We weren’t supposed to stay at Karen Gables, I had us booked into a downtown Nairobi hotel that had incredible reviews and despite not really knowing yet what we wanted to do downtown I was looking forward to our stay there.

The terrorist attack in January of 2019 happened a few days prior to our arrival and also very near the hotel we booked at the time. We decided not to cancel our trip on account of those very sad events but soon realized that all the things we really wanted to see were in Karen and staying there made more sense because Nairobi traffic was notoriously bad and spending hours in the car was never something we were necessarily interested in. I canceled our downtown hotel and looked for places in Karen very last minute; there wasn’t much to choose from. I narrowed it down to two places, Hemingways that looked beautiful and had incredible reviews but was double the price of Karen Gables that also looked stunning and had amazing reviews as well. So Karen Gables it was and I could not be more thankful we found this gem.

I know words will fall short even in my best attempts but I will do my very best to describe why I loved Karen Gables so much.

Why we love Karen Gables so much

We felt at home from the moment we were greeted at the door. The incredibly kind staff also made a point to always ask when we were coming home from our day out and welcome us home when we arrived. The use of the word ”home” was so much in line with how we felt. We felt at home. Usually in all of our vacations before Karen Gables we had this unwritten rule that we leave the hotel in the morning and only come back to change if necessary or to sleep at the end of the day. While in Nairobi I was excited to end an incredible day early because it meant going back to Karen Gables earlier than planned. We loved sitting by the pool, reading, looking at our photos, talking. Loved walking around the property, sitting by the fire after dinner and having our tea while Zazu ( the incredible dog we fell madly in love with ) was watching over us. It was the most peaceful, incredibly stunning home to find calmness of Africa while in one of its most populated cities.

The upstairs lounge has a tucked in desk right by a window, a place a writers dreams are made of. I could spend their whole rain season writing right there, and reading by the fire on the covered veranda with Zazu right next to me.

Our room was large, beautifully appointed, with lovely french windows overlooking the pool and the courtyard. The bed was incredibly comfortable and the mosquito net around it served its purpose but also made it feel like sheltered oasis after a long day.

All our meals were exquisite! Breakfast was versatile and made to order with oats, bread, jam, fruits available on the side table at all times. Dinner was around USD 60 for the 2 of us and always felt like such a treat with 3 courses. We would have tea after dinner and the wonderful staff would set up the fireplace for us to enjoy the chilly evening on the porch. I fell in love with Kenya’s Kericho Gold tea, the mint liquorice flavour and had it every night after dinner at Karen Gables.


What I love the most

  • Location
  • People ( staff )
  • Decor
  • Vibe

While staying in Karen Gables we felt like we were the only people there. Had it not been for one early morning when a few people joined us for breakfast we would have left feeling we were the only ones on the property.

The staff there were all incredible and made us feel so welcome and we were amazingly taken care of. I wish I remembered their names but I have forever remembered their smiles and kindness and I hope life will bring us back to Karen Gables again one day.


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