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“Cant fault the food..” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hemingways Nairobi

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Hemingways Nairobi
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Nairobi, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 129 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
london
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Cant fault the food..”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

I recently stayed at Hemingways in Karen and ate on 4 occasions - the food was awesome and Chef Barry Tonks knows how to cook. I have been to many restaurants and stayed in many hotels however have never seen so many different cuts of beef - my steak was seasoned perfectly and the truffle oil chips a lovely accompaniment. Highly recommend it. The hotel needs life but this I am sure will come....

  • Stayed July 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    132
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    7
    5
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33
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

It was my first time here and so far it was good.

The ambience and the waiters were really great, ready to serve you and making sure you're ok.

I am yet to try out your food so that will wait, though my nephew did enjoy his ice cream which was done in way we never expected.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Taipei, Taiwan
Level Contributor
39 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

We stayed for one evening at the end of our safari, deciding to try the new kid on the block, so to speak. Despite having been open a month or so, we felt that the property still wasn't ready, both with the facility (the bar and the spa/pool weren't open) and service quality.

Things got off to a poor start, as there was absolutely no one in the lobby to check us in upon arrival. We wandered around for over five minutes before we found a staff member in the garden, who went in the back and had someone come out and take care of the formalities.

The butler system was fine, but the initial introduction to the property and room was too long. The room was large and we found it very comfortable. Also, two thumbs up for the bathroom, with its great shower. WiFi was strong and stable. As another reviewer mentioned, however, the hotel in general lacked warmth and soul.

Breakfast was okay (nothing memorable), but the way the menu was designed made things much more complicated than they needed to be.

My partner and I, however, clearly sensed several staff members were very uncomfortable with our relationship, which dampened the welcome and the mood during our stay.

While the room itself was nice enough, it was overpriced (and we even had an introductory rate) in a city of overpriced hotels. We would not choose to stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CMunywoki, General Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Dear Jiaotze

Please accept my sincere apologies for your dissatisfaction and that you were not promptly met on arrival. I can gladly confirm we have addressed this and the lobby is staffed 24 hours a day every day.

Our breakfast menu is unique in that it is an a la carte menu with every dish freshly and individually cooked to avoid the deterioration in product quality that often occurs in buffet breakfasts.

As a new opening there is a certain amount of “greenness” in staff which we are rapidly shaking off ; this is not an excuse for poor service and I sincerely hope you may revisit us in the future to experience what we really are.


Best Regards

Simon Hodson
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
46 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

As local residents, we recently ventured to the newly built Hemingway's in Nairobi. Upon seeing the newly built structure we were told by our greeters that they were committed to giving each guest an exceptional experience. Our initial take was this could be true, the grounds are manicured perfectly, the building and decor well sourced, and the staff was friendly. Our tour of the facility was lovely and filled with oohs and ahhs.

That soon ended, when we sat down for lunch on the astro-turfed terrace overlooking the fountains and Ngong Hills in the background. We ordered simply, soup, salad and pasta for three. The salad arrived filled with bits of fuzz or hair in the eggs. Once pointed out to the staff, this error was corrected with a different menu choice. The pasta and soup were flavorful and enjoyable. Dessert was creme' brulee and Apple Tarte Tantin. Both were less than satisfactory and truly not worth the calories or cost. We did not finish our Tarte Tantin and asked for a take away, which was 'forgotten' and then lost by the staff, never to be seen again. Coffee's were excellent and large portioned.

Overall we were disappointed with our experience at Hemingways' restaurant. The food was mediocre at best and over priced. The atmosphere is lacking 'soul' and the decor is mismatched and feels as if it is not in harmony with the attempt to meld 'old colonial and the modern age' theme. The boutique was interesting but not open, and no staff offered to open up the shop, despite the fact that there were few guests at that time of our visit. Our friendly host from our arrival, barely noticed our departure, even though we were waiting for our ride for a good five minutes in the lobby area.

We will have to think twice before we revisit Hemingway's in the future. For now, we found no need to return, even with the rave reviews of 'the best Steak in Nairobi' in recent posts. We feel the place needs to step up their efforts a few more notches before it will warrant it's desire to be
THE BEST' in Nairobi.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
CMunywoki, General Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Dear Travelhammer

Allow me to apologize for us not meeting your expectations in the restaurant and for losing your tart tartin. We now have a suitable system in place for take-away requests to avoid that happening.
I am delighted that you were wowed by other aspects of the hotel and I hope you will reconsider and visit us again; our boutique is now fully stocked and open, we will be delighted to show you the collections we have in stock.

