Social House voted globe’s hottest new meeting place

Friday October 08 2021
The Social House

The biggest bedroom at The Social House in Nairobi. It boasts 83 rooms with smartphone controls and contemporary decor. PHOTO | COURTESY


The Social House hotel in Nairobi has won one of two runners-up spots in the ‘City Slicker: Best Urban Hotel’ category of the prestigious annual National Geographic Travellers’ Hotel Awards that recognised 39 of the world’s best new hotels in 2021. The other spot went to the Capella in Bangkok, Thailand.

“We wanted to reward the hottest new hotels on the block. Temples of slick design, stellar service and feel-good vibes that draw in the locals as much as the travellers,” say the organisers.

According to the jury, The Social House is no ordinary African city boutique hotel, expertly dodging both colonial tropes and the corporate feel of many regional options. Instead, locals pack out its four bars and restaurants, that offer menus ranging from Scandinavian to Peruvian-Japanese.

Creativity and passion

“This award is a culmination of the creativity and passion of all those who conceived, developed and have operated the House over the past three years. It’s especially gratifying that this was a global award and run by National Geographic, one of the most respected and long-lasting travel brands,” the owner of The Social House, Juliet Njogu said.

The recognition follows on the heels of The Social House winning the Hotel Bedroom and Suites Design category in the 2020 Society of British and International Design Awards.


The Social House has also been nominated as Kenya’s Leading Hotel and Kenya’s Leading Boutique Hotel in the International Travel Awards, while its Peruvian restaurant, Inca, has been nominated as Kenya’s Best Restaurant in the World Culinary Awards.

Located on 154 James Gichuru Road in Nairobi, The Social House is an independent property. It has seven event and meeting spaces, four restaurants, an outdoor pool, a back garden and a gym. It is a member of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts Lifestyle Collection.

One of the most talked-about openings of the past year, Capella Bangkok on the iconic Chao Phraya River, provides a pocket of tranquility in the city. It offers the Auriga Wellness spa and culturalists curate local experiences for visitors.

Love of outdoors

The Hoxton Hotel in Rome, Italy was the overall winner in the ‘City Slicker: Best Urban hotel’ category. According to the jury, The Hoxton group has transformed a modernist building in the Parioli neighbourhood into a 192-bed urban retreat, with a dusty pink facade and a decor inspired by 1970s furniture and classic Italian cinema, with some salvaged Murano glass chandeliers to boot. The all-day Cugino is a bar-bistro in which you’ll be as comfortable for breakfast as you will for aperitivo hour.

A mixologist

A mixologist/sommelier, expert at cocktails, at The Social House. PHOTO | FILE

Angama Safari Camp, in the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara won the ‘Leave the World Behind: Best Outdoor Escape’ category as many people fall back in love with the great outdoors, and are praising the properties that bring us closer to nature, from tucked-away treehouses to luxurious lodges.

Angama Mara, is an exclusive-use fly-camp, with only four tents, and delivers old-school serenity with an ultra-stylish, 21st-century twist. Writing desks, extra-king-size beds and double bucket showers take comforts beyond the realm of a conventional safari camp, and the experiences on offer are the stuff of dreams.

Expect picnics ‘in the middle of nowhere’, hot air balloon rides and tailor-made, guest-focused safari drives that take in the sun-blessed savannah and Big Five. This is a rare and intimate experience, all managed by a team whose attention to detail is out of this world, the jury adds.

The runners-up in the ‘Leave the World Behind: best outdoor escape’ category is The Treehouses at Lanrick, Perthshire in England, and Camp Sarika by Amangiri in Utah, USA.

The winners and runners-up in this year’s edition are in the October 2021 issue of the National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine.