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“A good hotel but could be better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sarova Panafric

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Sarova Panafric
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi 72493, Kenya   |  
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Ranked #20 of 100 hotels in Nairobi
Chennai (Madras), India
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A good hotel but could be better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2012

Panafric is a old hotel that is situated almost in the center of the city. The welcome at the hotel was nice, hot towel, fresh juice and the reception staff coming up to show one the room etc. I had taken the Executive room which was very well finished with all the extras that one would expect from a hotel from that standing. The hotel has a nice restaurant though the bar could be better. It is a bit cramped and to enjoy the live band that played in the evening one has to sit in the dining area and not at the bar.

Breakfast is the standard buffet but there was something lacking in the food. The food served for dinner was better. Service was a tad disappointing.

The hotel offers free internet which is a pleasant change from other hotels in Nairobi but had problems logging on at times which were overcome by visiting the business center. The hotel does not have a gym which was a disappointment but they do have a reasonably sized swimming pool. Security is excellent with guards on every floor and attentive at all times irrespective of the time one returned to the room.

The sour note of the stay was when I had a late afternoon flight and I requested to be able to check out at 1 p.m. the hotel refused on the grounds that the check out time was 10 o'clock, which left a poor taste in the mouth. I did not think that the hotel was that busy, the excuse given was the software would automatically charge for an additional half day if I did not check out. Most hotel do oblige a guest for up to 3 hours if they are not busy, and to give an excuse that the software does not permit the extension means either they have a poor software or the hotel just does not care To add to this poor service, I saw the reception staff overcharge a guest for an airport drop on he grounds he is giving a limousine drop and sending him in an ordinary taxi.

My advice to fellow guests is to choose this hotel only if you have no other option though the hotel is in a good location and is improving on their facilities, their service is poor and not in line with the image of the hotel. I do not think I will return to this hotel in future.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 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.
AnthonyNgunga, General Manager at Sarova Panafric, responded to this review, March 20, 2012
Dear Isaac,

Thank you for taking the time to comment about your recent stay.

We are glad you enjoyed the welcome experience given to you by the hotel staff as we strive to make all guests feel at home at Sarova Panafric. It is also notable that you enjoyed the Flame Tree restaurant & bar during your stay and I apologize for the mishap in the service. I have fully investigated this and be rested assured that we have taken corrective action with the team.

In regards to the late check out, this is usually given upon request at an extra charge and is a standard across the hospitality board due to preparation of the rooms for the next guest checking in. However, next time you’re around, do not hesitate to contact me as I’m sure we can work something out. In regards to the Wi-Fi, the hotel was undertaking a full internet service upgrade this year and this involved an intensive project that was successfully completed. This is to ensure that our guests receive fast & uncompromised internet speeds and in turn increase guest satisfaction.

We apologize for your disappointment but hope to be able to welcome you back in the near future as your discomfort is not indicative of our overall service levels.

Yours Truly,

Anthony Ngunga
General manager
Sarova Panafric
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
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Exmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2012

Now my regular stopping point for visits to Nairobi which I make 2 or 3 times per year. Helpful staff and nice pool which helped me keep fit whilst eating loads of buffets. Only failing is the internet which whilst free was very patchy (other hotels in Nairobi charge for internet and are also slow). Need to invest in much greater bandwidth, as the internet is ther future

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
AnthonyNgunga, General Manager at Sarova Panafric, responded to this review, March 7, 2012
Dear Andrew,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience at Sarova Panafric on Trip Advisor.

I am glad to note that you have enjoyed your stay the number of times you have been at Sarova Panafric. It is also great that our staff is always of help to you and that our swimming pool facility came in handy for your regular work out. We apologize for the instability regarding the Wi-Fi. We were upgrading the system so as to ensure higher broadband speeds and therefore ensure efficiency to our guests accessing it. This exercise has been completed and there are no more issues regarding the speeds.

