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“An Excellent Safe Place to Stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Margarita House

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Margarita House
Lower Plains Road | off Karen Rd, Nairobi 00100, Kenya   |  
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Ranked #44 of 151 Nairobi B&B and Inns
London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“An Excellent Safe Place to Stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

I stayed with my family at Margarita House and found it a clean comfortable secure base, away from the hustle and bustle of central Nairobi.

Being a relatively small hotel (18 rooms) there is an intimacy that you wouldn't find at a larger establishment.

The staff are helpful and familiar with all the local tourist attractions (Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre etc...)

The food available is adequate if limited, but more to the point none of my family suffered as a result of it.

The location of Margarita House (through 3 sets of gates - all manned, and one 10,000v electric fence) reflects the fact that security here is important. At no time here did we feel at all vulnerable - quite the opposite.

Karen is an upmarket suburb of Nairobi within relatively easy reach of the airport.

I have no hesitation in recommending Margarita House as an excellent choice of place to stay.

Room Tip: If your stay is during the milder weather, the staff will happy to build a roaring fire both in your...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2011

Magarita House is in Karen and as is with several great places in Nairobi, it is not easy to reach without having transportation. Public transport will drop you off too far off to walk. The house is simple, homey, spacious and the staff are extremely friendly and helpful. The rooms are spacious with a little sitting room and tv available. Some rooms have a fireplace which is ideal for the cold season as Karen can get really cold. It is really good if you have toddlers because there is a nice garden at the front with some sitting area where you can enjoy a drink or meal as they play. There is also a beautiful pool in an enclosed area. The food is very good, the breakfast unique, and somewhat basic. They make it on order and it really feels like home. There is a lovely spacious lounge where you (and your family) can hang out, and watch some tv together or to just relax. It is really cozy. It is also quite reasonably priced. If you want to do any shopping, there is a mall and a maasai market not too far from the house. The hotel can arrange a cab which are located not too far from the house and thus the cab will come pretty fast even at short notice. The decor is quite nice and cozy. I most certainly will be staying there on my next trip to Nairobi.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a fireplace in the cold season
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2011

Margarita House is located outside of Nairobi in a gated and guarded residential area.
It is clean, with a helpful staff and a talented young chef. The somewhat suburban location results in a quiet and safe stay. However, since the location isn't near any major road, you must rely on prearranged transportation if you wish to visit any of the city’s sites. This isn’t much of a problem but more cost sensitive travelers should be advised that since the B&B uses a fixed price service from Point 2 Point travel, the relatively low price of Margarita house can be quickly offset by a-la-carte travel costs. *Note – Traffic on the 2 lane Langata road is a nightmare at busy times and worse if it rains. Allow extra travel time as a 20 minute trip can easily turn into an hour.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Frederick, Maryland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2011

I stayed several nights, spaced apart at the Margarita House. It was perfect for my purpose at about $70/night. It is secluded, safe, and quiet, although I admit there were some dogs barking at night. My room had a small kitchen area with sink, 2 separate, single bedrooms, and bath (I was traveling alone). It was a bit dark in the room - they could use better lighting. However, I arrived late and this was the last room they had. They did try to move me to the nicer, brighter rooms in the main part of the building, but I declined. Bottled water is provided in the room for free. On my last day, I saw one of rooms in the main building, and it was very nice, spacious, and bright with a view of the lovely garden. (Admittedly, I asked for the least expensive room, so this may have been one of the more expensive ones.)

If you want a quiet place, this is it. The staff is superb and very, very unobtrusive. Anything I needed, they happily arranged. Full breakfast is include in the price and cooked up fresh for you. I had dinner there every evening for a very good price. There is a selection of main courses and side dishes, desserts, tea, coffee, soda, etc. I got a three-course meal with soda, tea, and dessert for US $13 - this would have cost at least $25 in the US.

