A Garden for all Seasons

By on December 2, 2016

Whenever I travel (which is turning out to be quite a lot lately) I try as much as possible to not make a fool of myself – especially to strangers. When I am home, I can goof around and be a real idiot as much as I want but once I step out into the sane world, I try to keep it together.

Most times I manage.

Every once in a while however, I lose the plot and either break out into uncontrollable laughter over something otherwise trivial or I simply stare in shock at something everyone else would regard to be perfectly normal.

I am not big on weddings and I tend to think of them as little forms of bondage so every time I see a couple tying the knot, I sort of die a little inside. I may wear a smile on the top and even manage an applause but inside I am just shocked that people even do this to themselves.

Of course there might come a time when eventually I too will have to conform to the norm of other mortals and commit myself to someone, forever, but until that time comes, I will only stand aside and watch in shock and disbelief.

Recently, while spending a weekend at the Nairobi Serena Hotel, I had the opportunity to witness from a safe distance the excitement and merriment that goes on at a wedding reception and boy was it a spectacle!

The bride was delightfully gorgeous and extremely jovial while the groom seemed genuinely happy and seemed absolutely certain that this was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Everyone else seemed happy for the bouncy couple and as glasses clicked, I kept wondering how and why a couple would be this happy and then it hit me that perhaps it was because of the place they had chosen, the Aksum Gardens.

You see, the set up at the Serena Hotel Aksum gardens is one unlike any other. While people world over might know that Nairobi Serena Hotel has some of the finest conference facilities, I personally think their Aksum gardens are twice as awesome and anyone who holds an event there is serious about having a spectacular event.

The gardens are located just outside the Ethiopian styled Aksum Bar with greenery so massive, it is no surprise the Hotel has bagged the Award for Africa’s Leading Green Hotel two times.

The place is like the Garden of Eden; but without the two naked humans or the other hissing snake.

When an event is being set up in these gardens, the process is usually meticulous and thorough. The set up is planned in such a way that you disappear in your own little world and as your event carries on, you will almost forget that the Hotel is just a five minute’s walk from the Central Business District.

If you are ever looking for a place to hold an event, as you traverse Nairobi, make a point to pass by the Serena Hotel even just to look around.

front-desk-staffOccasionally you will bump into these finely dressed sons and daughters of Kenya. They tend to wear smiles all day, all night as they serve and guide patrons and visitors. A story is told of a newlywed couple that was too impressed by the outfits of the staff they decided to have photo ops with them.

In terms of photographic scenery, the Aksum gardens are probably one of the finest locations in the whole of East Africa for photographs. And because of this, you will find newly wed couples gleefully posing for pictures at the rather serene bridge that connects one of the walk ways to the bar area where sports lovers usually gather to discuss the progress (or lack of it) of their sports teams.

bridgeThe Bridge that connects to the Garden of Eden

The day I was at the Hotel, Manchester United was playing against their next door neighbours Manchester City. And while the result was not necessary a memorable one for myself, the experience was second to none. Other folks who were watching the game kept exchanging smiles, mostly because they were Manchester United haters. My friends and I stuck to watching the game while enjoying the super fast WIFI and sipping on our chilled drinks.

It sort of helped that right behind us was a background sound of water flowing, creating an environment of tranquility and absolute calmness.

img_20160910_181804Amos, Blaze and myself managed a selfie despite the fact Man United lost the game.

My keen interest in the Aksum Gardens led me to ask around about the various events that take place there and one of the smartly dressed guys told me some pretty interesting stuff. I learnt that other than weddings, there were birthday parties, music performances and even barbecues that happened at the Aksum Gardens. Hopefully the next time I visit and stay at the Hotel there will be a barbecue in the Gardens and I will find myself wandering and joining whoever will be there.

And that is not all …

childrenOn Sundays, there is a fully fledged playground where the kids can go about their business without interrupting their parents.

During a wedding or any such event, most people love the outsides. And the Aksum Gardens offer what appears to be a really peaceful and serene environment, perfect for any kind of gathering.

However, there are people who have the least interest in being outside. For such people, being inside is safer and more exclusive. Quite luckily, the hotel also caters for such people – very well actually.

table-reservedThere is provision for you enjoy your serenity at Café Maghreb, the Mandhari restaurant or Bambara lounge 

And with the year quickly coming to an end, there will be companies looking to put a smile on their employees’ faces with end of year parties and what not. Quite naturally, most companies will probably want to have such events in their own backyard so that employees feel at home. However, some other companies want to give their employees a rather fresh and mind blowing end of year experience. For such companies, there is quite the provision.


Since the year is coming to an end, this might come in handy for companies that are looking to have one final wonderful time together before everyone finally departs for the holidays and returns in January looking well fed and clueless about their job.

And for those who will not be travelling to their far away villages in Western Kenya or somewhere near the coast, staying in Nairobi might just turn out to be one heck of a worthwhile plan.

As someone who is a lover of festivities and of Christmas in particular, it warms my heart to listen to Christmas Carols and see people spread good cheer around this time of the year. What makes me absolutely smile however are Christmas decorations and what not.

festive-seasonThe Pool area not far from the Aksum Gardens simply looks like a place Baby Jesus would want to take a dip. Breathtaking.

I am not so sure where I will be this Christmas but in the event that I am in Nairobi, there will be no prizes for guessing where I will want to be.

“Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.” ― Clare Ansberry, The Women of Troy Hill: The Back-Fence Virtues of Faith and Friendship

a.k.a Beewol
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