House of Waine, Nairobi

Originally the owners' private home which they converted in 2004, House of Waine is a family-run boutique hotel which exudes a spirit of conviviality and homely hospitality. In-keeping with this close-knit atmosphere, the décor is inspired by the matriarch's timeless elegance and uses fantastic local textiles to make it both chic and inviting. Set within 2.5 private acres, the luscious palm tree-dotted estate offers ideal seclusion for chilled-out poolside smoothies while being located right in the middle of Nairobi's upmarket suburb, Karen. Spend the afternoon getting lost in the tropical gardens before cooling off with a homemade mango juice under an umbrella on the villa's terrace, lined with ivy-strewn balustrades.


Exclusivity is the name of the game here. With only 11 bedrooms, the hotel ensures that it caters to guests' individual needs through ultra-attentive service and unique designs in each room. Each has a different theme to conjure up the atmosphere of a safari, a lakeside retreat or even a Victorian home complete with a four-poster bed, fireplace and claw-foot bathtub.

The malaika suite - designed by the mother of the house and also known as the "grand dame - is the most impressive, with a canopy bed, expansive sitting area, dressing room and private terrace. The rooms are also revamped annually, showcasing the importance given to TLC here. You'll never feel too far from nature in these boudoirs either; bright sunshine spills through massive windows, fresh flowers are regularly brought in and all of the toiletries are eco-friendly.

What's for breakfast?

Breakfast is served in the elegant dining room, but if you'd prefer to enjoy your fruit parfait amid palm fronds with a cool breeze, we suggest heading to the terrace or pool.

How about lunch and dinner?

Both are available in the residents-only dining room as well as on the terrace, with daily menu rotations of super fresh selections such as red snapper.

Is there a bar?

Yes, but we prefer to snag our glass of South African Riesling here and head out to the gorgeous gazebo by the pool - sundowner heaven.


The swimming pool and grounds are serious highlights, as are the thoughtful staff. As for the rooms, we could spend hours on end in the deep bathtubs set in marble. But our absolute favourite detail has got to be the daily dose of milk and cookies delivered straight to your room.

Things you should know

While Karen and Lang'ata, the surrounding suburbs, are quite safe during the day, avoid walking around at night.

Within a short walk you can find…

Nairobi's giraffe centre, created to protect endangered Rothschild's giraffes, is just 3km away from the hotel (although we recommend taking a taxi to get there). Wilson Airport is also nearby and is a main departure and arrival point for small planes headed for safari camps.

Rooms from £300 per person a night on a bed and breakfast basis. For more information on visiting Kenya, go to

Cityscape, Nairobi, Kenya
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City Guide: Nairobi, Kenya