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“Best vacation in a treehouse, ever” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ngong House

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Ngong House
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4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Ngong Rd | P.O. Box 24963, Nairobi, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 124 Specialty Lodging in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Hampton, Virginia
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
“Best vacation in a treehouse, ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

What a great place. I can't say enough good things about it. From the moment you arrive in Nairobi, Ngong House has arranged to meet you at the airport, expedite you through immigration and customs, help you with your luggage and drive you the short but treacherous journey from the airport to the hotel. When we arrived, it was already 11:00 p.m. Nairobi-time and two hours late. Dominique and Sammy were there to greet us, warm us and welcome us. We were able to freshen up and then dine in the main house the first of many fine, delicious meals.

The staff truly thinks of and then takes care of everything, from getting your laundry done and expedited to bringing you umbrellas when it starts to rain so you can get to dinner somewhat dry.

We joined family there, who together occupied 5 treehouses, including the fabulous Log Cabin. I would just direct you to the Ngong House website and Architectural Digest for great, accurate images of each unique treehouse. They are five-star luxury service and accommodation for a tree house. There are no luxury linens or spa-quality shampoos and lotions, but if you've ever loved Swiss Family Robinson or Greystoke, you'll really get into treehouse living. This is a luxurious experience because of its uniqueness. The breakfasts, lunches and dinners served by the wonderful, friendly and professional staff were a bit over the top. Fresh fruits, juices, coffees and teas and custom eggs with vegetables, sausage and bacon for breakfast on the lawn. Lunch and dinner always included expertly prepared choices of fish, pork, lamb, chicken or beef. Everyone went bananas over the avocado salads. Our large group had dinner several nights in a special lodge just for dining. There is a large fireplace and small coal -burning stoves throughout this cozy, other-wordly dining room. The glassware is locally custom-designed and handblown from recycled materials. You can buy the glassware from Anselm at the local mall.

The rooms were spacious, unique, and beautiful. But, even though this hotel is in Nairobi (the very chic Karen-area), the setting is the bush. The surrounding forest is lush, the gardens are extensive and beautiful. However, animals are plentiful, and so it is incredibly noisy all night long. As my in-laws like to say "That's Africa, baby."

The owner, Paul, is ever present anticipating and taking care of your every need. His children are around the same age as ours, and they all had a grand time playing together. Their two sweet, sweet dogs are also about. We loved to emerge from our house in the morning to find "Bonnie" or "Skippy" on the porch steps.

A couple of the houses would be difficult to get to either on the path or, say, spiral stair for an older person or someone with any kind of disabilty. So, if you have any difficulty managing stairs or a dark flag stone path, let them know ahead of time so you are assigned to the right kind of house. We stayed at Ngong House on both ends of our Safari, and some guests even just stayed for a "day-over" between returning from Safari and departing for home on the late night flights. Bringing your binoculars is a must for Safari, but also useful for extensive bird watching from your porch at Ngong House.

Also, Paul is married to a talented fashion and jewelry designer, Penny Winter. She has a shop full of her gorgeous creations on the property. If you visit Penny's shop early in your stay, they (Grace, her shop assistant) can measure, cut and customize her designs to make sure it fits right before you return home. You can walk to Giraffe Manor and Matbronze, which are both worth a visit.

Room Tip: Log Cabin -- for a family or two couples.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LeadingLodges, Public Relations Manager at Ngong House, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
Dear, thank you very much for your review, we really appreciate it when our guests like to share there experience here. All the best for the new year and we hope to welcome you back one day at Ngong House. Kindest Regards from the Ngong House Team.
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88 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

Recently stayed at ngong, fantastic hotel, we travelled with 2 boys and the family tree house was perfect, if travelling with another couple would recommend the log cabin. Amazing place, beautiful gardens will definately be going back

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

I arrived from Nairobi airport by car which took 3 hours ! We were greeted by smiling staff and 2 lovely dogs. My treehouse hideaway was deep in the gardens and was truly amazing. The whole room was like a scene from disney with a canoe for a bath. The bed was comfortable and the shower hot. The service was excellent and I would recommend to anyone wanted a hotel experience out of the ordinary.

The only downside was the noises in the night !!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco Bay Area
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

It is not easy to find a personal experience when traveling, especially in Nairobi. We were lucky to be directed to Ngong House because this is actually the home of the charming and quirky owner Paul. We were immediately welcomed like family, and were delighted by the warmth of the staff and comfortable, safe and secure setting in a lovely garden. I agree with most of the other reviews that it is the feeling of this place that makes it special. The hospitality and personal services are outstanding. And the dogs made it feel like we were at home.

