(Posted 04th November 2022)
The principle of Business Ethics was something invented to make its teachers and students
feel good about what they are about to undertake. Or so I thought until I met Kelly Aburi, an
enlightened soul who is spreading lightwork through her businesses, one of which is Hob
House Nairobi. A 7 bedroomed house at the bottom of a beautiful valley, in a cul-de-sac that
is easy to miss if you are not included in the circle, Hob House is a place whose name is the
foreshortening of the word “Habibi” meaning My Love, and that is exactly what they strive
to serve here.
The Hob House Principles include sustainable eco-business practices such as recycling their
rubbish, which I noticed when I went to throw my fag butt in the bin. Feeling self-conscious
about polluting the abundant fresh air supplied by the verdant garden, I retreated to the
front parking area to smoke my cigarette in relative peace. Until I spotted the yoga people in
the back garden and started internally berating myself once more. But I gave up giving up
long time ago so I will just have one more thank you.
The food is another area where principles are applied, not only because it is Lebanese and
so adheres to strict Halal practices, but also because it is 80% vegetarian in a meat-eating
world and purely organic.
No pesticides have crossed this threshold for your health and gastronomical pleasure. This means the food tastes like it was home cooked in your grandma’s kitchen, without taking away from the exoticness of the Levantine flavours.
Apparently even the chips are fresh cut every day and not frozen, something that tickled the
other hoteliers in a WhatsApp group who were lamenting the state of their frozen chips
during COVID. I made a foray into the vegetarian menu and chose a traditional courgette
Fatteh, the layers of delicately spiced paper-thin courgettes and chick-peas smothered with
a thick layer of baked yogurt and sprinkled with a few pomegranate and sesame seeds. It
was a revelation. It melted in my mouth while simultaneously refreshing it, and was filling
enough without sitting in the stomach like a stone.
Kelly says there are two main things that can get a person fired in her businesses and that is
theft and gossip. She strives to create a conducive atmosphere not just for her clients but
also for her staff to have a pleasant environment to work in. This translates into a happy and
friendly employee, who is not merely trained to accomplish a task but is trained to take
charge. Leadership and leading by example are traits which she wishes to encapsulate in her
Having said that, although the staff were lovely and open, they did tend to
congregate a little too frequently in the reception area instead of patrolling the ample
gardens and its various nooks for a patron in need of service. The look-a-like jungle amply
camouflages a person sitting and painting in one of the enclaves with private tables, and
one can easily feel lost and forgotten.
When I finally retired to bed with my bottle of red La Bastille Carignan-Merlot from France
2019, which was pretty decent, especially for purposes of inoculating oneself against
loneliness, I contemplated my life. Being a travel writer is not easy (true story), as you have
to do it alone. I am not yet popular enough to merit room and board for more than one,
leave alone a full crew. Hopefully this will not last, and this is all in your hands my dear
readers. The bed was plush white luxury linen and what felt like a full duck feather
comforter. I gratefully sank into it and continued my novel by Abdirazak Gurnah with the
windows open to the all-night cicada songs.
In the morning, dreading to find out what would constitute a veggie breakfast, I was beyond delighted to find on the menu the item “Mad Dogs” (and Englishmen), that featured bacon! I silently thanked Kelly for having the kindness of heart to indulge me in one of my basest of cravings.
And that way everyone is happy.
Rooms at the Hob House Nairobi start from Kshs7500 ($75) for a well-furnished double room with a bathroom,
ample wardrobe storage and even a spare extension cable for your charging requirements, and go up to
kshs20,000 ($200) for the Jua Suite with a balcony. A night comes with bed and breakfast. Staycation packages
available and look for promos on Instagram. All rooms have a view of the garden. Top Location: Highly rated by
recent guests (8.8). The FOMO Travel Show will profile Hob House Watamu in the next episode.
Full English/Irish, Vegetarian, Vegan, Halal, Gluten-free
Free parking on-site
Available for events and Yoga
For more information and bookings on Hob House:
Web menu: https://hobhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/hob-house-main-menu-19-
Tel: +254 702 076969
To watch the FOMO Travel Show Ep90 Hob House Nairobi:
This is the Age of Aquarius.