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 whole of this public area can feel quite busy. Efficient free Wi-Fi is a bonus.
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 toilets. Basic toiletries are provided. You can also get hair-driers, irons and ironing boards on request.
In addition to the 160 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 inviting – if inevitably a little chilly for most of the year. There’s a fitness gym and small spa, too, located at one end of the pool. The northeast corner of Nairobi National Park is right opposite the hotel, 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.
A 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.
- Nairobi, Kenya
- Ideal length of stay
- 1 night.
- The Eka Hotel is 12km from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (about 15 minute drive) and 5km from Nairobi Wilson Airport for safari flights.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- 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
- Further dining info, including room service
- There's a room service menu.
- Drinks included
- Drinks are not included but they are reasonably priced.
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Special activities & services
- The hotel has baby cots and high chairs.
- The swimming pool is a nice addition, but it's not heated, and there are no lifeguards.
- 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
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- Hospitals, clinics and the headquarters of the Red Cross are all nearby.
- Dangerous animals
- Security measures
- The Eka has good 24-hour security, with guarded parking and airport-style scanners to enter the hotel.
- Fire safety
- Disabled access
- In Place
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry can be done at extra cost (machine washed and tumble-dried).
- 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.
Other lodges in Nairobi
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Four Points Nairobi Airport
The Four Points by Sheraton, set within the perimeter of Nairobi International Airport, is ideally located for a first or last night in Kenya.
The Emakoko is a luxurious, owner-managed safari lodge in a beautiful gorge on the edge of Nairobi National Park.
The Ole-Sereni is a modern, stylish hotel neighbouring Nairobi National Park and located 6km from Wilson domestic airport.
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.
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.
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.
Aero Club of East Africa
The Aero Club of East Africa is a private members' club in the grounds of Wilson Airport, Nairobi, offering offering comfortable rooms and a good restaurant, bar and swimming pool to non-members.
Hemingways Nairobi is a luxury country-house style hotel, with a spa and gym, in the wealthy suburb of Karen.
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.
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.
Karen Gables is a small, high quality hotel in Nairobi with expansive gardens and only seven rooms.
The Palacina is a complex of accommodation options in a quieter part of central Nairobi.
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.
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.
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.
The Stanley is a large, traditional hotel – the oldest in Nairobi – offering a range of facilities.
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.
Acacia Camp is a rustic and affordable safari camp in a wildlife sanctuary a 30-minute drive towards Mombasa from Nairobi’s international airport.