Sometimes I just need a vacation from the normal, from my stressed out life chasing stories which like to play hide and seek, following proposals which promise to make my bank account rich but which leave me in heartbreak after putting my heart and soul into them, actually mortgaging my soul so that I can move myself to where the grass is greener on the other side. September was that kind of stressful month and I was glad it was coming to an end. Then I got the invitation to spend a night at Tune Hotel Westlands Nairobi for the last day of the month and I thought I would be able to end the month on a high, a mini break even if it was just for one night.
In June we had paid a visit to Tune Hotel Westlands when it was under construction and it was a skeleton of itself, with wires, construction materials and workmen everywhere. Nothing was ready, except the beds which had arrived. The mattresses are Hypnos beds, which is the type that the Queen of England sleeps in. Is that a recommendation or what? So I had been looking forward to trying out this mattress, and seeing if it could cure my insomnia even if it was just for one night. I would be refreshed hopefully and go back to my life of chasing butterflies … err sorry business proposals, actually it is kinda the same thing.
I had been invited together with a fellow blogger, the mischievous Magunga and we got to take a plus one. He was bringing his girlfriend and since I am very single I asked one of my girlfriends Anne to accompany me. It would be a great night out, we would catch up, have some food and drinks, try the rooftop bar and maybe dance the night away at one of the night clubs in Westie, then finally come and get some sweet sleep on the Queen’s mattresses. It wasn’t a hustle to get my double changed to two singles and so we were all set for a good night.
30th September was a Friday, we were allowed to check in early but I arrived at around 6 pm. Tune Hotel Westlands is on Rhapta Road, and you can’t miss it, it is the red, white and grey building that has come up in the last couple of months, and it is opposite Vineyard. I got in and the staff at the reception were very friendly, registering me and giving me my electronic keycard. I got a room on the 4th floor but when I got there I found it was a double so I had to go back and get another room, I got one with two singles on the 1st floor. One interesting thing about the hotel is that the door that opens into the corridors for the rooms can only be opened with a keycard. This means that no unauthorized person can enter into the rooms, which is important because there is a bar upstairs that is open to walk ins from outside.
I got into the room, put my clothes on hangers and waited for Anne, Magunga and Abby to arrive. The rooms at Tune Hotel Westlands is pretty compact, Anne actually asked me if it was built by a Kikuyu. The design takes advantage of space and although the rooms are not large everything you need is there. There is also a table that is mounted on the wall and can be unfolded if you want to work, there are fold up chairs which hung on hooks in the wall. There are no cupboards but there are hangers on pegs on the wall where you can hang up your clothes. There is a TV in the room, a safe where one can store their valuables and the hotel has Wi-Fi throughout the property.
After my friend Anne arrived and I picked her from the reception, we went up to get ready for a fun night out and also to wait for Magunga. One of my favourite things about that room was the ensuite thermostatic power showers. Have you ever entered a shower and you are like I will stay here forever? Yes? It was that kind of shower! You are able to adjust the temperature to just the right temperature of hot, or cold you want, no dancing in and out of the shower as the water goes from one extreme to another. I know you know what I am talking about. Sadly, my love affair was cut short the first time because Magunga and co had arrived and we needed to go and have dinner together. One thing we noted is that they need to provide slippers, as guests sometimes do we had carried our own because you never know and this was one time we needed them.
We were having dinner at Utamu Casual Dining Restaurant downstairs, the last time I was there it was still under construction so I was looking forward to seeing the transformation from wood and metal to the finished product. We had this waitress serving us, I cannot remember her name now but she was very pretty. She was also very good to us, making sure we were comfortable and we had everything we needed.
There is something about fun people that can make any dinner into a joyous occasion. We ordered a bottle of wine to share between us girls but even before it arrived we were already drunk on laughter. There is something about good company and good conversation that can make an evening move fast and we had all that. We started talking about Chris Brown and his concert, and ended up with a list of people whose concerts, dead or alive we would attend. This was also prompted by the fact that the hotel has a juke box connected to the hotel speakers that allowed you to choose the music you wanted to listen to, and this prompted us to choose some of our favourite numbers (I have to warn you though you might hear your songs 3 hours later. It is kind of addictive when you are in front of the juke box to stand there and choose all your favourite songs that are available).
