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“Happy repeat customer” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandavy Guest House - Kilimani

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Sandavy Guest House - Kilimani
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Ndemi Close, Ndemi Rd, Nairobi 15006-00100, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 158 Nairobi B&B and Inns
east coast
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Happy repeat customer”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

I've stayed here before and it is one of my first choices for B&B in Nairobi. It is in a quiet neighborhood, within walking distance to basic shops and restaurants (Adams Arcade and beyond), on the same side of town as the airport, is very clean and has very friendly staff. The food is fine, nothing extra-ordinary, but fine. It's a converted private house, with garden, which gives a nice home-y feel. While I have never been bothered by noisy groups of guests, the set-up (private house) may mean that you may hear other guests talking or moving about (mostly in the morning or evenings), and the doors in Kenyan homes are not made to close and lock very quietly. Lucky for me, this was not a problem at all: my recent stay was the quietest night I have ever spent in Nairobi. Sandavy does tend to get groups of young people (students, volunteers) in the northern hemisphere summer time, and they do sometimes "take over". The owners could probably deal with this better, by either warning other guests at booking time, and/or alerting group leaders to the need for more consideration in a guest-house environment. If you are a prospective guest and want to avoid this scenario (but not all groups are especially noisy), you could ask to ensure that no group will be present at the same time as you. All in all, I do recommend Sandavy enthusiastically.

Room Tip: See their photographs: the rooms differ, some quite tiny, others much larger -- and price varies acc...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

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56 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

I've stayed here on several occasions in 2012 and am now back in 2013. It remains a lovely place to stay, within reasonable walking distance to Adams Arcade (which is getting better by the year). Many of the rooms have a shared bath in the hallway, sometimes shared with one other room, sometimes private to just one room, and sometimes shared with people from several rooms. They have a variety of room configurations, two of them that I can recall having double beds in them, one having two twin beds, and at least one room with some bunk beds, presumably for groups traveling through. An ample breakfast comes with the room, and prices have seemed reasonable to me. The staff and the owner/operator are all very friendly indeed, especially if you can manage some Swahili. Water and beer are available on an honors system in the dining room. David, the owner, also acts as a travel agent and can arrange safaris and or local flights for you. I'm hoping I'll be back again some future year, but for now I'll have several stays here in the course of a month in which I'll be traveling out of Nairobi to visit friends elsewhere in East Africa.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gates Of The Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

