Once again we are heading back to Kenya. Our previous safaris in Kenya have provided some incredible moments and since 2011 we have been sharing our safaris by providing regular updates "from the field". This year we will be blogging live again and we have added a JustGiving link for followers of our blog to donate to our chosen charity "Save The Elephants".
Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Out of the Frying Pan
into the hotel from Hell.
the Land Rover had cost us KES 29,000 (about GBP 250) but we decided
after our rather unpleasant adventure, we would find a nice hotel for
one night in Nairobi, just to relax and wind down. Howard looked
online and searched for hotels in the Milimani area. The two that
came up first were the Kenya Comfort and the Kivi Milimani. Google
reviews had the Kenya Comfort at zero stars and the first review said
that it was basic and over-priced but the Kivi Milimani had 3.5 stars
and the photo looked good, so he booked us all in there. The girl on
the phone quoted a price in Shillings of 2,700 for the doubles and
2,000 for the single but as soon as she realised we were foreigners,
she changed the price to USD 130 for the double rooms and USD 90 for
Bink's single, bed and breakfast only. We wanted a nice hotel and
the Google review and picture made the place seem good; we also
wanted to get on the road to Nairobi quickly, so we just accepted.
drive back to Nairobi went without hitch but we had some trouble
finding the hotel. We recognised the name and knew we had seen the
name somewhere near the Backpackers but the Google map had the
address as “off Valley Road” and the marker pin indicated it was
opposite the church on Valley Road but we went round and round in the
heavy traffic and could not find it. Every person we asked knew of
the place but could not accurately direct us towards it. After over
an hour of searching, we finally found it – on Milimani Road, about
¼ mile from the Backpackers!
climbed the stairs to the reception, which looked lovely and Locks
suggested we might book a second night, so we all extended our stay
to two days. The first sign that all was not as it seemed came when
the lift started, with a shake, a shudder and a loud groan. Reaching
our rooms we were gobsmacked to see the state of them. The doors
looked like they had been jemmied as often as opened, with various
broken locks and only one that worked. A large disclaimer on the
back of the door pointed out that the hotel was not responsible if
items were stolen from your room. The beds were so worn out and the
mattresses so old that they had huge depressions in the middle, then
we saw the bathrooms! Hot water was provided by an electric
immersion heater that you had to switch on and wait half an hour
before running the hot water. Our bathroom looked like the grouting
had been done by a blind man with Parkinson's and it was utterly
filthy. There was a broken tile on the side of a bath that had
filthy brown smears that looked like somebody had recently taken a
dump in it; the worn and cracked linoleum was peeling up off the
floor. The room was not worth 130 cents let alone 130 dollars!
we headed downstairs for the dinner we had to pay extra for, we all
agreed we would cancel the extra day and try to get into the
Backpackers instead. We were shown into a dingy room to be sat at a
large function-style table with a table cloth so filthy and stained
it can't have been washed for ages. Locks suggested that somebody
had been using the table for amateur motorcycle maintenance! The
“stuffed chicken and chips” was barely edible, with dried up
chicken and chips that had been fried in very old, dirty fat. As we
waited for dinner we ordered drinks. Bink's coffee took 45 minutes
and two reminders to arrive.
the following morning was basically awful. Most of the food was
inedible, the croissants were rock hard and days old and the coffee
was cold. We have run out of bad superlatives to describe this
place! Before breakfast Howard and Karen ran along to speak to the
Backpackers and they managed to fit us in for the rest of the week.
staff of Kivi Milimani were all nice people but completely clueless
about their jobs. Bink described the place as Fawlty Towers with a
full staff of Manuels. We would definitely NOT recommend the Kivi
Milimani Hotel to anyone.
have been visiting Kenya since 2006 but to our shame we have never
visited Nairobi National Park before, so our extended stay in Nairobi
offers an opportunity to right the wrong. We had a lovely day
driving round the most amazing city park in the World, spotting Lion
and White Rhinoceros and getting our first ever photos of the
gorgeous little Purple Grenadier. We were both relieved to give Bink a good
game drive after her horrendous introduction to Kenya.
The King of Beasts
White Rhinoceros against the backdrop of the Nairobi skyline
Female Purple Grenadier (thanks Steve!)
We hope you find this blog interesting. If you haven't already, please consider making a donation to our chosen charity, Save The Elephants through the Just Giving link on the right.