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Palacina: Our full report

Palacina - The Residence and The Suites is a top boutique hotel, located in the relatively quiet, central ...

... suburb of Kilimani, some 4km as the crow flies from Nairobi's central business district (CBD) and 20km from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

This small. 14-suite hotel offers all the luxuries you would expect of an establishment of this calibre, however it has the advantage of the personal touch afforded by being a family owned and run hotel.

There are two accommodation options here: The Residence or The Suites. The Suites tend to be whatExpert Africa travellers use as these are the hotel accommodation. The Residence is the Palacina's apartment section, generally used for long-term stays.

The 14 suites are elegantly decorated and each has a living room and a private balcony. The soft neutral tones used in conjunction with dark wood give the rooms a warm African feel. There is a walk-in wardrobe, mini bar, microwave oven, cutlery and crockery, and a satellite TV and DVD player. The smart en-suite bathrooms have a Jacuzzi tub as well as a shower.

The main lobby incorporates a comfortable lounge area with sofas, a smart bar, reading spaces and a cool and relaxing veranda.

The Palacina's restaurant – The Moonflower – is reckoned to be one of the top eating places in Nairobi. The menu is heavily influenced by Kenyan cuisine and features a blend of Mediterranean and Swahili dishes. You'll sometimes find a jazz band playing here.

An open farmhouse kitchen is the setting for breakfast and you can choose to eat in the breakfast room itself, go to the bar area or the lounge in the lobby, or get some morning air on the terrace.

Other facilities include a fitness room, a spa offering a range of treatments and massages with a professional beauty therapist and a swimming pool.

Our view

When Nairobi was smaller and much of its focus was in the centre, the Palacina had a strong claim to being one of the city's best hotels. With the huge growth of the city – and its traffic – many travellers actively avoid such central locations. If you want to be close to Nairobi's Upper Hill, CBD and Westlands districts it's still a handy – and high-quality – retreat, and particularly appropriate if you're seeing friends or relatives in the city.

Olivia Barclay-Hudson

Olivia Barclay-Hudson

Country manager: Kenya


Nairobi, Kenya
Ideal length of stay
One or two nights
Transfer between the international aiport and the hotel takes a minimum of one hour.
Accessible by

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Bed & Breakfast


Attitude towards children

Health & safety

Dangerous animals
Fire safety


  • Birdwatching


  • Elephant encounter

    Elephant encounter


Disabled access
Laundry facilities

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