How about a staycation this time over the festive season?

Saturday, December 14th, 2019 00:00 |

With the heavy downpour in most parts of the country, various roads have been rendered impassable, making some preferred travel destinations out of reach. However, you can still have wonderful holidays this festive season in the Capital, without having to travel out of town, writes HARRIET JAMES

Ever thought you don’t need to pack up and jet off to a far away destination to actually vacation? In come staycations, a portmanteau of ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’, one of the growing trends in the travel and tourism industry.

Also known as a holistay, another portmanteau of ‘holiday’ and ‘stay’, it is a holiday spent in one’s home country, usually within driving distance. There are many hotels in the city that are this Christmas period offering discounts for families, couples or even solo travellers, like myself, to have a great time.

I recently enjoyed a staycation at the Tribe Hotel and had a change of mindset about travelling outside town for relaxation. Right from the arrival, one is welcomed by hand-sculptured artifacts that surround the hotel, which I later learnt were gathered from all over the continent to capture its diversity.

Checking into my room, I was impressed by the design; the dark wooden floors, sand-coloured blocks and stainless steel columns. The rooms here are quiet and one feels as though they are not in the hectic Nairobi city. I loved the open plan bathrooms and magnified mirrors that made the rooms have an expansive feel.

The distinct separate spaces for work and play – rest, if you like – and the soft lighting in the room gave it a luxurious feel. I’m not one of those people who switch off from the outside world while on vacation, hence having a 40-inch LED smart TV in the room was a welcome boon, as being a soap opera addict, I could still catch up with my programmes. I was also glad about the fast Wi-Fi. They have other rooms like the presidential suite, penthouse, junior, or ambassadorial suite that are suited for the various kinds of guests.


Another thing I loved about the hotel is how they keenly understand the client’s needs and cater to that. Nowadays, luxury for me, and for many people too, has become more about having a customised experience. For instance, when it’s your special day or that of your loved one, the fact that a hotel remembers that is thoughtful. 

If you desire a different experience, you can head over to their sister hotel, Trademark, where you can also enjoy a staycation. The two hotels are just five minutes apart and one can request the service of a golf cart to get to the other side. I loved the magnificent views of leafy suburbs from the rooms. They also have a king size comfy bed and free Wi-Fi, expectedly, which has become oxygen for some of us. Most of the rooms are designed for business travellers, but gladly, are also equipped to provide some relaxation, hence can be a holiday space for those who would like to have a staycation.

Besides just lounging in the room, which, let’s be honest, can be so relaxing, especially after a tiring week, one can enjoy a massage at the spa. In this day and age, where the quest for wellness is at an all-time high, it would be a great experience removing toxins from your body and easing the muscles. The Kaya Spa was named by Condé Nast as one of the hottest urban treats in the world. Well, I thought they were just saying until I experienced it myself. It is indeed inspired by the mystic nature and enchantment of the Kaya Forest. 


To switch things up, there are a number of activities one can participate in while on this side of town. The hotel is situated in Gigiri, one of the posh leafy suburbs in Nairobi and home to the largest number of expatriates in the city. It’s nestled in a quiet area and is next to The Village Market, where one can enjoy some fun exploits such as bowling, VR games, watching a movie, or even shopping. 

There is also a health and fitness centre around, where, if you are a yoga enthusiast, you can enjoy a splendid time being one with yourself and afterwards, head for a dance class. In addition, there are several events around the area that one can have a great time at, so, you have to keep tabs with the latest ones during your stay. Again, the hotel is five minutes from Karura Forest, an ideal place to catch some fresh air during a morning jog or walk.

Check out the several outlets with artifacts around the mall for a souvenir, and if your vacation lands on a Friday, peek the Maasai market for some jewellery and sculptures. 

There are several eatery options, including the different restaurants at the hotel or the mall. I tried out both Heroes and Harvest restaurants during my stay and I was impressed by the service. I never thought feeding could actually be a pastime, enjoying the views and also the cool music.

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