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Holidaying within the city

By Faith Kyoumukama
Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Market place restaurant. Photo/PD/Faith Kyomukama

Domestic travellers are swapping holidays in far off destinations for a break closer home to get rid of indoors fatigue and limit exposure to coronavirus infection. Our writer Faith Kyomukama narrates her experience during a recent  staycation

Faith Kyoumukama @Martkinel

I have been longing to go to the beach for a tad bit now. But I’m still on a Nairobi exploration phase, thanks to the travel restrictions that lapsed few weeks ago.

Nairobi has a lot of hidden gems and hotels that make for the ultimate get away from home. 

 In the spirit of sampling the tourism treasures within the city, I went for a staycation this past weekend.

Before we diverge into the experience further, a staycation is a holiday spent in one’s hometown and involves trips to local attractions. 

After a hectic Friday afternoon, my destination was Four Points by Sheraton at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

At the airport, it felt like I was going to take a flight only that this time was not running late.

There is also no traffic at the point of entry, but this time I have a mask on and I have to sanitise.

The screening point feels a little deserted, especially since only few people are flying.

I have been to this particular hotel a couple of times, but never spent a night.

Breakfast served at the hotel.
 PD/Faith Kyomukama

At the reception there are guards installed to screen visitors as they enter. But I stop and marvel at the modern lobby, with high ceilings and some coloured glass accents. 

I’m received warmly by the receptionist, who directs me to sanitise, wear gloves and then records my details.

She then hands me a key card to room number 433. My room is standard with a view of a parking lot, and one of the main roads leading to the airport. 

The hotel has 172 en-suite rooms with contemporary designs in white, blue and grey hues. It comprises of a selection of standard rooms, deluxe rooms, and suites.

I’m right on time for dinner, so I quickly take a shower and head to the rooftop bar for a relaxing evening.

Tazama bar, which is Swahili for look is located on the fifth floor, with views towards Nairobi National Park on one direction and the airport runway on the other.

The impressive graffiti art on the walls, depict life in Nairobi. From the bar, you get to see some of the planes landing while some take off. 

Here you will also find a casual seating area, as well as the open-air and heated swimming pool.

At Tazama they concentrate on roast and grills; it is Friday night so they are playing great music on the background.

I’m sitting on the table alone and the next table is 1.5 metres away, we are quite a few people, but it feels relaxing.

The foodie in me is craving seafood, prawns to be specific. I opt for spicy prawns, well flavoured and crunchy at the same time.

This comes with an option of French fries on the side, a dip and sauce. I would have opted to do a whole three-course meal, but it feels different during this Covid time.

I also do not have a sweet tooth so I choose to skip dessert. Since it was a Friday and I wanted to relax, I also order for Gin and whiskey-based cocktails.

Being the start of a weekend, I just wanted to enjoy the breeze at the rooftop.

I cut short the Friday party and opted for the room hangout instead while watching TV as I indulged in sweet-savoury chocolates. This was the ultimate me-time treat. 

The morning after I went to the ground floor for breakfast, at their main restaurant known as Market place. 

Usually, they have an array of dishes set for breakfast including a live cooking station, where eggs and mushrooms are freshly prepared.

Variety of juices, pastries, hot meals, cold cuts, and fruits are also available for breakfast. But due to Covid-19, you only get to choose what you want to eat through the digital menu.

The menu limits your food choice but on the brighter side, it actually enables you stick to food portions. 

The restaurant also has an out-door seating area, just incase someone prefers a spot outside. 

After breakfast, I then headed for a swim at their heated pool, which is kept at controlled temperatures.

Although the pandemic has changed so much for travellers and foodies this is the best place to experience staycations.

Besides, when they open up the skies you can opt to stay at this airport hotel while you wait to catch your flight.

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