A gem of a hotel, an unexpected oasis in Nairobi's busy heart
Nairobi bustles night and day, so if you're looking to visit the city's attractions but don't want your nights to be disturbed by the noise, Amber Hotel is a good place to stay. Tucked away in a quiet corner on Ngong Lane, off busy Ngong Road, it's a new, architecturally modern establishment, with elegant decor, personalised service and great cuisine. The resident chef is a master in the kitchen and the restaurant is rapidly becoming popular with locals in the know. The rooms here are large and welcoming, and there's aircon throughout – always a plus when visiting Africa.
At the lodge
The first impression you get when entering the hotel foyer is one of space and sweet cool air. There's plenty of seating in the downstairs area, and the comfortable Piano Lounge is the perfect place to relax with a drink. The restaurant, sporting a huge chandelier, is open all day and serves delicious dishes (do try the South-East Asian-style crisped pork belly). The restaurant leads to an outside terrace overlooking the pool (not heated). There's a small gym. Wi-fi throughout.
The Amber's accommodation options range from deluxe and executive rooms to the Junior and Penthouse suites, and a room for physically challenged visitors. The decor is modern and quietly tasteful, the beds large and comfortable. Black-out curtains are perfect if you're a fan of afternoon naps. There's a flat-screen TV, wi-fi and an elegantly appointed bathroom with all the accessories you'd expect at a top-end hotel. A especially handy feature is the universal power sockets, which save on plug dramas.
Nairobi has plenty of restaurants and shops for souvenirs (you may feel more secure negotiating the streets in a taxi, booked at reception). Popular shopping complexes are Prestige Plaza, Yaya Centre and The Junction. Visit the national park, where you see both animals and, in the distance, the city's skyscrapers. Stroll around Uhuru Park, an inner city green space with artificial lakes, boating, camel riding and pretty gardens, or relax beneath shady trees and admire the sculptures at Jeevanjee Gardens.