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“Best Vacation in Years at the Coffee Garden” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Karen Blixen Coffee Garden & Cottages

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Karen Blixen Coffee Garden & Cottages
Ranked #9 of 196 Specialty Lodging in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Best Vacation in Years at the Coffee Garden”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

Let me just say that the website does not do it justice, so don't base your decision entirely on the official site. The place is BEAUTIFUL. Picturesque in every detail. The cabins are large, cozy and perfectly comfortable. The one I stayed in was a duplex with a shared balcony. The bedroom is spacious, with a huge comfortable bed and fireplace. There was a large dressing room and huge bathroom with full tub and candelabras (with candles you could light, a first for me and made me feel like a medieval princess!).

The staff was superb. All highly trained, helpful, intuitive and friendly, almost to a fault. The food was likewise delicious, I didn't taste anything that wasn't amazing. The gift store was the best value I found in Kenya, with products priced sometimes at half of that of other stores with the same item.

I didn't spend any time in Nairobi, but this oasis was far prettier, just superficially, than anywhere on the hour and half drive from the city. The place was immaculate and the gardens impeccable. The hookah lounge off the bar makes you feel as if you've suddenly wound up in Marrakesh. You'll meet great people in the bar, all with a great story to share.

The location near the local airport is fantastic, makes safaris an easy jaunt, the ride in from the International airport is no picnic, but if that's the price to pay, it's well worth it!

I loved my time there and hope very much that it won't be too long before I have a chance to return. It was the vacation of a lifetime, no exaggeration!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kmyent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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131 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    70
    43
    5
    7
    6
See reviews for
33
38
11
21
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

Have been to Nairobi a few times on business and never had the opportunity to explore but this time I was on holiday with my wife and hired a taxi for the full day for about $70. That gave us superb flexibility and the ability to go well just about anywhere! Until we realised that the driver wasn't the most knowledgeable driver we had ever had! Anyway undeterred we visited a few tourist spots and then hit him with please take us to the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden - and he had no idea! I told him it was in Karen - so that was a start!
So after stopping several times to ask the way we were very thirsty and quite hungry when we got there! But it was well worth the trouble. It was a Sunday afternoon and the beautiful tropical gardens were busy with couples, families and larger groups - many of whom were clearly ex-pats - all enjoying the sumptuous buffet that had been prepared.
Having spent a little time in Kenya I happen to believe Kenyan food is amongst the best I have ever had and what they put on at the Coffee House was quite superb. The Indian influence was very prevalent and the aromas and tastes just sent our taste buds into overdrive.
The whole experience was magnificent and provided an alternative view of Nairobi from the hustle and bustle of the chaotic but vibrant city. Not to be missed!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LittleRedBaron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2013

My tour group organized one night at this hotel before heading to the Maasai Mara and it was a fantastic start to the trip. The grounds and cottages are quaint and pristinely kept. You can feel yourself distress as soon as you walk on the property. The staff are very friendly and helpful and make sure to address you by name. The rooms are huge and beautiful - very spa-like. Would definitely stay here in the future.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tash H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2013

I live in Nairobi and love bringing my family here for a weekend breakfast or lunch (great burgers). They also have a fabulous happy hour during weekday evenings (the bartender makes a great long island iced tea)
Fantastic ambiance, wonderfully attentive staff and very good food.
This is a great place to unwind during the weekend.

Its not the cheapest place but the ambiance is worth the money.

The only thing I'd change is perhaps a staffed jumping castle off to the side.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WKR254
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
41 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2013

If you're a tourist, staying in the suburb of Karen keeps you out of the hectic Nairobi city buzz and puts you close to the animal parks that attracted us to Nairobi -- the elephant orphanage, giraffe center and Nairobi National Park.

The Karen Blixen Cottages are a series of single story wooden two-suite buildings scattered among well landscaped grounds. The main buildings house a large dining room and lounge, along with the front desk and small gift shop. Each of our group's suites had a generous sized bedroom and spacious modern bathroom with lots of hot water. Bath amenities are plentiful and of nice quality.

The breakfast buffet is average. Small selection of cold cereals, breads and fresh fruit available on the buffet and a waiter takes orders for eggs and hot meats. In general, we'd have to give the food at the restaurant a "C" grade -- a little heavy handed with the salt and just ok preparations.

There's a good sized bar with a full selection of beers, African wines and liquors. It appeared that this is a favorite hangout of the locals, especially to watch sports on the many tvs around the bar. This is also where guests can get a light meal after the restaurant has closed for the evening -- handy for late arrivals at the hotel.

In summary...great grounds, welcoming professional staff, comfortable accommodations, but go out to eat.

Room Tip: There are a couple of 2 bedroom suites that are great for 2 couples or family.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HoffersHawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013

This spot was the perfect place to begin and end our safari visit to Kenya. The cottages are comfortable, well appointed, clean, and secure, and we found the staff to be very polite and helpful. The internet connection was sporadic, which we didn't find to be a big deal. There's a nice outdoor area for restaurant seating, and the inside of the dining room was undergoing a bit of a facelift, with new artwork, etc. However, our party of 5 found the restaurant's food to be "just okay." Several dishes were heavily salted to the point of being inedible (the French onion soup, in particular); but I found the salmon to be tasty. Dawas (the local cocktail) were quite good, and you can couple those with some of the yummy fries and it's heavenly.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Malia8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2013

We were collected from the airport by William, very smooth transfer and we extremely impressed with the coffee gardens. Food was of a high quality and fairly priced and the rooms were extremely comfortable. We had our own cottage which was private and well presented. The perfect place to stop over between flights and safari, a very relaxing time, I will be rebooking a stay soon and Owen was great on email.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jameswatch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Karen Blixen Coffee Garden & Cottages

Property: Karen Blixen Coffee Garden & Cottages
Address: 336 Karen Road | P.O Box 163, Nairobi 00502, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 196 Specialty Lodging in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The cottages are located in Karen, a beautiful, peaceful suburb approximately 20 miles from downtown Nairobi and about half a mile from the famous Karen Blixen Museum. The cottages are located in the midst of one of the oldest formal gardens in Kenya which have huge jacaranda, candelabra, cactus, bottlebrush, and other trees. Over 200 types of flowers bloom through the year and numerous bird feeders attract hundreds of varieties of birds. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Karen Blixen Coffee Garden And Cottages
Karen Blixen Coffee Garden & Cottages Hotel Karen

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