We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Cultural Masterpeace” 4 of 5 stars
Review of African Heritage House

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Nairobi
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
African Heritage House
Save Saved
You added African Heritage House to your Saves list
Mombasa Road | Box 17871, Nairobi 00100, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 156 Nairobi B&B and Inns
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Cultural Masterpeace”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Anyone intersted in African culture should not miss a chance to visit the African Heritage House. Every room and nook and cranny of the house contains history and fine examples of African art. Following a tour of the house and the impressive collection Alan has put together, we had the opportunity to have an excelent dinner with Alan during which we were treated to stories of his efforts at bringing African culture to the world and some of the unique life experiences he had as a result. Alan's ability to recall details about his extensive collection is impressive. Our visit for dinner was a remarkable experience that provided a finish touch to our ten weeks in east Africa.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Write a Review

41 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    34
    5
    2
    0
    0
See reviews for
11
18
4
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
mountain view
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Staying at AHH affords us an intimate and comfortable introduction to African art. Alan's 40 year museum quality, art collection from all over the continent is displayed throughout the house and bedrooms. What a beautiful, tranquil house he has built for himself, and for his guests to enjoy. And Alan's gracious hospitality is much appreciated. Being near the airport is such a convenience for arrivals or departures. And the local driver he uses, (Gideon tel. +254 (0)720-170754) to ferry us to the airport, charged us $20 each way - half the fare we paid to our tour operator, when we came back later to Nairobi for our safari. Breakfast is included in the rate, and lunch and dinner is on offer, taken on the terrace overlooking Nairobi National Park. Try looking out for game in the park, if you spend time on the terrace. Extensive grounds, a swimming pool and lots of places throughout the house to hang out and read a book, or just to rest and contemplate.
Wish there was a fan in the bedroom for the warm nights we were there.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobe Sound, Florida
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

This is a must for those who like out of the ordinary. Alan's home is on the edge of the Nairobi National Park and one of the coolest places that I have ever stayed in. Our room was on the third floor, we had several beds to chose from all with mosquito netting, we chose to have dinner there each night and enjoyed wine as the sun set. The house is filled with artifacts from all over Africa and Alan is so gracious, after 3 weeks on Safari we really enjoyed a day relaxing around the pool and watching the animals from the decks. Alan also arranged a driver to show us the city for our last few days in Africa.

Room Tip: Ask for the room where you can hear the lions roaring.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Kaydn215
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

We used African Heritage House as our base during our travels throughout East Africa - we stayed 4 nights over a 3 week period. Firstly in making arrangements i dealt directly with Alan (before he took his holidays) and he was very responsive and helpful. It is a very unique place and very interesting to see. As many have mentioned it is like a museum of African history - Alan's recall of all his collection is impressive. One of the main reasons to stay here is to get Alan to give you a tour (with your drink of choice in hand!) - but allow a few hours to really do it justice.

Alan's staff provide very good personal service with very good meals served in a variety of different spaces in the house depending on weather conditions. The house is located very handy to the airport and is very quiet being set well back from Mombasa Road.

The rooms are all pretty unique and interesting as well as spacious. Ours had an open air bathroom which was still pretty functional. Mosquitoes can be a problem so be prepared. The beds are a bit small being antique frames around the size of a modern double bed. Electricity may not be available overnight but this tends not to be a big deal i think. There is no aircon or fans but there is good natural ventilation mosquitoes not withstanding.

If you have one or two nights to spend in Nairobi and want a unique experience then this a great alternative to formulaic hotels.

Room Tip: I'm not sure if there are rooms with larger beds - best to ask Alan.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Arusha, Tanzania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