Please know that you are part and parcel of the Sarova Panafric family and we are always happy to host you and make each and every stay with us memorable.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

Anthony Ngunga
General manager
Sarova Panafric
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2012

I stayed here for three nights recently on a work trip. The hospitality is present from the moment you arrive with lovely porters, drinks and refreshment towels on arrival (in fact for me it started with an excellent driver and pick up from the airport). We happened to be there on Valentines Day and were also impressed by the chocolate which appeared in our room! Free internet is fast and reliable and worked fine for video Skype which is sometimes an issue in hotels with free wifi but limited bandwidth. The security was excellent. It was a strange experience for me as an Australian to have my bags and body scanned on arriving back at the hotel but I appreciate the precautions. The rooms was fine for a short stay but were nothing spectacular. The main issue was I could not for the life of me get a hot shower on any of the three days i was there! Colleagues said the same thing. Possibly they were having issues with their water system or solar or whatever but the best I could get was lukewarm. Looking at the reviews of other hotels in Nairobi it seems this is one of the best and certainly the service is outstanding but I wouldn't choose to stay there for a long time.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
cape town
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012 via mobile

A short distance from central Nairobi, this hotel is ideal for business travellers. There's a free shuttle service to and from the airport, which is great. The hotel has large sized rooms with adequate amenities - comfortable bed, coffee making facility, hair drier, flat screen TV with a good number of foreign and local channels, etc.

Breakfast is good, with a nice variety of foods to choose from. Lunch and dinner are served at the same restaurant and what is on offer is delicious, although not much variety. The staff are professional and helpful, making check-in and check-out a breeze.

On the downside the free wifi connection isn't very stable. It goes on and off continually. There's also renovation going on at the moment so expect some noise if you're in your room during the day.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
AnthonyNgunga, General Manager at Sarova Panafric, responded to this review, March 7, 2012
Dear Mary,

Thank you for taking the time to pass on your feedback following your recent stay at Sarova Panafric.

I am delighted to read that you had such a wonderful stay. It is always good to receive such positive feedback from our guests and I will be sure to pass your lovely comments on to all our staff members. Thank you for your great description of our rooms and amenities and highlighting what a brilliant location we have, I am sure your fellow travelers will appreciate your feedback. We very much appreciate your detailed comments on the breakfast, lunch & dinner served at our Flame Tree restaurant. The hotel continues to remodel and we have just completed upgrading the fifth & sixth guestroom floor of the hotel with the other one to be completed in the coming month. We apologize for the instability regarding the Wi-Fi. We were upgrading the system so as to ensure higher broadband speeds and therefore ensure efficiency to our guests accessing it. This exercise has been completed and there are no more issues regarding the speeds.

We do hope that we have the opportunity to welcome you back soon.

Sincerely,

Anthony Ngunga
General manager
Sarova Panafric
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2012

We were greeted at the airport very late at night by the driver who drove us to the hotel. As we pulled up I could see they have taken security seriously. Once in the hotel we received the hot towels and juice that I saw another reviewer mention. Their hospitality was overwhelming. The room is nicely appointed and clean with a view of the city center on one side and a view of the garden on the other. The bed is a bit firm, but the bathroom is spacious and modern. Free internet has been very useful. The price was right and the quality of the food in the cafe' was very high quality. What a friendly and competent staff they appear to have.

  • Stayed February 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnthonyNgunga, General Manager at Sarova Panafric, responded to this review, March 7, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write your brilliant review from your stay with us in February.

I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay at The Sarova Panafric and that everything was to the highest standard from your arrival experience through to your well furnished, comfortable and clean room and bathroom. I will be sharing your kind comments with my team and I know how pleased everyone will be to hear that they delivered an exceptional experience. Thank you, too, for your wonderful feedback about the quality of food in our Flame Tree restaurant and I am so pleased to read that we exceeded your expectations. Our Executive Chef and his team will be very pleased to note your comments. We pride ourselves in having top notch security systems in place so as to ensure safety to all our guests.

I look forward to welcoming you back to The Sarova Panafric again in the near future.

Kind Regards,

Anthony Ngunga
General manager
Sarova Panafric
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2012

The Sarova Panafric would be fine for a short stay (i.e. a few nights) but there would be better options at this point if you stayed for a week or longer. Let me outline the reasons below.

