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“one of the best boutique hotels in the world” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tribe Hotel

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Tribe Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Limuru Road | The Village Market, Gigiri, Nairobi 00621, Kenya (Highridge)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 119 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“one of the best boutique hotels in the world”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

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.

Room Tip: if you stay for a while, opt for a suite avoid ground floor rooms, which are noisier
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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486 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
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English first
Golden, Colorado
Top Contributor
177 reviews 177 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2012

Roughly a 40 minute drive from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, we were impressed the minute we walked in the lobby with comfortable lounge chairs and quirky and modern African art and sculptures. While waiting to be checked in, they served us with a fresh tropical fruit punch which was delicious and very refreshing. The room was decorated in the same modern African theme with a bold red wall on one side and some paintings around. The provide tea and coffee facilities but they have an extra touch with ground coffee and french press, a far cry from the coffee sachets that hotels normally provide.

The bathroom is open plan with the huge tub and sink and the shower/toilet in the enclosed area. The bed is very comfortable with fluffy pillows. I was dying for some rest before the early wake up for the safari the next morning but I guess the walls are a bit thin that I can hear my neighbour turn on the tap, slamming doors and the cars outside.

The hotel is next to the Village Market complex where you can get essentials from Nakumatt or Woolworths but the rest is pretty much standard shopping. It's mostly frequented by expats as the complex is near the diplomatic area where consulates/embassies are located.

Room Tip: try to get a room on the upper floors (they're only four stories high) or away from the lifts
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012 via mobile

When we discovered George was the only colorist at this hip, artsy studio, we figured we'd be getting more attention than usual. Understatement of the century. After examining our brassy highlights, he discerned the type of shampoo we used (the wrong kind) and the level of shower pressure we liked (the weak kind), and recommended more color-friendly options. He gently rebuffed our idea of an allover auburn shade, explaining that red fades quickly and requires constant upkeep. Instead, George proposed enhancing the natural russet in our dark hair with more manageable threads of cinnamon. The fiery glints solicited so many compliments, we might just have to get used to being the center of attention..

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Albuquerque NM
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2012

We enjoyed a nice evening and drinks at Nest - beautiful spot, great place to hang out an meet friends, nice views. We will be back! the hotel looks great too - didn't have a chance to explore but we will next time.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

It is perhaps important for readers to know that I live in Africa, but have traveled a lot and stayed in many fantastic hotels. In fact I always do extensive research on tripadvisor before staying at any hotel. My husband and I also own a hotel, so we do know the business and know what it entails to run a hotel in Africa. So, that being said, I have to say that TRIBE is absolutely one of the coolest, most beautiful hotels we have ever stayed in. The attention to detail in the aesthetics of the place is almost excruciating. Every tile, every colour, every fabric has been very carefully chosen to create an artistic and pleasing atmosphere. The staff is friendly and helpful. The food is excellent. But everything pales in comparison to the utter "coolness" of the place. Every stairway, every hallway, the lobby, the lighting, nothing is standard hotel ware. There are areas of the hotel where you feel that you are in a Gallery of African Art. I love this place!
In a place where aesthetic is so important, it is inevitable that there will be some issues of form over function, and that is the case here too. For example, the shape of the sink in the bathrooms, combined with the style of taps means that, if you are not careful, the water will splash right up onto your stomach when you turn on the tap. But if I have a choice of getting my stomach wet or staying at the overpriced, tired and ugly Hilton in town, I choose a wet stomach, thank you very much.
The one other issue that was a bit of a problem when we stayed there was a unpleasant odour coming from the bathtub drain. We solved the problem by stuffing a towel in the drain, but I would hope that they would look at a more permanent solution.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that is not next to the stairway as there is some heavy air conditioning noise coming...
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2012

Beautiful design by any standards, although some of this is imaginative use of what is quite a small space, in both bedrooms and public areas. But a pleasant contrast to many Nairobi hotels which are very smooth "grand dames" but showing their age. Well equipped and very modern and comfortable, only the internet was not up to scratch. Staff were all well trained and helpful - although this is true in in my experience this is normally the case in good Nairobi hotels. Food was good, very elaborate presentation, the restaurant was packed, looked like many were non residents so a lively scene. Location good for security, shopping at next door mall, but given the currently terrible Nairobi traffic, do check the location is close to where you plan to visit - its a long haul from the international airport. If you want a new hotel for business, the Sankara may be a better choice - not quite as chic but every bit as slick and more affordable.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
NYC
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2011

The Tribe is a mix of strong pluses and significant minuses.

The design is carefully thought through - I don't find all of it esthetically pleasing, but I recognise that care was taken; this isn't an anonymous concrete block. It has a beautiful spa with good technicians and relaxation rooms where you're offered juice, tea and fruit. There's a top-notch male reflexologist. International spa prices, or close to.

On both stays, my rooms lacked soundproofing, especially when there was a connecting door, but also when there wasn't. All the room doors close noisily - surely this could be fixed. Some rooms are near the road, with a bit of street noise. Rooms on the ground floor mean you can't leave sliding doors open for air at night.

The shower and toilet are essentially open to the room, with very little privacy; not everyone may be comfortable with that when sharing. Wi-fi was available, but slow and cut out frequently, requiring one to re-register online - tedious. The bed was comfortable, and the heating worked well. Good desk, strong desk light. Hotel information is contained in three separate binders; cute but not helpful.

The first day's room bar was free (apart from alcohol, I think), but the bar was pretty bare. There are tea-and-coffee making facilities with a proper coffee plunger - good tea, sour coffee.

The buffet breakfast is superb. Part of the breakfast area also works as a business meeting space. The bar and lobby are also well configured for meetings. There are two walls of delightfully well-stocked bookshelves in the public areas.

Village Market next door has an excellent coffee shop, Nakumatt supermarket, newsagent, ATMs and food court. On Fridays, Maasai Market sets up in the upstairs covered parking area. Convenient if you're here on business and have limited time to find essentials.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Tribe Hotel

Address: Limuru Road | The Village Market, Gigiri, Nairobi 00621, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi > Highridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#6 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#8 Spa Hotel in Nairobi
#12 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#13 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Tribe Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 137
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tribe promises to be an escape from the mundane hotel room and brings you into a world of hip, chic design with an emphasis on detail and luxury. Tribe is a celebration of the beauty in diversity while acknowledging our common quest for excellence and belonging. The hotel's many suites extend this level of luxury and are unrivalled in their sense of elegance and class. Every room is a testament of world class comfort and functionality while offering a cultural journey through hand-picked arts, crafts and furnishings from the farthest corners of Africa. This experience is accentuated only by the hotel's public spaces with design elements at every glance. Epic, the in-house restaurant serves Continental cuisine with an exquisite African Fusion. It is open daily for lunch and dinner from 06h30 to 23h00. The Lounge is open from 06h30 to 12h00 and the Nest is open from 17h00 to 23h00 daily. Tribe is adjacent to the The Village Market Shopping complex. It has an onsite gym in the Village Market as well as cinema, ten pin bowling alley, mini golf and great children facilities.Tribe -"New York Chic, African Essence”. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tribe The Village Market Hotel

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