It feels like the perfect time to be in Nairobi for a hotelier – booming foreign investment, and a gradual increase of both business and leisure travelers has resulted in a dramatic altering of the city’s façade.
From Upperhill to Westlands, to Kilimani, to Parklands – luxury brands continue to drive upwards, and even more so, set themselves apart from what had previously been considered their competition.
Enter The Concord Hotel and Suites – an elegant, towering structure in the heart of the city. Walking into the foyer of the gem that is situated off 5th Parklands, this five star luxe accommodation makes you feel like you are teleporting to a major metropolis in Europe. But, with a distinctly African touch – from an impossibly high ceiling to the furniture to the overall concept of space, and why it matters with luxury accommodation: space gives us visibility, but it also shrouds us – allowing us to choose when, where or whether we want to blend in or not.
Traditional meets modern; shapes, delicately chosen light fixtures, as well as textures allow for an illusion of glamour that carries itself throughout the entire structure. The Concord offers traditional amenities such as a spa, sauna, fitness center, pool and a great terrace for an early afternoon or evening drink if it’s not too chilly.
But even more than that, it offers service – and the understanding that you visit for the convenience and comfort, but you return for the hospitality. And hospitality is something that can at times be lacking in many hotel chains – especially when it comes to facilities that cater towards mid range to big spenders. The hotel staff at The Concord were engaged and were sensitive to my needs – whether that involved something as minor as my requiring extra toweling, to extending my check out time due to a bad migraine. It’s the little things that count.
Accommodation – as with most luxury brands – is priced around separate Superior, Executive, Deluxe and Penthouse suits (86 at The Concord) – each with its own level of polish and quirk. The deluxe suites in particular impressed me, both with their size as well as seeming such a great space to entertain and relax. Meanwhile double beds in the Superior rooms can easily be joined together, depending on the guests occupying them.
The Concord is within walking distance of one of the city’s gems – the Diamond Plaza shopping mall and as such, a visitor would be able to stay within the vicinity of Parklands quite comfortably, without feeling stuck or stifled – or if they just want to explore the sights, sounds and the tastes of the surrounding area.
Not that that would be necessary; there are three main restaurants – Curry Flavours, Umami Oriental Restaurant, as well as Bonhomie – which serves as the general dining space on the ground floor of the hotel. The Mocha Coffee shop is however a space for a guest who might be looking for something a little more casual – perhaps to work or grab a quick bite with acquaintances.
Sunday brunch – priced competitively – is one that I will definitely be back for – whether I book a room or not. The amount of choice in terms of food stations was impressive, and once again, the staff was exceptionally patient with the multitude of demands they received with regards to various diets.
Nairobi’s skyline is changing constantly – every week seems to see a new structure come up. The Concord does and will continue to have competition – but for now, it’s definitely holding its own.
Images: The Concord
31, Wangapala Road