We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Comfortable, but renovation needed” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sarova Panafric

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Save
You added Sarova Panafric to your Saves list
Sarova Panafric
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Along Valley Road, Nairobi 30486 - 00100, Kenya (Upper Hill Estate)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 122 Hotels in Nairobi
1 degree east
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Comfortable, but renovation needed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2009

The worst bit first. The bedrooms were last updated probably when built and are rather worn and in severe need of attention. However they are spotlessly clean and comfortable. The staff (with only one exception I found) were very friendly and tried exceptionally hard to help. The public areas are much better, and the food and service at the hotel's Flametree restaurant were as good as any I've found in (and outside) Kenya, and I found myself looking forward to ending my day there. Breakfast which is in the restaurant can be quite a treat if you've the time and appetite. The pool is large but like most in kenya unheated, with poolside waiter service at only slightly premium prices.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
Write a Review

549 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    143
    233
    134
    22
    17
See reviews for
51
133
62
200
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 (130)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2009

Travellers cannot expect honest and genuine services from this hotel. My shirt was torn by the laundry service. None of staff showed and extended sincere apology, rather, try to hide it. Reception work is not organized and is not attentive to individual guests・・・. Anyway, you should find other hotels if you would like to enjoy your days in Nairobi.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2009

Stayed in this hotel for a conference. The conference facilities, restaurant and bar areas are fine, a bit old and run down, but ok. I suspect that the ground floor facilities are the same that were there when the place was opened in 1965. The rooms are dismal and certainly not of 3 star quality. I was told that the A/C was "not working at the moment" but that a fan was available for cooling - this did not work. I understand that the perception is that A/C is not needed in Nairobi, however, in a west facing hotel room it is. The room had a sliding door that faced onto a minute balcony. This door was not lockable and no safe is provided in the room. Each floor does have a security guard, but this is not a substitute for basic room security. The room was small with ancient, battered furniture and stained, dirty carpet. It had a dingy smell that was not overcome by the nasty perfumes in the cleaning agents used by the service staff. I couldn't wait to get out of it in the morning. The bathroom functioned but was also small and of the most basic sort. The accommodation was not cheap at all and was poor value for money in my view. The Sarova group should have renovated the place years ago. The fact that they are prepared to offer such miserable accommodation for around USD 125 per night shows that they have no pride in their 'brand'. I suspect that its main selling point is that there are plenty of worse places in Nairobi.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Nashua, New Hampshire
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

Just like any other big hotel in the US. Pretty impersonal and generic. Stayed overnight between safaris and although it was nice to have endless hot water and electricity, I would have preferred a smaller, more intimate place for one night. The food is pretty good. It is far from the international airport, but close to Wilson Field.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Hampshire
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2009

Hotel was fine, if beginning to show its age and looking slightly shabby, friendly staff, good breakfast buffet, dinner OK but slow service, overall nothing special. Fine for short business stay, but for a holiday I would choose somewhere smaller and less impersonal.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2009

I booked two nights at the Panafric, my first and last nights on a three week trip in East Africa. The hotel was not the best first impression of Nairobi. I arrived early in the morning since my flight arrived at 6:45am. I was told that there was nowhere to eat within walking distance so I ended up eating the breakfast buffet, which I later found out was very overpriced at nearly $20 USD. I do have to say that the waitstaff and food were excellent though. When I checked in to my room after encountering a very unfriendly woman working at the desk, I was very disappointed that the room looked NOTHING like any of the photos on the Sarova website. After a wonderful trip through Tanzania I would have to say that many of the campsites on Safari were more enjoyable. All in all, as someone who is completely happy staying at a $15 hostel I would have to say that the Panafric was not worth the money. I cancelled my second night there and stayed downtown. The Hilton is centrally located and hardly more expensive.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Netanya, Israel
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
77 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
202 helpful votes 202 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2009

I stayed in the Panafric for 4 nights in late August. Being a frequent visitor to Nairobi for business, I usually try and stay at the Fairview, but its often full, so the challenge is to find another acceptable hotel within my company's travel budget of $150 per night. This is not easy in Nairobi since most of the good business hotels are in the $200-$300 per night range. (the Fairview is a very pleasant enigma, probably why its always booked solid). So, the Panafric came up as an option - $140 per night, and in Upper Hill which is an acceptable distance from the city center where the majority of my meetings take place.

The Panafric is quite an unusual hotel. It seems like it was built in the 60s, (perhaps the 70s) and does not appear to have been renovated since. Access to the hotel is strictly guarded by a security check point, so at least it seemed to be safe from that point of view. The lobby is really small and old, and I must admit my first impression was a pretty negative one. I thought that I had fallen hard. Check in was a fairly painless procedure, and then I went up to my room. (A positive point - there is a security guard located on every floor.)

Now, the rooms are quite a good size - king size bed, separate armchair and coffee table. The floors are parquet, which I quite like, and in good condition. The furnishings are all fairly plain and old fashioned - they don't appear to ever have been changed - BUT, the weird thing is, though its all old furniture, and though there never seems to have been renovations, the room was in surprisingly good condition and very well kept and spotlessly clean. So in fact, the room was very comfortable. The bed was very comfortable as well and the bathroom was large and also spotlessly clean. I actually found the room grew on me and I felt extremely comfortable throughout my stay.

Location as I mentioned, is in Upper Hill, which is very close to downtown - a 5-10 minute cab ride depending on the traffic. I would not recommend to walk to town since the park that lies between the hotel and city center is rumored to be home to many petty thieves that could spring out of nowhere, snatch a bag and disappear very quickly. This was local advice. Upper Hill itself is quite an upmarket area and has the advantage of being quiet, green and a bit of a breath of fresh air compared with downtown. Only problem is you need a cab to get anywhere.

As many other reviewers have mentioned the Flame Tree restaurant in the Panafric is in fact outstanding. For a hotel restaurant it is very reasonably priced, and the food is really excellent. I had no hesitation eating there several times rather than venture out looking for other restaurants. Their breakfast (included) was also decent - omelets made to order, lots of tasty pastries, and plenty of variety overall.

Wireless internet was a bit expensive, but very reliable. I didn't use any other facilities, but I know there is a pool and a massage room. As far as I know there is no fitness room.

Overall, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the Panafric. As long as you don't expect super luxury, and all you need is a comfortable room in a good location, its definitely worth consideration. Not a bad "budget" business hotel at all.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Sarova Panafric? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sarova Panafric

Address: Along Valley Road, Nairobi 30486 - 00100, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi > Upper Hill Estate
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:
#8 Spa Hotel in Nairobi
#12 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#15 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sarova Panafric 3.5*
Number of rooms: 162
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Idyllically located 5 minutes' drive from the CBD and 18 km from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, amidst beautifully landscaped gardens in a quiet suburb of Nairobi, Sarova Panafric offers 162 rooms in a range of Superior, Executive, Club, Studio and Themed Suites - all recently refurbished and decorated in a contemporary vibrant African style. Once the watering hole for freedom fighters, spies and foreign correspondents, Flame Tree restaurant is named after the Flame Tree that holds pride of place in the gardens and offers leisurely meals. 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. And this hotel is centrally located, only a short 0.5 Km from Kenya's landmark 'Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC)', one of the most prominent events venues in Africa. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Cheap Tickets, Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia, Travelocity, Despegar.com, Odigeo and TripOnline SA so you can book your Sarova Panafric reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sarova Panafric Hotel Nairobi
Sarova Panafric Nairobi
Panafric Hotel Nairobi

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Sarova Panafric, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.