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“Great hotel” 4 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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Hotel amenities
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Ranked #7 of 92 hotels in Nairobi
Pune, India
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

The hotel was wonderful. The welcome was great. Though they have a system that won't let you check in before Mid-day. We had reached the hotel around 8 ( our flight timing was weird) and had to wait a couple of hours before we were given the room. If I had to take the room early, I was asked to pay the full day's charge in advance. But anyways, was given the room at around 10 along with the complimentary fruits, which were quite delicious. The gym as well as the heated swimming pool are good too. Overall had a wonderful experience.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 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.
David G, General Manager at Sarova Stanley, responded to this review, June 7, 2013
Dear Kauzy,

Thank you for your feedback.

We appreciate your comments on our hotel and welcome. Our guest rooms may not be always available for early check-ins, unless specifically required in advance. We regret that, this caused the wait. However, we are glad your overall experience was great.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru
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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
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Cape Town
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

I only stayed here for one night last week, but it was wonderful.

After having getting used to the fact that one needs to have all bags scanned and checked upon entry at most hotels in Nairobi, I was welcomed as if I was an old friend by Ivy, the wonderful receptionist who was on duty on Sunday evening. This was a last-minute corporate booking and Ivy reassured me that all guests of the Kenyan office of the company I work for regularly reside at the Stanley.

The reception area has an old-world charm to it. You feel a bit as if, at any moment, the high class of an era gone by were to sweep down the stairs at any moment on their way to dinner (just like a scene from Titanic).

The standard room was well appointed and large (as this is a historic hotel I would expect the rooms to be large). The bathroom has a basin, toilet and bath / shower. I'm usually apprehensive about shower curtains, but mine was sparkly clean and dry. The room had a good study table, mini-bar fridge (good size) and safe. Again, as I mentioned, as the hotel is quite old, the rooms are not modern at all, but they are well maintained and spotless.

It was a late check-in (after 8 PM), but the pool was still open and the restaurant was 24 hours. Being given this amazing welcome and after having a look around in the reception area, however, it was almost as if the "veranda" area of the main restaurant on the ground floor did not really "fit" in with the hotel. Sure, my first meal in Kenya was tasty and the service exemplary, but it felt a bit more like the restaurant fitting / decor was an "add on" to the main hotel.

The complimentary wi-fi worked without a glitch. Great.

The breakfast buffet was vast and tasty. Service was quick and the coffee was excellent.

The stay was great and, although brief, I would recommend it to anyone who has to stay in or close to the CBD. If you are looking for something more modern though, the Sankara may be better option, although it is much more expensive than the Stanley.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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David G, General Manager at Sarova Stanley, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Dear mkoeleman7,

Thank you for your review.

We are always proud of Ivy and her team and are happy that her welcome was exceptional. For over a century, Sarova Stanley has maintained the old world charm with a contemporary feel. We are glad you has a great experience.

We look forward to offering even higher standards of service during your next stay.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru.
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

Lets be honest, Nairobi is a dump. Not a place you want to spend much time in as a traveller. However this place is an oasis, a sanctuary, a refuge and any other superlative you may think of. I got a great rate via booking.com (Paid £120 GBP a night incl breakfast) and from the minute I arrived I felt like a valued guest. I love the history and the colonial feel of the place, the Thorn Tree cafe, the Exchange Bar, to me this place is to Nairobi what Raffles is to Singapore and the Waldorf Astoria is to NYC. My room was lovely, very spacious (although the bathroom was tiny, but who cares, what space do you really need in a bathroom! Good TV with UK/US TV and movies, and all amenities you could require. Lovely pool area, three restaurants and the food in the Thorn Tree Cafe I thought was exceptional for two of my three days. the best Lamb Shank I have ever tasted, in a nice sauce and inexpensive - highly recommended. T Bone steak was poor though (and expensive). Great breakfast too.
Someone earlier posted a special mention to Irene. She is fantastic. She took time to speak to me in reception for a good 10 minutes, and nothing was too much trouble, a truly exceptional member of staff, bubbly friendly and helpful. I would employ her tomorrow as I am sure would others, so hold on to her, Management.
The two downsides, though one was quite fun, was, considering the amount of security to get into the place,even as a guest, how come there were so many hookers in the bar, particularly the terrace/smoking area?. I was propositioned (politely) twice, and when I declined they were more than fine, but are their a few backhanded dollars headed the security staffs way to get them in?

