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Reviewed January 27, 2009

Although I have only been in the Holiday Inn for 3 nights now, I have really enjoyed my stay there so far. I will be there for a total of 10 nights and will return later in February for a few more nights. There are two pools with adequate lounge chairs. The Oasis restaurant has a great breakfast buffett - fruit, variety of breads, omelets, juices, etc. The price of it is included with your stay. There is live music there Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It wasn't obnoxiously loud and they played a variety of music. The other restaurant is more Westernized. They had hamburger night last night, but I missed it. Although I did have the chicken quesadillas over the weekend and they were tasty. The hotel staff is very nice and although the rooms are a little small, I don't mind because its clean. There are not a lot of TV channels, but they have shown a few decent newer movies. Also there is a good Chinese restaurant, Peppers, right across the street. All in all my stay has been very nice and so far I have no complaints.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled on business
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Thank scaprino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2008

A good comfortable place to stay. Obliging front desk. We arrived with Travel Collection early in the morning. According to T Collection, check in time was 14.00 and they expected us to sit around after an overnight flight and wait for check in. I made personal arrangements with the hotel both then and on our return trip, and they were most accommodating at no extra expense. Everything you need is on hand.
We used Jimmy Mwuara of Arena Africa for our day trip. I can thoroughly recommend him. He charges realistic prices in these credit crunch times, and his service can't be faulted. We would use him in the future to put a whole safari together rather than use Travel Collection again.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with family
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Thank chrisonwalkabout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2008

Having returned from this holiday over six weeks ago I am composing this from a reflective perspective.

As usual I spent a long time doing research on the climate and the various safaris in various locations before deciding on this package and at this time of the year. The whole holiday is thoroughly worthwhile and is very good value for money. The game drives are exhilarating and invigorating; the accommodation excellent, the food is plentiful and of good quality. The only reservation is that the “identical” consommé starter, the generally bland, fried, crumbed fish, the same buffet mains – chicken (good)/lamb neck chops/stringy beef stew/mild Indian curry (plus additions), the inevitable mange-tout/French beans with carrots and spuds, followed by mousse/jelly for both lunch and dinner, can become a bit samey. The range of food for breakfasts is very good. Ugali (the local staple food) is what would imagine would be the flavour of wallpaper paste. Perhaps a 12 day safari is slightly too long (but I think 6 days would be too short). I think with respect to the animals seen I would have preferred another day at Kilaguni and Lake Navisha, instead of visiting Treetops and one less day at Keekorak.

Make sure you fly with BA its about £300 cheaper per person compared to Kenyan Airline.

Gin is cheaper in Kenyan shops (£5 a 75cl. Bottle) than in the airport, but you may not be able to get to normal shops for some time, depending upon your arrival time. Don’t bother taking a torch or a sink plug. All supplied/fitted. All rooms have an anti-mossy aerosol somewhere. I only saw 3 mossies on whole trip, and that was the last day back in Nairobi! All the Lodges have mosquito nets around beds. Do take a load of biros and pencils to give away to schoolchildren. Don’t visit the Masai/SamburuVillages – they are a tourist sham and you are paying for an overpriced (1500 Kenya shillings (KS) /person) hard sell. The natives are in a Catch22 situation. If you go, look for the mobile phones! They’ll want to buy your watch; so if you want to make money, you could take some cheap supermarket ones! Avoid the salad at all costs, even though it looks tempting – I did and no gut rot. Everyone else in the party of 8 succumbed (and some were foolish enough to eat ice-cream as well). You are never given ice-cubes in your drinks, so you need not worry when ordering shorts. I consumed fish, fruit (peeled) and copious volumes of fruit juice without any ill effects. I miss the passion fruit. The hotels and the driver supply enough complementary bottled water. Although main roads are in construction the vast majority of the roads are dirt-track (do not go in the rainy season!), they are rutted and uneven – the terrain is awful; even so; our driver was fantastic (well-done, John Muteti!) and travelling quite enjoyable. The seating in the van was very comfortable. The mini-buses are great, four persons per van, plenty of space and they are able to travel everywhere. (Those people in Land Rovers looked squashed, uncomfortable and unable to stand up as easily). I was able to doze even on the switchback roads. Tipping is expected in the hotels but many luggage movers realise you may not have any money (on arrival) or change. 20-30 KS is enough. Watch out for barmen not having change, having to go and get some and then “forgetting” to return it to you!

The Holiday Inn at Nairobi is very good. If you want to avoid the hotel evening meal the nearby Sarit Shopping centre (to the right) five minutes walking, is worth a visit - there is a large supermarket on ground floor and reasonable eateries on the second, as well as a cinema if you need to pass the time. Next to the Inn there is a petrol station (on left, one minute) handy for snacks and cheap drinks, if you want to take them back to your room. The chips are good, especially after a fortnight with none. The bar at the nearby roundabout (further down, 4 minutes walking) is worthwhile visiting, 90 KS for a Tusker (70p.) compared to the 250-300 KS (£2-£2.40); you’ll have to pay on the rest of the trip in the hotels. It is worth it to meet the friendly locals without being hassled for sales or begging (as elsewhere). Walking into Nairobi centre (further south-east) takes about 40 minutes (3.5 km.). I recommend a bus. Avoid the central market next to the Hilton, the hassle is awful. The Zanzibar Craft Centre on the west side of Moi Avenue is a good place to buy any memorabilia at reasonable prices without pushy sales people (you’ll be able to get some discount as well if you bargain). It is also cheaper than at the Lodges or from the itinerant sellers at the game park entrances.

