Many interesting reviews have been published here about The Tribe. I was at first reluctant to contribute, because I am not a regular guest at this hotel. However, I suppose that my impressions might also help to form a full picture of what The Tribe is. When I arrived in Nairobi, in July 2010, it was fascinating to spend several weeks at The Tribe, until my home was ready to move in. Being a resident allows one to examine details and get familiarized with the personnel. The Tribe is not only one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve been to (and I have travelled extensively, always looking for nice boutique hotels to stay at) but also one of the cosiest. I feel like it is my second home in Nairobi. After spending there almost a couple of months in one of their suites overlooking their beautiful swimming pool area, I can say that service may not be perfect, but it is as attentive as you may expect from any luxury hotel in the world. If one stays for a couple of nights, I suppose that their regular rooms, although not large, are comfortable and well-appointed. If you fancy a longer stay, it is advisable to take a suite, which has a large sitting area.
The hotel provides several ambiances where time may be spent without ever getting bored of this place. Starting with the restaurant Jico, where breakfast and meals are served. The breakfast buffet is exquisite, and eggs dishes are prepared to your taste. Lunch may either be enjoyed inside or outside, by the pool (as well as dinner, but it gets a little chilly in the evenings, given the altitude of 1,600 m above sea level). The menu is not too extensive, but every choice is worth trying. Few restaurants in Nairobi are as well managed, with an internationally recognized Chef, a gastronomic manager and well trained waiters – Xavier, mentioned in other reviews, is outstanding for his professionalism and sympathy. The pool area is the venue for beautiful parties as well as live music performed during brunch and other special occasions. It is particularly beautiful when torches are lit above the upper pool bar which cascades into the main pool, with people bustling around well-set tables. The lobby area has several corniches where private talks and relaxing moments may be enjoyed, but it is also served by a fascinating tall table lit underneath and above, with bar chairs surrounding it, excellent location for informal gatherings before dinner. There is a secluded bar in one corner where drinks or coffee may be enjoyed in a more private setting, as well. All decorated with an amazing collection of African art combined with modern design furniture, a feature used throughout the hotel to give it the perfect touch of comfort and beauty unmatched by any other hotel in town.
The rooftop bar, The Nest, is one of the best spots for sundowners in Kenya. Lounging there with friends or on your own, with a local beer or a gin-tonic in the hand, may prove to be one of the most pleasant experiences in your visit to the country. I had the opportunity of watching there several matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and it was unforgettable. Many locals chose to come to the Nest in the evening, for chicha smoking and drinks.
One word has to be said of the Gaya spa, one of the best I have been to. Relaxing moments in the hands of experienced masseurs (I recommend Walter, in particular) or sipping tea in a private library afterwards is well worth the money spent (fares are similar to other 5-stars hotel spas around the world).
On the downside, the two main points several other reviews have highlighted are difficult to cope with are the noise and the slow internet service. Rooms are not completely acoustically isolated, from your room you may hear door knobs clicking outside and, if your room faces the parking lot, people start talking loudly very early in the morning, immediately after dawn. As for the internet, although complimentary, it may prove to be an enduring experience to try to download large files or watch videos on your computer screen.
All in all, however, staying at The Tribe may get one accustomed to a lifestyle and a standard of living which can hardly be matched elsewhere in Africa. Moving out can prove to be as hard as moving away from home. As a result, I am not surprised that I feel compelled to go back once in a while for brunch, dinner or a massage, which is like going back to my second home in Nairobi.