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“Best in Nairobi” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hemingways Nairobi

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Hemingways Nairobi
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Nairobi, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 111 Hotels in Nairobi
London
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Best in Nairobi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

This hotel is perfect. It's beautiful, in a gorgeous part of Nairobi and has fantastic views. The staff are unobtrusive but so helpful, personable and professional. You never feel that anything is too difficult, beyond their ability or their nature. If only for a night as a special treat or a week or two to use as a base to explore and recharge, you will LOVE it. We did and can certainly recommend the suites, epic luxurious rooms with beautiful bathrooms. The floral arrangements and butler service add and extra wow factor.

Stayed March 2014
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, April 18, 2014
Dear Roger,

We are grateful that you took time to write a review about our hotel. As the leading boutique hotel in Kenya, we endeavor to ensure that our guests receive the best personalized service and we are excited that you did. Welcome back anytime Roger. It would be our utmost pleasure to host you again!
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145 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    99
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    15
    6
    5
See reviews for
27
49
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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 (33)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

Hemingways Nairobi is by all means a beautiful hotel. It is set out in lush gardens in the leafy suburbs of Nairobi overlooking the majestic Ngong Hills. The foyer is imposing with grand staircases on either side giving it a pre-colonial feel as you walk in.

Unfortunately, that is as much positive as I can muster about the hotel.

I had a preconception that Hemingways Nairobi was in the league of Kempinski or even House of Waine but I really should have read the reviews here or elsewhere before spending my hard-earned money on notions other than substantiated facts.

On my first sojourn to Hemingways so that I could locate it and prepare a birthday surprise, I was greeted with silence at the magnificent entrance after going through a rather rigorous security check at the gate. I would have expected the same rigor to translate into service at the entrance. After accosting someone and explaining the reason for my visit (Yes, I had to explain why I was there), I was given a server. All she could do was give me a menu and read it to me. She had as much knowledge about the nuances on the menu as i had about pre-colonial architecture. And she was on the phone half the time!

I finally asked her to call a manager who was much better than her and who convinced me to have dinner with them. I had booked the night elsewhere. We agreed on some fundamentals that I shall get into later in this barrage.

On the special night, I brought the lovely lady all the way to Hemingways after tricking and turning so that she did not know where we were heading to. But just before we reach the gate, I receive a phone call rudely asking me if I was still on for the dinner (I was half an hour late) and I said I was at the gate. The watchman asks for my name and then loudly announces "Reservation for So-and-So", effectively spoiling the surprise.

My expectation and arrangement with the manager was a personalised meet and greet at the foyer for the birthday girl. As you would have guessed by now, there was NO meet and greet. By the time we reached the area set out for the dinner, my date had pretty much figured out what I was upto and the personal touch and surprise had been missed by a mile. At this juncture, I must say the setup was pretty romantic. But *COLD*! There was a warmer next to our table which I requested to be lit thrice and all three times, I got the answer that it would be lit in a bit and all the three times, it was not lit in a bit.

The food was bland. I returned half my steak. And my date was not particularly impressed by the chops. I made a simple order of french fries and steamed broccoli as my side order and instead received buttered carrots and potato chips, At this point, I was past complaining. The crockery, cutlery and table setting was beautiful I must say.

It is unfortunate that as a Kenyan, and someone who visits lots of outfits of this kind, i can write such a lengthy and garish review of a supposedly beautiful hotel.

Either the hotel decides who to give good service or is just a lousy place to visit. Either way, I strongly advise anyone looking for value to give Hemingways Nairobi a wide berth.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, April 16, 2014
Dear BeautifulH0tel,

Thank you for bringing the above matters to our attention and for discussing this with us on phone.
The team admits that mistakes were made and we most certainly did not meet your expectations.
We also certainly did not meet our own standards.

Please accept our sincerest apologies and allow us to offer you an opportunity to experience the true Hemingway's experience

We look forward to hearing from you regarding our offer.
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minneapolis
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
160 helpful votes 160 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

Lovely spacious lobby , very open and great views from the restaurant to the pool.
Our room was very spacious and comfortable with our own butler to answer any questions or help get whatever we needed , from extra coffee to offering us breakfast all packed for us before we left because of an early flight . Great stay will stay again.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 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.
Nairobi, Kenya
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

Let me start by saying the décor and furnishings are impeccable. Beautiful and comfortable without being over bearing, pretentious and frou frou! Which is why with great pains I write this review. Your food is AWFUL!!!! Which in my estimation is an act of either gross negligence or self sabotage, basically completely unnecessary and unwarranted. I was there for New Year's Day 2014 and everything we ordered was over cooked, dull and tasteless:
1) Macaroni and cheese for kids was overcooked and tasteless. Note to management, macaroni and cheese should come with the consistency of a quiche i.e. baked in an oven not pasta swimming in milk and cheese sauce. My 7 year old is undiscriminating when it comes to Mac N Cheese but even she was turned off.
2) My mom ordered spaghetti bolognaise-completely tasteless and dull-who screws up even plain spaghetti bolognaise?
3) I ordered a steak-it was tough as nails.
4) we ordered a hamburger as take out for my husband-it was like sandpaper!

Hence my verdict must be harsh-please get a new chef!!!!! You are doing a great dis-service to yourselves as a beautifully fitted boutique hotel! I would like to spend Easter holiday at your hotel but I am turned off by your food so will have to pursue other alternatives in Nairobi which is a shame!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fred K, E-Commerce Executive at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this review, April 9, 2014
Dear Prampram,

We apologize that you did not find our food to your liking. We are however at a disadvantage because you have sent this review three months after your experience. Be that that as it may, it will delight you to know that we have avidly reviewed our standards, and new measures including the sternest of quality assurance measures have been put in place to ensure the highest quality attainable.

We very much hope that you will consider staying with us again at Easter, which will give us the opportunity to show you our true food standards.
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Nairobi
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

Gorgeous place to stay... we stayed in a suite complete with our own butler!!

The service, the location, the food, the room, the amenities are all beyond 5 star!! really makes you feel like you're back in the colonial era.... the furnishings and surroundings are impeccable!
Most definitely worth a visit!

Room Tip: Go for a suite!
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fred K, E-Commerce Executive at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this review, April 9, 2014
Dear Nabata,

Thank you very much for your review and we are delighted that you enjoyed the birthday. Your recommendation is also very kind. We look forward to hosting you again and again!
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Rock Hill, South Carolina
Top Contributor
276 reviews 276 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 117 cities Reviews in 117 cities
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

This is a beautifully landscaped hotel in a nice neighborhood. Our room was huge with a balcony facing the back of the hotel. The bathroom has a walk-in closet, two sinks, bathtub and shower. Breakfast was delicious. Service was very good and everyone was very friendly and accommodating. A great place to stay prior to our safari!

  • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 RBon,

Thank you very much for your review. We are very pleased that you found our hotel a worthy experience as we endeavour so hard to do. We look forward to hosting you another time!
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Ballito, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #9 of 111 Hotels in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hemingways Nairobi 5*
Number of rooms: 45
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