Below I am only listing new animal sightings; there are elephant, giraffe, lion, gnu, zebra, impala, Thomson’s gazelle and buffalo virtually everywhere! The Jacaranda and Flame trees in blossom are super.

Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, Tsavo West. The view from the dining room is spectacular. Impressive dust-devils. The water-hole at dusk (when the elephants arrive) and later at night should not to be missed. The scenery, colours and animals at dawn are stunning. A fantastic start to the safari. Elephant; weaver bird; gecko; hyrax; tree squirrel; mongoose; dik-dik; secretary bird; warthog; impala; baboon; hippo; vervet monkey; African darter; blacktailed jackal; crocodile; Masai giraffe; vultures; spotted hyena; helmeted guinea-fowl; Plain’s zebra.

Ol Tukai Lodge, Amboseli. Very Good. Nice atmosphere, even more dust-devils. Watch out for the baboons nicking your bread roll. Grant’s gazelle; ostrich; lion; wildebeest; cattle egret; habenda, sacred and glossy ibis; African spoonbill; Thomson’s gazelle; Cape buffalo; cheetah; hammerdok; crested crane.

Outspan, Nyeri. I was in a large en-suite room next to Paxtu (Baden-Powell’s old one), gardens very good.

Samburu Lodge, Samburu. Great location on the banks of the Ewasi river. Gerunek; vulture guinea-fowl; Grevy’s zebra; reticulated giraffe; termite; monitor lizard; ground, red-billed and yellow-billed hornbill; African hare; oryx; “bat”; bateleur eagle; golden pipit, waterbuck, super starling, kuri bustard; yellow-necked spurfowl.

Treetops, Aberdares. An interesting locale. Nice lying in bed being able to watch the waterhole. You need a fleece/anorak here on the top storey, it’s cold at night. It rained when we were here (short rains about to start), the best views are from the basement but the waterholes were disappointing, nearly all dried up and very few animals seen. Stinging ants; white rhino; white-tailed mongoose.

Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge. Super accommodation. One of the highlights, could have stayed longer. Fantastic grounds. A herd of waterbuck and a family of Rothschild’s giraffe as well as ibis; egrets; marabou storks; colobus monkeys and baboons loose and roaming the grounds. I spent most of my time stalking waterbuck, and had to run away from the giraffe! Thorn bushes did not help. Loads of Hippos at night outside your windows. Guard needed to take you home at night!

Lake Nakuru Lodge. Pleasant swimming pool looking onto small waterhole. Impressive views around Lake. Great white and pink backed pelicans; greater and lesser flamingos; black rhino; eland; leopard.

Keekorok Lodge, Masai Mara. Lovely place to end. Excellent swimming pool. Hippo pond good entertainment as evening descends. Witnessing the wildebeest crossing the Mara River was the top highlight of the trip for me. Crested hornbill; hartebeest; tipo; genet.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled solo
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11  Thank 8888Geordie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2008

My wife and I stayed at the Holiday Inn for two one night stays whilst transferring to the Masai Mara and Zanzibar.

We found the hotel comfortable and the staff very helpful during our short stay.

Rooms are of a good size, equipped with the usual facilities you would expect in a "western" hotel. Despite the hotel being busy the rooms were quiet, which was just what we needed after a long flight, and a busy safari.

The restaurant was excellent and the food throughout the day was of a high standard. Breakfast was plentiful and varied, and the same applies for Dinner. Personally I preferred the main restaurant to the in house "steak" restaurant, as the service was better and we found the cleanliness standards at table where we were positioned to be poor.

The staff at reception were extremely helpful and did everything they could to make your stay run smoothly. Bar and restaurant staff also were very helpful and served efficiently and with a great attitude.

The hotel is built in low rise style and has attractive, well kept gardens. There are two pools and a Fitness Centre to keep you active if you need it. A 35 minute transfer to Narobi Kenyetta and 25 minute transfer to Narobi Wilson.

During the stay we arranged to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust via a local tour agent Arena Africa (Jimmy Mwaura - jmk@arena-africa.com). The Trust is a situated in the Nairobi National Park and is a must if you are in the area, we loved seeing the great work being done there to help orphaned and injured Elephants from the surrounding parks. A worthy cause run professionally and with a true commitment to the animals. Jimmy provided a first class service and I would recommend him to anyone wanting to arrange either short trips or longer safaris whilst in Kenya.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Simon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2008

This is my third stay here which says something.

I travel alone on business. the rooms are small but adequate for me alone. The rooms in the block next to the second swimming pool.. 14 + tend to be better than those in other blocks having a wardrobe rather than just hanging rail.

The staff are extremely helpful... more so thatn the intercontinental where i have stayed in the past.

I would say for a business trip,,.....great!

Romaintic holiday, you could proably do better

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled on business
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1  Thank culturallattice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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