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“An "Out of Africa" Experience - Just Delightful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of House of Waine

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House of Waine
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Masai Lane & Bogani Road | Karen, PO Box 25035, Nairobi 00603, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 111 Hotels in Nairobi
Sydney
Top Contributor
180 reviews 180 reviews
159 hotel reviews
Reviews in 153 cities Reviews in 153 cities
279 helpful votes 279 helpful votes
“An "Out of Africa" Experience - Just Delightful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2009

We stayed at the House of Waine as a special indulgence at the end of our 3 weeks in Africa.

This is a colonial house build in the grounds of what was once Karen von Blixen coffee estate ("Out of Africa"), although she herself didn't have (to my knowledge) anything to do with this house. The prpoerty is very safe, the grounds are large with a generously sized heated swimming pool. The rooms (we stayed in the Pwani room) are huge and convey the atmosphere of a past colonial era. Large beds, spacious bathrooms and more than enough room. Luxury in Africa.

The meals were good - breakfast was very generous and served on a terrace. Dinner, whilst not quiet 5 star dining was more than acceptable. We were pleasantly surprised by the wine list which contained interesting and reasonably priced wine.

Karen itself is well away from downtown Nairobi. It is a peaceful and quiet suburban area, close to the Giraffe Santuary and the Sheldrick Elephant Sanctuary, both of which are a must (Sheldrick is only open between 11-12 each day). We hadn't made prior arrangements and asked the staff for a car and a driver for the next morning. That was arranged for a price that we thought to be very fair.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and rated the experience very highly.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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155 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
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English first
NYC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2009

Stayed here just one night having just arrived to Nairobi from New York City to begin our safari in Kenya and Tanzania. My husband and I shared the ENORMOUS and lovely Makula Suite while our teenage son had a deluxe room next door all to himself. Upon arrival we had a delicious and beautifully presented late breakfast under a tree out in the garden . My heart was won. Setting, decor, staff , food , service, charm, all first rate. This is THE place to stay when you are in Nairobi. Enjoy!

  • Liked — The garden setting
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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winchester
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2009

This is a first class boutique hotel with superb service, excellent rooms with all the usual facilities. We particularly appreciated the comfortable beds. We were here at the end of a trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar and thoroughly enjoyed the style and luxury of the property. It is located about 60 mins from Nairobi airport in a secluded and secure residential area. The food was first class and all the staff are delightful. We would have liked to have stayed there longer. If I was in Nairobi again I would go straight there!

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2008

I hesitate to write this review after all the glowing reports on this site about the House of Waine.

My husband and I stayed here for four nights - both before and after our safari. We couldn't in all honesty rate it as highly as the other reviewers.

First of all, I should say that the hotel and the rooms were immaculate and kept in very good order. The rooms are its best asset and are very well equipped with TV, aircon, free minibar and extremely comfortable beds. They are spacious and those at the rear of the hotel have nice views of the gardens. The hotel is located in a pleasant, safe neighbourhood, is very secure and is near to a number of major attractions such as the Giraffe Centre and the Sheldrick elephant and rhino sanctuary.

We did have several problems though; firstly - noise. The property has parquet flooring throughout which is beautiful but seemed to have the effect of amplifying any noise throughout the hotel. At times (sometimes as early as 0530 and as late as 2300) there were banging and clattering sounds - which seemed particularly to be coming from the kitchen. We are not especially sensitive to noise but it did bother us here. Not very good if you are jet lagged or need an early night.

The other problem was the shower. I don't know if it was just that there were problems while we were there but the showers (in both rooms we stayed in) lurched from boiling hot to freezing within a matter of seconds and with virtually no warning. This made showering very difficult.

We were also not that impressed by the food - we weren't unwell or anything of that nature, but we had better food in our tented camp in the Masai Mara. We felt the cuts of meat were not always that good although the fish was always nice - in common with many places in Kenya. Breakfast was nice but we had a few problems with items that we had ordered not arriving.

The staff were very friendly and helpful - even arranging an early breakfast in our room before we left for our flight) but the hotel is expensive (particularly by Kenyan standards) and overall we didn't feel it did enough to justify the charge.

  • Liked — Excellent rooms and beds
  • Disliked — Showers, food and noise...
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
southern california
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2008

We stayed at the House of Waine before our safari and the day that we returned from our safari. We had 6 rooms. We had wonderful service. Nice clean rooms, comfortable beds with crisp white sheets. Hot showers with nice shower amenities. Food is very good, We had breakfast, lunch and dinner there. Good internet service which was nice to catch up on our return from 2 weeks on safari. Good tv, ditto from before. Beautiful pool and pool area. Close to 2 good interesting shopping spots easily reached by taxi. The staff is very friendly and helpful. We will definitely return.

  • Liked — Friendly, professional service. Comfortable rooms.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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bognor regis
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2008

A Wonderful Hotel in Karen some 15 minutes drive from Jomo Kenyatta Airport.
The hotel is colonial style.
We stayed in the Saraha Room , it was large comfortable and the beds so inviting after a long flight.
The food was top class as were all the staff we encountered. A very warm welcome.The gardens and swimming pool were beautiful.
This is an ideal luxury stopover we used to recover from our long flight before our safari and again on the return leg.
In an ideal spot for a visit to The Giraffe Reserve and Elephant Orphanage.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2008

House of Waine is in a beautiful location, with a pristine pool and gardens, an oasis for relaxing after a long flight or safari. You couldn't ask for a more pleasant, hospitable staff, who did everything they could to make our stay pleasant. At the beginning of our trip, we stayed in the Safari room, before setting out on our journey, and on returning they had us in the Manyatta room (manyatta is Maasai for 'home') - a thoughtful touch.
Rooms are impeccable and individually styled, but all have every convenience. Restaurant is first class, with delicious food.
We stayed just after the recent unrest, so business was quiet, and we sincerely hope things will pick up as tourists return to this fabulous country. I hope to return before too long.

  • Liked — Attractive, peaceful, great service, and authentic upscale African decor throughout
  • Disliked — Electricity occasionally gave out (not their fault, no doubt)
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 House of Waine

Address: Masai Lane & Bogani Road | Karen, PO Box 25035, Nairobi 00603, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#1 Romantic Hotel in Nairobi
#3 Family Hotel in Nairobi
#7 Business Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — House of Waine 4.5*
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
House Of Waine Hotel Nairobi
Hotel Of Waine
Of Waine Hotel

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