When I started looking at accommodation for my week long stay in Kenya’s capital, I was indeed somewhat surprised. Even hotels with poor reviews were way more expensive than I ever would have imagined here. Good hotels were even pricier of course. Finding a good budget hotel in Nairobi seemed impossible and the hostels either did not look appealing or were in inconvenient locations.
I looked at Airbnb too but even basic apartments were more expensive than I was expecting.
What to do?
About two weeks prior to my arrival in Kenya, and still without anything booked, I kept looking at the website for one particular place that looked pretty good – Khweza Bed and Breakfast. And finally, after exhausting my search, I realized that this was the only budget hotel in Nairobi with good reviews and a price of around $50 per night, including breakfast, which seemed very reasonable compared to the other options I had found.
It turned out to be an excellent choice in the end.
In expensive Nairobi, the Khweza Bed and Breakfast offered everything I needed for a comfortable, wallet-friendly and safe stay in this city.
Simple but comfortable. They are clean (staff clean your room each day), colorful, decent size, with good mattresses, some basic furniture and a quality mosquito net, something that’s important in this area once the sun sets. You can also expect reliable hot water every time you shower, another big bonus for a budget hotel in Nairobi and especially useful after a long and active day trip to one of the country’s many highlights!
Perhaps the biggest draw of this budget hotel is the rooftop area. It’s large, with big tables, umbrellas to block the sun and great views of Nairobi in every direction. It also acts as a restaurant and bar, with an extensive food and drink menu and even better, some of the best food that I had during my stay in the city. It’s also inexpensive – 2 big, tasty main dishes (try the fish in coconut sauce!), 2 salads and 2 beers will cost around $15 USD, which is cheap in these parts.
In the evening, the rooftop can be lively, with music playing, drinks being poured, groups of travelers talking about their safari experiences and groups of locals hanging out and enjoying the atmosphere.
I was up on that rooftop for breakfast every morning and for dinner almost every evening. It was indeed a perfect place for me to start and end each day.
If you haven’t read my post about Nairobi in general, you might want to take a look. As you’ll see, this city is all about the people and the staff at Khweza Bed and Breakfast were a big part of that. Everyone from Peris and her massive, seemingly constant smile, Junior and his laid-back but friendly demeanor, the super sweet Gracie who takes care of all the customers at the rooftop restaurant and the extremely kind Sally, who co-owns Khweza with her brother, made sure that I was well taken care of no matter what I needed.
Every time I walked through the door of this place, I felt the upbeat, positive atmosphere created by the staff, something that proved to be a much needed contrast to the crazy traffic and loud noises of the city outside.
Chances are that if you’re coming to Nairobi, you’re here for a safari or to visit other parts of Kenya. And with dozens of options – Masai Mara, Tsavo, Lake Naivashu and so on – it can be a tad challenging to figure out what you really want to do.
Enter Peris. She’s the woman in charge of the excursions that Khweza Bed and Breakfast offers and as soon as you take a seat in her office, you can breathe easily because she’s going to take care of you. She explained every option to me, she offered ways to do each trip on a budget or with more luxury and she told me all about the drivers they use, what I can find in every corner of the country and what would be the best option based on my interests and needs.
She’ll sit there with you for 3 hours if you need and her energizing smile will never leave her face as she goes through every detail.
As for our experiences, we ended up on a day trip to the Hell’s Gate National Park where we rented bicycles and had an awesome time riding through the game reserve among the zebras, giraffes, warthogs and wildebeest. We also took an incredible 3 day/2 night private safari to the Masai Mara National Reserve for some more game viewing way out in the wilderness. And in Nairobi we hired one of their drivers for simple day trips around the city.
While our city driver was maybe not the most reliable, our trips out to Hell’s Gate and Masai Mara were beyond outstanding and I wouldn’t hesitate to do either again, with the exact same set up. I’ll be writing more about these trips soon!
I also did plenty of research on prices for all kinds of excursions around the country and for what they offer, Khweza’s prices were again more than reasonable. Nobody is trying to rip you off here in any way and you can be sure that you’re getting a fair price for all trips. Just let them know your budget and they’ll work out the rest.
In my opinion, if you’re looking to keep costs low while in this city, or you simply don’t want to spend $100+ per night for a subpar hotel room, you can’t go wrong with Khweza Bed and Breakfast. The fact that I was just there in low season and it was pretty much full all the time is another good sign. Sure, it’s not perfect but the combination of comfortable rooms, friendly atmosphere, awesome rooftop and affordable excursions definitely make it the best value budget hotel in Nairobi from what I saw.
Best Budget Hotel in Nairobi: Khweza Bed and Breakfast
Khweza Bed and Breakfast
Tel: (+254) 20 2672116
Address: Ngara Road, Nairobi, Kenya
If you do stay here, let me know how it goes!