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“Fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of African Heritage House

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African Heritage House
Mombasa Road | Box 17871, Nairobi 00100, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 154 Nairobi B&B and Inns
Lambertville, New Jersey
1 review
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

My family--myself, husband and 2 teenage children--visited the African Heritage House in August 2012. We found it to be absolutely enchanting. The proprietor, Alan Donovan, is a consummate host with immense knowledge of the continent and its artisans. He has spent many years collecting, promoting, and preserving the works of African artists of all mediums, and the Heritage House is a monument to his efforts, serving not just as a unique bed and breakfast, but a fascinating showplace for many of these works of art.

The house is conveniently situated just 10 minutes off the highway from Jomo Kenyatta Airport. It is perched on a hill, with the back of the property providing expansive views of the adjacent Nairobi National Park, and as far as the eye can see is open land. The rooms are beautifully appointed, and the food excellent. A matter of fact, the dinner we had there was the best I have had in a long time, either in Kenya or America. Alan was very friendly, taking time to personally give us a tour of the house and its contents and join us for dinner, making us feel very much at home.

If in Nairobi, the African Heritage House is definitely worth a visit.

  • 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
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37 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

Please stay at the African Heritage House. It will be an experience you will never forget. It's the most unique and fascinating place I've ever stayed in. The location is perfect, close to the airport and all Nairobi attractions, but on the edge of Nairobi National Park, away from the craziness of the city. Airport pick-up can be arranged as well as transportation to any destination you may want to visit. It's all as hassle free as possible at a reasonable price. The house doesn’t feel like a hotel, more like a museum, but with all the comforts of a very nice hotel. The decor, the entire house and Alan’s stories are fascinating. The moment you arrive is like stepping in a totally different world. This was our introduction to Kenya, to Africa in fact, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.  The grounds, the gardens and the pool area are lush, exotic and dotted with beautiful, intricate art pieces (each one with its own story, of course). You can wonder around, admire, explore, photograph enjoy everything the house has to offer. In the evenings, I was looking forward to our nice, peaceful dinners on the patio watching the sun go down over the beautiful Athi plains and the Ngong Hills. The meals are delicious and breakfast on the patio is just as breathtaking as dinner. Staying at AHH was one of the highlights of our trip to Kenya.  
I made all reservations by communicating directly with Alan. He is very responsive and helpful with any questions or requests you may have.
Alan’s jewelry is also very beautiful and unique, bold and wearable. My only regret is not buying more pieces.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

The African Heritage House is a gem not to be missed. It overlooks the Nairobi national park if you wish to have a unique experience this is an excellent choice.
Alan's passion and his life works are represented in this unique home which houses remarkable artefacts of African art, history and fashion.
Each room is a space created to experience the true beauty of Africa . There are many indoor and outdoor spaces to experience the animals in the national park, relax and enjoy the sunsets. The monkeys were regular visitors .
I choose to have dinner and lunch where possible at the house as the food was exceptional and delicious. The evening sunsets were a perfect way to wind down the day.
Alan is a very gracious host who's advice and suggestions were always spot on.
Thank you Alan for creating and sharing this beautiful space.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobe Sound, Florida
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
7 helpful votes 7 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.

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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 #3 of 154 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 

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