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“Amazing place!” 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
Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Amazing place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

My husband and our family of 8 just stayed at the African Heritage House for 3 nights. What an amazing experience! if you want way more than you will ever get from a bed and breakfast or most definitely from a hotel, this is the place to be! When we arrived there were 3 giraffes right out on the open field! The accommodations are lovely with fabulous views and our family thoroughly enjoyed listening to Alan Donovan's (the owner) stories of all the beautiful things in his home. The staff were very kind and attentive. Unfortunately, while we had read up on his place before travel, we had no idea how wonderful it would be and did not a lot enough time to truly enjoy it! We will be back Alan and hope to stay for much longer! Do yourself a favor and pick this as your place to stay in Nairobi. You will not be disappointed!
Mark Bush and Kellie Wile-Bush

Room Tip: All rooms were amazing with wonderful views!
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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

Traveler rating
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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
Oslo
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

My husband and I stayed in this wonderful place for one night+++
We were looking for a place close to the airport to spend our last night and the next day ( which was our anniversary day ), after our safari holiday in the Maasai Mara. We did not wish to go into Nairobi but wanted a nice place to stay the last day, where we could relax and stay till late at night before our international flight which left in the middle of the night.
I was lucky enough to find this gem on tripadvisor and sent a mail asking for availability and if we could stay untill late the next day. We received a quick and very positive reply from the owner , who wished us welcome to his place, he could give us full board and we were welcome to stay until midnight the next day!!!!!! We were very happy about this and booked it, we did not realize then what a fantastic place we were privileged to stay at!!!!
When we arrived we were really overhvelmed by the beauty of the house and its perfect location, with an awesome view over The Nairobi national park and surrounding hills.
We arrived just in time to see the beautiful sunset over the park and a full moon rising from the other direction - magical!!!! We sat on the roof terrace with the owner and were spellbound by the scene!!!
After this we were lucky to be accompanied by the owner of the house Allan Donnovan for dinner in the rooftop room, where he filled us in on some of the history and details about the house. The house is his home and also a museum, both himself and his house have a fascinating background and it was very interesting to read his book about it the next day!!!!
We were shown to our room - the Lamai suite which was just amazing, it was like living in a museum, but not cold.....very personal and warm with a wonderful atmosphere and history in every corner!!! The bed we slept in was a 200 year old bed from the island Lamu, there were antiques and art all around us, and they were not just on display - they were to be used by the guests!!!! The bathroom was great, with a outdoor garden on the side and lovely details with a stone bath and shower and of course antiques and art everywhere!!!
We had our own terrace overlooking the savannah of the park with a cosy couch with lots of lovely pillows that we could relax on and look out at the animals in the park. In the morning when the sun came up we saw lots of animals just down from the house, we even thought we saw a lion - very exciting!!!!!
We were served coffe in our room and then breakfast on one of the big sun terrasses by the wonderful staff working in the house. Even the dishes and glasses they used were pieces of art, so delicately decked out. We spent the day lazing in the sun on the terrasses and by the pool, we also wandered around the house and gardens and marvelled at the different rooms and pieces of art!!!! We stood under the romantic " wedding tree " and felt very lucky for having chosen this place to spend our wedding anniversary and our last day in Africa!!!
We were served a delicious lunch in the pool house and afterwards we sipped wine and dozed on the sunbeds and took in the wonderful view !!!
In the evening the owner gave us a guided tour of the house which was very interesting and informative, we had read a lot of his book during the day so it was extra interesting to hear about the different pieces.
He also showed us some of his jewellery that he makes, and I was of course tempted to buy a piece, African inspired and right in my taste, I should have bought more......well next time!!!!
In the evening we ate again in the rooftop room with our host, he is a well of information and a really nice guy to spend time with, a lovely way to spend the evening.
After dinner we used the opportunity to take a long lovely bath in the fantastic bathroom of our wonderful room, and then gaze out at the park and the stars until our taxi came as ordered at midnight to take us to the airport.
What a perfect way to spend our day and evening , instead of waiting in the Nairobi airport for hours!!!!
Thank you so much Mr Allan Donnovan for giving us the opportunity to stay with you in your amazing home and museum, you have a truly unique place which has a wonderful warm and friendly atmosphere, its a place where it is a pleasure to spend time......and we hope to come back in the future and spend even more time in your lovely oasis!!!!!
Monica and Knut

Room Tip: All rooms are great, and all are different. We stayed in the Lamai suite which was wonderful with a...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We loved the African Heritage House. Furnished in antiques from Africa . Some featured in Out of Africa. Beautiful rooms with comfortable beds and views of the African plains. Woke up on the top floor huge room with views of plains and seeing wild animals roaming. Meals were served on different balconies at different meals and sometimes even at the pool house near the plains. Alan, our host was full of information about Africa and Kenya as he is always involved in opening museums and the like in Kenya. This hotel is an institution and Alan is known throughout Africa.
We were told it was an interesting hotel like a museum and that Alan was a character who is a great introduction to Kenya. He is up on almost everything going on around there. His staff was kind and very considerate. He also had a driver lined up for salaries and tours. This is not a Marriott. This is an African palace that is much more intimate and caters to people who are seeking special ,private and a unique experience. We loved it all. The pool was a treat. The meals were delicious . Please enjoy. He also caters destination weddings and parties of all sorts.

Room Tip: If there are two or three, ask for the top floor great room with lots of decks.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Nairobi, Kenya
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

As a lover of African history, this is one place you should visit.
Alan Donovan has travelled all over Africa collecting works of art that represent various groups in the continent.
It truly feels I awesome-knowing your continent and people more.
Did it with my girlfriends and then topped it with an out of this world African dinner with excellent value service.
It's definitely worth doing.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Loved visiting and staying at the African Heritage House in Jan 2013. Alan's tour of his incredibly rich African art collection was a dream. The guest rooms and sitting areas are like being in a fascinating, well curated & decorated museum. There are a variety of relaxing zones to have rest and relax. Alan and his lovely staff are so very hospitable. Thank you for such a memorable stay! It's conveniently very close to the airport thus a great option for first or last nights in Nairobi. Highly recommended.

Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Lambertville, New Jersey
1 review
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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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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