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“Lovely hotel but terrible service” 3 of 5 stars
Review of LAICO Regency Hotel

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LAICO Regency Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Uhuru Highway | City, Nairobi 00200, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #61 of 124 Hotels in Nairobi
Uxbridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
233 reviews 233 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
182 helpful votes 182 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel but terrible service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

One of the most beautiful hotels I have stayed in but really let down by the service. I checked in at 10pm and went straight to the main restaurant. I had been travelling since 4am. I asked for a beer and ordered the set menu. The waitress stood at the bar chatting and after 20 minutes I stood up to draw attention to myself and asked for my beer. The waitress turned and aggresively told me 'It's coming' and again carried on chatting. My food arrived before my beer! This type of service was typical of the hotel except at the Italian restaurant where the service was excellent. A little bit of training would go a long way. The rooms and hotel in general was first class. Ideal location for centre. I spoke to the food and beverage manager who was horrified to hear my story and promised it would be addressed. I hope they do as it would then be the best hotel in Nairobi

Room Tip: From what I saw, all the rooms are excellent
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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149 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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English first
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2011

Maybe in the early 80s this would've been considered a 4 star, but definitely not by today's standards.

We were in Nairobi for a trade show, and stayed at the hotel for 4 nights. It is very centrally located in the heart of the city. That is the only positive thing about this hotel. The doormen very not rude, but not the most gracious either. The front desk staff looked bored, and seemed to do everything they could to avoid helping you.

The lobby was relatively clean, but reaked of smoke. In fact, the whole hotel did. The rooms were horrible. We reserved a 2 Queen bed room, and got a room with 2 single beds. When asked, they told us this is all they have. The beds themselves were hard as rocks, stuck right up against the wall. Furnishings are terribly outdated, room was dusty, and not very clean. The A/C DID NOT work. The TV was about 20 years old. The bathroom, though huge, was...well, what can I say..."yucky!" The shower door cannot possibly close, so that after a two minute shower, the whole bathroom floor is soaking wet.

Despite a non smoking room, on a non smoking floor, the guest in the room next to us was smoking. When I called the front desk, what was their response? "Sir, this is Africa." Are you serious?

The food throughout the hotel was overpriced, and not very good. Service was shoddy at best. I don't know if this is the general state of hotels in Nairobi--some people I talked to said that Nairobi isn't a big tourist destination, so hotels haven't been updated in town. Most of the luxury type places are out where the safaris are. However, I visited a colleague staying in the Westlands area. This is where most of the expats live. The hotels here are small boutique type properties, but seem very luxurious for half the price. The only drawback is that with Nairobi traffic, it could take a while to get into the city. I definitely would not stay here again.

Room Tip: Choose a corner room on a high floor for a nice view.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2011

On the plus side- The doormen are absolute gems, they're just fantastic and deserve to work at a far better hotel than this. I urge them all to go put in applications at the Fairmont. The staff doing the coffee and tea service for conferences are also top notch, they should also work somewhere better.

The minus? I don't even know where to start. We arrived late in the evening and check in was a nightmare. A drawn out process which took a few staff over half an hour to process 5 people all arriving at the same time. It seemed as if the staff had never done this before. The next day, after waiting over an hour for a plate at the cafe and asking about it several times as we had never expected to need to allocate more than 90 minutes for lunch, the food finally arrived, soaked in salt and totally inedible. Even though we were there for a conference, the business center insisted on charging me to print out the agenda of our meeting and then the front desk threw me significant attitude for asking if they could put a copy under the door of all our conference attendees.

The conference room was airy and quite nice, however the computers provided by the hotel both had viruses on them.

The water pressure in the bathroom is just enough to get some water out of the faucets. You have to turn both the hot and cold water on all the way to get the shower to come on. Don't worry that you'll burn yourself, you've got a few minutes before the hot water actually gets to your room.

One evening after our workshop concluded, the lights didn't work in my room. After going down to the front desk, a surly employee came up and told me to try the switch. They lights suddenly came on, which the employee took for me not being able to operate a switch, but I think is more tied to my colleague 2 floors below also having called because his lights were out and they flipped a switch in the electrical closet.

I complained that the wireless connection was bad in my room and the front desk staff told me to stand with my laptop against the window and it should be fine.

Overpriced, terrible food (with the exception of the luch buffet and the poolside bbq), grubby rooms.

If you can stay anywhere else, go. We ended up eating at the Fairmont and that seemed lovely and in the same price range.

Room Tip: Any room at a different hotel would be good.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2011

I stayed here for a few days on Business, the hotel is centrally located in the city but really needs a face lift.

Rooms are old, dusty and lack any quality, the food is poor as is the bar. On check out it took half an hour as the staff were extremely confused and lacked communication between the various departments.

There is a lot better in town, give this one a miss.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Lagos, Nigeria
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2011

I must be honest. The only thing going for this hotel is that it is in the city centre and then the rooms are very big. Other than that, it was an old hotel in need of serious refurbishing.