As much as we loved the kindness of the staff and our host, I will say that there seems to be sort of a "time warp" with the rooms. I applaud anyone to design and hand build all of these rooms. In the 80's they were probably a clever idea but seem odd and dated 25+ years later, like a nautical-themed bad acid trip. The tree house style might be fun for young people and families with kids, for a quick over-night stay. But for a mature visitor, climbing up the stairs in poor lighting is frightening and potentially dangerous. Bathrooms are not easily accessible and a trip to the loo is pretty scary in the middle of the night. Just not practical or "user-friendly."

As creative as Paul is, frankly I think he needs to make a trip to "civilization" to see what is going on with the hospitality business elsewhere. He is an interesting and intelligent guy, but needs to make some changes if he wants people to return. Other guests we talked to would not come back or recommend, and we felt the same, sadly. Our travel agent discouraged us from staying, but I ignored her advice after reading these reviews.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Danville, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

We just completed what I hope is our first of many trips to Kenya. Not knowing where to stay for a few days before we started our safari, we were so fortunate to receive a recommendation to stay at the Ngong House.

We landed at the airport and were greeted by David, the driver from Ngong House. He quickly collected us and our luggage and transported us to Ngong House. About a 30-45 minute drive to the House late at night, we had no idea what to expect. A warm welcome awaited ... despite the late hour, two hosts greeted us with a glass of wine and a warm fire. The chef was waiting to provide us with a dinner that would rival any 5-star in the U.S. After a wonderful meal, we were escorted to our tree house/suite. It couldn't have been more beautiful, clean or special.

We stayed 3 nights at Ngong House before we met up with our safari mates at another hotel. It was a nice and clean hotel, but it was no Ngong House. Our whole attitude and approach to Kenya was formed so positively because we started it right by staying at a wonderful property with the most enjoyable and helpful staff. We were fortunate to spend some time with Paul, the owner, who made the stay even more special. Thank you Paul for all the stories -- we have to return so we can hear more "chapters.".

After two weeks on safari, we returned to Nairobi with our group. The day was planned with various activities and a late flight departure. Preferring a quick rest and shower before we started the 32-hour trek home, we called Ngong House last minute. They again were more than accommodating -- they picked us up at the Giraffe Center, brought us "home," provided us a wonderful suite to rest and take a shower. They nearly insisted on feeding us dinner -- which we gladly accepted. Then, again, David drove us to the airport for a 11:40 PM flight. Everything worked like clockwork.

Paul's Ngong House was the perfect way to start and end our trip to Kenya. We highly recommend it -- the property is absolutely gorgeous and unique (if you want an institutional, flavorless experience go somewhere else); we felt totally safe and pampered. It framed our whole Kenyan experience. Thank you Paul for creating such a wonderful environment -- property and service!

Room Tip: There are only a few suites/bungalows. Each one is unique and private. I don't think you can g...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uppsala, Sweden
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Spent one night in at this extraordinary place and can recommend it to anyone who wants an exciting and at the same time relaxing stay. We arrived in the evening and were welcomed by a lit fire, guarded by three beautiful, calm and quiet dogs. The delicious dinner was enjoyed by the fire while enjoying the included drinks before heading back to our tree house. To sleep a night a luxurious bed located in a tree, heated up by a cosy bed warmer is a experience, but when you consider the fact that everything in the two floor room is handmade and designed by the owner, including the tree house you get even more impressed. It will be difficult to leave the bed in the morning but the lovely breakfast served in the garden is certainly worth the trouble.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Chicago, IL
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Ngong house for 1 night and were blown away by our tree house (#7), by the beauty of the location, by the service and food. We stayed on half-board basis and the dinner was fantastic - the four course meal, with nice wine, by the fireplace on a cool Nairobi night, it was the best dinner we've had in a while. The house was really like nothing else we've experienced - our bed was set in a boat, the veranda was a perfect place to take tea, the woodwork, furniture and floors were beautiful, and the house in general had so much character. The shower was excellent, and there was plenty of hot water to fill a canoe bathtub. There were lots of birds in the gardens, where the breakfast was set. The location of the hotel is a bit far from the city, but there are plenty of places to explore in Karen, from the Giraffe Center and Elephant Orphanage to Kazuri bead factory and shop, as well as craft stalls and museums.

We had a wonderful stay and are already plotting to come back.

Room Tip: All tree houses are unique. We loved ours (#7) - it was the closest to the main building, but still...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngong House

Address: Ngong Rd | P.O. Box 24963, Nairobi, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 124 Specialty Lodging in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ngong House 4.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ngong House is a private, serene and luxurious homestay 20 minutes away from the city centre. The lodge overlooks the Ngong Hills, only a few minutes away from what used to be Karen Blixen Coffee Farm. Secluded in 10 acres of private land, it is very close to Nairobi National Park, 40 minutes away from Nairobi International Airport and 15 minutes away from Wilson Airport, from where all air safaris take off. Accommodation is mainly in luxurious Tree-Houses. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ngong House Hotel Nairobi

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