“Three years?!” I ask in astonishment. As I look down at the view from her first story room, I shouldn’t have been surprised she’s stayed at the guest house that long. It’s in the name, really. Home is where comfort is. It is no wonder then that Comfort Gardens has been home away from home for some guests (they are really part of the family now) for years now. Once part of an Indian family home, then a prominent Kenyan one, the guest house still retains its inviting atmosphere only now it has been expanded to welcome more people to comfort.
Located at UN Crescent, No. 34, Gigiri, next door to the Village Market, Comfort Gardens Nairobi is a cosy, quiet guesthouse for anyone looking for a homey escape in this eminent part of the city known for being Nairobi’s Diplomatic District; a tag that came about due to the considerable number of diplomats and expatriates who work at the UN headquarters and other embassies in/around the area. A Nigerian asking for three cans of Guinness and a Japanese lady carefully speaking Swahili tells me that the international community had discovered the ease of staying at Comfort Gardens.
The main building has the original rooms of the home now referred to as the Studio Rooms which have balconies and bathtubs. The standard and the executive rooms, in the extended wing, feature double or twin beds, a TV, a fridge, cooking facilities and a writing desk for when you are working. The closet is huge, can fit a wardrobe of clothes which can be laundered if need be. The bathroom comes complete with toiletries and a hair dryer.
One of the best things about Comfort Gardens is how green it is, thanks to the proliferation of plant life that seems to effortlessly grow from every nook and cranny. Towering palm trees with wide, green branches provide privacy when you seat at the balcony.
Nothing gives comfort like home-made food. Sweet plantains fried to perfection for breakfast made for perfect breakfast. When pilau, creamy chicken and mchicha (traditional greens) were served at lunch, I knew I had to meet the chef, a lovely Tanzanian. As we sit down to lunch by the poolside, I spot a cat lazing under the shade with an eye at our table, just in case a piece of beef escapes our plates, reminded me of Lucy at home. There’s a lounge right next to the restaurant, the perfect place to let the food settle as you catch up on the latest game or show on the tv.
One of the best places to meet people is by the pool. I was happy to dangle my feet in the pool as I read a new book but Vera did a good job at convincing me to jump into the water. She is a regular at the guesthouse and looked quite at home in a red bathing suit, reading from a tablet and sipping a glass of wine by the pool. The pool attendant helps her plug in her tablet to the socket, as he jokingly tries to cajole her back to the pool.
“Let’s go to Village Market!” The mall is literally steps away from the guesthouse. Do you need to shop for anything during your stay? Or do some banking? Or get your hair done? Village Market is East Africa’s largest shopping and recreation complex and houses pretty much anything you need. Ozone Trampoline Park and Under the Sea are paradise for young ones with lots of fun games to get into. The Village Bowl, an 11-lane bowling facility, is perfect for adults looking for a competitive, fun time.
I woke up early hoping to make it to Karura Forest for a run. The forest is a short drive away. As I chatted with Grace the manager, she tells me plans are underway to construct a gym so that you could get your workout at the guesthouse. While it may not be perfect (no home is!), Comfort Gardens certainly makes a great place to spend days (or years!) working or vacationing at.