5 Great places to stay in Kenya's third city

Whether it s for business or pleasure, a getaway or get together. Kisumus’ portfolio of accommodation is plentiful and varied, with something to please every taste and budget. 540 has sifted through the reviews to give you a handy guide to the best accommodation on offer in Kenya's third-largest city.



A favourite with the rich and famous, having played host to everyone from Sauti Sol to Victoria Beckham to Diamond Platnumz, Acacia Premier Hotel is one of Kisumu's most decadent hotels. Situated in the city's leafy suburb of Milimani, Acacia Premier is a well-equipped and stylish hotel with excellent staff and spacious rooms, including the breathtaking presidential suite, which includes a lake-facing balcony among other lavish touches.


The Aqua Pool Bar b Grill is the place to be seen in Kisumu for tasty cocktails and Instagram-worthy views; and for something more formal, the hotel's Cafe Acacia serves up delicious all-day dining from a sumptuous menu. The Barista coffee lounge serves freshly baked pastries and teas and coffees from around the world, while the Buzz Bar is the perfect place to cheer on your favourite sports team.


Meetings, conferences and events can be held in one of the five indoor venues, with a maximum capacity of 300 in the grand ballroom.


Best for: conferences and banquets

Price: $$
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Located in the central business district and close to amenities including restaurants and offices. Imperial Hotel is an ideal choice for those coming to Kisumu for business or for anyone who likes to be close to the action.


Guests can choose from standard rooms, club rooms, executive suites and the state suite, all of which are well appointed and comfortable.


The three executive suites are individually designed and the state suite is more akin to a city apartment, with plenty of space and fine views.


Imperial Hotel is the perfect place to hold business meetings, conferences and functions, with seven rooms ranging from five to 250 guests, so any event, large or small, can easily be accommodated here. The onsite business centre also provides administrative support and fast Wi-Fi is available throughout, so you can catch up on emails whenever you choose.


For some down time, guests can head to the gym or outdoor pool, or enjoy a coffee at Palms. The hotel's Florence restaurant serves an array of regional and international cuisine alongside a carefully crafted wine list.


Best for: business

Price: $$

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Aside from being a business hub and bustling city, Kisumu has a romantic side, especially by the shores of Lake Victoria, with its unforgettable sunsets and the opportunity to relax and unwind. Kiboko Bay Resort is the perfect option for anyone seeking peace and quiet, romance or the chance to get close to nature in Kisumu.


Comprising nine luxury safari tents and a deluxe cottage, the accommodation at Kiboko Bay is spacious and charming, with rustic features and en-suite bathrooms. The deluxe cottage has the special bonus of a private Jacuzzi, as well as a kitchenette and satellite TV.


Perhaps the main draw of Kiboko Bay is the chance to see hippos on the shores at night - a thrilling and unique experience that makes any stay unforgettable. Make sure you don't miss the spectacular sunsets over Lake Victoria, which are best enjoyed with a drink in hand from the resort's well-stocked bar.


Best for: romance

Price: $$$



Enjoying easy access to the business district, yet situated in peaceful, lush gardens. Sovereign Hotel is a luxury boutique property ideal for both leisure and business guests.


The spacious twin and deluxe rooms are clean, comfortable and airy, with many offering views over the hotel's greenery. The rooms are equipped with everything needed for a pleasant stay, including an en-suite bathroom, dressing table, writing desk and flat screen TV.


Gastronomy is a top priority at Sovereign Hotel. The main restaurant, Maestro, serves a wide range of Continental, African and Indian dishes and there is a dedicated area serving sublime Japanese dishes. The teppanyaki table allows guests to see, smell and hear their food being prepared right before their eyes, while the sushi chefs carefully craft the wide range of authentic rolls, tempura and platters. For after-dinner drinks, the Legends Bar b Lounge has a relaxing atmosphere and an extensive drinks list that includes whisky, vodka, liqueurs and wine.


Best for: food and drink

Price: $$
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If you're planning to visit Kisumu for longer than a couple of days, our top pick for extended stays is Vittoria Suites, a hotel that offers 70 studio suites and all the necessary facilities to ensure a comfortable and relaxing stay - no matter how many nights you're in town.


Each of the air conditioned suites is equipped with a kitchenette, flat screen TV and desk, while many also offer fine views of the surrounding area. Free Wi-Fi is available in the rooms. Although kitchenettes come as standard in all rooms, there is also an onsite restaurant serving an excellent breakfast buffet and a variety of meals for those nights when you don’t fancy cooking.


There are two meeting rooms onsite for small business meetings and seminars, complete with state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment as well as writing pads, marker pens and flip charts.


Best for: long stays

Price: $
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Fly540 has 2 flights from Nairobi to Kisumu daily. You can book your flight conveniently from www.fly540.com and pay via Credit/Debit Cards or Mobile Money Options such as Mpesa or Airtel Money from as low as KES 5,270 one way inclusive of 20kg baggage and free snacks on board. Book Now!