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“Sets the tone for pre-safari trips into Kenya” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hemingways Nairobi

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Hemingways Nairobi
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Nairobi, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 101 hotels in Nairobi
Ballito, South Africa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Sets the tone for pre-safari trips into Kenya”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

Although this new hotel in the Hemingways collection was built a mere 3 years ago, it's plantation-style architecture is reminiscent of Kenya's bygone colonial era and the image is reinforced through the decor, room furnishing and sepia tone prints depicting historical events and one can almost hear the British aristocracy "I say, I say'ing" in the background.

With 45, spacious 80 squared metre rooms, each with a private balcony overlooking sweeping lawns with the Ngong Hills visible beyond, this boutique hotel sets the standard in luxury accommodation for business travellers and safari tour groups visiting the region.

For carnivorous guests, Hemingways’ Brasserie serves the most succulent beef steaks, which are prepared in their Josper oven - this indoor barbecue is the only one of its kind in Kenya, specially imported by Hemingways to produce the best steaks sizzling at 800F. The special blend of charcoal used to fire the Josper oven creates a distinct char-grilled flavour to the meat, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

One night may well be insufficient to judge the quality of service, but I found the staff to be friendly and professional. Mosquitos do appear to be a problem, especially during dusk whilst sitting on the rooms balcony, but closing the doors with the air conditioner and mosquito pads on, ensured a bite-free nights rest.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 3 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.
Fred K, Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this review, March 31, 2014
Dear Tourism Tattler<

Our Josper steaks are indeed a relish, as you found out. We are delighted that the plantation-style architecture caught your eye and you liked it. As with everything including service, we strive to give our guests something a little out of the ordinary and make memories that they can savour for a long time. You are most welcome for another stay!
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121 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Montreal
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

We stayed at this hotel on our way to safaris. Yes, the room was beautiful, but filled with mosquitos. We swatted for 30 minutes inside the mosquito net. As we were 2 women staying for 2 nights, we requested extra shampoo for the second night. I was told that it was not possible to add more shampoo. When asked why I was told it was the hotel policy. In a 5 star hotel I would expect to get as much shampoo as I wanted. Very, very tacky. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: Make sure your room has been sprayed before getting into bed.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 2 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.
Simon H, General Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this review, March 11, 2014
Dear JO_Montreal_12

It is certainly not our policy to ration guest supplies.Please accept my apologies for not getting sufficient quantities of shampoo. We have reinforced the message to our team to ensure it does not re- occur.

Best Regards

Simon H
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

Poor service, overpriced restaurant, clueless manager, "250g steaks" not bigger than 150g, the chef has no idea how to cook meat, which is surprisingly (half the menu are steaks) more than average. To avoid if you are looking for value for money.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon H, General Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this review, March 11, 2014
Dear Samy G

Thanks for your visit to Hemingways.

I can assure you that all our steaks are over the specified weight on the menu. In your case the 250g steak would be cut at 255g to 260g before cooking. Each and every steak is weighed in our butchery. As our manager explained to you all steaks undergo shrinkage whilst cooking; that is a natural process and it is a standard procedure to refer to the raw weight rather than the end result as the more the steak is cooked the more shrinkage occurs. For instance a medium well cooked fillet would have more shrinkage than a rare one.

In addition to the assurance of our manager regarding the steak weight we also gave a 50% discount on the meal as our gesture to you. Regardless of the past you are welcome to visit us again and we will be delighted to demonstrate the before and after cooking weights of the steaks as well as pricing compared to our competitor set.

Best Regards

Simon H
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014 via mobile

This is a beautiful hotel in a beautiful and tranquil setting. The rooms are stunning and well appointed. Huge bathrooms. We had no trouble with mosquitoes, but did spray the room each time we left. The check in process was very slick and the butlers very efficient.

