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“The Boma Nairobi - wonderful concept - but still needs to work out many issues” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Boma Nairobi

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The Boma Nairobi
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Red Cross Road, South C | off Popo Rd, Nairobi 00100, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 92 hotels in Nairobi
Lagos, Nigeria
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
566 helpful votes 566 helpful votes
“The Boma Nairobi - wonderful concept - but still needs to work out many issues”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

I desperately wanted to give this hotel a raving review. First, this is the first hotel with a “conscience” we have ever stayed in, as all profits fund the Kenya Red Cross Society's Humanitarian activities, and secondly, the Trip Advisor reviews have been very positive, so I was very much looking forward to our visit. However, in my opinion, there is much room for improvement.

This hotel had a “soft opening” on October 1, 2012, but has not yet had its “official” grand-opening. I booked through Expedia.com, with a rate of $225 per night for two, breakfast, and taxes) for a superior room. With a self-rating of 5-stars, I expected perfection or nearly.

We stayed at the Boma on three different nights in December 2012.

First, I would like to point out the Boma’s good points:

~ Architecturally, the Boma is an attractive hotel. I think the “boma” or rounded look gives it a unique perspective.

~ The public spaces are wide open. Light and air are plentiful. The flower arrangements throughout are very cheerful. The art work is tasteful and beautiful.

~ The rooms are spacious, well-thought out, and comfortable. The mattresses are comfortable, as are the pillows. The bed sheets could be of finer cotton (sheets are rough for a 5-star hotel), but they are immaculate and well-ironed.

~ The bathroom is modern and comfortable, with a rain shower overhead fixture, which honestly, it’s too big for the size of the shower stall.

~ The staff at the Reception, doormen, bellmen, etc. is very friendly.

~ The hotel is located not too far from the International Airport, which is a big plus.

~ The Johari restaurant is truly beautiful. We ate breakfast one day, and lunch on another day. The staff is extremely attentive and responsive. The Johari's food was very good, as well as presentation.

~ The gym is very nice! State-of-the art equipment.

~ We arranged for three Airport pick-ups and drop offs. Each time, the chauffeur was extremely friendly. On arrivals, the chauffeur was always outside with a name sign. On our last night, we also arranged for a taxi to take us shopping, and requested for the driver to wait for us. This was also a good experience.

~ The Business Center is user-friendly, and there is an attendant present. Internet use is free.

~ Free Wi-Fi in the rooms and public areas.

Now, sadly, here are some negative points.

* The hotel is already showing signs of wear. Each time we left we would point out things that needed to be repaired.

* A couple of examples: the bathroom sink was missing a stopper. Two of the lights were out, one being on the large bathroom mirror (making the bathroom darker than usual), one light out in the bedroom. Desks are showing wear and tear with a lot of scratches and dents. Some of repair items we pointed out should have been not missed by spot checks by Housekeeping (light out of order should be obvious).

* A/C not working properly: during our last stay, we noticed the room was unusually warm, so we reported it. Two techs showed up, but said the room had not been used, and to give the A/C unit the chance to get going. After 1.5 hours it was not cooling off, but we had to go out. As we were leaving the hotel, we requested to have it checked again. We don’t know if Maintenance came back to the room to check it out, but when we returned to the room around 10:00 pm, the room was still a bit warm (we had the thermostat set at 16◦C which should have been very cold). Even though the night was cool, we could not open the windows because there was a party below with very loud music. Needless to say, we had a very poor’s night sleep.

* Attention to detail. For example, during our last stay, the next morning we had to leave the hotel at 3:30 am. Upon check-in, the day before, we requested a small breakfast box for each person. As usual, the Receptionist, full of sweetness reassured us that indeed we would have waiting for us ( I saw her write it down on a notepad). The next day, there were no breakfast boxes when we checked out. We were offered to have them made, but we were already running late at 3:45 am, and so we declined.

* The second restaurant below, the Tembo Bistro is a more casual spot. The décor is smart and modern. We had a breakfast and a dinner, on different dates. The service here is not as attentive or detailed as the Johari restaurant upstairs. The staff is probably not as well trained as upstairs, and attention to detail is not their forté. The food quality is also not the same. One morning, the breakfast was not available in the Johari Restaurant and we were directed to the Tembo Bistro. We never got the toast we requested, even after asking for it to two different waiters, at different time intervals.

The presentation/content/choices of breakfast foods were not very palatable. I understand a Kenyan restaurant has to cater to the local taste, but for example, samosas, spicy curried vegetables is not something a Westeners enjoys for breakfast; there should be items pleasing to both groups. The croissants should be crispy on the outside, never soft and chewy.

