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“World-Class Facility Best in Nairobi” 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 #14 of 125 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“World-Class Facility Best in Nairobi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2010

I've had the pleasure of spending a couple days at the Tribe - Village Market Hotel in Nairobi this week. Since my occupation requires around 120 hotel nights each year, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this recent addition to the Nairobi hotel scene. Not only is The Tribe a huge improvement over the dire hotel situation in Kenya's capital, but it rates as one of my favourites worldwide.

It's location in the Northwest suburbs of Nairobi was initially a concern to me when looking at the map. In reality it is not far at all, and a 15 minute drive to downtown, and 35 minutes to the Jomo Kenyatta Int'l Airport. It is literally steps away from the Village Market Mall which offers even better shopping than one finds downtown. It has a nice open-air food court where you can enjoy a tea or coffee or lunch after buying fresh fruit at Zucchini's farm market, catching a movie at the cinema or a game at the bowling alley.

I usually avoid eating at hotels, and prefer to venture into the various cities I visit for a meal. However, due to my late arrival, my colleagues and I had no choice (or energy) to go on teh road and we went downstairs for the dinner buffet, sitting outside poolside. It was a good decision, as the buffet was delicious. All the meats are cook to order, so really and truly its not a traditional buffet. The starches and vegetables were nice and hot, and the deserts (which I wasn't going to have, but couldn't resist) were supreme. All for a very decent price.

The first thing that you notice as you enter the lobby is the spaciousness and high quality African art everywhere you look. I later discovered that The Tribe boasts the second-largest private art collection in the world. This is both in public areas and in the rooms.

However, it is the smartly appointed rooms that will win you over! In addition to unique and beautiful art that's in your room, it has a perfect balance of modern designs, African feel, and a homely feeling. The rooms are ergonomic and the bed is very comfortable with a nice duvet and comfortable pillows. That, combined with a high thread count bedding resulted in myself sleeping right through breakfast the first morning!
My biggest pet peeve in hotels is usually the shower, and the only competition for The Tribe's shower is the shower at Hilton Sydney. It has what's often referred to as the 'rainfall showerhead'. With excellent water pressure a nice hot shower at the Tribe after a long trip is delightful.

My room had a view of the lush hill where the International School of East Africa is located, although I understand you can have different views depending where you are located. There's free Wi-Fi in the room, which is great. You can also borrow DVDs from their library to watch in your room.

On the 4th floor rooftop, there's a Shisha spot/ bar where you can enjoy the mild Nairobi nights on the rooftop and enjoy a drink or a shisha on the comfortable oversize couches.

One pleasant surprise, especially for those used to the surly service at the Intercontinental or the atrocious Regency Grand, the staff at the Tribe is exceptional. From the welcome at check in, restaurant and bar staff, and the efficient and quick checkout, the staff was friendly, helpful and efficient.

The only complaint I have with The Tribe, is that their fitness centre is not ready yet. You do get access to the gym at the Village Market for a nominal fee, but that was an axcuse for me not to excercise. Had the gym been ready, I would have certainly went.
However, I had a nice walk in the neighbourhood. The upstale area is very pleasant and safe for a stroll as many embassies as well as the UN mission is just around the corner.

I was informed that the equipment has arrived and is being installed. So I hope that it will be ready when I return to Nairobi in May. While I dreaded my business trips to Nairobi before because of the hotels, I'm actually looking forward to returning.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 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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510 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
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Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2010

My initial impression was Wow! Having come from the rather dated Serena Hotel, this Hotel was modern, stylish, and yet somehow still managing to keep an African charm - with all the local African artifacts and sculptures. However if you are looking for a hotel where you can swim, or relax by the pool, or chill out reading a book this isn't exactly the right place. Don't get me wrong you can do those things, but you will have to look stylish doing it! Everybody here fits the surroundings, and it creates a sense of constant posing.

Saying that though, the drinks list is endless, and they have great cocktains for £5. The food is good though you are looking at about £8/£10 for a main, but then you have to add on the side dishes.

The bedrooms in my experience have been clean, on the larger size, with a great wet room shower, and a really comfortable bed, which is also Huge!

The location is within working distance of all the shops and restaurants of the Village Market, and it is safe to walk over there from the hotel.

My only issue with this hotel is that it has no atmosphere. At no time do people let their hair down, and have a visibly good time. Everything seems very restrained, like all the staff and the guests are just trying too hard to look cool! So I really don't think it would be a good place for Kids, but a great place for business.

Oh, and a warning - there is NO GYM in the hotel - you have to go to the Village Market gym, which I would say is Ok, but has limited equipment, limited air con, and limited amount of lockers that lock!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2010

If the Tribe is within your budget bracket, I highly recommend it. It's beautiful, clean, relaxing, and very stylish. There is everything you need: an indoor/outdoor restaurant, a gorgeous rooftop lounge, a pool in the back, and lots of sun and space. We heard it's the place to go for a cocktail in Nairobi! It is also a very well looked after location - I had forgotten my coat in the wardrobe and came back to find it safeguarded by the staff. The service is pleasant and they endeavored to meet every need.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2010

As a boutique hotel, it is beautiful -- the architecture, the decor. No doubt about it. But....

