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“Rich African history” 3 of 5 stars
Review of African Heritage House

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African Heritage House
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Mombasa Road | Box 17871, Nairobi 00100, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 162 Nairobi B&B and Inns
Nairobi
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Rich African history”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

A trip to the African Heritage house is definitely very informative and it is quite interesting to listen to Alan Donovan speak about his adventures and expeditions all over this lovely continent. I however would recommend a day or afternoon trip as opposed to spending the night there. The rooms are cold and dark with tiny beds. I kept waking up in the middle of the night, afraid of falling of my high bed. Also the bathroom had cobwebs and dust all over. But all in all, it is a lovely place to visit

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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44 reviews from our community

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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 (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi, Kenya
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

Alan Donovan's African arts and crafts collection is legendary and to be able to actually stay at his unique house and live amongst these treasures is an out of this world experience!

His personal tour, with stories of his past exploits is amazing and his staff are very friendly and prepare great meals.

The best time is early evening sitting on one of the West facing terraces with a sun downer, the sun setting over the Ngong Hills and the wild animals clearly visible in the Nairobi National Park.

This is a homestay not to be missed!!!

Room Tip: All rooms have their own particular charm!
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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
    • 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.
Morecambe
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013 via mobile

I have stayed in November 12 and April 13 and am going again next month . From bring collected from the airport by Gideon having a ten min drive to a place of wonder . It is a mixture of a home , a museum and a place of African luxury . Alan's collection of African art , artefacts and textiles are a joy to behold .
When I say this is a chance of a lifetime .... It is ..... So there is no where in Africa like it . His home contains a lifetime of collecting African beauty .
Your rooms are overlooking the reserve and are beautifully decorated and atmospheric .
The food is great and Gideon can take you wherever you want to go if you arrange it with him .

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Newdelhi india
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
227 helpful votes 227 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

This magical place is perched on a hill just opposite the Nairobi National Park.It has residential rooms to stay where one can feel like living & dining in a museum or like me book a table for dinner! Its owner Alan Donavon is a fascinating American who traveled all over Africa & collected with loving care & taste a treasure trove of sculptures,antiques & other art pieces.

The garden, the pool & the sorrounding lush areas are all dotted with beautiful intricate artifacts.Sitting on top of the terracce with a glass of Rum & Coke in hand, one can watch the animals of the National park roaming around with the beautiful sunset over the Athi plains & the Nagong Hills in the back ground!

I was over whelmed with the feeling of being lucky to be sitting like this in this architectural gem with great food on the plate! It rounded off my fabulous first day of my trip to East Africa! Worth the visit!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Thomasville, Georgia
Top Contributor
421 reviews 421 reviews
95 hotel reviews
Reviews in 151 cities Reviews in 151 cities
316 helpful votes 316 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

There are so many reasons to stay at this beautiful property that I don't think I can name them all but I'll name some of the best.

1. Outstanding architecture: the design of this house belongs on the pages of Architectural Digest...and yes,...it has been deservedly featured in that publication, among others. It's eye-popping and the terraces alone, with their colorful blooms, will have you transfixed so allow yourself plenty of time to relax and take it all in.

2. Alan Donovan. He's fascinating, an absolute treasure and so are his stories. He can describe every piece of art and jewelry, every antique and his passion for what he does is compelling. He loves animals, does not love the traffic congestion and is driven to accomplish a myriad of tasks. I'm not sure how he does it all but he does and he does it with loving care.

3. Beautiful antiques, sculpture and art....everywhere.

4. Delicious food that will make you shed tears of joy. Alan's chef knows what he's doing. Make sure you arrange to have your meals here...and the enjoyment of your meal will be heightened by your conversation with Alan. The best meals of our entire African journey were served at African Heritage House. Pumpkin soup to die for!

5. Easy access from the airport. The traffic in Nairobi is horrific but this secluded house is only about 15 to 20 minutes away from the international airport, depending on the time of day. Don't underestimate the amount of travel time you will need if you stay in the city. Staying here is a much more relaxing option. Alan arranged for Gideon, a very nice driver who's also quite a safe driver, to pick us up. He was waiting for us when we walked out and also returned to Alan's to pick us up. The cost was $20 one way for both of us plus tip. Well worth it! Book the pickup through Alan. Some of the local drivers do not know how to find African Heritage House and are not the best drivers I've seen.

6. Relatively close to the Sheldrick elephant orphanage (don't miss) and the giraffe center. Alan will arrange for transportation to these places too. In our case, Gideon was once again at the ready and was a wonderful person to talk to. He had lots of helpful hints at each location and we appreciated his inside knowledge. He charged us about $70 for the tour, plus tip and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a little bit about him.

7. African Heritage House terraces overlook Nairobi National Park, where we got our first look at zebras and giraffes. Lovely!

8. Swimming pool if you need to cool off, once again, surrounded by art and sculpture and flowers.

9. Peaceful, quiet, serene, relaxing. I am one of those people who wish we had scheduled more nights here. Bring a good book and sit on your terrace and enjoy.

10. Very reasonable price. VERY! You get what you pay for and this is an unforgettable lodging.

And to you, Alan, thanks for making the beginning of our journey to Africa so memorable. Our entire trip was the most amazing of our lives and African Heritage House is a major part of that memory. A very special place and a very gracious host.

  • Stayed July 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Galivants Ferry, South Carolina
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

After a grueling flight from the US, we were welcomed into Alan's beautiful home with open arms! The house itself is full of interesting African art and it is a delight to just soak it all in. Alan gave us a tour of the house and it is amazing just to imagine the life he has lived. The staff is always eager to please and prepared us a lovely brunch upon our arrival to eat out on the veranda that overlooks Nairobi National Park. Our first five minutes out there we saw an ostrich, some giraffe and some gazelles grazing in the distance. Our only regret was that we did not have enough time to enjoy it more.....we only spent one night before heading out on our safari. The evening meal was so delicious and we ate out on the veranda and watched the sunset....it was a lovely evening with Alan who is a gracious host. If you want an experience above and beyond any place you have stayed before, book here. You will be making a memory that will last a lifetime!

Room Tip: We stayed in the room that had three beds....the views are spectacular. All rooms looked amazing h...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guangzhou, China
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

It feels like staying in a museum in African Heritage House. It is a wonderful place to take photos with a raw taste of Africa. The decorations and collections in the house are just exactly looks like my imagination about East Africa tribe. The Nairobi National Park is just in front of the house, you can sometimes see or hear wildlives at the veranda. On the day I checked out, 2 lovely monkeys broke into my room and ate my bananas and apples, they escaped through the big tree in the courtyard when they found that I saw them.
The location of the house is 15 minutes drive from airport but a bit far from centre. It is good for tourism, but not for business if you want to go to the centre or industrial zone.
All staffs in the house are helpful and friendly. It is a good experience to stay here while you are tired with common mordern hotels.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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 #2 of 162 B&Bs / Inns in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
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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