Eka Hotel

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February, 2016

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The “Eka Hotel”:http://www.ekahotel.com/, a 15 minute drive from Jomo Kenyatta airport in Nairobi, was our choice for a one night stay prior to an early morning flight to Mombasa.

When the representative from Albatros Travel, Otieno, checked us in, there was some confusion about whether our dinner was included but after a quick phone call it was all sorted and we were told we should just sign for drinks.

A smart, tall top-hatted man took us and our luggage up to room 401, confusingly on the second floor – floor numbers and room numbers were said not to match to combat fraud. Security at the hotel overall was tight with airport style scanners at the entrance and keycards were required to access the bedroom floors.

Otieno had made a great play of saying he had got us a junior suite rather than the standard booked and indeed on checking the emergency exit plan (something we always do to check how our room size compares with others), he had indeed secured an upgrade. There were only four junior suites out of 170 rooms, so he did very well.
Our large room had an enormous, if slightly firm bed, and there was a desk, TV, mini bar, swivel chair and footstool and a plate of four delicious looking tiny cakes. The only downside was the bathroom area. There was an open plan basin with separate enclosed shower and loo. Whilst the door of the shower opened outwards, the loo door opened in and as it wasn’t very big, you needed to shimmy round it a bit. Still the water and power in the shower was good and after a quick change we were down for dinner.

The restaurant was a smart casual affair with wooden tables but starched red linen napkins. Bearing in mind what we’d already eaten, we weren’t terribly hungry so I settled for a Peruvian salad which contained a variety of things that I’d not had during my month in Ethiopia: red and green peppers, red onion, salad leaves, hard boiled egg, avocado, capers, prosciutto, black olives and green beans. With a decent dressing, it was colourful and excellent. Meanwhile Roy had a thick piece of Nile perch cooked with soy, ginger and garlic served with cubed roast potatoes and green beans and carrots. We had a bottle of South African Fairview Sauvignon Blanc, one of the cheaper at 4000 Kenyan shillings (£27).

When our bill arrived, it included both food and drinks which we queried only to be told the system said we were B&B (and as we all know, systems are never wrong)! I went to reception, found the girl who checked us in only to be told Otieno hadn’t confirmed with her that our dinner was included. However, she very helpfully offered to ring him. All was sorted, the system was updated, a new bill for drinks presented and paid.

Knowing we’d get breakfast on our flight, we didn’t bother and settled for an extra twenty minutes in bed.

Helen Jackson

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