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“overpriced for what we got - but staff great and safe location” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Karen Camp

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Karen Camp
Marula Lane, off Karen Road | Karen, Nairobi, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #43 of 139 Specialty Lodging in Nairobi
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“overpriced for what we got - but staff great and safe location”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

We stayed at Camp Karen as part of a safari tour. We paid $100 a night for a family room and for what we got I think this was a bit poor. The first 2 nights my partner and I had a room with an en suite and the two children a separate room with a shared bathroom. Although this does not sound too bad, the rooms and en suite were very basic. When we returned from our safari for 3 nights we were all put into 2 separate rooms with shared bathrooms and a bed that sagged very badly in the middle. All this was despite the fact that we saw the "luxury" rooms advertised for $80 per night everywhere throughout the camp. We did go in to look at these luxury rooms and they were very nice. On the plus side, the breakfasts and food - although mainly in the eggs, sausage and chips line - was very good value. And the laundry service was cheap and good.
Karen is probably not the best place for kids as it is very noisy and lots of drinking going on at the time we stayed there. But the staff were great with our kids (and us) and the kids loved the dart board and the dogs. Although the walks to nearby sites in Karen such as the jewelry factory, town itself and museum are fairly long, they are do-able and we felt very safe walking around.For places further afield taxi rides arranged from Karen Camp were a bit steep. Overall we met some nice people there, including the staff, and had some fun times, but the accommodation needs to be updated and they should have some sort of curfew on the drinking and noise. Also I agree free internet access would have been the least we could have had - especially for what we paid.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
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44 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    2
    15
    17
    8
    2
See reviews for
3
14
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2
Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2011

I appreciate you get what you pay for however even so there is no excuse for the lack of cleanliness. I'd spent 10 days in Kenya without being bitten and was covered when I left Karen Camp and I'm not entirely convinced it was the mosquitos.

Lack of wifi was disappointing too.

On the plus side the food was good and staff were very friendly.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Manchester
Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2011

On arrival the greeting was very friendly, staff nice and bar busy. Unfortunately I had reserved a single ensuite, they had run out so provided a single, shared bathroom. The room was basic but suitable for a stop over. The bathroom again was basic, no hot water in the showers but acceptable for a stop over. Not a particularly clean hotel which is surprising considering the number of staff.

Food acceptable but basic.

As a dog lover I enjoyed the 'dog friendly' atmosphere, however the chairs in the TV area are riddled with fleas.

The location to the majority of attractions is pretty good, within walking distance of a few.

The major downfall of this hotel is the lack of internet/wifi. It is only available if you plug in your own computer. I feel this is unacceptable for todays modern traveller, particularly with it being the pick up/drop off for so many group tours. Friends struggle to confirm flights/trips because of this.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2011

Rooms could be cleaner and are dated/sparsely furnished.

People are nice but place has general dingy feel of neglect.

"Free Wifi" turned out to be not only a usb dongle with sim card (not Wifi) but also not free!!
As this is advertised as bold on the website its a bit cheeky.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2010

You get what you pay for. The price for a basic room is reasonable for Karen and includes a full breakfast. The room I stayed in was clean and offered a non working outlet, plenty of storage space, mosquito net, and shower with no hot water. As I had traveled to Nairobi to relax for a few days, I was mildly disappointed. The staff however, are very welcoming and aim to please. If you are looking for a quiet place to stay, this may not be the place for you as this is a frequent "watering hole" for the ex-pates and also a base for overland safari groups. All in all, I would only recommend Karen Camp to budget minded backpackers.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
UK
Level Contributor
88 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2010

If you find yourself stuck in Nairobbery . . . I mean Nairobi and want to avoid the city centre then Karen Camp isn't too bad a place to stay if you're on a tighter budget. They have camping space in the garden, dorm rooms in a building out the back and a range of en suite and shared bathroom bedrooms in the main house. It is also used as a stop by a few of the overland truck companies. Karen is about 30 minutes drive from the airport and city centre on the outskirts of the Nairobi National Park.

We had an en suite room with double bed and mosquito net which set us back $30 a night, not including breakfast. It feels a little bit overpriced as the rooms are a more than a little tired and could do with a bit of a freshen up. The bathrooms in particular look like they haven't been refurbished since the property was built.

Downstairs there's a communal TV lounge which has cable/satellite TV with about 50 channels. There's also a bar which serves a small selection of food (the home made chicken and cottage pies were very tasty). On Wednesday nights the local expats descend on the bar for a fairly lively drink . . . or 6!

The staff are friendly, there's good on site security (which is important in this part of the world) and the gardens are a fairly pleasant spot for a sit in the sun. The owner also has 3 very big but incredibly friendly dogs.

There's no internet access on site, the nearest net cafe is at the local shops, about a 5 minute ride in a taxi. Also fairly close by and reachable by taxi are the Langata Giraffe Centre (well worth a visit if you've never been up close and personal with a giraffe) and the Karen Blixen Museum (vastly overpriced).

In summary - feels a bit overpriced due to the tired condition of the rooms but it's probably the best of the budget options that Karen has to offer.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2010

We stayed here after reading it was 'a spotless hotel' in lonely planet. The sheets were dirty, the bathroom disgusting and there was dog hair all over the furniture. The hostel is miles from anywhere and the surrounding 'gardens' as read in Lonely Planet is a junkyard of old trucks and rubbish. I would never stay here again.

Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Karen Camp

Address: Marula Lane, off Karen Road | Karen, Nairobi, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #43 of 139 Specialty Lodging in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 20
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Also Known As:
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