Lastly and this was my disappointment after a truly memorable stay, I had a late flight (2250) and arranged a late check out. The girl on reception told me ' Check out at 6, but if you need another hour it will be fine' For this, I paid what I consider a decent sum (as I was not staying the night nor taking breakfast) of 75% of my room rate. Basically 100 dollars. I went back to my room at 1803 and my room key would not allow me inside. The room guy refused to open my door, and told me to go to reception. The girl I saw there removed all the warmness I felt for the hotel and staff prior. When I told her I could not access my room, she told me ' You had to be out by six!' When I told her the earlier girl had said 7 was OK, she looked at her watch and said ' You can have 10 minutes!!!' She re energised my card and I literally had to throw everything in my bag within that 10 minutes as I really expected if I was not back in reception on the 11th minute she would have hit me for the full nightly rate. She was cold, abrupt and workmanlike and although that is not necessarily a bad thing, in a hotel such as this where service is clearly paramount, she left a very sour taste. Basically I found myself apologising as I dared to take up the offer of leaving at 7, and was told, 'Thank you for staying, goodbye!' Her name was Lucy W and she was the bad apple in an otherwise fantastic bunch.

All in all though HIGHLY recommended. You won't be disappointed as long as you have no dealings with Lucy.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
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, May 30, 2013
Dear tonyjane,

Thank you for your candid feedback.

We appreciate the kind comments on our spacious rooms, preserved heritage and great lamb shank. We appreciate the special mention of Irene whom you noted as outstanding.

We have noted the downside of our hotel, great popularity but sometimes attracting some unpleasant customers. Our security is very keen to check some of these isolated cases while avoiding mistaking genuine clients. The team member who did not meet your expectation is very remorseful and wishes to correct the situation. We do not foresee a repeat of the same.

We look forward to hosting you again.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru.
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Stourbridge, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

Love the hotel old colonial style. We were working at the KICC for a few days so this was excellent location and could walk in 5 minutes. The Stanley is an Oasis of calm in the city with excelent food, good wifi and a well deserved "tusker". Maybe not the cheapest place to eat and drink but you do know what you are getting and a pleasant smile is awaits as you walk in. Would stay again.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 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, June 7, 2013
Dear roger019750,

Thank you for your review.

We are glad to be conveniently located from KICC which is a 5 minutes walk from the hotel. Also that you found calm and warm smiles in the hotel after a day in the hustle and bustle of a vibrant city centre.

Looking forward to hosting you again and sharing more of our chef's delights with you.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru
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Phoenix, Arizona
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

This is one of the best hotels I have stayed in in Africa, having lived there for approximately 3 years and traveled much more. It is not expensive, relative to Nairobi business hotels, the room was fantastic--even a pleasant surprise--and I noticed that the attention to service quality was excellent through and through. A lot of otherwise top-notch African hotels do not do great at service but this one seemed to.

I was only there for one night and wish I could have stayed longer. Hotel is right in the middle of town so I can't say it is very scenic, but the restaurant and bar are great--Tilapia was amazing. The restaurant menu even educated me about the history of the hotel and even Nairobi itself. I could complain about the $25+ breakfast buffet pricing but that comes with the territory.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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, June 7, 2013
Dear Charles R,

Thank you for taking time to write a review of your last stay with us.

We are humbled to be rated one of the best hotels in Africa. Thank you for your kind comments on our customer service, Tilapia and the history of the hotel.

We believe that your next stay will be longer so that you may have more time to experience the heritage and history of the hotel.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru.
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Arusha
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

Stayed here for 2 nights, and thoroughly enjoyed my stay! :)
The food was excellent, especially the extensive breakfast!!
The staff were very attentive and helpful! A big thank you to - Daniel (our waiter), Dennis (the host), and Mercy! All had excellent customer service!
One of the nights we went to eat out at Trattoria (an excellent Italian restaurant a block away). A concierge walked us there, without us even asking! Going the extra mile - Thank you Frigustus! He even organized someone from the restaurant to walk us home!
The rooms are clean, comfortable, and tasteful! Slept so well!
I had one massage and really enjoyed. Very professional service! Asanteni!
I recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Nairobi!
The only downside if the location being very congested with traffic!
But I'll be back!
Thanks all! :)

Room Tip: 4th floor :)
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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David G, General Manager at Sarova Stanley, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Dear Sophiesimonson,

Thank you for your review.

We are pleased that you enjoyed our Refreshing African Hospitality. We strive to uphold excellent customer service standard to exceed customer expectation.

For recommending the hotel, we highly appreciate it nd look forward to hosting you again.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

We stayed at the Stanley Hotel at the beginning and end of our safari holiday, what a great way to start and end your holiday. From the moment you exit the cab you feel very special.

The rooms are lovely and there is a special feel about this hotel. The beds are great for a good nights sleep. It's perfect for getting around Nairobi as the location is the centre of the city.

The food in all the restaurants is very good. The staff remember you and address you by name which I really liked.

If you are stopping in Nairobi, there isn't a better hotel to stop in.

Room Tip: If you can afford to upgrade your room as the location may be a better view of the city.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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, June 7, 2013
Dear Kevin B,

Thank you for your feedback.

We appreciate your comments and have shared it with the team. Our location gives the best view of the city and we are glad you noted it as a important room tip.

Looking forward to hosting you again.

Warm regards,
David Gachuru
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Additional Information about Sarova Stanley

Also Known As:
Sarova Stanley Hotel Nairobi
Sarova Stanley Nairobi
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#5 Family 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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