I just love old colonial hotels.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post about some old favorites in Asia and Cuba. Last week I came across a couple of these do-not-disturb sign my grandparents took as souvenirs from the Stanley Hotel in Nairobi after staying there 30+ years ago.
One of my clearest memories of my grandparents’ trips across the world was receiving a postcard of a zebra from them. After they returned from Kenya, they brought me a little doll, no more than 3 inches high, of an African woman carrying a baby on her back.
This door sign must have been from that trip.
I looked into the Stanley’s elegant past and learned it was built in 1902 back when Nairobi was nothing but a small colonial station along a railway line.
In 1930, the East African and Rhodesian published an article stating the following:
There is probably no other colony in the British Empire where a hotel has been more intimately associated with communal development and welfare than has The Stanley of Nairobi with the modern history and progress of Kenya. That celebrated establishment has been so long a popular rendezvous of the colonists that it has acquired an individuality entirely of its own.
Hemingway stayed at the Stanley, as did Clark Gable and Ava Gardner. It has occupied three locations and was called the New Stanley when my grandparents booked a room there in the 70s.