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“50s time warp”
Review of Outspan Hotel

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Outspan Hotel
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
208 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“50s time warp”
Reviewed October 6, 2007

The public rooms and immaculate gardens belie the horrors of the accomodation. There were six of us on our tour and we were in three freezing bungalows which hadn't been decorated since the 1950s and had an all pervading smell of damp. We stayed here just one night during the Kuoni Leopard safari and it was also used it as a start point for Treetops. Food is standard Kenya fare - tepid buffet and old fashioned puddings - and the bar prices are extortionate even by UK standards. If you have to stay here head for the 'pub' behind reception where the drink prices are reasonable. And take a hot water bottle.

I will write separately about Treetops, which is a dream.

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Disliked — Damp bungalows
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dottie07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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Bermuda
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2007

I stayed in this hotel in 2005, and I had been looking forward to returning. I will never stay here again.

We had booked three nights but were not able to make the first. Our travel agent called twice to inform the front desk, and he was told everything would be fine.

Upon our arrival the second night, we were told that our room had been given away. My finance (a Kenyan citizen) and I fought with the management for TWO HOURS about their responsibility to find us other accomodations. At first they were going to spend us to Greenhills (a dump and 1/3 of the money). Then finally after a few calls and threanting to demand a refund and return to Nairobi, they "found" us room at Treetops.

The next day, we checked in and were given a room that had not even been cleaned and didn't have working outlets. Once again, we spent 30 mins at the front desk. I was then shown a cottage to move to. (While there were more "rooms" the actual size was the same as the triple room we had been given). As we settled in, the manager had the nerve to call us to talk about the price increase! The staff lady did not mention one word of this while showing me the room, and she had even seen my sister, who had fallen in, in the old room. The management was given two options - to refund our money so we could return to Nairobi or let us stay in that room. There was no way we were going to move my sister to yet another substandard room.

My sister, btw, fell ill from eating the food at Outspan. The food was the same each day we were there and mediocore at best. The rooms were old and drafty and filled with dead bugs. The sheets looked gross and I ended up sleeping on the couch.

Apparently the hotel is under local management now and my finance says it's been going downhill since then. Do yourself a favor and stay elsewhere.

  • Liked — Close to Nyeri
  • Disliked — Management, rooms, food
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank imari96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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galway
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2006

been to this place a number of times the last being 2 months ago and unfortunately the standards keep slipping, what was a great hotel in 95 to 02 the last few years it has started to go downhill with regard to accomadation. food. pool and service the gardens are still beautiful. stay in the country club instead if you have a choice in Nyeri

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank seanog55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 5, 2006

First visited the Outspan in 1953/4 whilst serving in the Forces during the Mau Mau period.Used to go to the Outspan most Sundays for a shower and buffet lunch(then 5 Kenyan shillings)special rate.Visited about 20 times during this period.

Next went with my wife and one son in 1995.looked round and was approached by the manager who subsequently introduced me to the chef who had been there in 1954.Had a superb meal on the terrace.

Visited again in 2001 when my wife and I visited with my daughter,her husband and three grandsons.Stayed over in beautiful rooms with log fires and had an excellent evening meal before retiring to the bedroom with an evening drink.The telephone rang a little later to ask if we wished to have further drinks as the bar was closing.Could we refuse this service?

Now going again in October 2006 with even more family members and will stayovernight again.

Would I go so many times if this was not a first class hotel in beautiful grounds and friendly staff??

  • Stayed July 2002
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2005

Colonial style hotel with colonial style care for its customers. Has some modern rooms but we prefer the older rooms where you get the real flavour of colonial Kenya. Clean, comfortable, good food, wonderful surroundings and when you stay as we did for 7 days (the second time. 1st was in 1997) the staff could not have treated us better and made the holiday really wonderful, especially the kwaheri cake on our last night. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. More people should try it for longer periods, not just stop overs on the way to Treetops. Keep up the good work, we will be back soon.
Les & Norma Mason

  • Stayed February 2001
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank norma_mason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Outspan Hotel

Property: Outspan Hotel
Address: Aberdare National Park, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Central Province > Aberdare National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Aberdare National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Outspan Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Idyllically located in the Kenyan highlands 2 hours drive from Nairobi the capital city, Outspan provides a holistic business, leisure and adventure experience. A comfortable hotel set in well tended tropical gardens with rolling manicured lawns and breath taking views of Mt Kenya. Lord Baden Powell the founder of the Scouting movement spent the last three years of his life here in a cottage called Paxtu which is still preserved to date. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Outspan Hotel Aberdare National Park
Outspan Hotel Kenya/Aberdare National Park

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