(This updates my previous review of September 17)
I found the rooms comfortable and the staff friendly. I did have the unfortunate experience of feeling that I was taken advantage of.
On one of the days in my stay my laundry was taken from my room and washed, though I had not asked for this to be done or put it in the laundry bag. I came back and my shirts were hung nicely in the second closet. I spoke to the staff and they apologized and said I would not be charged. By itself I wouldn't have thought again of it.
As I was leaving, the staff asked if I had used the wireless, and told me it would be charged at $5 per day that I had used it (I have no idea how this use would be verified). The desk staff told me that it was written up on a letter in the rooms that this was the policy - I went back to the room and did not find a letter. In the end, the desk staff backed off, but I was feeling apprehensive at this point.
Finally, upon returning home, I realized that those nicely hung shirts were still in the closet back in Nairobi. When I followed up by phone and email, they were nowhere to be found. Of course, as travelers we all know that the responsibility to take care of our things is ours, but I did really expect a little bit more willingness and transparency from the Tara side.
Really I'm probably just upset that I lost one of my favorite shirts.
At any rate, my own experience may be isolated and idiosyncratic, and I may just be a bad traveler, but from my experience alone I can't recommend the Tara Suites to anyone. There are a number of other small hotels B&Bs along the crescent, and based on my experience alone I would suggest that you look elsewhere.
UPDATE: I received an email from the manager of the hotel, presumably after she had read the review I above. She assured me that they had a protocol in place for dealing with lost items, so clearly this must be my error – I should check my things again. I did, dutifully, and my shirts still weren’t there. I think there were a number of possibilities in this situation, not least plausible of which is that someone on the Tara end was being dishonest. To disregard such possibilities and assure me by email that it must be my problem is a big misstep for someone in the hospitality trade, in my opinion, and unprofessional. That changed my view of the Tara Suites from a 2-star to a 1-star experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "Traveling is not always a luxurious vacation but rather a necessity. Realizing the simplicities are overlooked and taken for granted, the inspiration for Tara Suites was born. Tara Suites is not a franchise, but rather your home away from home where you can feel safe and connected. It's a property of boutique suites set in a captivating oasis on United Nations Crescent, Gigiri. In a deciduous vegetated garden amongst a sanctuary of beautiful East African birds you will forget that you are within walking distance from the United Nations and conveniently close to cafes, restaurants, and modern shopping facilities. Safety, reliability, comfort, and connectivity are necessities we will provide. We might just be that luxurious vacation you've been seeking after all. Thanks for visiting." ... more less