We had just finished our epic 9-day safari and the three of us wanted a restful, albeit short, night of sleep before our very early departure out of Kenya the next day. It was not to be.
The property of the b&b is very quaint, that is, if you can find it! No signs indicate the location of the b&b, and only after asking a handful of people on the street (and calling the b&b) did we snake our way to the entrance, two corners off of the street that it claims to be on.
With our first challenge behind us, we were met with baffled faces upon our arrival around 5pm and were asked to sit in the living room while the staff figured out what to do with us. This was surprising, since we had confirmed our reservation via email far in advance. After waiting for 15 minutes with no feedback, I had to speak to someone and inquired at the front desk: I was told they were setting the room up - after which I saw parts of a bed being carried to a back room. Some 30 minutes after our arrival, and no clear explanation for the delay, we were escorted to our room, the 'Lesser Flamingo Room'. Indeed.
The room was adequate for the short night and clean towels were supplied, as were flip flops. We were provided our own separate basic bathroom, which allowed us to take the much needed showers before our attempt to sleep for a few hours. I spoke with David (who was not there when we checked-in) who arrived later that evening: he did confirm that the mistake had been theirs - they gave the room that was intended for us to another last-minute booking, thus the circus act when we arrived at the b&b.
Sleep, and the conditions for rest, are sub-par, at best. The walls are paper thin, which means you can hear ants tip-toeing. And the other guests, perhaps we just had bad luck, simply did not take the concept of 'others' into account. We tolerated the banging of doors, loud voices, foot stomping for a while, after all, we did go to bed quite early, but soon had to say something to the less-than-considerate guests. Since it is a communal home, more signs, strategically placed, would help in outlining the expectations and rules of the house - respect for others, keeping voices at a humane level, etc would go a long way in curbing savage behavior. Check-in personnel could also simply tell all arriving customers that they need to take other guests into account. Proper preparation prevents poor performance.
We were up around 3am to catch our flight, and David did have two of his employees prepare us a small bag breakfast. We were also provided coffee upon request and the taxi to the airport (US$30) was organized by him.
But the sendoff did little to sweeten the already sour taste in our mouths. We will not be staying here again and cannot recommend it. It was doubly disappointing since we booked this b&b to get a more personal feel and experience and since many of the reviews had been so positive.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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David W, Owner at Sandavy Guest House - Kilimani, responded to this review, September 28, 2013
Thank you for the feedback. I apologize once more for the inconvenience. After confirming your booking I reserved for you the only triple room the ‘violet backed starling’ but a new staff member erroneously put other clients into your room rather than the Lesser Flamingo Room. I did show you the booking log that showed you were supposed to be in that room but since it had been given out and used, there was little I could do but at that point.
After I was called about the mishap I requested they hurriedly try to fix the problem by adding another bed into the Lesser Flamingo room thus the delay. I can figure out how tired you were, the long wait and the bitterness thereof and I do regret and apologize again for that.
The walls are block concrete. The sound should have been permeating through the door, I am sorry too about the other inconsiderate guests and a part from highlighting the need to be considerate of others on the check in form – we are also emphasizing by word and there is a notice at the back of every room door to that effect.
Sandavy Kilimani might be a bit basic and below par on amenities and that is why we started the more upscale Sandavy Lavington which is more spacious, with more rooms 7 of which are en suite and 2 with private bath next to the door. There is also a swimming pool to relax. If there is a next time we would offer you a free night at Sandavy Lavington.
David (owner).
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Tokyo, Japan
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013 via mobile

I was traveling solo and was very happy when I saw my room The Greater Flamingo. It was clean, charming, airy and facing a well-kept garden. The place was quiet just as advertised. Pamela and Moses, the staff, were also very friendly.

But my luck turned bad when a group of local college girls accompanied by an older woman, perhaps their mentor, checked in and occupied the remaining rooms. They immediately took over the living room and turned it into a fitness studio using the tv/video in the room. After dinner they had a group discussion, which later turned into talks and laughs in very loud and penetrating voices, almost shouting, as if they were in a pub. I was practically denied access to the living room and the library next to it, so I went back to my room at the end corner. But their voices penetratrd so loudly I wasn't even able to read.

At 9:30 pm I called David the owner, who was away, to complain about the cacophony. He apologized, and a few minutes later the in-house staff closed the door between the living room/library and the rooms. This reduced the volume a bit but I still could hear voices and laughs, which kept on going until late. I slept wearing earplugs that night

The next morning after I came back from jogging but before I had a chance to take my breakfast, the group has already occupied the whole dining table, and they stayed there for an hour, again talking loudly. Moses the cook kindly offered to serve my breakfast in the library next to the dining room, but I couldn't take anymore of the noises and had my quiet breakfast at a nearby mall instead.

I decided to cut my stay short and moved somewhere else. I was so relieved to get out of there and didn't even bother to ask for compensation for sleep loss and unconsumed breakfast.

Sandavy may be a nice place but you need to be lucky by not having to share it with this kind of inconsiderate guests. The staff and owner could have prevented this incident by explaining to the guests the house rules and make sure they are observed and that the other guests are not disturbed.

