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“SELF SABOTAGE AT HEMINGWAYS NAIROBI!!!!”
Review of Hemingways Nairobi

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Hemingways Nairobi
Ranked #1 of 169 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 7, 2014

Let me start by saying the décor and furnishings are impeccable. Beautiful and comfortable without being over bearing, pretentious and frou frou! Which is why with great pains I write this review. Your food is AWFUL!!!! Which in my estimation is an act of either gross negligence or self sabotage, basically completely unnecessary and unwarranted. I was there for New Year's Day 2014 and everything we ordered was over cooked, dull and tasteless:
1) Macaroni and cheese for kids was overcooked and tasteless. Note to management, macaroni and cheese should come with the consistency of a quiche i.e. baked in an oven not pasta swimming in milk and cheese sauce. My 7 year old is undiscriminating when it comes to Mac N Cheese but even she was turned off.
2) My mom ordered spaghetti bolognaise-completely tasteless and dull-who screws up even plain spaghetti bolognaise?
3) I ordered a steak-it was tough as nails.
4) we ordered a hamburger as take out for my husband-it was like sandpaper!

Hence my verdict must be harsh-please get a new chef!!!!! You are doing a great dis-service to yourselves as a beautifully fitted boutique hotel! I would like to spend Easter holiday at your hotel but I am turned off by your food so will have to pursue other alternatives in Nairobi which is a shame!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank Prampram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fred K, E-Commerce Executive at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2014

Dear Prampram,

We apologize that you did not find our food to your liking. We are however at a disadvantage because you have sent this review three months after your experience. Be that that as it may, it will delight you to know that we have avidly reviewed our standards, and new measures including the sternest of quality assurance measures have been put in place to ensure the highest quality attainable.

We very much hope that you will consider staying with us again at Easter, which will give us the opportunity to show you our true food standards.

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444 - 450 of 537 reviews

Reviewed April 3, 2014

Gorgeous place to stay... we stayed in a suite complete with our own butler!!

The service, the location, the food, the room, the amenities are all beyond 5 star!! really makes you feel like you're back in the colonial era.... the furnishings and surroundings are impeccable!
Most definitely worth a visit!

Room Tip: Go for a suite!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Nabata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fred K, E-Commerce Executive at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2014

Dear Nabata,

Thank you very much for your review and we are delighted that you enjoyed the birthday. Your recommendation is also very kind. We look forward to hosting you again and again!

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Reviewed March 19, 2014

This is a beautifully landscaped hotel in a nice neighborhood. Our room was huge with a balcony facing the back of the hotel. The bathroom has a walk-in closet, two sinks, bathtub and shower. Breakfast was delicious. Service was very good and everyone was very friendly and accommodating. A great place to stay prior to our safari!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank RBonTheLake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fred K, Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this reviewResponded March 30, 2014

Dear RBon,

Thank you very much for your review. We are very pleased that you found our hotel a worthy experience as we endeavour so hard to do. We look forward to hosting you another time!

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Reviewed March 15, 2014

Although this new hotel in the Hemingways collection was built a mere 3 years ago, it's plantation-style architecture is reminiscent of Kenya's bygone colonial era and the image is reinforced through the decor, room furnishing and sepia tone prints depicting historical events and one can almost hear the British aristocracy "I say, I say'ing" in the background.

With 45, spacious 80 squared metre rooms, each with a private balcony overlooking sweeping lawns with the Ngong Hills visible beyond, this boutique hotel sets the standard in luxury accommodation for business travellers and safari tour groups visiting the region.

For carnivorous guests, Hemingways’ Brasserie serves the most succulent beef steaks, which are prepared in their Josper oven - this indoor barbecue is the only one of its kind in Kenya, specially imported by Hemingways to produce the best steaks sizzling at 800F. The special blend of charcoal used to fire the Josper oven creates a distinct char-grilled flavour to the meat, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

One night may well be insufficient to judge the quality of service, but I found the staff to be friendly and professional. Mosquitos do appear to be a problem, especially during dusk whilst sitting on the rooms balcony, but closing the doors with the air conditioner and mosquito pads on, ensured a bite-free nights rest.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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2  Thank TourismTattler2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fred K, Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this reviewResponded March 30, 2014

Dear Tourism Tattler<

Our Josper steaks are indeed a relish, as you found out. We are delighted that the plantation-style architecture caught your eye and you liked it. As with everything including service, we strive to give our guests something a little out of the ordinary and make memories that they can savour for a long time. You are most welcome for another stay!

