04 February 2011


Sankara is Nairobi's newest luxury hotel and is conveniently located near many restaurants and bars in the Westlands entertainment district.  The rooftop pool has a great view of the skyline and is a relaxing spot to hang on Sunday afternoon. 
Photo credit: sankara.com
Location: Westlands- Waiyaki Way at Woodvale Grove down the street from Gipsy's
Price: 290 KSH ( ~$3.60) local beers and wine "starts" at 300 KSH (~ $3.75) per glass
Atmosphere: hoity toity

I've been to the Sarabi Pool and Supper Club twice, once for The Coolout party and once on a Sunday afternoon.  The party itself was great fun, the hotel however had nothing to do with its success.  They actually detracted from the event by their lack of ability to manage the crowd.  There were many people left waiting outside of the event because the bouncers stopped admitting people for some unknown reason, forcing those inside the party to have to come out to deal with the bouncers and collect their friends.  It was also next to impossible to get a drink.  They did have a second bar set up, but it was impossible to even fight your way through the throng of people waiting for their drink to place an order.

My friend and I returned one Sunday afternoon thinking it would be a good place to lounge prior to heading to another event.  She decided to order a late afternoon snack of salmon and rice.  Not only was the rice reheated unevenly but the fish was still cold on the inside and it cost twice as much as lunch at Talisman in Karen (yet to be reviewed, but the entrees are not inexpensive).  We also attempted to order a Pimms and after confirming with the server that it would be a Pimm's cocktail and not just a shot of liqueur we settled back to wait.  Lo and behold quite awhile later a Pimm's shot in a drink glass showed up.  Needless to say we returned it and despite reassurances by the bartender that he did actually know how to make the drink we opted for maji baridi instead.

Overall, I would rate the atmosphere at the Sarabi as a nice place to overlook town and fine to relax by the pool, but the food and drinks are completely overpriced.  The wine menu "starts" at 300KSH as their menu announces, but only one wine actually cost that, most others were much more expensive.  And personally I think 290KSH for a Tusker or Pilsner is completely ridiculous since you can get them in town for as low as 120KSH ( ~$1.50) and at most clubs for 200KSH (~ $2.50).

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