Since the Johari restaurant was closed for a private function, the same quality and service offered upstairs should be present at the Tembo, no excuses. The supervisor at the Tembo made up excuses saying they were “doing the best they could”…

* Hotel transportation: twice (two different dates) we had to remind the chauffer to have the car’s air conditioner serviced, or at least report it to the proper group. Even though the climate is cool in Nairobi, the city is not one where one drives around with windows down, especially in the hotel’s neighborhood.

* The hotel’s location (neighborhood): I apologize for saying this, but the general surrounding neighborhood doesn’t feel too safe, especially at night. The Boma, does however, provide excellent security, starting at the front gate.

* Currently, the pool is non-functional. It was working during our first visit, but it has since been closed and drained due to some structural repairs.

* The Spa is still non-functional. We were taken to the Boma Inn, to use the sauna, but of course, the facility is not as nice as the Boma Hotel.

Summary

On two different occasions we had the opportunity to share our comments and concerns. One with the Tembo Bistro supervisor, and he expressed gratitude for our honesty. Another lady, her desk being in the lobby, also expressed concern when we discussed our experiences.

Unfortunately, during our last stay, the issue with the A/C, breakfast boxes, etc., I had to leave my comments on the survey, as it was too early in the morning to tell anyone.

This hotel is truly beautiful, but with a self-rating of 5-stars, the Boma Nairobi really needs to live up to that rating. Also, a 5-star hotel should never rely on guests to point out maintenance issues, etc.; the hotel's Maintenance team needs to pay close attention in this area. Daily room assessment by Housekeeping should eliminate the need to rely on guests’ feedback regarding repair issues.

The wait-staff could use a bit more training, paying attention to details.

As we return to Nairobi next March, I would like to give the Boma Nairobi one more chance. I hope by the, the Boma will be fully functional and living up to the 5-star rating.

Room Tip: Ask for room not facing the garden/restaurant areas, just in case there is a party and the music is...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ali K, Front Office Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, December 15, 2012
Dear Mrs Fugate,

Greetings from The Boma, Nairobi!!!

Thank you for choosing the Boma Nairobi as your hotel during your recent visits to Nairobi and taking time to give us your honest, detailed feedback on our product and services.

Kindly accept our sincere apologizes for not meeting up to your expectations at the Boma, Nairobi. While it is our principal focus to immediately address and resolve issues that our guests face, it is clear that we have not risen up to your expectations in this instance.

I have therefore taken up the specific matters with our entire management team and necessary corrective measures are being taken up.

Mrs Fugate, our guests are of extreme importance to us and we greatly value your feedback which is very enlightening. I request you to kindly give us another opportunity to serve you in the future so that we can restore your faith in The Boma, Nairobi.


Kind Regards,

Ali Kibwana | Rooms Division Manager | The Boma Hotels | P.O. Box 26601-00100

(office) +254 20 3904000 /604528 | (cell) +254 719 050 000
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

What a great place to stay in Nairobi. My five night experience was something to remember from all aspects. I cannot rate it any higher. All the staff were absolutely amazing, from the senior managers to the cleaners. One young waitress stands out, and that is Daisy. I will stay there again on my next trip to Nairobi.

Room Tip: My room 2220, was very convenient for easy access.
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ali K, Front Office Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, December 15, 2012
Dear Terry,

Greetings from The Boma, Nairobi!!!

Thank you for choosing The Boma Nairobi as your hotel during your recent visit to Nairobi. I am glad that we were able to meet and exceed your expectations during your stay with us.

I appreciate your positive comments on the colleagues, senior management and especially our waiting staff, Daisy who ensured that you were offered efficient service.

Your recommendation of the Boma Nairobi as your hotel of choice is indeed appreciated and I assure you of our continued promise to make your subsequent stays with us memorable.

Have a Merry Christmas and blessed new year!!!

Kind regards,

Ali Kibwana | Rooms Division Manager | The Boma Hotels | P.O. Box 26601-00100

(office) +254 20 3904000 /604528 | (cell) +254 728 606 476/8/719 050 000
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Cupertino, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

this was my 3rd trip to Nairobi in last 1 year. Boma is new on Mobassa road (very convenient for airtel/ibm meetings and also close to airport).

room & bathroom are very modern with all amenities one can think of. Staff was very helpful, accommodating and attentive (specially Angelina).