RE: The hotel WIFI -- and the signal strength is "very low". VERY LOW? This is the hotel's network. Their signal ought to be "very good". I can understand that the ISP into which they feed being overloaded or otherwise unreliable, but the internal network being bad?

The hotel is several miles outside of Nairobi and be prepared to be isolated, except for the Village Market. The "shopping mall" is the cat's pajamas to the locals and pretty ho hum to me and my party. The hotel prides itself on everything that I hate about it. It is a niche, boutique hotel. Minimalist everything. Hyper modern everything. The trouble is, while some of this stuff look really neat on the cover of Architectural Digest, it is not functional in real life. There is no bathroom, but there is vanity area at one end of the room. The vanity itself is a low table in green glass; no underneath, no drawers, just space. On top of it sits a porcelain bowl, the sink. It is deep and not very wide. The water comes out of a chrome pipe that comes to the side of the bowel; there is a joystick on top to control water flow. So, every time you want to adjust the water flow, you reach over, outside the sink, and get water all over everything. Not to mention that the little joystick is not finely calibrated, so you tend to get too much or too little of whatever you want whenever you touch it. Oh yes, I looked for 24 hours to find how to close the sink stopper -- no little lever or button or pull -- you have to press on the stopper to close it, then bop it smartly to make it pop open. I really don't like plunging into the scum to open the drain, then maneuvering the joystick to clean off my hand.

One entire end of the room is the john. You enter and to your right is this ugly green vanity table with the big white sink bowl, and to the right of that is a glass wall, with the toilet proudly sitting there to be seen from all across the room. There is no tub, just a shower, with a glass partition that does not stop the shower water from splashing all over the toilet area floor and out into the sink area. I come back to the room at the end of the day feeling like a shower and ask what is worse -- being grimy until the morning, or putting up with cleaning up the bloody mess a shower makes. Grime won. At least in the morning I was able to walk away from the mess and the staff would put it right.

There is no chair except for an economic desk chair; the only way to watch the wall mounted TV is to sit on the bed. The banquette, very uncomfortable, had to serve as the luggage rack. No dresser, just a couple of very small shelves in the closet to put your undies and such.

My room overlooked the pool -- the site of the Friday evening buffet, live disco, and huge crowd. Then the Saturday night wedding party. Then the Sunday buffet with band (1000 until 1630.) LOTS of noise. As the window was broken and wouldn't shut properly, it was even worse than normal.

There are two lifts. One is fine. The other one has no lights. I reported this to management, who told me that actually, these are stars on the ceiling -- the dark and the stars are to remind me of the immensity of the African night sky. (Seriously. I couldn’t make this up.) Blank the African night sky -- I couldn't see to push the bloody buttons.

light switch on-off pads are gunmetal grey with the name of the pad ("Hall"; "Master"; "Bed") etched subtly into the plastic in -- gunmetal grey! Unless you have a flashlight and can hit the etching at an angle, you can't see the label.

Beautiful, but in the rooms, not practical.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2010

The Tribe is a beautiful hotel! The Interior Decor is lovely. I liked eveything about this hotel except there was no bath tub in the room. The staff are very warm and friendly. I enjoyed my time there though it was short. I look forward to going back.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2010

I stayed at the tribe for one night and found the staff excellent, very friendly and courteous, right from the GM thro to the car park attendants, the hotel itself is fantastic the décor very rustically African. I stayed in the new section and the room was brilliant , awesome bathtub and open bathroom. The only criticism is have is that the menu on the 4th floor bar is rather limited, and the lack of any entertainment at the hotel itself. Apart from hat I would definitely recommend this hotel. Good work guys keep it up

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2010

Everything about the hotel is updated to what you'd expect in a high quality modern establishment. Although it is stylized very nouveau, there are touches of African art decor that add culture and a uniqueness. Many of the hotels in Kenya focus on the leisurely resort appearance, but the Tribe is more of a class act.

I know people normally read these reviews for the negatives. I really enjoyed this hotel, and recommend it. With that in mind, here are a list of problems I faced:

1. Power. I've traveled a lot in Kenya and other parts of Africa, and I can tell you that you will normally encounter the same problem no matter where you go. When there are power issues, the hotel will go off the grid and run a generator. Some hotels will not tell you that during the day this is a normal occurrence. In fact, some hotels will automatically switch to a generator during the day if there are not power issues.

2. AC. The AC in the room will run continuously (if on) when the hotel is connected to the city grid. However, when they switch to the generator, it will run for a short period and turn off. This is so that the generator is not overtaxed. You will have to either keep turning it on, open a window, or go out of your room.

3. Shower. I like that my room had a standing shower with a large "rain" faucet. That is a personal opinion...I've never liked having to climb in and out of a tub just so I could take a shower. The shower is a plus for me. Unfortunately the glass that separates the bathroom from the shower is not sealed. Water leaks under the glass and will not drain. Even turning on the water for a short period of time will cause this.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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
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 Tribe Hotel

Address: Limuru Road | The Village Market, Gigiri, Nairobi 00621, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi > Highridge
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#4 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#11 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#13 Luxury 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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