Check in was extremely slow. There was only one person attending to over 12 people. I had just come into Nairobi from a 6 hour flight and wasn't in the mood to wait for the average check in per person at 15mins. Also the airconditioning in the room never worked. It got so hot at night I had to sleep naked outside the sheets. The TV was the old hunchback type that took about 5minutes to come on. I initially thought it was spoilt. The bathroom was clean but the shower was more in drops than a proper shower.

Meals at the hotel were average but a bit on the boring side as they were quite repetitive. Also for some reason, meals at the buffet we not replaced unless you complained bitterly that you needed a pancake that had an empty tray for almost 30minutes.

Check out probably as bad as checking in. Hotel was in a good location in the city centre but beware of the grinding Nairobi traffic. Overall, I will rate it below average.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Guelph, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2011

After reading other recent reviews before my trip I was not expecting too much. I was pleasantly surprised. I stayed 3 nights, I think - I arrived around 2 am on a Tuesday/Wednesday and checked out at midnight on a Friday and, since the company that sent me down arranged to pay for all my meals taken at the hotel, I ate almost all my meals there.

On the good side, I found the staff excellent and always friendly. The staff at check in were proficient and informative. The bell hop who brought my bags up chatted with me, and on questioning gave me advice on where to change money (i.e. told me that the ones a block or two away probably had better rates than the Western Union attached to the hotel). Check out didn't take too long, maybe 5 - 10 minutes, but it's not the most modern system and if the desk had been busy or if I had been in a rush, I think that it could be frustrating. The staff at the restaurant were uniformly polite, friendly and eager to help. I ate alone most meals and they always were happy to chat if it wasn't busy. The evening manager remembered that I wanted to pay cash for any alcohol, but write the meal to my room. Wednesday and Friday evening there was a 4 piece band in the dining room. They played a lot of almost-easy-listening (Cindy Lauper, Tracy Chapman...) but played well and I enjoyed them. The food was quite good, if not haute cuisine. The desserts were a bit disappointing, the kitchen seems to like using meringue decoratively. The cleaners, were friendly when I saw them, and really scrubbed the bathroom every day. I tipped everyone quite liberally (averaged 200 KSH per service - meals, housekeeping, bellhops). My impression was that this might not be common, it seemed genuinely appreciated every single time and, I'm not sure that it got me preferential service, it may have made me more memorable, particularly in the dining room. I felt safe walking around by myself in the surrounding neighbourhood, but when walking along the side of the park near the hotel I did get asked a few times for money and harassed once by someone trying to intimidate me (he essentially flashed his national identity card and tried to convince me he was some sort of government agent, but was easily put off - I just told him to go away and he shook my hand and did).

My negatives for my time at the hotel lie in the bathroom. When I arrived I found some torn up paper in the toilet (looked like receipts). I wasn't planning on fishing them out so I flushed and hoped they'd soaked long enough - luckily they had. I agree with another reviewer that the tubs are quite narrow at the bottom, but wide enough for me to sit and soak. There was a mild dankness (mildew?) on the shower curtain I thought, but I didn't notice it again after the room had been cleaned the first day. My biggest problem with the bathroom was that the tub floor is maybe 20 cm higher than the floor level and the wall is high, and even though I'm tall and not completely un-athletic, getting out the shower was jarring and the first time, tired from a late night arrival, I almost fell. It's a strange set up and I found that I had to put both hands on the top of the tub when getting out to avoid the problem.

My room was well-appointed with a nice view of the park across the highway. I appreciated the desk and couch area. The couch was a bit faded and rough at the edges. The bed was fine, the bedding was good, the mattress was a bit droopy in the middle, but not a problem for me. And, yes the carpeting was patched in a couple of spots. In short, I agree that this hotel probably doesn't rate 5 stars (although I'm not really familiar with ones that do) and is probably a high 3 or low 4. But I felt inspired to write this review and make it thorough because I wanted to balance what I thought were unfair recent reviews. I really enjoyed my brief time in Nairobi and hope i get to return. If I do, I would happily stay again at the LAICO Regency.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

I stayed here for one night during a layover in Nairobi. Unfortunately I do not get to book my own business travel because I would not have booked this hotel. It was old, dingy, and the air conditioning didn't work at all. I never cooled off. In the morning, I realized I could have opened my window... it was so much cooler outside than in my room.

I had no difficulty checking in, the staff was friendly, and I also ordered room service. The food was decent. Checking out was also easy. I also had free wi-fi in my room. That's a bonus in Africa.

We also used a car from the hotel to get to and from the airport. Both drivers were extremely friendly and safe.

If you have other options on where to stay within Nairobi, I would chose them.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about LAICO Regency Hotel

Address: Uhuru Highway | City, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Casino Hotel in Nairobi
#17 Spa Hotel in Nairobi
#27 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — LAICO Regency Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Nairobi and to the LAICO Regency Hotel, offering quality hotel accommodation as well as inspiring conference facilities in Nairobi, Kenya. LAICO Regency is considered among the best Nairobi leisure and business hotels.Perfectly suited for today's traveller, LAICO Regency offers quality service, to ensure guests' comfort at all times within a warm and welcoming atmosphere. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Regency Hotel Nairobi
Grand Regency Hotel Nairobi
Regency Hotel Laico

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