The making of an airport hotel: Hilton Garden inn

I have written 3 paragraphs before this, a testament of how my writers block had taken a hold of my words and thrown them into the garden of no light. As I chime to the tune of the keyboard chatters with each word press my mind is relaxed and the noise outside muffled.

The location

It’s interesting that this place is smack in the middle of a very busy highway and a yawn away from the landing strip of Kenya’s busiest airport yet I can only but hear the thuds of my heart and tick tocks of my click away on my watch. The space is quiet!

So I walk to the glass window and draw the curtain to a drowning sun looking for a hiding space right behind the building ahead, a plane flies across the sun’s glow as I move my eyes towards the ground trying to look at the SGR that supposed to be leaving for Mombasa at 3. The entire network of transportation surrounds this ship; just the waters letting us down.

For a business centric hotel, the airport brings the numbers and they got the best locations on this side of the road.

Score: 6

The first impression

Just a mere 18 kilometres from home, Hilton garden inn was going to be the cocoon for the next few hours as I searched for my wondering spirit.

The high ceilings and elongated walls play homage to the realization that you are walking into a space of comfort and tranquillity, the decorations on the wall remind you that the flight you have just taken isn’t far away.  The play of lights and light tunings call for attention and illuminates the master pieces and furniture for you to see them pop.

The interior weaves right into the international standards with very little to bring the Kenyan culture into it’s space. The murals on the walls at the entrance are but the only sniff of perceived Kenyaneese that you’ll see in the space. Accents of yellow dawn every space and random seats will meet you at unexpected corners.

The space is open; though the arrangement of the segmentation reminds you that you are walking into a space where you keep to yourself and your company, do not stretch out asking where the guests at the next table are from.

Score: 7

The views

Coming from a human who stands at the edge of the rift valley for hours to just soak in the views, this is one side of the hotel that I didn’t enjoy. Understandably, it’s a business hotel with the main aim of being your go to location for your business stay as you await your next departure. The Ngong hills are hidden behind a business complex and the hopeful pop of the Machakos hills are watered down by the Godown at the base of the hotel and a rugged patch of dry grass.

The one thing that will have you smiling though is the view of the planes landing and taking off in the dark of the night covers.

Score: 3


If only I had my gym clothes, I’d be on the weights like no one’s business. The infinity pool is on the 6th floor with a view of the airport and a sweet shade to keep the breeze hitting you subtly. There is a 24/7 bar area and a restaurant that serves some out of this world meals. A pantry is available for your stocking and a conference facility available too.

The rooms are beautifully accented and have a warm welcoming ambiance. The random yellow chair and the tall lights work well to create magic in the room. I loved the stay here though the maximum number of days I’d be here before I run away would be 2.

There is a business conference facility and mad wifi access at every point of the hotel. I do not know how many rooms they have but I bet the 6 floors of the place will not be that easy to fill to capacity.

Score: 9

The experience

I sat at the dinner table to look for what I know. That was a bad mistake, so with the knowledge that they have their own style, I went in for a Rib delicacy. My intention was to take the photo of the meal but unfortunately, on the first bite of my meal, I forgot that I am a photographer. (lesson, next time, take the photo before you taste)

The meal was on point and the flavours hit the G spots of the tongue before splashing into the oesophagus for some tender massage. The servings are commendable and the potions filling.

This applied to the servings at breakfast as the baked beans, potatoes wedges and waffle wished me a good morning. Ps. Ask for the waffle early as it seems to be one of the breakfasts favourites.

Score: 7

The Extras

// Check out the pool at night, it’s heated

// If you need any assistance, always call on the friendly staff. Cosmos, one of the staff at the restaurant,  did a fine job of leading me to the meal that was after my heart.

// The TV’s cast from your phone or computer, so don’t be limited with the provided channels

// Blinds that turn day to night. The best feeling of my day was waking up at 9 am thinking that it’s still in the middle of the night. Those curtains I’m getting for my bedroom.

Score: 6

Image from: Expedia

By now I bet you’ve realised that the stay there brought me back to the writers sphere. I am glad that without the worry of fuel hurting my travels, I got a place that still excited the travel bug out of its hiding place.

My score: 38/60


Hey at Hilton Garden Inn, work on your social media clout… the hotel is full of social media backdrops. Free marketing.

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