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“Still steaming hot rooms, and with the bonus of defunct kettles” 2 of 5 stars
Review of InterContinental Nairobi

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InterContinental Nairobi
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   City Hall Way | PO Box 30353, Nairobi 00200, Kenya   |  
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Ranked #29 of 130 Hotels in Nairobi
Haywards Heath
Level Contributor
129 reviews
124 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Still steaming hot rooms, and with the bonus of defunct kettles”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2011

My second stay of the year at this property, and I was hoping for a better experience than my previous stay (see previous review). On that occasion, despite an upgraded room, the aircon fid not work properly causing issues dueing my stay.

On this occasion I had flown overnight from London, worked on arrival, so by the time I arrived at the hotel at 6pm I was looking forward to a soak and a feed. Much to my chagrin, I was told that there were no rooms ready and that I would have to wait. I was not impressed and kicked off a little, at which stage a room was found. I am sorry, but check in time is 3pm, so there should be rooms available at 6pm when customers arrived.

Even more to my chagrin was the fact that when I entered the room (not upgraded this time), I was hit by heat like that found in sauna. Readers of my other reviews will know I have regular issues with air-con, but here it was definitely was not working. To be fair, when I logged the issue, it was fixed, but it should have been working to start with. My in room kettle was dead and did not work throughout the trip, despite my complaining about it.

The room was uninspiring. The upgraded rooms are nice, the regular ones not so. It was tired and the bathroom was compact and had seen far better days. Not great.

Also, beware the interent vouchers. You have to go to the business centre to buy them which is annoying if you are in your room pottering about doing work before bed. Do NOT buy 24 hour access, unless you are going to be connected for the entire 24 hours. The 3 and 6 hour vouchers are far better value and allow you to log in and out during the 24 hour period.

I ate each evening in the lobby bar area, which was fine. The food was tasty, may be not the cheapest, but tasty, and the lobby is also a great place to people watch.

This hotel is still OK, but needs to start bucking up its ideas - I fear it is becoming a touch complacent.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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681 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
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Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
50 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2011

Stayed at this hotel a total of 4 nights. The first 2 prior to leaving for safari, then an overnight stay on the way back from Northern Kenya on the way to Amboseli National Park and then once again at the end of the safari prior to flying to Capetown.

The InterContinental Nairobi, I would recommend. While it does seem to be a popular stop for those leaving on safari, it was also a popular spot for airline flight crews. The rooms are spacious, clean, beds comfortable, was in rooms facing the 'front' of the hotel and all was satisfactory. Stayed on the 3rd floor - nice to be able to take the stairs up and down & the 7th floor - bit too much to take the stairs!
There is a large tree outside and home to quite a few marabou storks - very large, great picture op! There is a main street that goes in front of the hotel and you can watch the locals walking to their destination in the morning and walking home in the evening, busy area, safe to venture out - talk to the concierge, he will arm you with a map and a walk to the city market is a must. You will learn to dodge the traffic like a local! But, do remember you are in a big city and be aware of your surrounds.

The hotel has a fantastic pool, nice way to relax after a busy day of sight seeing. The main dining area serves a wonderful breakfast and lunch buffet. If you love soup - the soups you will experience throughout Kenya are delicious. There is a dinner buffet, but didn't experience that, did order off the a la carte menu and that was good. There is a bar outdoors past the pool, as well as a bar in the main lobby of the hotel. There is also specialty restaurants - one serving pasta, the other Indian. The business centre is well lit, has a number of computers, and a staff member is in the centre ready to help you as needed. Internet/wifi is good and there is a nominal charge. The hotel does have a small casino, a number of gift shops. There is an atm machine, but not always in working order, the front desk will gladly change your money into Kenya Shillings. Please note that if you are traveling with travellers checks, the original purchase receipt is required if you try to cash those at the main desk.

All of the staff encountered were helpful and always have a smile on their face.

Upon entering the hotel by vehicle, there is a guard that opens and closes the gate when vehicles enter & exit. A minor detail to stay safe. When entering the hotel there is a door with a sensor, but the staff know if you are part of a safari and they will open the 'other' door that doesn't require you to pass through the sensor. It is a bit humorous as the sensor always beeps but no one seems to be too worried about that. When you check out of the hotel, once you 'check' out, you will be given a slip of paper that notes you have officially checked out and may be asked for this at the door when you depart.

Room Tip: The sliding door of your room will open, so if you like fresh air this is good, if you find it too n...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2011

Our stay was in July of this year when Nairobi and Kenya in general was in the midst of a visitors boom and room rates were sky high.
We previously stayed at the hotel some four year ago ( when the rate was $120 compared to $300 now!). At that time the hotel was 'tired' and required refurbishment but the personnel were excellent and with the expected hospitality business attitude of going the extra mile to please guests. We frequently travel to Dubai where the hotel industry recruits a large number of Kenyans and it is always a delight to be served by them.

However this time it was obvious that extensive refurbishment works and investment has greatly improved the condition of the hotel generally, rooms, common areas, restaurant. It seems that there has been a brain drain of staff away from Kenya and the current staff seem to have lost the warmth and positive serving attitude, rules are adhered to without flexibility or understanding.

We were travelling with little children and after the first morning of chaos at the buffet breakfast ( remember all children over the age of 3 are charged for this) , the next day we decided to have a la carte in the lobby cafe. It took almost an hour for simple breakfast of eggs, toast, fruit to arrive. The receptionist at the Ambassador desk promised that the duty manager will be in touch to deal with future booking query. Nobody contacted! Staff at entrance door would stand, hands crossed , whilst I packed the strollers, etc in the car, everyday. These are just a few examples of the ' could not care less' attitude! Such a shame as it is a great hotel in a wonderful location.

On returning from safari we decided to cancel the two rooms booked and try the hilton. The day before getting back to Nairobi I phoned the intercontinental to be absolutely sure that the rooms had been cancelled and was told that only one room had been cancelled! Had I not phoned, no doubt my credit card would have been charged as a no show.

The Hilton was much cheaper and vastly superior service.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Nairobi, responded to this review, October 13, 2011
JosephLondoner,

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave us a candid review.
I would like to offer a sincere apology the hotel staff did not meet your expectations.
While we understand that your stay was not 100% satisfactory, we would hope that you would give us another chance to make your stay as best as it can be.

Ben J
IHG Care
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warks, UK
Level Contributor
54 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2011

Two nights stay as safari precursor on an organised trip so no idea of the hotel cost. Arrived late at night, out all day/evening left the last morning after breakfast so only real comments are on the room and breakfast. Both were fine and check in and out easy.
Room is typical of a business hotel and everything (inc LCD TV) worked fine. Bed linen and towels excellent and spotless, bed very comfy and good pillows. Bathroom could do with updating and a makeover, but toiletries good and it all worked. Complimentary water as well as tea/coffee making useful. Room quiet (4th floor rear facing).
Breakfast was a typical but quite good buffet with reasonable choice, service a little variable. Oddly had to sign for breakfast even though included in the room/tour.
Security a little variable as we seemed to exit through the detector and enter through the unmonitored door - did see a number of people being stopped though, so there is some security!
Overall much better than we expected from some of the reviews which seem a little harsh based on our experience.

Room Tip: Front rooms better view, but no sensible numbering to help!
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2011

Like many other reviewers, a friend and I stayed here for two nights upon arrival in Nairobi before setting off on our safari. It was clear based on the others we saw in the hotel that this is a target market for this hotel.

The location seemed ok - we didn't walk anywhere nearby, but for purposes of sightseeing in Nairobi and accessibility from the airport, it seemed to be relatively centrally located (though traffic sometimes made a 5-mile drive seem like 50.) The lobby and rooms were fine - just that. They could use a renovation, but I've stayed in far worse. I'll second a comment from one of the earlier reviews of the hotel that it was "perfectly ok for its purpose" - which I think sums up this hotel perfectly.

One highlight of the hotel is the food on-site. Clearly not Michelin quality, but the breakfast buffet, which we had included in our room rate, was extensive, and the Indian restaurant was good. (However, had I had known that, as a vegetarian, I would be getting mostly Indian food at each of the other lodges we stayed at on safari, I may have gone for some variety.)

The only problem we ran across during our stay was that the one ATM in the lobby was out of service our entire time there. We ended up having to get our driver to stop at a bank as we were driving around town because we had not stopped immediately at the airport to get cash. One other item of note was that the pool/outside bar area was under renovation while we were there - it didn't impact us all that much because it was somewhat chilly while we were there, but hopefully that means future travelers will benefit.

All in all, I would consider staying here again if I go back to Nairobi - but that's knowing what I'm in for, which is a hotel that's "fine" and nothing more.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
88 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2011

Like back in time.

Service was quite decent, I like to stay in town and not up in the hills or far out in embassy area.

But for the money you pay at IC, it is just robbery that the owners will not invest in their property.

There was CRT TV in my room from the 1970s and a clothes iron that was so cheap it did not even have steam, useless.

Stay elsewhere.

Room Tip: go to a different hotel
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Ridgefield, CT
Level Contributor
599 reviews
98 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 372 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2011

This was a large hotel with sizable rooms, king beds and good furnishings. There was a sitting area and TV in each room. the staff at the desk were helpful and efficient. The breakfast buffet was terrific with made to order eggs, fruit, pastries and more. We arrived at a very late hour...2AM but were in our room quickly. It was an excellent start and end to our safari.

  • Stayed September 2011, 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
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Additional Information about InterContinental Nairobi

Address: City Hall Way | PO Box 30353, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Casino Hotel in Nairobi
#12 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#14 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#21 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#21 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — InterContinental Nairobi 5*
Number of rooms: 371
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
InterContinental Nairobi has for years been an oasis of luxury for business travellers as well as those who want to experience the wonders of Africa. The Parliament buildings are a short stroll away, Kenyatta International Convention Centre is right next door and Nairobi National Park, Museum Hill and the Elephant Orphanage are within easy reach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Nairobi Hotel Nairobi
Nairobi Intercontinental

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