BY VICTOR ADAR
Located at Seasons Centre in Embakasi Village, Nyayo Estate road and just a short distance from Coca-Cola depot, Seasons Airport Hotel offers African cuisine with a variety of foods in the menu from ala carte where customers can order individual dishes (from a menu), to English, or traditional breakfast.
When there were no restrictions and current health safety concerns, the hotel’s spaces used to accommodate 80 people. Today, the facility can only take in half the number thanks to the ‘new normal’. With Sh2, 000, you can enjoy yourself big time. The amount can afford chicken, chips or rice for two people, plus a drink. A bottle of beer that usually cost Sh300 at the three star hotel has since been priced lower to Sh250 bob. Accommodation costs Sh5, 500 during normal days but has reduced to Sh3, 500. And there is something for everybody.
“Our advantage is class. We don’t compete with anybody. Price is also good,” says Joshua Opiyo, a chef at the hotel. “We have family platter that include a whole chicken, half kg mbuzi and some two sausages and chips, and juices that kids love to take such as passion, mango and cocktail.”
The extent of chef Opiyo’s understanding of the kitchen is great. The main work that the Kenya Polytechnic (catering) graduate does is to prepare menu and to dish out new foods for clients. He says that around 100 people walk into the hotel in a day. “From 4:00pm the place is usually in full capacity.”
Seasons Hotel is five minutes (2 kilometres) drive from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and about an hour from the Nairobi Central Business District when there is traffic or 30 minutes when the roads are clear. If a customer is unable to choose from the menu, a waiter or waitress recommends a meal. It is open round the clock with free wi-fi that enables its clients keep tabs with family, friends or work.
“Response is not that bad… since the covid-19 thing started we’ve had so many clients that love our food. People should come and taste African cuisine the way they like it,” Opiyo says, adding that cooking is a very interesting job but one that is driven by passion.
He delights in whipping out fresh dishes. He says that the awesome meals at Seasons is as a result of following industry standards, proving the worth of engaging services of a professional chef.
“You must ensure that what you serve is always fresh and the process of preparing it adheres to the industry standards. That is a regimen that we inculcate early in the staff that we hire,” offers Opiyo.
The facility depends mostly on local clients mainly airport transfers. And, that airport is closed, challenges abound. It might be stormy now – try to picture how coronavirus has reshaped businesses in ways un-imaginable –, but things will get better. If you have free time, haven’t been out and about for a while, or, you just want to close a business or interview someone from a quiet place, getting a good joint ought not to be extreme sport.