By Prudence Minayo
The Social House was voted Kenya’s Leading Boutique Hotel at the World Travel Awards. The hotel was inspired by the need to create something unique, unlike anything the Kenyan market has ever seen. It is viewed as a house where creatives, fashionistas, artistes, tech gurus, and people from all walks of life can meet and share ideas.
Opened weeks before Kenya was put on a lockdown due to covid-19, the hotel has cemented its name in the hospitality industry. It is the brainchild of Juliet and Francis Njogu. Juliet worked at Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank before she lost her job and ventured into the hospitality industry.
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WoK takes you on a tour of the magnificent Social House hotel.
The Social House
The Social House is a modern 83-bedroom boutique hotel located along James Gichuru road. The unconventional hotel has no reception desk. Instead, when visitors walk in, they are greeted with a coffee house with its own roaster. Instead of the usual hotel lobby, they have a living room. The hotel also boasts four food and beverage outlets, a gym, an outdoor pool, and seven event and meeting spaces. The four restaurants are: The Other Room, Inca, Copper and the Living Room. The rooms are tastefully furnished with modern decor made wholesome by the bright colors. They come with comfortable beds and a large flat screen television. The hotel’s deco is a fusion of modern Africa design meant to create a homely atmosphere.
‘Best hotel in Meru’
Juliet owns what she described as the best hotel in Meru. With the Social House, she wanted to replicate what they had in Meru in Nairobi. They were also inspired with the idea of creating something unique in the hospitality industry.
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The hotel took second position in the 2021 National Geographic Travellers Hotel Awards after Hoxton Hotel-the same facility that inspired Juliet. The proprietor considered it an honor to be among the top three Travelers Hotel alongside the Hoxton.
“To be compared with Hoxton after having been in this space for only 19 months was humbling and a huge statement,” said Juliet.
Rather than focusing on the usual one night guests, the hotel chose to focus on locals. It was created as a place where locals could meet, interact and enjoy the food and ambience.
Juliet is also a director of the Alba Hotel in Meru. The Meru hotel is considered one of the best in the region.
Juliet Njogu career
Apart from the hospitality industry, Mrs. Njogu enjoyed a successful career in the banking industry. She has had stints with Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered bank. She has a Master of Business Administration from Warwick Business School, and is a graduate of the Strathmore University Owner Manager Program.