Aput Lane, Kisumu
Tel: 254 (0)35 41100-3
After leaving Merika Hotel (see my last post), we continued our journey to Kisumu over very bad road. My parents had chosen to spend the night at Sunset Hotel in Kisumu, based on an acquaintance’s recommendation. A Kisumu local, he told them that Sunset Hotel was one of the two best hotels in Kisumu, the other being Imperial Hotel. We were not sure what to expect, but decided to trust our informant.
Sunset Hotel is located 2.5 km outside downtown Kisumu. Not a significant distance, especially by car, the journey to Sunset Hotel takes you into the pleasant, flowery, residential areas of Kisumu. As we headed to Sunset Hotel, I remember thinking that I had never known anything other than the hustle and bustle of downtown Kisumu. As I traveled through this area, it seemed to me that Kisumu would be a very pleasant place to live.
Finally, we arrived at Sunset Hotel. Sunset Hotel is a grand hotel. It spreads wide and is 5 floors high. I’ve since come to learn that the reason it stretches so wide is so that every room in the Hotel has a view of Lake Victoria. The hotel gets its name from the magnificent sunsets that can be seen from every room in the hotel.
Sunset Hotel was opened in 1977 and must have been quite an impressive hotel in its day. Some of its past glory can still be glimpsed at in small details such as the artful water fountain, designed in the shape of African pots, that marks the entrance of the hotel. For the most part though, to quote another writer, Sunset Hotel is a bit worn at the edges.
You might ask me why I bother to write about it then. I write about Sunset Hotel because I think it still has many positives that you would not expect from an upcountry hotel. For instance, the rooms are very tastefully decorated. From the first time you enter the rooms at Sunset Hotel, it is obvious that a lot of thought went in making the rooms a pleasant place to stay. Well decorated and well maintained, the soft furnishings match and are in good condition (maybe I am particularly aware of this because of a bad experience I had at Lake View Hotel in Mbarara, Uganda last Christmas). The rooms have glass windows on the facade of the building that overlook the lake.
I did not pay attention to the view when I first got into my room, since we arrived at night, but the next morning, I was amazed by the view that I saw. This was the first time that I had seen Lake Victoria from Kenya (having seen its Tanzanian and Ugandan shores many times). The true expanse of the lake, finally dawned on me.
Other strengths that I noted at the Sunset Hotel were a mean breakfast, complete with bacon, eggs, sausages, baked beans, and cereal, and beautifully manicured gardens, full of flowers, which were a pleasure to walk through.
The Sunset Hotel is a 3-star hotel, so this gives you an idea of the general feel of the hotel. Still, I think it’s a nice 3-star hotel. If I were to go back to Kisumu, I would not hesitate to stay there again.
Many of the people that I tell about the Sunset Hotel seem to already know about it. If you had never heard of the hotel until now, or have never stayed there before, I hope this post gives you an inkling of what to expect.
If you do stay there, or have more to add to this review, please drop me a comment.
For now, I wish you a good rest of the week.