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“New property, close to JKIA but...” 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 111 Hotels in Nairobi
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“New property, close to JKIA but...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

The BOMA is a new hotel (It opened in early 2013 I believe) that's operated by the Kenyan Red Cross with proceeds benefitting the organization. The non-profit link is great but make no mistake about it, the BOMA is not a charity. There's easily an average 300% mark-up on items sold in the hotel and don't get me started on their in-house taxi. My guess is that it's not that much different than most other tourist haunts.

The pluses: they do a great job with guest relations and guest services and for the most part appear to hire great smiles and coach them up on the rest. Charles our waiter at the Johari restaurant was particularly attentive and courteous. The rooms were spacious and well-appointment and I particularly enjoyed the shower. The girl at the coffee shop also makes a great cappuccino.

The minuses: the food is atrocious!! There's really no other way to put it. They try, they really do with fancy place settings and attention to every little detail but the food quality and flavor is just not there and if it doesn't get fixed they'll lose a good percentage of their clientele over it. Breakfast was unmemorable except for the fresh fruit and some of the meat (sausage, etc) and eggs were consistently overcooked.

Lunch and dinner were equally unremarkable and I actually had to call to complain about our room service meal to which they responded by comp'ing our dinner (Thanks Restaurant Manager Gregory) The problem with the food is two-fold. First, by nature Kenyans don't do whole lot to flavor their food outside of salt, pepper and mchuzi mix. Any real spices are usually in Indian dishes they've acquired over time. Second, the chefs and cooks (except for the pastry chef) seem to lack the subtle skills needed to execute western dishes instead applying the 'cook it till it's dead" philosophy. The chicken and beef are consistently dry and so is the fish and while Kenya is blessed with an abundance of produce it often gets lost in the overcooked/overbaked wash.

I ordered the french onion soup and while the menu promised a gruyere encrusted crostini it seemed more like a floating crouton and my wife's chicken burger (or whatever that was) was indiscernible and whatever you do, DO NOT order the Tembo Club Sandwich. For what it's worth I think they mean well and can right the ship but they need to get the food under control ASAP. I'd even be happy to share my food knowledge in helping them improve. I'll sum up the food by saying this, after 2 days of disappointing meals we headed over to City Centre to grab a bite at the Nairobi Java House only to find what seems like half the hotel guests eating there too. That says it all.

In summary, great property, very good guest relations, overpriced goods and services, and the food could use a major overhaul.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Aggrey B, Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, July 17, 2013
Dooly365,

Dooly365,
Thank you for your elaborate feedback on our products and services. We feel really chastised, justifiably so for our failings especially on the quality of food.
Our chef feels greatly challenged to the extent that he has offered free meals to you and your dear wife every time you are in Nairobi until you give him a good grade for creativity, presentation, taste and consistency. Please honor him with your presence as he and his team work on the recipes. He is also not shy to accept any tips you may have as all his effort is geared towards meeting your culinary needs.
Regards
Aggrey
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317 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
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English first
Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Spent two nights here before safari. It is quite modern, clean and the staff is friendly. The food is better than average. The shower in the room had a real problem with temperature control, ranging from a bit cool to really, really hot. Also, it's a ceiling shower, so it was difficult to get out of the way. Lighting control is another issue - you can't turn on the bathroom lights without lighting up the rest of the room. I will look for a different hotel if I return, but I would not be overly disappointed if I stayed here again.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Aggrey B, Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, July 17, 2013
Seth W,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments.

We have taken note of the areas where we did not wow you and corrective measures have been taken. We hope you will visit us again on your return visit to our city.
Regards

Aggrey
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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

Excellent place, great service, very neat and hygiene place stay. But not a place where you can expect good food. Boma has to do a lot of re-work on the dishes they serve. Food was aweful and I even fell sick (with tummy upsets). For the kind kind of property, food actually dets the image of Boma.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Aggrey B, Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Good day ShineSoans,
Thank you for sharing your views regarding our property. We regret for the illness during your stay with us as understand that an upset stomach is not only an inconvenience but quite uncomfortable especially with tight meeting schedules.

During the course of your stay, we had over 300 customers on a daily basis. Apart from you, no other customer has brought to our attention the issues of food quality and hygiene. Our Chef will therefore contact you for more details in an effort to determine where our quality control system might have been compromised.
Thank you once again for your feedback.
Regards
Aggrey.
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Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

Have been in this hotel for different functions and i have found the place very good for people who want to do serious business,have conferences or meetings,or just have a quiet time of relaxation to reflect on life.the hotel is clean,food excellent and the ambiance great.The staff are courteous and well groomed they lighten ones day in the hotel. The rooms are well organized with well selected furniture which makes the room look executive,Ooh can't forget the cool music in the lifts you hardly notice that you are moving up or down The welcome a you get to the dinning hall up your appetite.MY conclusion its the best hotel you should look for.in town you will get value for your money.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aggrey B, Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, July 27, 2013
Hello Philomena,
Thank you for giving us a chance to serve you. We are particularly happy that we were able to take good care of you and we look forward for a chance to host you again.
Regards,
Aggrey
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Lagos
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013 via mobile

I stayed here because of its proximity to the airport and was thoroughly impressed with the place. I had pre-booked a car from the airport and the driver was punctual and professional. So even before my arrival and check-in, I was already impressed. The room was very spacious and the lounge and restaurants were quite good. Overall, very friendly staff and very accommodating. Only downside was the metal detectors before you enter the lobby. But then again, they have those in every hotel in East Africa!!!

Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aggrey B, Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Hello bbslagosone,

We are happy that all the arrangements we made for you met your expectations. We know the metal detectors are sometimes an inconvenience but we request for our customers indulgence as it has become a necessity.

Thank you once again for your custom and we look forward to your next visit.

Regards

Aggrey
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Port Elizabeth
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

This is my first stay at the Boma and compared with previous hotels I have stayed in, in Nairobi it is brilliant. The rooms are very well appointed and very quiet. The hotel was very, very busy over the weekend with a conference but this did not interfere at all with my stay. We had dinner in the Johari Restaurant and I can highly recommend it. I will certainly be coming back again!

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
    • 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.
Aggrey B, Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
nickandsheree,

Thank you for your feedback. We are grateful for your patronage and commendation. See you at The Boma soon!

Regards,

Aggrey
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Kortgene, The Netherlands
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Sorry, could not find anything wrong in this hotel !! Simply the best in Nairobi for me !! Have stayed in the Boma several times now and everything was perfect all times. Pick up service on time, rooms super and clean, restaurant great food, reception fantastic, spa, gym and swimmingpool great staff and special thank to George Karanja ( allways there to assist you ) !!

  • Stayed June 2013, 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.
Aggrey B, Manager at The Boma Nairobi, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Hi Okke,
We are delighted that our team has consistently met your expectations. George is grateful for your compliments and we look forward to your next visit.

Regards

Aggrey
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 Business Center with Internet Access 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
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 111 Hotels in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Boma Nairobi 5*
Number of rooms: 148
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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