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“Outstanding” 5 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 154 Nairobi B&B and Inns
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Outstanding”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

An amazing place to stay. Alan has built this up over 20+ years, and it is packed, top to bottom and in every bedroom, with arts, crafts and antiquities from all over Africa. Every room is different, and all are immensely stylish. It has featured in magazines worldwide, and for a good reason. Whilst not budget priced, by Nairobi standards (and especially considering its unique style) it is reasonable value. Dinner was excellent both times we stayed there. The location is unbeatable - just 15 minutes easy drive from the airport, it sits on a ridge overlooking the National Park, with glorious views. If you want something unique, comfortable, relaxing, fascinating and 100% different from almost any other hotel/B&B, stay here.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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40 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

The stay at African Heritage is without doubt one of our best memories from 2013! My sister and I arrived late at night and everything was darker than dark – so when Zak knocked on the door and served hot coffee I was knocked out by the interior, the morning light and view over Nairobi National Park. Magnificent. Two Australian ladies also stayed in the house and one of them had for a long time wanted to hear and meet the African singer Ayub Ogada. So Alan, the thoughtful host he is, invited the four of us to a breakfast concert on the top terrace. Alan and Ayub have known each other for many years and they shared stories, we laughed, cried and the concert lasted until lunch. It was a morning I will never forget. My sister and I spend the afternoon at the natural poolside with our books. And as the sun sat over Ngong Hills we had dinner with Alan served on one of the many terraces in the house. I had less than 24 hours in the African Heritage House, but I will stay with me forever. If ever in this area, I recommend you stay here. And I haven’t even mentioned all the beautiful African art the house is beautiful furnished with and the jewellery Alan design. You have to come see it all with your own eyes. Thank you Alan.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

We picked this house in which to stay because of its location (near the airport) and because it looked interesting, and because we needed somewhere to stay before and after our safari. From the time that Gideon (a private taxi operator, but one that Alan Donovan uses and recommends) met us at the airport to the time we left nearly 3 weeks later, we were fascinated. Alan is a knowledgeable and thoughtful host, and the staff, Murtusia, Zac and Zadoc are the same. We would recommend staying here for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in African culture (our bed, for instance was 200 years old!). Moreover, you can purchase genuine African artifacts at the House whereas at the markets, you never can tell. When we come back to Nairobi, this is where we are going to stay.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loughrea, Ireland
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

We stayed here on our last night in Kenya so that we could be close to the airport for a next day flight. It truly is a unique place to stay and hard to believe that you are staying so close to the city! The views overlooking Nairobi National Park are terrific with a clear view of the infamous 4 knuckles on Ngong Hills ('Out of Africa' movie). The food was sumptuous, delicious and every meal felt like a special occasion. We had lunch when we arrived, which the staff especially prepared for us, as we hadn't pre-ordered, dinner was served at 630am, when proprietor Alan O'Donovan joined us and he entertained us with lovely stories about the house and surrounds. Only downside was that lights-out seemed to happen around 8pm, we would have loved a 'night cap'! While the double bed was also quite small, we had a great night's sleep in the most unusual bedroom we have ever stayed in. All in all, this is definitely a place to stay while in Nairobi, Alan also arranges a reputable taxi to collect and return guests to the airport ($20 fare).

Room Tip: If you like a King or Queen double bed, you will need to ask, although we are not sure if the beds a...
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  • Stayed October 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.
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

We were so fortunate to be booked into this guest house since it is convenient to Tambo Airport. The term 'guest house' doesn't begin to describe the museum that Alan Donovan has made his home into! Original sculpture, tribal art and costumes, jewelry, musical instruments and furniture abound in each room of the incredible home on a beautiful setting overlooking national parkland. Your eye literally does not know where to begin or stop.

His staff are attentive, and prepare excellent local cuisine. Alan will regale you with tales of his personal story, his acquisitions, and his current projects. He loves to conduct a 90-minute tour of the house and grounds -- including your room and bathroom! He know the local guides and will arrange for you to be picked up and returned to the house. In our case, we arrived late one evening, had dinner, spent the next day touring, and returned to the house for dinner and to freshen up before a late night departure. All pre-arranged, of course.

Room Tip: Be sure to be at the house for Sundowners, and if Alan offers to serve them on the roof -- say YES!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Nairobi
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 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
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 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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