Karen Gables: Our full report
Around 30 minutes drive from Wilson airport and 60 minutes from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Karen ...... Gables is ideal for a short stay in Nairobi. It was originally built as a private house and the owner still lives here, making it feel very homely and welcoming. It's the antithesis of Nairobi's large, international chain hotels.
Karen Gables has just eight guest rooms, four Standard Rooms (of which there is one single, one twin, and two doubles), two Suites and one Master Suite.
All the rooms are beautifully furnished with wooden beds and wardrobes, and the majority have comfy seating and writing desks too. The main difference between the room types is the size; both junior suites are larger and have TVs, while the Master Suite also has a private lounge with its own fireplace. All the rooms are en-suite, with a toilet, shower and a single wash basin, although a several also have a bathtub.
The communal areas at Karen Gables are quite expansive, spread across the main house and gardens. There are several cosy seating areas, from the main lounge with its high ceiling and wood burning fire, to the first floor TV lounge with selection of DVDs, or the shady veranda and pool bar. Inside there is a grand dining area with a beautiful wooden table capable of seating eight or more guests, while outside there's a large, solar-heated swimming pool. We particularly liked the tiered gardens, which were full of mature trees and provided plenty of shady spots to relax.
Most people typically only spend a night in Nairobi, but with a bit more time you can easily get out and explore the city. Popular options include visiting Nairobi National Park, the Giraffe Centre, or possibly the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage (must be pre-booked).
Small, high quality, owner-run hotels are something of a rarity in Nairobi, and Karen Gables fills this niche nicely. We love the home from home atmosphere and this a fantastic option for a night or two before or after your safari.
- Nairobi, Kenya
- Ideal length of stay
- Spend one or two nights here to explore Nairobi at the start or end of your safari.
- Karen Gables is around a 40 minute drive from Wilson Airport Nairobi and up to an hour from JKI Airport Nairobi.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Food quality
- When we last stayed here we thought the food was very good; do not expect fine dining, but it was fresh, tasty and plentiful. Karen Gables is normally booked on a bed & breakfast or half board basis, with breakfast consisting of a selection of fruit, bread and cereals with hot items to order. Dinner is either two or three courses. We started with butternut soup, followed by roast chicken served with rice and seasonal vegetables, this was followed by raspberry ice cream with a warm chocolate brownie.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Room service is possible on request
- Drinks included
- Drinks are extra cost, with soft drinks costing around $3, or a beer or glass or wine around $6.
- Attitude towards children
- Karen Gables accepts children of all ages.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Special activities & services
- There are no specific facilities for children, although there is a good sized pool and selection of DVDs in the first-floor lounge.
- Generally recommended for children
- Good for children of all ages, although we advise supervision around the swimming pool.
- TV & radio
- Several rooms have TVs.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- The house recycles all its waste water, using cleverly planted water settling tanks, tucked out of sight at the very bottom of the garden.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- Staff are first aid trained and there is a first aid kit onsite. For anything more serious it is only a short drive to a local hospital.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- There is security in place 24 hours a day.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are dotted around the property
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- A laundry service is included in the price.
- There are electronic safes in all rooms.
- Accepted payment on location
- Karen Gables accepts payments by cash or Visa or MasterCard.
Other lodges in Nairobi
Alternative places to stay in this same area.