The problems all related to service. Bar orders frequently took more than 10 minutes and often a lot more. Orders not always correct when they did arrive. The cheque was frequently presented without a pen in the wallet. At breakfast the hot food was always delivered promptly, but we did not once get our tea or coffee before the hot food arrived! Had to ask for replacement toast one day as it was only lightly toasted on one side and soggy on the other. It did not arrive.
Unfortunately the swimming pool area was being redecorated while I was there so could not use the pool. The hotel management did say they could ask the workmen to move but the area was just too fumey to use. It did look lovely though.
The main concern is this hotel does not have a reception desk, it is designed to appear like a country house. This may give a lovely first impression, but as a result the check out process was little more than a farce as several people were all trying to check out at the same time. There were mistakes on our bill, but each time a query was made, staff had to go out to the back office each time to check or remedy it. The hotel then tried to charge us again for transfers, when we had already paid for these!
When we got home we later discovered our credit card had been charged twice for the whole bill. This then took a week of emails to correct and get the money refunded.
We will return to this hotel as it is definitely the best hotel in a good area, but I would love to see the service standard up to the level expected of 'leading small hotels of the world' and commensurate with the prices charged and quality of the property.

Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon H, General Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this review, March 11, 2014
Dear cc1047

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay with us. We have taken note of your comments and will work on the areas highlighted.

My apologies for the double charge on your card; I am glad it is now resolved.

Thank you for your promise to return and rest assured we will have addressed the issues raised.

Best Regards

Simon H
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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

We stayed here on our way to and from Kenya on safari. We were pleasantly surprised by the decor and feel of the beautiful room. The only thing we weren't happy about were the amount of mosquitos present in our room, which we spent over an hour killing with bug spray or splatting them on walls or between hands. The other concern was the temperature of the room when we went to bed - we turned on the air con after we both woke up 2 hours after we went to bed soaked and sweating - the air con did not cool down the room enough so we did not sleep well before our early morning flight.

After our 7 day safari we stayed once again and both enjoyed swedish massages and LONG hot showers after not having them for a week!! Then dinner was great with a repeat of my short rib order which was not a disappointment.

Our room air con was better this time thanks to the butler service fixing it and the mozzies a bit less frequent in our room. Breakfast was very pleasant and the staff of the gift shop arranged to have the correct size of sandal for me before we left for our flight home. We were disappointed that we could not go to the elephant orphanage or visit the Karen Blixen home as we did not have time before our flight left for Abu Dhabi.

Beautiful decor - so much so that we took lots of pics to use to choose our furniture at home!
Very pleasant experience and would recommend and stay again if we had the chance.

Room Tip: loved our Lord Errol room.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Nairobi, Kenya
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

We booked the spa for a group of five. During booking we were given comprehensive information so we knew what to expect. We had either the hot stone or coffee scrub massages which were excellent. Kudos to the spa manager, the masseuses and Keith for the cocktails.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Nairobi
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

My Valentine's Day or rather evening was crowned by an evening of perfect company, fun, food, laughter and perfect service at this luxurious boutique hotel in Nairobi.

Tucked away in the leafy suburbs of Karen, Hemingways is definitely in a class of its own and completely deserves its Five Star status.

Being night time I could not quite see the hills but was told that all the hotel suites have beautiful views of the Ngong Hills.

Beautiful decor adorns the walls and corridors and open spaces throughout the hotel.The cuisine was wonderful. For a party of seven people to all enjoy whatever each person ordered is commendable to a hotel's kitchen, and truly none of us complained. Being all Kenyans, everyone ordered some form of meat or other.

The desserts were decadent.

One in the party of seven was also celebrating her birthday, and boy, did she enjoy being spoiled.

Just one observation though...being a Valentine's Day, I expected the Hotel to at least dish out red roses to all the ladies(including the workers), in the hotel but this did not happen. Maybe next time.

My next agenda will be to sample a night at this stunning hotel.

All in all, highly recommended for fine wining and dining.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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Additional Information about Hemingways Nairobi

Address: Nairobi, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 101 hotels in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hemingways Nairobi 5*
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