First, the house itself is unbelievable. It has grand proportions and interesting architecture everywhere you turn. Alan has furnished and decorated the place with 40 years worth of collected art from across the continent. Though the term "museum" comes to mind, the house is absolutely comfortable and we never felt as though we couldn't sit on furniture, touch the sculptures, or examine the art.
Second, the setting was gorgeous. My mother took the amazing Lamu Suite. It has a small garden/greenhouse inside the bathroom! I took the upstairs room on the roof. From the ample balconies and terraces we looked out over the Nairobi National Park as we had morning tea and sundowners. Somehow, we were 15 minutes from downtown Nairobi, but in the middle of a huge open park. The house is a much more convenient journey to and from the airport than any "in-town" hotel and far more relaxing.
Third, Alan is the consummate host. No details are overlooked. His advice on logistics (travel times, places to see, etc) were spot on. Meals were ample and delicious whether taken on the terrace, by the fireplace, or in my room on the top floor. The tour of the house, which took us about 2 hours, was really interesting and far from a "canned" speech. Alan put us in touch with a fantastic driver, Gideon, who was, himself, a font of valuable information. Alan also directed us toward some excellent wholesalers of African textiles and crafts. We skipped uncertainty of searching out over-priced shops and the mayhem that is Nairobi shopping. The icing on the cake was the private concert Alan provided. A group of 20 or so guests were having a professional retreat for the day and we got to join them as Alan's long-time friend Ayub Ogada played and sang on the roof deck at sundown. It was picture and pitch perfect.
African Heritage House is the type of place you can stay if you are doing just a few days travel in and around Nairobi, or if you are looking for a base for an extended tour of the area. It was just perfect.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Padre Island, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

How does one describe an experience that is magical, for that is what it seemed like when I visited and stayed in African Heritage House. I had just returned to Nairobi from a week-long safari when a volcano in Iceland prevented me from returning to the USA. My local travel agent, Maggie Gachie-Maina of Double Eight Tours & Travel, located at the nearby Nairobi National Airport, shepherded me to African Heritage House for the best stay of my three weeks in Kenya. Beside the fact that Alan Donovan is the ideal host and an expert on African history, art and crafts, I believe he personally has one of the best collections representing all of Africa. Each room is a cultural immersion of the places and textures and patterns of African life, making your stay as much an experience of being IN Africa as it is about LIVING the african way. His substantial library and personal memoir, "My Journey Through African Heritage" provide invaluable information about the continent and all its treasurers. Alan's understanding and knowledgable advice about places, people and things throughout Africa is encyclopedic, making him the perfect host and resource for all your travel questions.

The stunning placement of the colorful, styleized adobe house exudes warmth with its multi-level verandahs and balconies all with views looking down across the open, pale green, expansive Athi Plain and Nairobi National Park. The site provides a profound sense of space and peace, even though the compound is located a short distance from downtown Nairobi. The aroma of morning coffee on the balcony with the energizing glow of sunrise is not to be missed, especially if herds of zebra or majestic giraffes slowly promenade across the horizon. Each room and private bath is an exquisite collection of architectural features, fanciful furniture and colorful textiles adding sensual pleasure to the gracious, unhurried environment. A light breeze wafts through the rooms carrying the sweet fragrance of acacia. Try relaxing in the aqua pool set about with lush tropical plantings interspersed with sculpture or seek the shade of the cabana. Both provide a welcome retreat to float and look at the cerulean sky or read and write in the shade of the cabana. It is an ideal environment to entertain friends over drinks and hors d'oeuvres while you watch another spectacular sunset take place.

African Heritage House is the best place to relax and rejuvenate, breathe the air and inhale the color all around you; sense the fragrance of life and let time stand still. Such a place will intuitively teach you the origins of man and reconnect you with the person you were born to be. How could you not want to be here in this beautiful place with this amazing host and rich cultural heritage? Book now because space is limited!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, California
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

The prior reviews have really said it all, so let me just add my accolades to theirs. Frommers led me and my friend there. I only wished that I had known about it when our trip was in the planning stages. Based upon the Frommer review, we thought that we might spend an hour or so there....we ended up spending almost four hours including lunch and a little shopping for some of Alan's fabulous jewelry!

If/When I return to Nairobi, I would definitely book at least a night there, either on my way in or out of the country. The contrast between it and the Fairmont Norfolk, where we did stay, would have made two very nice experiences.

When we were there, we had the added fun experience of a meeting and shopping/bargaining with a visiting Congo textile trader/salesman who just happened to stop by while we were there.

So in summary, the airport location, the house and its design, Alan (knowledge and hospitality), the artifacts, the views, the food and the total experience are well worth the effort to include it in your Nairobi stay!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to African Heritage House? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about African Heritage House

Address: Mombasa Road | Box 17871, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 156 B&Bs / Inns in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage African Heritage House, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.