The lounge is nice with a wide-screen TV. The dining room is dark, but you can ask them to turn on the full lights and then it is fine (I think they think people want it dark for dinner, but I was trying to read and eat).

I arranged to stay here a few hours after I returned from safari. I arrived at noon, but knew my flight was not until 10 p.m. or so. They were very accomodating. I asked how much it would be for a shower, and they said it was free - they gave me a room and let me shower and stay there several hours to repack my bags. Then they made me a cup of tea. I gave them a nice tip when I left, but I don't think they expected any payment (well, maybe for the tea which was US $1.).

I also recommend Point-2-Point taxi service - ask for Sammi! He drove me all over Karen the first day I was here. I think the full day cost about $35 US. They charge about $3/hr to wait for you while you visit local sites and otherwise 80 Ksh/K. I highly recommend the elephant orphanage (only open between 11-12 daily), the giraffe center (nice!), and the Karen Blixen House (well worth it). You can do the three mentioned between 1000 and 1500 (the orphanage is only open 11-12). I also recommend Kazuri Bead Factory - a nice tour and TONS of beaded jewelry and pottery for sale. It is a business established 25 years ago to employ single mothers in the area, so you feel like you are contributing to local economy.

OK - more than you wanted to know, but I recommend Margarita House as an economical alternative in Karen.

Room Tip: I recommend one in the main building - they seem newer, more spacious and with better lighting. All...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Darfur, Sudan via Charlotte, NC, USA
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Margarita House. The room was large, but very quaint. The bathroom was larger!!! (Really, they shouild do something with all that bathroom space!) i had the room with the fireplace, although it wasn't cold enough to use, it was nice having both it and the fireplace ledge; and since it had been used recently, I could still smell remnants of the lovely woodburning odors. The little terrace was nice (and good for a smoker!), although I didn't use it much, but was a good way to judge the temperature and to just gaze over the lovely grounds.
The grounds were lovely and quiet, and the staff was present without being noticeable. The room didn't have a phone, so was forced to actually get dressed (in some manner) to go downstairs to the front desk to make a taxi or meal request.
The location, was great for my purposes. After I got my bearing, I was able to walk around, and actually hiked the entire distance to the Karen Crossing shopping center. Many little restaurants are along Karen Road within walking or a very short taxi.

Room Tip: I had the front room, which was very nice and had a nice view. However, it was off the parking lot...
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

Stayed here for a conference. On the negetive side the bathrooms are dated, the neighbourhood can be very noisy (lots of argumentative dogs), it's tricky to find. On the plus side, free wifi, very accomodating, good food.

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms which have been redone
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  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2011

Margarita House is often heavily booked - although it wasn't when I stayed there with friends, I returned later on a number of occasions for other reasons and it was solidly booked. It is not because it is spectacular in and of itself but because if you want to stay in Karen (which is a good idea) there aren't too many other options.

Having said that staff are friendly and very accommodating. They were happy to store bags, and when one of my friends became sick they were happy to open the kitchen at night a few nights in a row to make tea and toast. There is a pleasant small garden in the gated compound and a pool. A reasonable simple breakfast is included in the cost. If you are having problems with the hot water just let the hotel staff know - they can fix it.

It is a serious pain to get to though - realistically accessible by car primarily (probably could get there by matatu if you're willing to walk 700+m across a field), and it's hard to get to, even with a map. Still worthwhile given some of the other options around!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Margarita House

Address: Lower Plains Road | off Karen Rd, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #44 of 151 B&Bs / Inns in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
One of Kenya’s best kept secrets, Margarita house is a budding boutique hotel fittingly situated on the periphery of Nairobi city, in the up-scale suburb of Karen. We are conveniently located within 5 minutes drive of major tourist attractions such as; Nairobi National Park, Karen Blixen Museum, giraffe center and the Nairobi safari walk. At Margarita House we offer professional personalized service delivered in a serene and relaxing environment. Try us today. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Margarita House Hotel Karen

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