Hip, vibrant city boutique hotel is the ideal home away from home in Nairobi
It’s 7:30am. The sun is streaming into my room on the fourth floor of one of the most fashionable places in Nairobi. Having enjoyed breakfast in The Other Room already, the view over the quiet street from The Social House is serene. A motorcycle’s ‘wrrrr’ startles me back into reality: I am not actually at home, even though this feels truly homely.
The rooms have quirky colour accents. The orange Smeg fridge ties in perfectly with grey bedding and an old-school dial telephone. Well, almost – it does have push buttons for in-house service such as making dinner reservations. For the coffee aficionados, Kenyan coffee is regarded as one of the wonders of the world. Too much? Wait until you smell the aroma from The Living Room on the ground floor. With beans freshly roasted and ground on the premises for visitors’ enjoyment, barista Robert tells me that the most popular blend is the Robusta, perfected in either a cappuccino or a latte. For in-house guests, a plunger, kettle and sachet of Kenyan coffee is found in-room for your caffeinated convenience.
The Social House is situated on the western side of Nairobi in an affluent suburb called Lavington. It becomes evident that The Social House is a melting pot of inclusivity when dining at one of their discerning restaurants. Treating me to dinner at Copper, the openfire brasserie-style restaurant, director James Stuart knows exactly what to order and recommends the same – perfectly grilled rib-eye steak with a side order of fries. He prefers his steak rare. “The appeal of The Social House is exactly that it feels like its name,” Stuart tells me while sipping on tomato juice, with a few drops of Worcestershire sauce added. “It has more of a residential feel; a more homely, informal and less industry feel. The variety of restaurants is a big pull because people who might stay here for a week, don’t want to come back to the all-day dining restaurant for the fifth time. Whether it’s 9 o’clock in the morning with people working in The Living Room, or Friday night at 10 o’clock at Inca, the Peruvian rooftop restaurant, guests come to connect and socialise. We don’t have a mainstream hotel formality; our people are encouraged to be themselves and radiate a natural Kenyan sparkle.”