Unless I travel with a group of people whom I know and we can take over the whole house, I will never come back here by myself because I know I am not that lucky.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David W, Owner at Sandavy Guest House - Kilimani, responded to this review, September 28, 2013
This is one of the most regrettable incidences that have ever happened at Sandavy and we highly regret and apologize about it. It is not once or twice that we have sent away ‘groups’ with agendas not conforming but this lady walked in and booked a group of young girls only to realize later that it was supposed to be a 2 day retreat/mentorship.
When I heard they had moved furniture in the common room to make way for their video fitness I quickly went there and stopped it and emphasized the need to be considerate of other people but that must have done little to the ‘noise making’ afterwards. We have put vetting instruments in place and the nature of activities that do not interfere with other peoples stay.
Let me also suggest an ambient, better, serene and tranquil atmosphere at our new Sandavy Guest House in the upmarket Lavington area 7 min away from the older Sandavy Kilimani.
David (owner)
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Bowling Green, Kentucky
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

When we arrived at the Sandavy Guest House we found a warm welcome from Marietta. Almost instantly we felt that we could relax, as if we were in the home of a friend or family. Marietta continued to make us feel at home by helping us in several different ways such as laundering several clothing items for us even though it was already late at night and making arrangements for a driver the next day.

Our room was clean and comfortable with a private bath. We even had a balcony. The grounds were spacious and attractive with several places to sit and relax. We were far enough from the city center that city noise was no problem. Breakfast was a smorgasbord of several different breakfast foods, so we left for the day well fed.

You can be sure that when we return to Nairobi, we will be making our reservations at the Sandavy Guest House. Great accommodations and even better staff.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

We just left Kenya a week ago after an incredible family holiday. We were based out of Sandavy Guesthouse which offers clean, basic accommodation and lovely staff. David was exceptional at helping to arrange our very specific trip and we are very grateful for his expertise and understanding. All 3 drivers we were with, James, Issac and Charles were excellent. We spent the most time with James on safari and around Kenya. We received expert help in the game parks and safe, knowledgable driving on the crazy roads of Kenya. Thank you to the entire Sandavy team!

Room Tip: Most rooms do not have a private bathroom. Get ready for hard beds throughout Kenya and always chall...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David W, Owner at Sandavy Guest House - Kilimani, responded to this review, September 28, 2013
Thank you too for your wonderful and positive feedback.

We have opened a new branch of Sandavy on Mugumo Road in Lavington. All room are en suite except 2 which have private baths next to their entrance doors.

Regards,
David (owner)
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Houston, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

We only stayed two nights at this quaint Guest house but had a great experience
in a very short time.
Everyone made us feel very welcome! Moses the chef prepared a tasty
vegetarian dinner for us one night & we had nice breakfasts with good
fruit and coffee. The location was quiet and peaceful with lovely gardens
and the rooms were clean and adequately furnished.
We really loved the safari arranged for us- we saw so much-even saw lions
which I understand is rare and the weather was so perfect. James our
driver was very accomodating & easy to talk to, and Issac, our driver
for our second day was so much fun to be with & gave us lots of information,
very knowledgeable. We felt very safe and cared for with both drivers and
really appreciated that!
The owner David had recommended the Carnivore Restaurant for our
last night, even though we don't eat meat we had a great Vegetarian
dinner and loved the experience of going to this famous restaurant, it was
very entertaining.
Would highly recommend this B&B to our friends and family and hope to
go back another time!

Room Tip: we stayed in the greater Flamingo room, which had a private bath. Not many of the other rooms did o...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandavy Guest House - Kilimani

Address: Ndemi Close, Ndemi Rd, Nairobi 15006-00100, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 158 B&Bs / Inns in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the quiet Nairobi suburbs of Kilimani and the upmarket Lavington area with easy access to the city centre, Sandavy Guest Houses Bed and Breakfast are close to restaurants and shopping centres. For hospitality at its best, make Sandavy Guest Houses your Nairobi destination. Perfect for business and leisure travelers, families, groups and students... we offer a comfortable, secure and affordable home away from home. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sandavy Guest House Hotel Nairobi
Sandavy Guest House b&b

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