of East Africa


1°19’20.8"S 36°48’32.5"E

Aero Club of East Africa: Our full report

The dozen rooms at the old Aero Club of East Africa, at Nairobi’s domestic Wilson Airport are available for ...

... non-members and make a very convenient base if you’re flying out of Wilson the next morning – or if you've just arrived at Wilson and won't be leaving Nairobi until the next day. The convivial bar is a real bonus. Java House Aero Club is open from 06:30 to 21:00 for meals and snacks.

With connections between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airport sometimes taking an hour or more, depending on traffic, the option of taking a room for the night at Wilson has some appeal. If you're a flying enthusiast, then you'll probably enjoy every minute of it: during the day you can watch small planes through the fence, taking off and landing to your heart's content.

The club gates are on the main Wilson Airport road that runs inside the permiter fence. Once through a basic security check your vehicle will park in the shady car park just in front of the old main building. A simple reception desk, sofa and notice boards comprise the reception area, with toilets to one side, the members’ bar to the left and the main lounge and restaurant straight ahead. To one side of the cosy club restaurant (“The Creative Kitchen"), there’s a pleasant terrace with further dining tables and chairs, and then the lawned rear gardens with further seating and tables under the trees and a 10-metre, rectangular, unheated swimming pool.

The interior of the club is replete with African aeronautical ephemera, photos, trophies, a large display cabinet and some quite large pieces of aircraft hardware.

The general style of the 12 rooms at the Aero Club is that of a comfortable boarding house or hostel, with no frills. They have two standards of rooms, the Old Wing close to the airport perimeter road and the New Wing a little further back in the grounds. There’s not much of a price difference, but the Old Wing, being close to the busy Langata Road, can be noisy with traffic at almost any time of the day or night. In the Old Wing, rooms #1 to #4 are small singles, and rooms #5 and #6 modest doubles. In the New Wing, rooms #7 to #12 can be set up as twins or doubles. Rooms #11 and #12 are larger, and probably the best rooms at the club. Room #10 is flamboyantly decorated in huge wall murals and posters depicting fighter planes and the like, installed by the Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab after an air show. All the rooms have mosquito nets, clothes hanging space, TVs with rather poor reception and limited channels, dubious old room phones, tea and coffee-making kits and jugs of drinking water.

The simple tiled bathrooms have walk-in showers, single basins, flush loos and mini soaps, but no other toiletries. The towels were freshly laundered and reasonably good. There’s adequate lighting and UK-style sockets for charging. Mains electricity, although subject to occasional power cuts, is in theory on 24-hours a day.

The club’s check-out time is 10:30 and you’ll need to clear it with the manager or receptionist if you need to stay longer. They may require you to pay a late checkout fee or a day room rate.

Your main activities here are likely to be packing and preparing for travels, but if you have some time on your hands, the pool would be nice on a hot afternoon. The club also has two squash courts (available on a first-come-first-served basis) and a half-size snooker table.


Our view

Staying at the Aero Club is a very reasonable, secure option for those on more of a budget. The club interior is quirkily interesting, the shady grounds are very pleasant and the excellent restaurant and bar dependable.

Richard Trillo

Richard Trillo

Kenya expert

Geographics

Location
Nairobi, Kenya
Ideal length of stay
1 night
Directions
The Aero Club is located inside the precincts of Wilson Airport, a one- or two-minute taxi ride from arrival and departure areas.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Room Only
Food quality
The Aero Club is host to an outlet of a local coffee shop chain, Java Coffee House, which provides light meals and snacks all day from 06:00 to 21:00.

As well as snacks, burgers, fish and chips, all-day breakfasts, sandwiches and salads, there's quite an extensive international menu, plus daily specials chalked up on the blackboard. An excellent breakfast (which is an additional cost to your room and is settled at the club) can be served from 06:00, and last orders for dinner are taken at 21:00.

Our "Full English" breakfast (US$13) was extremely good, and came with toast and excellent preserves on the side. For meals and snacks throughout the day, there's plenty of choice, including vegetarian options and some tempting main course salads.

The main Aero Club bar is open until midnight ("or until the last person leaves") but only serves basic bar snacks like crips and peanuts.

Children

Attitude towards children
Children are welcome
Property’s age restrictions
None.
Special activities & services
There is an unheated swimming pool in the garden near the restaurant/bar terrace. Under 12s must be supervised as there is no lifeguard. The restaurant does a small children's menu (most dishes around US$8).
Equipment
They have high chairs but no baby cots.
Generally recommended for children
We think the Aero Club is fine for a brief family stays, but parents should bear in mind that this is a private members' club and noisy children may prove unpopular with some members.

Communications

Power supply notes
There is a backup generator.
Communications
There are room phones but they don't work very well. Mobile coverage is good, though you're only allowed to use mobiles in your room or in the gardens, not in the clubhouse, bar or restaurant. Free Wi-fi is provided with no password protection. Members and temporary members are not allowed to make illegal downloads.
TV & radio
Guest rooms have old-fashioned TVs with a limited range of channels - NTV, Family, Citizen, KBC/TV Africa, KTN. The TV in the members' lounge has MNet satellite service. You're not allowed to play music around the public areas - keep your headhpones in!
Water supply
Mains
Water supply notes
The tap water comes from Nairobi's mains supply and is not recommended for drinking. Solar and electric water heaters provide hot water for each room block. Water pressure is variable.


Bottled water is sourced in large bottles and put into jugs in the rooms.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
There is a first-aid box at the Aero Club and medical facilities are available within Wilson Airport.
Dangerous animals
Low Risk
Security measures
As well as the secure perimeter fence around Wilson Airport, there is a 24-hour askari at the Aero Club gate.
Fire safety
Fire extinguishers are scattered around the club premises and rooms. Fire training takes place every so often.

Activities

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Elephant encounter

    Elephant encounter

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
There is an extra charge for laundry but costs are reasonable - for example US$1.20 for a shirt and US$0.50c for underwear. Clothes are ironed and will be delivered after 24 hours.
Money
A very limited foreign exchange is available. There are no safes in the rooms and while valuables could be left with the receptionist on duty or the manager if available, this i not the norm. Security at this private members' club is considered to be very good.
Accepted payment on location
Credit cards – Visa, MasterCard and Amex – are accepted with no surcharge.

Other lodges in Nairobi

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


The Emakoko

The Emakoko

The Emakoko is a luxurious, owner-managed safari lodge in a beautiful gorge on the edge of Nairobi National Park.


96% (77 reviews)
Eka Hotel

Eka Hotel

The Eka is an affordably priced business-class hotel in a relatively convenient location between Nairobi International Airport and Wilson Airport.


86% (61 reviews)
Ole-Sereni

Ole-Sereni

The Ole-Sereni is a modern, stylish hotel neighbouring Nairobi National Park and located 6km from Wilson domestic airport.


79% (56 reviews)
Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport

Crowne Plaza Nbi Apt

The Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport (formerly known as the Lazizi Premiere and now part of the InterContinental Hotels Group) is the oldest hotel at Nairobi International Airport.


88% (52 reviews)
Macushla House

Macushla House

Macushla House is a very pleasant, small, owner-managed bed and breakfast hotel in a leafy part of southwest Nairobi, very convenient for visiting the Giraffe Centre and Sheldrick's Elephant Orphanage.


90% (48 reviews)
Four Points by Sheraton

Four Points Nairobi Apt

The Four Points by Sheraton (part of the Marriot group) is one of the newest additions to the hotels within Kenya International Airport’s security perimeter.


91% (26 reviews)
Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor is a unique, perennially popular lodge on the outskirts of Nairobi, offering up-close-and-personal encounters with the rare Rothschild giraffes that roam its extensive grounds.


97% (23 reviews)
Nairobi Tented Camp

Nairobi Tented Camp

Nairobi Tented Camp is the only tented camp located inside Nairobi National Park, making it a great option for a true safari stay close to the city and airports.


90% (6 reviews)
The Norfolk Hotel

The Norfolk Hotel

The Norfolk Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Nairobi and has a reputation for its colourful history dating back to 1904.


100% (4 reviews)
Palacina

Palacina

The Palacina is a complex of accommodation options in a quieter part of central Nairobi.


80% (4 reviews)
Hemingways Nairobi

Hemingways Nairobi

Hemingways Nairobi is a luxury country-house style hotel, with a spa and gym, in the wealthy suburb of Karen.


100% (3 reviews)
Hogmead

Hogmead

Hogmead is a stylish, luxury boutique hotel/homestay in a secluded part of Langata in south-west Nairobi, very close to Nairobi National Park and the elephant orphanage.


80% (2 reviews)
Sankara

Sankara

Sankara is a strikingly built hotel in the bustling central Nairobi suburb of Westlands, primarily used as a business stay, with very good dining and leisure facilities.


90% (2 reviews)
One Forty Eight

One Forty Eight

One Forty Eight is a very stylish boutique hotel in one of the leafiest corners of the southwest Nairobi suburb of Karen-Langata. The Giraffe Centre at Giraffe Manor is just a 10-minute walk away.


100% (1 review)
The Stanley

The Stanley

The Stanley is a large, traditional hotel – the oldest in Nairobi – offering a range of facilities.


No reviews yet
Tribe

Tribe

Design-led, contemporary hotel in the Village Market area of Gigiri, a largely diplomatic and luxury residential suburb 10km north of Nairobi’s central business district.


No reviews yet
Acacia Camp

Acacia Camp

Acacia Camp is a rustic and affordable safari camp in a wildlife sanctuary a 30-minute drive towards Mombasa from Nairobi’s international airport.


No reviews yet

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa