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“Quite a Surprise !” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sarova Stanley

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Sarova Stanley
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Corner of Kenyatta Avenue and Kimathi Street | PO Box 30680, Nairobi 00100, Kenya   |  
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Ranked #9 of 96 hotels in Nairobi
delhi
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Quite a Surprise !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Had gone to Kenya with zero expectations of the destination, Sarova Stanley was our first stop upon arrival in Kenya and what a welcome. The place is super comfortable, we had some fabulously fresh breakfast, and checked into our rooms, the rooms are large and very comfortable. Went and took a tour of the hotel, their Exchange bar is so inviting and have some super concoctions. Simply loved their Thai Restaurant for its mind blowing food. Was totally unexpected to savor such a fabulous Thai meal in Kenya.

some of our friends used their spa services and were quite happy with it too.

Its very centrally located and definitely recommended. without a doubt one of the most comfortable hotels in the city.

  • Stayed March 2012, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Sarova Stanley, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear Shalink01,

Thank you for posting pictures of your stay with us. We appreciate them together with your kind comments.

Also, thank you for bringing your friends along!

We look forward to hosting you again in the near future.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (106)
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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We were here only one night before setting off to Mara. The hotel is quite lovely though small - which is a considerable inconvenience as you are cautioned against going out past sunset making it very boring with nothing to explore in the evening.
We were here at Christmas and they had many small gingerbread houses around the lobby and a gingerbread roof at the hotel entrance which was very exciting for our son. Also complimentary cookies that were most generously given :).
The staff is very warm and hospitable like everywhere in Kenya. In fact I think Kenyans are possibly the most hospitable and friendly people I've met- if this is done consciously given how heavily they rely on tourism it's still done very well and we felt extremely welcome.
Our room was huge (we had a triple room) and it was the type of room where you secretly photograph the bathroom! The fittings and decor are very tasteful and there's a lovely old world feel to it without being dinghy.
We had room service for lunch as we were too tired to go down. The portions are large and the food is quite nice with a few attractive and well made vegetarian options. We wanted to get dinner in one of the restaurants but weren't able to as the Thorn Tree cafe has a set menu for Christmas Eve full of food we don't eat like seafood and turkey :(. Of course I understand that a veggie Christmas dinner is a bit unlikely but it was disappointing. We couldn't eat at the bar restaurant as children aren't allowed and the other restaurant (a Thai one I think don't remember too well) looked uninviting. So back to our room for room service which was quite a boring finish to our day.
We had breakfast at the famous Thorn Tree cafe which honestly seemed quite ordinary. The spread was good. The washrooms in the cafe are quite smelly and bad. They don't seem to quite belong to the rest of the place which is clean, airy and lovely. Also as we had an early breakfast there weren't many people around and the staff outnumbered the guests. This was a bit awkward as you couldn't move a finger without some very attentive waiter or host rushing to help! Well meant but awkward.
They have a lovely vintage phone in the lobby but before playing with it be warned that it actually connects to the front desk :). We were quite embarrassed when they came by to politely inquire if we needed something.
One thing that we found reassuring was the level of security given what we have heard about Nairobi. They have guards on the stairs and also X-ray everyone and everything entering the hotel.
Overall this is a nice hotel for a short stay and if we are fortunate enough to be in Kenya again, we would stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
David G, General Manager at Sarova Stanley, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear JD1316,

It was our pleasure to host you during last year's festive season. We are glad you had such a memorable stay from your comments.

We look forward to engaging you in our social media pages for fresh updates on information and events within and around the hotel.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru.
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Shanghai
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

I cannot understand why this hotel got the traveller choice award. I have nothing againts this hotel personally, no serious incident, nothing special really.

I come with a high expectation, with bell and whitle in their website like "luxury 5 star hotel", "Prince of Wales", "Hemingway", etc. But what I found is not up to expectation. First off, it is very difficult to understand this hotel being a five star hotel, let alone a luxury one. The main gate and car waiting place is very small, resulting in long queue of the car every day, this might not be the hotel's fault given it's location, but I do not feel very safe with the exposed part of this hotel being very small.

Talking about being safe, I do not feel safe at all in this hotel where the security in the front door is very tight. I heard that terrorist sometimes target this hotel because it has a lot of foreigner. So the security guard always have me take out my mobile phone with fear that it is something dangerous.

And in every stories of the building, there is always at least 1 (sometimes 2 or 3) guard manning the staircase. While I was supposed to feel safe by their presence, but it's not! I feel they cast a 'security' look even to me and kind of always on high alert averytime. Hey, I am asian with yellow skin and very obvious travelling on business! Do not worry I will do anything! They are supposed to be trained how to give some sense of peace to the guests while still keeping security.

Despite 3 restaurants on site, none of them have buffet dinner, this is kinda disappointing as I am forced to buy ala carte when I want to have buffet. Note: on the plus side: the portion is big!

The thorn tree cafe is not special despite having the name hemingway attached to it. The lobby is pitiable from the size (I know about the hotel's location etc, do not remind me again). The room is so so. I prefer a suburb manor with this style which can give me peace. In the city, a modern hotel will serve better in Nairobi.

The location is not so good. Yes, it is located in the middle of the city, but I do not feel perfectly safe here. I prefer Intercontinental's location, which is more walking distance with safer area to the cathedral. For Sarova stanley, I do not feel safe walking to the cathedral, in spite the advises from many people that is is quite ok during the daytime.

No whirlpool, the gym is cramped. Luckily the room is large enough. Note: on my second day, the room service only refill 1 mineral bottle, usually it is 3. No separate shower, so you need to be careful not to wet the floor easily.

If you are on business, unless your business partner located very near to this hotel, I prefer other hotel. The location is right in the middle of the city and we are fed up with the city scape which is not really inspiring (cramped, etc, you can imagine)... And clearly it is not really comfortable also for leisure. Traffic jam is so severe in Nairobi every day leading to and from city. I would prefer a hotel in Nairobi suburb overlooking the nice Ngong hill.

If this hotel claim as 4 star hotel, maybe I can give 'average' or 'very good' score (even though the price might not be suitable for 4 star hotel in Nairobi).

If you are travelling on leisure, and really want to 'experience' the big name of this hotel being a fan of Hemingway, etc, I would suggest just to come to the thorn tree cafe to have dinner / lunch, continued to the bar. No need to stay here as I do not find it comfortable enough.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Sarova Stanley, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear Josh_Bdg,

Thank you for your feedback, we value your comments

We appreciate your recommendation for Thorn Tree café, large rooms and our history that has been conserved without any adulteration to the product.

The points you have raised are significant. Security is a global problem. Threats have occurred in airports, supermarkets, malls, embassies, government offices and even banks. We are not an island, as we host guests from all over the world and we must follow trend by trying to deter any unforeseen threats. Also, we are neutral, our service to our guests is not driven by race, colour, gender, creed, religion or other differences or affiliations. We look at the common good of all our visitors, staffs and even neighbours. On our location, just like other cities, Nairobi has grown and we being the centre landmark are privileged to remain historical and monumental.

We have noted your comments on areas of improvement.

Be sure to follow-us on our Twitter handle or be our fan on our Facebook page.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru.
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Boutersem
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Stayed 2 nights in this hotel, both on 3th & 7th floor,, rooms were equally furnished, the one on the on the 3th with noise from the street. Rooms are oké and clean.
Breakfast is good, can sit inside or outside on the terras, service of drinks a bit slow at times. Had also lunch and dinner in this restaurant, service is fantastic & friendly, the food is cooked to preference. Resto at the pool ( don't expect olympic size) is perfect for a drink. Had the buffet lunch, which is up to african standards, no fine cuisine but fair choice. Situation of the hotel in city centre, which is perfect but can take time to get out of the city because of traffic. Check in & out procedure a bit slow but correct.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 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.
David G, General Manager at Sarova Stanley, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear Bart,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us, we appreciate your feedback and look forward to hosting you again.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We hesitate a lot before booking at this hotel. We're very familiar with the Fairmont hotels and there is one in Nairobi. But a last minute special deal convince us to try it.

Well we were not disappointed, in fact we would go back there our next time. The hotel feel like a museum on the first couple floors. With all the pictures and rich wood decorations, we had the impression our journey had already started. The main asset of this hotel is undeniably the staff. Not just friendly, charming! Lots of free services, wi-fi and mostly the free storage. Our East Africa journey was divided on several portions and Nairobi was our hub. What a luxury to be able to leave some souvenirs and extra clothing behind for a few days. The whole process is secured and easy... it made our trip so much enjoyable.

In total, we were there three times and our rooms were immaculates. Flat tv, comfortable bed and stylish furniture. Personally I think the rooms could use a little refresh (wall, carpet, style) but my wife found it charming... so it's a personal view.

We were on our honeymoon... an example the staff goes over their head to please you... they left us a little surprise three times!

Thumbs up to the staff, the Torn Tree Café and the restaurant... the checking out process is a little too complicated and long... to improve in the future.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
David G, General Manager at Sarova Stanley, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
Dear David,

Thank you for your feedback. It was our pleasure to host you in our heritage treasure and be part of your honeymoon experience. We have noted your comment on areas of improvement. On your next trip, we hope to exceed your expectation.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru.
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

I stayed at the Stanley for 2 days. The staff were very friendly, especially the Brand Ambassador Dominic. The convenient first floor restaraunt, offered a great spread of fresh fruits and bakery items, in addition to the prepared meals local specialities and classics that I recognized. The restaraunt's indoor outdoor space, invites the hum the city and fresh cool air yet, partiitioned from the street making it a relaxing way to wake up!

The roof top pool offers beautiful views of the surrounding buildings. Together with the sauna and steam room, it has all the amenities to provide a good reprieve from the hustle and bustle outside.

The rooms are very nice, with elegant wood furnishings and comfortable sheets.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Sarova Stanley, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings and thank you for your comments. The Sarova Stanley family was honored to host you in our home. We wish you had shared some memories through pictures. Looking forward to hosting you again.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru,
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Johannesburg
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

I really enjoyed this hotel. The staff were friendly and always helpful. They went out of their way with any request that I had. I do believe it's a Kenyan culture as everyone I met in Kenya was friendly.

It is in a busy part of town, but that what made it exciting. The buzz, the atmosphere gave you a sense of Kenya.

The breakfast was average as was the pool restaurant.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 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.
David G, General Manager at Sarova Stanley, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to hosting you again.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sarova Stanley

Address: Corner of Kenyatta Avenue and Kimathi Street | PO Box 30680, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Nairobi
#5 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#5 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#6 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Business Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sarova Stanley 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kenya’s first luxury hotel, Sarova Stanley opened its elegant doors in 1902. Since then, it has been making history- hosting royal safaris and legendary personalities such as Edward Prince of Wales and Ernest Hemingway. Today, as the hotel enters its second century, it continues to maintain its unique heritage and provides state-of-the-art services and facilities for business and leisure travelers. All guestrooms are a blend of luxurious Victorian grandeur and modern comfort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi
Sarova Stanley Nairobi

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