This hotel has been made world famous by the many authors, film makers and artists who not only stayed here, but got their inspiration and best creative spirit while seeping in the atmosphere in The Stanley as it was called then. Some of the more famous ones are Elspeth Huxley, author of books like the ‘The Flame Trees Of Thika,’ Col J H Patterson author of the true story ‘The Maneaters of Tsavo’, Ernest Hemingway who wrote many of his famous works while staying at The Stanley, recuperating from an illness. Films like Mogambo, The Macomber Affair or King Soloman’s Mines, were either filmed or had production units and crew and cast staying here.
Built in 1913, it was named after the great African Explorer. Originally owned by Mayence Bent, it started as a small hotel on Victoria Street in 1902 and was later shifted twice to larger areas before finding its present location. In 1947 it changed hands but Mayence Bent was kept involved. In 1978 it was bought by the Sarova Group which still owns it. It is now called The Sarova Stanley Hotel. The hotel has had major renovations and complete refurbishment many times.
Another famous landmark of the Hotel is the Thorn Tree Café. This had an acacia tree in its centre which became a notice board or like a modern day internet messenger service for travelers passing by. Innumerable messages would be left on its trunk since its inception in 1959. The hotel has had to erect message boards since then, to protect the tree. The Acacia tree has been replaced three times but the popularity of the place remains.
The Hotel’s original Exchange Bar was the place where Nairobi Stock Exchange was first formed. The first order from the Kenyan Breweries for beer was also done from this hotel.
The present owners have taken care to commemorate the long lists of The Famous from the history of The Stanley. All the Hotel’s suites and conference and ball rooms have been named after famous people who have either stayed or visited often.
The Sarova Stanley is an 8 storey building with 217 rooms. The rooms have all modern facilities including free access to the internet. These include six rooms specially designed for the physically challenged, 16 executive suites, 3 junior suites, 2 state and 1 presidential suite and one penthouse suite.
The Thorn Tree Restaurant and Café is an open air pavement Brasserie. Open for breakfast and dinner, it still retains its charm and warmth and is as popular as in the days of its past. Its pizzas, freshly baked in the oven and patisserie are popular. Every night is a different theme with Jazz or soul, Raggae or Rock or even African Soul music.
The Thai Chai Restaurant offers the finest Thai cuisine in elegant surroundings.
The Exchange Bar has a host of cocktails and its ‘ Wall of Fame’ has the photographs of the chairmen of 20 top companies of the Stock Exchange.
Besides, there is the Poolside Café, a hotel gym and health club.
Tel: +254 -020 - 222 88 30
Fax: +254 -020 - 2229388