The African Heritage House (AHH) is Frommer's #1 Tourist Attraction! It's been featured in numerous architectural magazines and fashion shoots. This unique and special place is a revered landmark in Nairobi! Living in South Africa, my Kenyan friends tell me so! It's open for tours and lunch, but why not stay? AHH has so much to see that you definitely can't see it all in one tour! I have stayed twice-- with my sister in October 2011 and originally in October 2010 after a business trip and on our way to the gorgeous beaches south of Mombasa. AHH is so conveniently located to the Airport in this very busy city that it was great not to deal with the added traffic of coming from the City, but was close enough to go into the city when we wanted.
All of the suites at AHH are also unique in decor and design. They're very comfortable and all rooms but one have views out to the Nairobi National Park (that room, however, is huge!). I slept very soundly, but my sister very excitedly could hear lions roaring in the Park at night! You can definitely be transported back to the days of Karen Blixen's OUT OF AFRICA! (Her plantation is a neighbor.) Alan Donovan, owner and host, tells how the annual wildebeast migration would pass right in front of his house! Nowadays too many fences have diverted this amazing phenomenon, but he has photos for you to imagine it! Meals served on the terraces overlooking the Athi Plains and Park are a real treat.
Alan is another reason to go to the African Heritage House. He's a local legend. He's lived in Nairobi for 40 years and made a name for himself there and internationally. He's written his life story in a fascinating book, MY JOURNEY THROUGH AFRICAN HERITAGE. Alan is welcoming, accommodating, interesting and extremely knowledgable about all the incredible arts and crafts of Africa. His home is a testament to his love for this heritage, elevating even the everyday functional item to artform in this amazingly distinctive place!
Don't be dissuaded to visit because it's noted to be the #1 tourist attraction; it's not overrun with visitors and it doesn't interfere with your own visit. We had one couple come while we stayed there-- the Kenyan Chief Supreme Court Justice and his wife. Even the locals know what a treasure the AHH is! If internationally acclaimed guests such as Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives) and Roland Joffe (Killing Fields director) among others, are any indication, you're in good company here! I'd defnitely recommend this as your best and most extraordinary choice in Nairobi.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The African Heritage House overlooking the Nairobi National Parkis described by the prestigious Architectural Digest as " a vision of usefulness informed by the African genius for decoration" Designed by American Alan Donovan, the house is a combination of architectural styles from across the continent. Tours of the house interior reveal the beauty of Africa's art and crafts. ... more less