Prior to my flight to Johannesburg, I stopped by the Kenya Airways Simba Lounge at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.
Kenya Airways Simba Lounge Review (NBO)
We may think of Simba as the given name of a Disney character, but the word just means lion in Swahili.
Location + Access + Hours
This lounge is located just past security checkpoint in Terminal 1A on the second level. It is open daily from 5:00 am to 12:00 am and available to SkyTeam business class passengers and travelers with ElitePlus status (plus one guest).
As I took the elevator up to the lounge, I was surrounded by three ladies who shoved a spa menu in my hand and aggressively tried to coax me to the airport spa, which is located down the hall from the lounge. They would not take “no” for an answer and walked with me all the way down to the lounge (I think it’s safe to say they get a commission for bringing people in…).
At the front desk, my boarding pass was scanned and I was pointed into the lounge without even a welcome.
Kenya Airways describes its Simba Lounge as feating “African cultural interior design complemented by contemporary Italian furniture.” And indeed, the lounge had artwork and many nooks and crannies with chairs or couches.
Food + Drink
I arrived during a time of transition between breakfast and lunch, hence there was limited food on on offer, but a wide variety of beverages. All beverages are self-serve, including beer, wine, and spirits, and there was a large Nestle espresso machine (I had far superior coffee in the Turkish Airlines Lounge) as well as tea, water, and soft drinks.
Food selection, theoretically, included a number of hot items rotated throughout the day, plus a small salad bar and pastries, bread, and sweets. However, these trays were empty during my visit just before noon.
Restrooms + Showers
Both restrooms and showers are available in this lounge. While the shower suites were unlocked, ask reception for towels.
Finally, I will say that I made a mistake here. While the Simba Lounge is perfectly reasonable, I was not even aware of the Pride Lounge, which is Kenya Airways’ flagship lounge that I could just have easily as visited. Oh well…next time.
I have no complaints about this lounge, through (well, perhaps the coffee). It was clean, comfortable, and was not crowded. If you go between breakfast and lunch you might not find much food, but had I stayed a bit longer I’m sure there would have been plenty to choose from.
Next stop: Turkish Airlines Lounge.
Neither of the KQ lounges are worth visiting if you can make it to the Turkish Lounge. I even tended to prefer the tiny old Aspire Lounge (not even sure its still around) to the KQ lounges.
The Aspire Lounge is still around.. I suppose it will get a retrofit before the terminal renovations complete.
Nice marble and granite in the bathroom but I wouldn’t sit in those IKEA chairs.