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“A shame - potential to be great”
Review of Outspan Hotel

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Outspan Hotel
Reviewed August 28, 2013

Oh dear. We stayed here one night only - never again! On the plus side, the room was nice with a lovely fire place. The building is also full of history with beautiful grounds
However, the cons are endless! Well..where to start. Supper was served by unsmiling and rude staff who weren't able to identify the food that was served. Service was slow and the staff very badly trained. The food itself was not good. Breakfast was a similar story - the staff were slow, disinterested and almost mocking of the customers. I waited 20 minutes for milk, before it arrived and was slammed down in front of the waiting customers. The bed was very uncomfortable and we woke in night when we tried to turn over! The shower didn't have any hot water and the bathroom was like something from the 1890s - and not in a good way! The toilet also didn't flush so we used the one in reception. Overall, by far the worst thing about this place is the staff. They need totally new people who are up to the job. Not asking much - just smile and look alive!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank goodthickskirt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 - 60 of 99 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2013

This hotel, embedded in the history of the scouting movement prepared us for the days ahead. The gardens were immaculate , and the food was very good, a little British maybe. Our afternoon entertainment was a visit by a group of Masai warriors, who marched through the grounds. Although Baden Powells residence was viewable, it was only from the outside. We did make a call to the graveside of the boys hero, and the grave,s view of Mt Kenya. We were advised not to venture outside the grounds, but this was common with all the Kenyan hotels. Beggars were waiting to pounce, and by the look of the local housing, the need for begging was all too obvious.
Bar prices in the hotel were reasonable, and as with other Kenyan hotels the service was first class.

Stayed: September 2012
1  Thank ke S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Went for lunch while we were in nyeri, beautiful grounds and majestic building.
The buffet lunch was pretty good. I would recommend for a clean and fresh stop or lunch while in the area.
The staff was very friendly. The place was filled w Chinese tourists that brought either own tea and Jarred hot sauce.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
Thank olenabklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2013

I last visited the Outspan Hotel 30 years ago when living in Nairobi. I always enjoyed going there then because I was guaranteed good food and excellent service, plus breathtaking views of Mount Kenya. I also enjoyed the lovely garden where Baden Powell lived during his last years. I stopped off there this time, 30 years later, en route to Treetops. Although Treetops was excellent with good food, great animal sightings and attentive staff, the same could not be said of the Outspan. We had lunch there and the selection and quality of the food was poor. I could not eat the meat, it was too tough. We were served by miserable, unsmiling staff. We had to ask several times just to have a menu. What a shame for a lovely place. Outspan is not just any hotel, it is a very special, historic building. Standards have slipped badly.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Patti S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

The Outspan is a good hotel with great features, including the home for the last couple of years of his life, of Baden Powell, the founder of the world wide scout movement. During a previous visit, we stayed in his bedroom!
We have stayed several times and like this hotel. At lunchtime it can get busy with diners waiting to go to the sister property, Treetops. Likewise, worth remembering they will all join you, if you fancy a later breakfast! This hotel appears at first glance to be a 4star plus, but I guess 3.5 is nearer the mark, now. It is a perfect one night stop over, for Samburu etc when going north or, likewise, when going south to Nairobi and equally across to Thompson's Fall's/ Nakuru.
One thing worth bearing in mind , is that there is a night club in the grounds, near the main hotel entrance, so go for rooms overlooking Mt. Kenya, especially at weekends.

Room Tip: Ask to face Mt. Kenya...great view in the morning!
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Ian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Arrived here after our flight from Heathrow and then the 4 hour drive from Nairobi at the start of our 7 day safari. Welcomed with cold towels.The place looked very colonial. The rooms were very large but some distance from the main building. The showers were very poor, they flooded out in to the rest of the bathroom. Restaurant service was a little slow and an amateurish. The food however was very good and taken out on the patio which was scenic. The pool was very shabby looking, small and did not look appealing.

Room Tip: Ask for one closer to the main building.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank terryhammond8834
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AberdareSafariHotels, Public Relations Manager at Outspan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2013

Dear Guest,
Your review is appreciated and compliments to the chef on the food served. We plan to refurbish Outspan and the project will address most of the areas highlighted in your review. Once again thank you for your feedback.

Regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2013

We stayed at the Outspan on New Years Eve 2012.
After travelling many hours to arrive at the hotel on the first day of our safari we were very much looking forwards to a swim in the pool.This wasn't to be as on arrival we were informed that it was closed as they were preparing the New Years Eve Celebrations which was a real shame.
We were shown to our room which was overlooking the beautiful gardens.
The room was very tired and in desperate need of redecoration there was holes in the floor,the windows didn't shut properly, the steps down to the garden well lets say they are a massive health and safety risk.
The lights on the side of my bed spun around and the bedding was very damp.
As for the bathroom .... cleanliness was not great!!!
Anyway we decided we wanted to at least sit in the sun and as the pool was out of bounds we sat in the garden and enjoyed the weather.
We had lunch and breakfast here the choices and quality again were not good.
The whole place was constantly in darkness i went to the bar area to obtain WIFI access and sat in the dark the bar wasn't open and you were unable to get a drink.Havent they paid the electric bill !!!
I went in the shower to get ready for the evening the walkin shower had scolding hot water coming out of hot and cold taps i tried to stand in it but was unable. Also in the bathroom was a bath with a shower attachment so i thought i will try this as this would be better than nothing.
I stood underneath only yet again both taps were scolding hot water and i scolded my legs and shoulders by this point my friend called reception for an engineer.In the meantime i gave up with a shower but thought i will at least wash my hair in the sink but you guessed it same problem so i ended up washing my hair with bottled water.
The engineer arrived tried all the taps and said yes there is a problem ( you dont say !!!)
He disappeared and told us to switch off the boiler and the water would cool down and if we wanted hot water we had to put it back on 2 hours before we needed it which wasn't much use as we were due to leave early in the morning.
We then went to the NYE party and on arrival was greeted by one of the hotel managers she asked how our stay was and i informed her about the hot water and the fact i had been scolded her reply was ohh!! She then went off.
Don't bother asking me if you don't want to here my response!!!
We suffered the dinner and the dreadful entertainment i mean dancers dressed as Santa at a new years eve party !!!
We all decide to go back over to the bar and have a quiet drink to see in the new Year as that was what we all wanted.The bar was closed i asked reception if we could have a drink at the bar she said" no the bar is over by the pool tonight everything else is closed".I said" we would like some drinks just quietly in the bar" her reply "why dont you want to be at the party it is New Year".Quite frankly i don't see what business it is of hers if we want to be quiet and not everyone wants to be celebrating New Year
.I then asked "well could we have room service" well you would have thought i had asked for a gold encrusted camel !!!! She said "no you can't" and proceeded to ask a poor trainee girl to help.I have never heard of a hotel not providing SERVICE before i must say it is a first for me.How unhelpful the reception staff were was quite unbelievable!!!
The only lovely thing that happened at this hotel was a lovely man called Kennedy who lit our fire for us so we could sit in our room quietly.
I seriously suggest that Somack remove this hotel of its itinerary until they spend some money on it.It could be so beautiful the grounds are gorgeous shame the hotel isnt!!!
And as for Service well all the staff need training desperately i would have been quite happy to keep on driving to our next destination in Samburu rather than stay at The Outspan.
I can honestly say we had a brilliant 3 weeks in Kenya but one hotel spoiled it and this was The Outspan Hotel Don't go there !!!!

Room Tip: Views over the garden are beautiful
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Bruce n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $173 - $400 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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