Best Regards

Simon Hodson
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013 via mobile

Where to start .. credit to the grounds, beautiful landscaping. The positives for me end here. The compound is so small you can see into several people's compounds & vice versa. While this isn't a huge blemish, it goes against the description the hotel goes by, serene.

The restaurant is where it all went wrong, the triple fried fries are VERY overhyped, nothing special at all. The steak while size-able, was extremely flat and needed too much salt & pepper to give it any taste, even the sauce wasn't enough to sort this out. That being the case, none of us (a group of 6), managed to finish their steaks .. I personally only managed half (more on this later). I did enjoy the creamed spinach the most (it's hard to get this one wrong though).

Back to my left-overs. I chose to have the remaining half of my steak packed as it was quite big and at the price we were paying, 3,500 each, there was no way I as about to waste it (I figured I could take it home and manipulate it into tasting better). The mediocre experience turned for the worse when it was time to leave. I asked the waiter where my leftovers were and after dilly dallying about he returned with a confession .. They had given away my half steak 'by accident' to another patron (which also made me wonder how many others didn't finish their meals). Needless to say there was no tip forthcoming to this chap.

In conclusion, I will not be returning to Hemingway's Nairobi (Michelin chef or not) & can recommend many other establishments with far more amazing steaks at a fraction of the absurd cost here such as Sierra, ORO & Seven @ Village Mkt. I hope my experience is of help to you.

Stayed May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CMunywoki, General Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Dear Jenard N

Glad you like the landscaping on our boutique hotel’s 10 acre plot in the peaceful Karen countryside setting.

We deeply regret the steak and fries were not to your liking and the waiter’s losing your take-away. Our chef takes great pride in the triple cooked chips; please do accept this as a one-off and give us another try to prove that so.

Best Regards

Simon Hodson
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
155 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

We went to Hemingways Karen one Saturday evening. The setting and layout was impressive giving a rather palatial feel, the theme is somewhat confusing. The ambience was pleasant and the service was good. The food was rather disappointing; it was not to the standard that we expected. The prawn cocktail was ok, the asparagus would be better with an actual poached egg (maybe a duck egg) rather than a poached egg dressing. We found the steaks from the “Josper oven” somewhat burnt on the outside and rather cold inside. The crème brule was however the best dish of the evening and the best we have ever had in Kenya. The wine list is somewhat brief. Overall for a Nairobi restaurant it was expensive, especially for this pub grub standard and we would have liked the chef to make an appearance in the dining room. We look forward to the fine dining opening and giving Hemingways Karen another chance.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
CMunywoki, Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Dear FoodieGastroGourmet,

Many thanks for your positive comments surrounding your visit to Hemingways Nairobi. Please accept my apologies for your disappointment with the steak. We value your views and recommendations and have taken note of them .We look forward to your return visit to Hemingways Nairobi.

Regards
Hemingways Nairobi
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

I just had the pleasure of enjoying the food at Hemingways, in Karen, Nairobi, courtesy of an invite from a friend. Beautiful place, gorgeous entry, the dining room decor is a bit cool and although i understand the theme, Im not convinced,a nd i think the posters detract. However, no matter, I can honestly say the food was on another level, absolutely fantastic.

For the first time in a long time, and a definite first for me in Africa, for a starter I tried the Steak tartar, which was seriously worth the visit on its own, absolutely divine, delicious, fantastic (add in any superlative of your choice etc etc!). Following that the Tri Tib steak main course was sublime and cooked to perfection, a great steak. For dessert I had really wanted to then try the Baked cheese cake, but shared the Tart Tatin dessert with my friend, good, but maybe not up to the same level as the starter and main course, still very good, and no complaints at all. But theres no option, I will just have to go back and soon and try the cheese cake. So congrats Barry, I figure reaching perfection with 2 out of 3 dishes is pretty good going, well worth a visit, maybe a Michelin star soon for Kenya?

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Hemingways Nairobi

Address: Nairobi, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 129 Hotels in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hemingways Nairobi 5*
Number of rooms: 45
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