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Reviewed March 10, 2014

We stayed at this hotel on our way to safaris. Yes, the room was beautiful, but filled with mosquitos. We swatted for 30 minutes inside the mosquito net. As we were 2 women staying for 2 nights, we requested extra shampoo for the second night. I was told that it was not possible to add more shampoo. When asked why I was told it was the hotel policy. In a 5 star hotel I would expect to get as much shampoo as I wanted. Very, very tacky. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: Make sure your room has been sprayed before getting into bed.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank JO_Montreal_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon H, General Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

Dear JO_Montreal_12

It is certainly not our policy to ration guest supplies.Please accept my apologies for not getting sufficient quantities of shampoo. We have reinforced the message to our team to ensure it does not re- occur.

Best Regards

Simon H

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Reviewed March 9, 2014 via mobile

Poor service, overpriced restaurant, clueless manager, "250g steaks" not bigger than 150g, the chef has no idea how to cook meat, which is surprisingly (half the menu are steaks) more than average. To avoid if you are looking for value for money.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
3  Thank Samy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon H, General Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

Dear Samy G

Thanks for your visit to Hemingways.

I can assure you that all our steaks are over the specified weight on the menu. In your case the 250g steak would be cut at 255g to 260g before cooking. Each and every steak is weighed in our butchery. As our manager explained to you all steaks undergo shrinkage whilst cooking; that is a natural process and it is a standard procedure to refer to the raw weight rather than the end result as the more the steak is cooked the more shrinkage occurs. For instance a medium well cooked fillet would have more shrinkage than a rare one.

In addition to the assurance of our manager regarding the steak weight we also gave a 50% discount on the meal as our gesture to you. Regardless of the past you are welcome to visit us again and we will be delighted to demonstrate the before and after cooking weights of the steaks as well as pricing compared to our competitor set.

Best Regards

Simon H

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Reviewed March 8, 2014

This is a beautiful hotel in a beautiful and tranquil setting. The rooms are stunning and well appointed. Huge bathrooms. We had no trouble with mosquitoes, but did spray the room each time we left. The check in process was very slick and the butlers very efficient.

The problems all related to service. Bar orders frequently took more than 10 minutes and often a lot more. Orders not always correct when they did arrive. The cheque was frequently presented without a pen in the wallet. At breakfast the hot food was always delivered promptly, but we did not once get our tea or coffee before the hot food arrived! Had to ask for replacement toast one day as it was only lightly toasted on one side and soggy on the other. It did not arrive.
Unfortunately the swimming pool area was being redecorated while I was there so could not use the pool. The hotel management did say they could ask the workmen to move but the area was just too fumey to use. It did look lovely though.
The main concern is this hotel does not have a reception desk, it is designed to appear like a country house. This may give a lovely first impression, but as a result the check out process was little more than a farce as several people were all trying to check out at the same time. There were mistakes on our bill, but each time a query was made, staff had to go out to the back office each time to check or remedy it. The hotel then tried to charge us again for transfers, when we had already paid for these!
When we got home we later discovered our credit card had been charged twice for the whole bill. This then took a week of emails to correct and get the money refunded.
We will return to this hotel as it is definitely the best hotel in a good area, but I would love to see the service standard up to the level expected of 'leading small hotels of the world' and commensurate with the prices charged and quality of the property.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
1  Thank cc1047
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon H, General Manager at Hemingways Nairobi, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2014

Dear cc1047

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay with us. We have taken note of your comments and will work on the areas highlighted.

My apologies for the double charge on your card; I am glad it is now resolved.

Thank you for your promise to return and rest assured we will have addressed the issues raised.

Best Regards

Simon H

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Additional Information about Hemingways Nairobi

Address: Langata Road | Karen Office Park, Nairobi 00502, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 169 Hotels in Nairobi
Price Range: $353 - $680 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hemingways Nairobi 5*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Hemingways Nairobi has a sophisticated and tranquil ambiance. Set between Nairobi National Park and the foot of the Ngong Hills, Hemingways Nairobi is an exclusive 5* luxury boutique hotel located in the peaceful suburb of Karen far from the bustle of central Nairobi. An all-suite property providing full butler service, a brasserie, a sunset bar and lounge and a spa, this plantation style property is perfectly placed for trips to Nairobi National Park, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the capital. Each of the 45 suites is a generous size with en-suite bathrooms with walk-in closets, personalised mini bars, and a private terrace with magnificent views of the iconic Ngong Hills. ... more   less 
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