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“Cool, Clean, Comfortable, Good Food, and Friendly.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grays Oak Hotel

Grays Oak Hotel
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Grays Oak Hotel
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Kitengela, Athi-River Namanga Rd | Athi River, Nairobi, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #67 of 182 Nairobi B&B and Inns
Alpine, Utah
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Cool, Clean, Comfortable, Good Food, and Friendly.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

My wife and I stayed in Kitengela for 35 days while doing humanitarian work in the area, starting Jan 15, 2014. Initially we stayed at the nearby Sandalwood Hotel for 20 days but found that property to be unbearable, looked for better accommodations, and moved into Grays Oak for our remaining nights. The contrast between the two hotels could not be greater; Grays Oak almost felt like living at home, except with a wait staff.

In comparison, you might want to read my review of the Sandalwood Hotel in Athi River (1-star--on a good day). Interestingly, the two hotels offer the very same prices, with the Grays Oak winning, hands-down.

The rooms are cool and comfortable. Since most rooms are on the second and third floors, one can leave the windows open during the day to catch the cooling breezes without giving up security. Also, we chose a room on the shady side of the building which further cooled the room. They feature shiny white tile floors in the rooms and halls which are kept sparkling clean. Our room had a wonderful rectangular mosquito net mounted to the ceiling on roller slides, giving an elegant look when drawn. Beds are soft and comfortable and the rooms are quiet enough to hear the local frogs, who "serenaded" us to sleep most nights.

Food & Service. The food was delicious and well prepared. My favorite items were the Chicken Curry dinner (KSH 650) and beef samosas appetizers (3 for KSH150)--always served warm, with freshly cut lemons on the side. Food sometimes took too long to arrive, but this delay grew much shorter after we mentioned it to the General Manager. She was so competent, it seemed as if she had worked at a Marriot or Hilton Hotel for most of her career--VERY skilled.

Perhaps most impressively, their response to the few problems that arose was spectacular. For example, the swimming pool went out of order for two days. I told the desk clerk how very much I wanted to swim, but could not. Since Grays Oak, has as their first priority making every customer happy, each employee is not only expected to do what is right, but also empowered to make it happen, immediately, without having to get approvals.

When I complained about the pool, the day manager immediately offered to drive me to a nearby hotel to use their pool. I was immediately assigned a driver to take me there and back, paid my swimming fee, and paid the driver. I was in the other hotel's water in less than 10 minutes.

In my opinion, Grays’ service is on a level comparable to that of a Hilton, Marriot, or other fine hotel, even beating the 5-star Nairobi Regency. Grays Oak was really that good to us. I have written a review of Regency as well, they really biffed it, but worst of all, did not give a damn, so we moved out after one night, soon finding Grays Oak, where we stayed for the rest of our visit.

Security: There is a 10-foot concrete wall surrounding the property topped by an electric fence. The entrance to the parking lot has a gate that is used by many embassies, with two or more guards scrutinizing visitors. They also check under the cars and in their luggage carrying compartments.

Grays Oak Hotel is clean, safe, cool, well-managed, responsive to issues, and costs 1/3 what the Nairobi Regency does. Grays’ main downside is they seem to be a very well-kept secret. With just a little more marketing, they would have no vacancies at all.

My family used to own a hotel, so I expect a lot when I travel, and this place is simply great. Best of all, they are a real bargain when you consider all they deliver for how little they charge. Book them before the word gets out. Check out the pictures below. Notice how clean this property is.

For the record, I have no business interest in Grays Oak whatever, or in any other hotel. I write to benefit my fellow travelers.

Travel safe.

Room Tip: Pick a room on the shady side of their building.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

A good middle level hotel situated in Kitengela approximate 35km from Nairobi on Namanga road. Good rooms, nice restaurant, cold and very unfriendly receptionists. Good conference facilities and lovely lawns. Food offered during the stay was just okay. Hotel rates are however on the higher end in relation to what the hotel offers.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

I stopped at this hotel for lunch today (27th-Oct-2013). The setting of the hotel is good especially the kids play area where our kids had a lot of fun.
However the waiters made our experience a nightmare as their service was not only very sluggish but worst of all they tried reaping us off by giving us fake receipts which had inflated prices. The goat roast we ordered appeared to be half a kilogram but the waiter insisted it was one kilogram. Parts of the meat were still raw and we had to return it to the kitchen for further roasting. Then when it came to paying the bill the waiter brought handwritten carbon copy receipts which were inflated. We asked for ETR receipts which were evidently different from the handwritten receipts. They had charged us 500 shillings for the Del Monte juice but on the ETR receipt it was 495 shillings. The ETR receipt indicated the goat roast price included the chips but the waiter had given us a recycled receipt of a chips order from earlier in the day for another client. We took the issue with him on why the food and drinks receipts were indicating the right time when we were served at 5pm yet he had added another ETR receipt for chips whose time was 12 pm . We arrived at the hotel at 4.30 pm. When the waiter who was attending to us noted that we had busted their games he quickly withdrew the fake receipt for an extra chips. On checking with clients on other tables we established that they were all being given the inflated manual receipts and one even thanked us for bringing this to their attention. Every client leaving could be seen complaining about their bills. The waiter who served us was called TItus but this game seemed to include all the waiters and possibly the cashiers. Our kids had fun but the waiters clearly spoiled our day by engaging in this petty daylight robbery.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Grays Oak Hotel

Address: Kitengela, Athi-River Namanga Rd | Athi River, Nairobi, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #67 of 182 B&Bs / Inns in Nairobi
Number of rooms: 37

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