My room was fine but the bathroom was poor. The shower basically consisted of a tap on the the end of a pipe over the bath - not what you expect for the price. Hence, the bathrooms are desperately seeking the renovation that is currently underway (it might be worth asking about this renovation upon booking and/or check-in).

That said, I can't complain about the rest of the room because it was clean, quiet and I had a great sleep every night. Hence my suggestion that the hotel if fine for a couple of nights.

Apart from the occasional long wait for food, the restaurant was very nice including breakfast, lunch and dinner. I recommend the pizzas.

Security was excellent and I felt very safe the whole time.

The upside for the hotel is that they have so much potential if and when the renovations (especially of the bathrooms!) is complete.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnthonyNgunga, General Manager at Sarova Panafric, responded to this review, March 7, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review Sarova Panafric on Trip Advisor.

I was encouraged to read that you found our hotel rooms to be very clean and comfortable. This is. We also appreciate your comments on our Flame Tree Restaurant’s meals and the security of the hotel. Sarova panafric prides itself in having the latest and top security systems that provide a safe & secure environment for all our guests and the hotel at large.

We apologize for the long wait for your food at the restaurant and like to guarantee you that this is not common practice. I have personally taken this up and implemented corrective action to make certain it won’t happen again. Through the intense renovations that are been carried out, I assure you that you’ll experience a much cozier and more comfortable accommodation experience the next time you come by.

Sincerely,

Anthony Ngunga
General manager
Sarova Panafric
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

Have stayed at the Panafric multiple times on work trips to or through Nairobi either for one night transfers or multiple night stays, and even for day room use (shower and meal) before heading to the airport. it is consistently a good choice for these purposes. This trip I found the staff to be very helpful and friendly (that was not always my experience on previous trips). The restaurant is always a nice and our meal before heading to the airport was excellent. The rooms are very clean and well equipped. I would think this hotel is a good location for business travel, but would always prefer the Fairview (although I understand their prices have become quite inflated).

  • Stayed February 2012, 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
    • 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.
AnthonyNgunga, General Manager at Sarova Panafric, responded to this review, February 20, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback & taking time to post your comments on Sarova Panafric.

It is a pleasure to note how much you enjoyed your stay with us and we would like to take this opportunity and thank you for your continuous stay with us at the Sarova Panafric. One of our key advantages is our prime location that provides our guests with convenience to carry out their activities within the city centre and amidst the busy environment, also provide them with a serene & tranquil environment, while at the hotel. It is great to hear that you enjoyed our newly renovated rooms, your meal at our Flame Tree Restaurant & that our Front line staff exceeded your expectation, they work exceptionally hard to make every guest feel special.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Sarova Panafric when your next travels bring you to Nairobi.

Warm regards,

Anthony Ngunga
General manager
Sarova Panafric
Report response as inappropriate
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Additional Information about Sarova Panafric

Address: Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi 72493, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Nairobi
#12 Business Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sarova Panafric 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Idyllically located 5 minutes drive from the CBD and 18 Kms from Jomo Kenyatta Internationa Airport, amidst beautifully landscaped gardens in a quiet suburb of Nairobi, Sarova Panafric offers 164 rooms in a range of standard, superior, club and suites- all recently refurbished and decorated in a contemporary vibrant African style. Named in honor of the Pan African movement, Sarova Panafric was inaugurated by the first president of Kenya H.E. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta on the 5th January 1965 and truly represents Neo Africa. Enjoy leisurely meals at the lively and warm Flame tree restaurant, once the watering hole for freedom fighters, spies and foreign correspondents and named after the Flame Tree that holds pride of place in the gardens. Sarova Panafric offers state of the art banqueting and conferencing facilities with a range of meeting and function rooms equipped with the latest audio visual and WIFI equipment. To wind up the day, take a dip in the pool or go for a leisurely massage – or simply enjoy a cool drink to the soothing sounds of Africa’s rhythm Sarova Panafric is also located a short 0.5 Kms from Kenya's Landmark 'Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC)' , an events venue in Africa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sarova Panafric Hotel Nairobi
Sarova Panafric Nairobi
Panafric Hotel Nairobi

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