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“Tranquil and romantic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ngong House

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Ngong House
Ngong Rd | P.O. Box 24963, Nairobi, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Tranquil and romantic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Owner Paul has created a wonderful peaceful retreat from the Nairobi hurly-burly, with its romantic and luxurious tree houses, all different and widely separated for total privacy. The lodge is set in 10 acres of private land in the Karen suburb of Nairobi, near what used to be Karen "Out of Africa" Blixen's coffee farm and Nairobi National Park.

We stayed on two separate occasions, first on arrival in Kenya and then again before departure. Both tree houses had large wooden boat-baths and the second had a boat-shaped bed as well, complete with porthole lights! Rooms are spacious, with sitting space inside as well as an outside deck. There is wireless internet throughout, free of charge, though the signal can be erratic. There is also a small swimming pool.

As the weather was fine, the excellent breakfast (with very good coffee) was served in the pretty garden. Dinner is served in or around the main house, next to log fires when the weather is cool. The food is well cooked, copious and beautifully presented. Mary, the manager, was charming and all the staff were friendly and helpful.

A taxi to/from the international airport takes about 40 minutes, depending on traffic. To Wilson airport (for domestic flights), it takes about 15 minutes and to the city centre about 20 minutes. Ngong House has its own transport but will call a commercial taxi, which is normally cheaper. Good places to go locally, apart from Karen Blixen's house, are the elephant orphanage set up by Daphne Sheldrick and the Giraffe Centre, where you can feed endangered Rothschild giraffes.

One point to note: Ngong House does not take credit cards (we ended up paying by bank transfer after our stay).

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Centurion, South Africa
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

If you want to stay in the Karen area (a suburb southwest of the city centre with much to recommend it), this is the one place to choose for unique accommodation and superb service. Each of the handful of rooms is different, many built into the trees themselves. The location is so private that it’s actually hard to find the facility, so be sure to get good directions before you arrive. Once you are there, it’s as if you’ve left the city completely, with gorgeous views and a peaceful atmosphere.

The owner, Paul, goes out of his way to meet your every need. I wanted breakfast every morning at 4:30 am for the week I stayed there. No problem. The food (sets menu but negotiable) is excellent. And if you have a car, some of Nairobi’s best restaurants are just a few minutes away when you want a change of pace. Service is attentive but unobtrusive. I normally need to stay closer to Nairobi’s centre, but I am already looking for an excuse to return to Ngong House on a future visit.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
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, February 15, 2013
Dear Phil, Thank you so much for you review.
We really appreciate it when our guests take the time to leave their thoughts on Ngong House here on TripAdvisor. We hope to welcome you back soon at with us.
Kind Regards from Nairobi.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, Ct, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Loved it! My son & I stayed there for three nights. The owner Paul was delightful as was the staff and drivers. We ate in different locations each meal, when cool always by a fire. Highly recommend it. Convenient to Nairobi yet a beautiful remote feel in Karen. Paul has created a unique and interesting experience for visitors to Kenya on there way to or returning from other pursuits in Kenya.

Room Tip: My son had a fabulous tree house with a circular stair to access it and a trap door. I had alower tr...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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 1
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 30, 2013
Dear Peter,
Thank you so much for you great review on our Ngong House. We are always delighted to read about the good times our guests had with us and we are very happy that you took the time to share this on TripAdvisor. Kind Regards, Ngong House
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Having never been to Nairobi, Kenya, and Out of Africa being one of my favourite books and movies, to have the opportunity to stay on Karen Blixens's former coffee farm...well....it's hard to define the feeling....as the author did this best. The owner/brilliant designer of Ngong House, Paul has created a unique, individual and personal (and very romantic) hideaway. You will be taken care of in every possible way you can think of and in a most discreet way. The service is superb and at the height of standards. And if you are like me...a Karen Blixen aficionado and love wildlife too, it is all right there within minutes including the Shedrick elephant orphanage and giraffe sanctuary....Do not look any further....especially if you want to stay in the safari zone...I am SO happy I stayed at Ngong House.

Room Tip: I stayed in a tree house which are so private overlooking the Ngong Hills ( the same view from Karen...
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  • Stayed January 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.
LeadingLodges, Public Relations Manager at Ngong House, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Guest, we would like to thank you for your great review on our Ngong House.
It has been a pleasure having you with us! We are very happy to see that you have enjoyed the unique view over the Ngong Hills from your tree house, that is what they are all about.
Hoping to welcome you back soon, kindest Regards, - the Ngong House Team
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Nairobi
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013 via mobile

I was astonished to read a dismal review of this magical place!!

Being based in Nairobi on business I booked a long weekend at Ngong House for a visit from my fiancé,at the recommendation of a colleague. Our whole stay was a relevation to me,being more used to bland international business accomodation and the curt efficiency of hotel chain staff, I was blown away by the owners ( Paul and Penny) attention to very detail from the glorious main reception areas to the choice of tree house to the excellent food, cocktails and
attentive but non intrusive staff. We stayed on an all inclusive basis and enjoyed sundowners with Paul and the other guests before a delicious 4 course meal every evening.

Special mention should be me made of the kraal style thatched dining room which although it can comfortably seat 20 was made exclusively available to us with a flower strewn table, candles and wall braziers as well as a roaring fire, without doubt one of the most romantic meals of my life.

There are two or three very friendly if elderly dogs who hobble about the grounds, the noisiest things you will hear are the hyraxes calling to each other in the early dusk but hey ho, is is Africa.

The tree houses are well appointed and not in the slightest way tired, they all have thatched roofs, and wooden walls as well as locally made recycled glass windows and other features, ( our tree house had a shower enclosure made of coloured glass blocks and the play of light and water was magical) we also had the canoe bath and experienced no problems with water, either in terms of temperature ammount or pressure.

Paul could not be a more attentive host and was more than willing to share his knowledge of Kenya and Africa with us, in fact the whole trip was more like a visit to the home of old friend rather than a hotel and thus I cannot recommend it highly enough as either a start or end to anyone's trip to Kenya.

Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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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 30, 2013
Dear Sir, Thank you so much for your kind review on our Ngong House. It is really great to see that our guests take time to go on TripAdvisor and leave such beautiful words behind on our establishment. We really hope to welcome you back soon. Kindest Regards, the Ngong House Team
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Hampton, Virginia
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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Additional Information about Ngong House

Address: Ngong Rd | P.O. Box 24963, Nairobi, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 92 Specialty lodging in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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 
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Also Known As:
Ngong House Hotel Nairobi

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