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yorks
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

This hotel totoally exceed expectations.
Seemless hotel pickup.
Friendly and attentive staff in ALL parts of the hotel - could not do enough and at all stages of a very short stay staff wanted to ensure we were looked after.
Amazing and very spacious room.
We were only in Nairobi for a day prior to flying onto Mombasa. The hotel is very convenient for this as close ti the airport but not under the flight path.
We hired one of the hotel cars and a driver for the afternoon to take us to National Park -. Patick wanted to to make sure we got the most of the afternoon and also took us to other key sites - and was very friendly and helpful for a surprisingly small fee.
I have not rated breakfast as we missed it due to sleeping too well:)
The service did not stop after checkout...a few days after leaving, the hotel e-mailed to check that the stay was ok.
I would stay here again without hesittation. Many thanks The Boma for a wonderful stay - all aspects were perfect!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

Nairobi generally has expensive hotels. The Boma is certainly not the cheapest, but they do have a special on right now, and they are, I think, below the median price for top level Nairobi hotels. I stayed here for overnight transit as it is relatively close to the International airport. I have previously stayed at the Panari, but they are much more expensive and the service and quality if not exactly great.

Upon arrival at the Boma you are greeted with a hot towel and juice. The rooms are explained to you with care; the dinner was amazing. And the rooms are very nice; much nicer than what I was expecting.

I highly recommend the Boma.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ali K, Front Office Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, December 2, 2012
Dear Yogzbear,

Greetings from the Boma Nairobi, 'Hospitality with a Conscience'

Thank you for choosing to stay at The Boma for your recent visit to Nairobi and also for taking your valuable time to share your experience. We take our guest comments very seriously and always strive to provide comfortable and friendly accommodation.

I am glad that our team gave you a warm welcome and oriented you well of all the room amenities. We are happy that our product and service surpassed your expectations and we look forward to hosting you on your future visits to Nairobi.


Kind Regards,

Ali Kibwana | Rooms Division Manager | The Boma Hotels | P.O. Box 26601-00100


(office) +254 20 3904000 /604528 | (cell) +254 719 050 000 Ê: (fax) +254 20 604 520
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Orange, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

The staff here at the Boma were amazingly friendly and accommodating. On arrival, we were greeted with hot towels and fresh passion juice! Then, throughout the trip the manager frequently checked in with me to see how I was enjoying the stay. I was also with a large group of about 15, and they handled our motley crew exceptionally. Really, the staff/management were just amazing. As for the rooms, they were very nice. Nothing jaw-dropping amazing, but spacious, modern, and comfortable. Room wise, it would compare with a Hyatt. The restaurant there is good. Again nothing amazing, but still tasty! Overall, its definitely a place you have to go to!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ali K, Front Office Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, November 25, 2012
Dear Alex,

Greetings from The Boma Nairobi.

Thank you for choosing The Boma Nairobi as your hotel during your recent visit to Nairobi. I am glad that we were able to meet and exceed your expectations during your stay with us.

I appreciate your comment on the colleagues, service upon your arrival, your entire groups' handling as well as our rooms facilities and quality of food.

Your recommendation of the Boma Nairobi as your hotel of choice is indeed appreciated and I assure you of our continued promise to make your subsequent stays with us memorable.


Kind Regards,

Ali Kibwana | Rooms Division Manager | The Boma Hotels | P.O. Box 26601-00100


(office) +254 20 3904000 (cell) +254 719 050 000
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Coast, California, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

The management of this hotel were among the most accommodating and friendly I have seen anywhere. My wife and I are luxury hotel aficionados and loved The Boma. It was surprisingly luxurious and contemporary. Service! Food! Ambiance! Get it all !!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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.
Ali K, Front Office Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, November 23, 2012
Dear Fred,

Greetings from The Boma Nairobi.

Thank you for choosing The Boma Nairobi as your hotel during your recent visit to Nairobi. I am glad that we were able to meet and exceed your expectations during your stay with us.

I appreciate your comment on the hotel Management as well as the Service, Food and ambiance.

Your recommendation of the Boma Nairobi as your hotel of choice is indeed appreciated and I assure you of our continued promise to make your subsequent stays with us memorable.


Kind Regards,

Ali Kibwana | Rooms Division Manager | The Boma Hotels | P.O. Box 26601-00100


(office) +254 20 3904000 (cell) +254 719 050 000
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 The Boma Nairobi

Address: Red Cross Road, South C | off Popo Rd, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 92 hotels in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Boma Nairobi 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hospitality has now become a new front in the fight against human suffering. Kenya Red Cross Society has taken this concept to the next level with the launch of The Boma Nairobi. This is a luxury deluxe hotel with an adjoining conference centre offering world-class hospitality, having every penny of profit funding the KRCS’s humanitarian work. This is 'hospitality with a conscience.' ... more   less 
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