The indoors have become a little monotonous. The joke has been that those looking for a change in environment leave the bedroom for the living room, or kitchen. For some, the change is in posture on the couch or the bed.
However, Kenyans have been looking for a way to get some much-needed break while still observing social distancing and other rules meant to keep them safe in the face of the pandemic. For those living in the capital city and it’s environs, the Nairobi National Park has become a favourite, with pictures of families on game drives or picnics taking over social media over weekends.
But with last month’s relaxation of some of the stricter rules previously put in place by the government, more people are now looking for more options. As they say, change is as good as rest, and today we look at other things or places you can go to and our writer recommends her favourites.
A night in a hotel
Yes, you read that right. While the lifting of travel restrictions mean that you can travel farther away from home as you might have during the travel restrictions, you might also take a break at a facility near you.
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Pick a hotel quiet enough to give you the illusion of a faraway place but near enough, you could drop in after work or leave the early next morning for work rejuvenated and ready to take on your workweek.
And you do not have to break the bank while at it. If you look around, there are stylish budget options for the cost of a meal in other hotels, you can pop-in for a night’s stay.
My pick around Nairobi is Ibis Style in Westlands, Nairobi, where their budget-friendly package is inclusive of a three-course dinner, a bottle of wine, and a continental breakfast to fuel you for the next day. I will be a little biased towards their rooftop restaurant where you can enjoy views of Nairobi. I would recommend that you show up early enough to catch the breathtaking sunset as you sip your favourite drink.
However, there are a number of other hotels in and around the city offering affordable packages and enforcing strict adherence to safety procedures to guard against Covid-19.
If a hotel, sounds too ‘mainstream’ for you, check out the Social House Nairobi. This new one-of-a-kind guesthouse has the guest with dynamic needs in mind. They even call their rooms bedrooms; it sounds homely already.
My favourite room here is the snug, a small clannish room with a round table, chairs around it (and a TV if there is need to project). It is an exclusive space perfect for brainstorms and project development.
Its overall industrial urban feel with pops of colour effortlessly incorporates all the important aspects of the millennial always on the go; ideal for work and play.
Take a trip to Naivasha
I know, Naivasha is some sort of a punchline joke for Nairobians travel exploits, but think about it, nearby and with lots of options.
My pick for Naivasha in this case would be Batemans Manor. Sitting on a seemingly endless piece of land, this slice of heaven in the Naivasha, Green Park Estate, is the perfect place for the whole family. The five-bedroom (all en-suite) house and compound can host up to 10 people. Meaning, even your house-help can come with you too for a little enjoyment away from the confinement and the melee that has been working from home.
During this time, the establishment prefers to host families in a bid to reduce the chances of guests catching or spreading Covid-19 during your stay from each other. With a fully equipped kitchen, you have the option to cook for yourselves or have a housekeeper cook for you at an added cost, provided you come with your own raw ingredients including spices.
The spacious establishment is a great space as children can run around, ride bikes, play football, while an array of board games are available for both the children and adults. The serene environment is ideal for relaxation, unwinding, and bonding. While you’re at it, you can enjoy the scenic sunrises from the upper deck balcony, therapeutic musical bird sounds, and the views of the sweeping floor of the Great Rift Valley.
But do not be limited, Naivasha is home to quite a number of boutique facilities that would make for a great family outing while ensuring privacy and social distancing.
If you are reluctant about spending the night away from home, how about a nice dinner and relaxation? Most hotels are open and offering attractive packages and safe procedures while dining out. So don’t let your date nights get lost in the humdrum of isolated existence.
My pick for this? Movenpick’s The View restaurant. With a 360-degree rotating floor, 24 floors above Nairobi, the restaurant recognises the shift in the priorities of the diners and works around the clock to keep the guest comfortable.
Open on Wednesdays to Sunday’s midday to 7.30 pm, the floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking rooftops and faraway skyscrapers makes for the best backdrop to a quiet time with a partner or friend. It brings a feeling of being outside without the dust, or for Nairobi, the noise.