In Summary
  • That event was at the rooftop lounge and bar, and it must have been in June or July because it was cold — very cold. Not the right setting for the inevitable round of speeches.
  • And it was dark, so there was no chance to appreciate the view across the city.

It was Friday and I was wondering what I would do for this week’s Going Places.

I checked an EatOut email and read, ‘Looking for a laid-back weekend plan?’ Well, yes, I was. After a few days of spaghetti, beans and boiled chicken, cooped up in a NGO compound in Garowe in Somalia, and after a long and rather fraught flight back with seven security checks — three in Garowe, two in Mogadishu, one in Wajir, and the final one in JKIA — I was ready for a relaxed Sunday brunch.

Among the ten “fantastic Sunday brunch restaurants in Nairobi”, EatOut listed Pablo’s at the Four Points by Sheraton in Argwings Kodhek Road in Hurlingham. I hadn’t been back there since it was inaugurated some years ago as the Best Western.

That event was at the rooftop lounge and bar, and it must have been in June or July because it was cold — very cold. Not the right setting for the inevitable round of speeches.

And it was dark, so there was no chance to appreciate the view across the city.

This time I went straight to Pablo’s on the ground floor. The hotel’s EatOut entry describes it as a “contemporary styled main dining area”. Well, yes, so it is.

GLOBAL GOING LOCAL

It is so “contemporary styled” it could be in any business travellers’ mid-range hotel around the world — from Ahmedabad to New York. The Four Points by Sheraton website talks of “global going local” — I would suggest it is more “local going global’”

There are now a number of these utility hotels in Nairobi. Isn’t that so? I guess the average business traveller doesn’t have the time for exploring local culture, but wants only a comfortable bed, free Wi-Fi, and so-called “international cuisine”.

There is something very special about Nairobi’s old luxury hotels such as the Norfolk and The Stanley. Inside those, you know you are in Africa.

And I used to appreciate the homeliness and quirkiness of the small Hurlingham Hotel that was only a few doors away from where the Four Points is now.

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