Review: Kenya Airways Pride Lounge Nairobi Airport

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Kenya Airways has two lounges at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport:

  • The Pride Lounge, which is their flagship lounge, located in Terminal 1A, near gate 17
  • The Simba Lounge, which is their secondary lounge, located in Terminal 1A, near the Kenya Airways service center

It was quite a walk from the Turkish Lounge to the Kenya Airways Pride Lounge, and going to it required passing through security. That’s because in the low gate numbers security is at every gate, while at the high gate numbers there’s a single security checkpoint, so I had to go through that to access the lounge.

Nairobi Airport terminal

Once through security I walked down the hall and turned right, which is probably the most modern part of the terminal.

Nairobi Airport terminal

The entrance to the lounge was on the right, near gate 17.

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge

The Pride Lounge is up a level from the main terminal, and can be reached using an elevator.

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge elevator

There I presented my RwandAir boarding pass. The Kenya Airways Lounge is open to all SkyTeam business class and SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers, plus premium passengers on Air Mauritius, Precision Air, and RwandAir. The lounge is open daily from 5AM until midnight.

This lounge was only recently renovated, and is especially nice in comparison to the rest of the airport, in my opinion.

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge entrance

I loved the nature and destination themed art and wallpaper throughout the lounge.

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge entrance

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge art

The lounge is quite large. Just inside the entrance and to the left is a bunch of pretty traditional lounge seating. I loved the angled ceiling, and how it almost felt like a loft.

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge seating

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge seating

Kenya Airways Business Lounge seating

Kenya Airways Business Lounge seating

Further into the lounge was a bench along the wall.

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge seating

Then there were a bunch of coffee tables with chairs around them.

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge seating

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge seating

There was the large dining area, which had tables mostly with two seats each.

Kenya Airways Business Lounge dining area

Kenya Airways Business Lounge dining area

Then in the back of the lounge was even more seating.

Kenya Airways Business Lounge seating

While I thought the lounge was beautifully designed, the food selection was a bit underwhelming, given that this is their flagship lounge.

I’d say the selection was worse than what was on offer at the Turkish Airlines Lounge. Cold options included just a few types of salads and fruit, and then there were five hot dishes.

Kenya Airways Business Lounge buffet

Kenya Airways Business Lounge buffet

Kenya Airways Business Lounge buffet

The drink selection included a soda fountain, three types of liquor, wine, and beer.

Kenya Airways Business Lounge soda & water

Kenya Airways Business Lounge liquor selection

Kenya Airways Business Lounge drinks

While there was a proper espresso machine, it didn’t seem to be staffed.

Kenya Airways Business Lounge coffee

I was in the lounge during a pretty off peak time, so it’s possible that maybe they spruce up the food and drink selection at nights, before most of their premium routes to Europe and New York?

The lounge also has showers and a nap area. There were people in the nap area, so I didn’t feel comfortable photographing that. Furthermore, the two showers were inside the mens restroom, and I didn’t really feel comfortable taking pictures inside the heavily trafficked bathroom.

Kenya Airways Lounge bottom line

Kenya Airways’ Pride Lounge is a nice space, especially by African lounge standards, since the continent doesn’t exactly excel with lounges and airports. The lounge has several distinct seating zones, and I love the travel and nature themed design.  All in all, not the best airport lounge in the world, but definitely where I’d rather spend my time here.

However, for Kenya Airways’ premier lounge, I did think the food and drink spread was quite disappointing, not even on par with the Turkish Airlines Lounge.

And this was definitely the nicer of the two Kenya Airways Lounges at the airport… stay tuned for that.

  1. The only lounge worth visiting at Nairobi is the Turkish one, regardless of which airline you are flying on. Otherwise, grab a bite at Java downstairs – food is reasonable and much better than the lounge stuff.

  2. I was sort of hoping that the staff at the front of the lounge would make a big deal over Delta not being a SkyTeam partner and expect a passenger to prove it in the same way as you did at the Delta SkyClub.

  3. I was at this lounge in August. It was pretty packed. I wouldn’t exactly eat any food in the lounge because of possible food contamination. Last thing I want is an upset tummy in Africa so I just got some bottle water and crackers. It’s a decent enough lounge but nothing to write home about.

  4. Kenya airways provides 3 lounges at Nairobi (instead of 2 as you wrote), futhermore the Pride Lounge is opened 24h and not from 5am to midnight.
    And yes food is better at meal times (5-9, 11h30-14h30 and 18h30-22h)

  5. Easily one of the strangest lounges I have ever set foot in. There are always employees lurking around, just watching the visitors while quietly making judgments. For the number of people in the lounge, the staff was way overstaffed. It was weird and aligned with what I have observed to be a typical Kenyan/African behavioral response towards foreigners, especially white ones. They act as if they have never seen one before. I have spent a lot of time in numerous countries in Africa, and I am half African (Congolese), but this place made me cringe. Every-time I walked up to the buffet or the bar, I felt like I was being monitored in a way that made me feel guilty for getting a drink or food. I thought I was paranoid, so I asked several other guests, without being too invasive, (Indian, French, English, and other Africans) how they felt about the ambiance and the scene in the lounge and they too were weirded out by the excessive staff that made everyone feel like we were thieves for grabbing a snack or a drink. I suppose to balance my observation, perhaps myself and the other travelers were out of place and the ones who were acting oddly.

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