A good, buffet breakfast is one of the perks of staying somewhere like the Eka.
Eka Hotel: Our full report
This business-class hotel on the Mombasa highway is one of the closest in the capital to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – 12km away. Opened in 2012, it has a modern, functional style, late bar, and excellent buffet breakfasts.
Arriving at the Eka, your vehicle goes through an efficient security gate, before parking in the secure car park at the front. When you walk into the lobby, you go through straightforward and friendly airport-style security. To the left is the main reception desk, with the dining room and rear gardens behind. To the right, you’ll find the main bar – the Galaxy – which stays open as late as patrons need its services, and serves decent snacks and light meals. Beyond the bar, there’s a steak house, Soaring Eagle Spur, open daily from 11:00am–11:00pm.
The Eka’s more than adequately sized guest rooms are in two blocks – “Lilly" and “Ivy" – of four floors, accessed by rather narrow and dark corridors. All the Eka’s rooms are air-conditioned and have flat-screen satellite TVs, free Wi-fi, digital safes, tea- and coffee-making sets, luggage racks, walk-in showers and low-level flush loos. Basic toiletries are provided. You can also get hair-driers, irons and ironing boards on request.
In addition to the 163 superior rooms (of which some have interconnecting doors and 2 are accessible), there are 4 junior suites and 3 executive suites. Accessible rooms have larger bathrooms with bars and shower seat and a lower washbasin, and interconnecting doors for helpers.
The views from the windows aren’t any great shakes; the hotel has a relatively small plot, so there are only small grounds around the pool and gym. The hotel feels quiet and relaxed, and while the rooms seem to have good sound insulation, traffic noise and construction work are unfortunately likely to increase over the next year or two as the new southern by-pass is completed. Nevertheless, good first impressions gained at reception at around 11pm were borne out by our subsequent experiences: the main bar was very much open and able to provide cold beers and a good dish of chicken skewers, properly cooked thick-cut chips and katchumburi (tomato and chilli relish); and our room was fully operational, clean and comfortable.
The main activities at the Eka are likely to be packing and preparing for your next flight, but if you’re here for a little longer, then the swimming pool looks clean and inviting – if inevitably a little chilly for most of the year. There’s a fitness gym, too, located at one end of the pool. The northeast corner of Nairobi National Park is right opposite the hotel, just behind its principal competitor, the more glamorous Ole-Sereni, and the nearest park access gate is East Gate, less than 4km down the Mombasa Highway – though you may well have to go the park headquarters in Langata to pay your park fee.
Our viewA bit of competition was needed among the few hotels located relatively close to the international airport. It looks like the Eka has delivered. It’s not flashy and it doesn’t have any outstanding features. It’s just a solidly reliable, efficient stopover that should give you a good night’s sleep and a breakfast to set you up on the first day of your safari.
Ideal length of stay: 1 night.
Directions: The Eka Hotel is 12km from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and 5km from Nairobi Wilson Airport for safari flights.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: The Eka does a decent breakfast buffet as part of the rate, with plenty of cereals, juices, fruit and full cooked options, with the usual pancakes, waffles and omelettes all available to order from the egg station. We didn’t sample lunch or dinner, but judging by the late snack meal we had in the Galaxy bar at short notice, the kitchen here is capable and professional.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15
Drinks included: Drinks are not included but they are reasonably priced.
Further dining info: There's a room service menu.
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome.
Property’s age restrictions: None.
Special activities & services: The hotel has baby cots and high chairs.
Notes: The swimming pool is a nice addition, but it's not heated, and there are no lifeguards.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There are direct dial phones in the rooms, good cellphone reception and free Wi-fi.
TV & radio: There are satellite TVs in every room.
Water supply: Mains
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: Hospitals, clinics and the headquarters of the Red Cross are all nearby.
Security measures: The Eka has good 24-hour security, with guarded parking and airport-style scanners to enter the hotel.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: Laundry can be done at extra cost (machine washed and tumble-dried).
Money: Foreign exchange is available. All rooms have room safes.
Accepted payment on location: All major currencies can be used to settle bills. Cards accepted, with a surcharge, include MasterCard, Visa and Amex.