— Rayhab Gachango (@potentash) October 18, 2016
The wine came with a ceremonial wine tasting. It was brought in a bucket with ice. One of us, Abby was to sample to say if the wine was ok, and after that it was poured into our glasses and we had a toast to Tune Hotel. Magunga also had to try this wine pouring stunt, to see if he could also pour the wine as well.
— Rayhab Gachango (@potentash) October 18, 2016
The food came in generous portions and we dug in as we laughed and talked about our fantasy concert of stars, which would feature some of the best stars in the world, some of whom we would sell a kidney for. At some point we talked about the cute chef, and discussed whether it is appropriate to say in front of your partner that somebody else is cute. Basically we had a very lit conversation about boundaries and things you can or can’t say in front of your partner.
I had the American Burger sandwiched in a toasted sesame bun with lettuce, tomato and onion. It can with options of extra toppings and so I topped up with bacon. The fries were awesome, I loved them. The meal was filling but I felt the burger could have used more seasoning, to give it a more distinct taste.
Anne had the Chicken Oven Roasted Half Capon with seasonal vegetables and fries.
Magunga had the Grilled Sirloin Steak – cooked to one’s liking – which was for him medium rare. It was topped with fried mushrooms with red wine sauce. He had it with mashed potatoes.
Abby had the Grilled Tilapia Fish Fillet set on a bed of creamed spinach with lemon butter sauce. She had it with the mashed potatoes.
Everybody loved the seasonal vegetables, they were very well done.
They say dessert is the most important meal of the day (they being me and other people with a sweet tooth) and the dessert did not disappoint.
For Dessert I had the Chocolate Brownie, which came with vanilla ice cream. This was delicious.
Abby had the Tiramisu, (coffee flavored Italian dessert with biscuits and mascarpone cheese.) I tasted that as well and it was also very good, although a bit dry. The others had ice cream.
At this point some friends joined us and we decided to go check out the bar before going out to Vineyard. Tune Hotels Westlands has 2 rooftop Bars, the Kilele Rooftop Lounge and The Sky Bar which is open to the general public. I have heard great things about the bars and they did not disappoint. One of the great things about the hotel is that it is not too far from the night life and you are able to experience the clubs in Westlands or even get to town if that’s where you would like to party. We started the after party at Vineyard and later drove to Westlands to hang out at Privee. We were there for quite a while and came back by Uber in the early hours of the morning.
That shower was calling my name once we got back, and this time there was no hurry. By the time I got into bed my body was ready for sleep and that bed took me straight to dreamland. It was very hard to wake up in the morning, the bed was so comfortable. Every time I would think of moving, sleep was calling me back. Conscious of the time we had to check out which was 10 am, we finally showered, and got out by 915.
For Breakfast you get a variety of things. There were fruits, yogurt, cereals, sandwich fillings, some pastries, juice and eggs done just the way you like them. There are no sausages or bacon included in the breakfast but you can order that separately. If one is running off there is a Grab and Go Coffee Shop where customers can buy salads, sandwiches and drinks to either drink there or take away.
We stayed until 1130. Now that we had already given out our pass cards by check out time we could relax, and chill.
The check in time is 12 noon and checkout is 10 am (after which late charges apply – you can do a late checkout for an additional 1000 I think). Utamu Casual Dining Restaurant is open daily from 6 am to 22.30 pm. Breakfast is from 06:00 to 10:30 hours. There is a wide range of Spirits, Beers, Wines and Liqueurs with prices ranging from Ksh. 350 for local beers and from Ksh. 450 for international brands. A main meal starts from around Ksh. 850 to Ksh. 1050. Desserts start from Ksh. 320 to Ksh. 550.
I found Tune Hotel Westlands to be good value for money. The service was exceptional. The rooms were comfortable. I found it to be a convenient place where one can meet others for a drink or a meal. It is also quite close to the CBD so it is convenient for business travelers.