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“Wonderful!”
Review of Sosa Cottages

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Sosa Cottages
Reviewed February 16, 2013

I had the pleasure of visiting Sosa with some friends and found it a truly wonderful place.
Firstly, it is an incredibly beautiful place. You feel from the moment you arrive that you are in a relaxing and tranquil place. The plants and pathways are elegant and the cottages are private.
The staff are extremely friendly and welcoming. They are willing to help with anything and offer you advice. The food was wonderful and spending time in the gardens relaxing was a great way to spend an afternoon.
I would recommend it to anyone, whether they were travelling with children or for business it is perfect for both.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Rhia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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22 - 28 of 32 reviews

Reviewed February 7, 2013

For Christmas 2012 we truly needed to get away from the rural area where we live, so we had booked 4 days at Sosa Cottage after our Kenyan landlord had highly recommended it to us. 2 days before christmas and 2 days after christmas - however we ended up leaving after one night!

First of all the driveway up to the hotel, on the inside of the cottages gate is terrible as a Kenyan road! There are holes as deep as craters and nobody seems to care.
On top of that, the manager told us that we could not use our KCB creditcard (Kenyan Commercial Bank) as there was not balance on it - when we left the next day we went straight to a KCB bank to sort out the problem, which we were told was on Sosa Cottages side, as we had plenty of money on the card! So after a long debate with the manager we had to pay cash.

But back to the beginning, we arrive and can't pay - ends up paying in cash and are just really happy to know that we got 4 nice days ahead of us! When we arrive at our cottage the entire lawn outside is covered in trash! Not just a little but a lot - like someone kenyan had have a huge party and just thrown everything from strawpapers to empty bottles on the ground. We were told that the trash would be removed right away - when we left the next morning it was still there!
The room itself were semi clean, meaning the floor was clean in the bedroom where we enter and the windows were newly polished but the bathroom was not only covered in mould (see pictures) in the shower, the sink were leaking water as was the toilet - when we tried to take a shower my boyfriend got electrocuted because the electricity were not propper installed and the wires were in direct contact with the water - this is seriously dangerous and it could have gone so SO wrong!!!!!

At this time we were ready to leave again, but it had turned dark so we decided that we just got a bad start and that dinner would help after a long day travelling on Kenyan roads. So we went to the dinning area, where the tv was turned on so loud that the waiter had to shout at us, out of the entire menu only 5 things were available.

We ordered some beef menu, but the beef were so tough that we could't even eat it, my boyfriend got a piece stucked in his teeth that we could't get out before we bought dental floss the next day!!!

The dining area is dark, noisy, dirty (with mould on the walls) and without any trace of cosyness. It is NOT suitable for human beings at all!

Back to the room, we found that the bed is broken and that everytime we turn around the Crib slats (the bottom of the bed) is making serious noise and by morning I'm laying halfway down the side of the bed.

The WiFi that the staff keeps saying is working is NOT working - my boyfriend is a computer genius and do nothing but working with computers, so one of our criteria for choosing a place to stay is that there must be WiFi - it never worked while we stayed there and I truly doubt that it has ever worked or will work!!

We get up, pack our stuff and are ready to leave after breakfast - it is around 7.30 when we leave and the breakfast is not ready for another two hours as the chef is not around. We leave after yet another debate with the manager about us not staying for the entire 4 days and us not being willingly to pay for the crappy food last night.

We then drive the 20 something km to Impala Eco Lodge in Kisumu - like coming from Hell to Heaven!!!

Bottom line, DO NOT STAY HERE FOR ANY CAUSE!! IT IS NOT WORTH THE DIRTH IT IS BUILD ON!!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank AnneLisToft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2012

The Sosa Cottages are truly an oasis of tranquilly in Western Province, Kenya.

Driving in Western Kenya can be tough and dusty. Once you step off the parking lot of the Sosa, which is clearly under construction, you are immediately charmed by a lush compound of unexpected calm and order. The grass is cut and the hedges are trimmed. Here you can truly enjoy the benefits of quiet and needed relaxation.

The cottages look beautiful in the green luxury of the campus in the late morning light. Each living space is clean, comfortable, private and safe. The water is hot for showers and all the small facilities in your apartment work.

The food is quite good and the staff of servers and the chef himself are attentive to your preferences and to your needs.

It's clear that the Sosa Cottages property represents a special level of care and commitment by its owners. The quality is good and becoming great. Here's a great destination in Western Province where any world-class traveler can feel at home.

Bob Schneck

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Bob S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2011

I've been to Sosa many times, each time what strikes me is the beauty of the place. First thing that appealed to me was the colors. From the minute you enter you're affronted by the kaleidoscope of colors from the multitude of flowers lining the paths in gregarious bunches, the architecture with its maroon, cream, and charcoal stature; the perennial dashing omniscience of green, green grass.
More than that- yes there's more- the character of the cottages suggests is serenity, it's as if all weights compromising the comfort of the shoulders of the modern day working man or woman is lifted by the quiet, the colour, the serenity.
I was there last Christmas and among others I love Sosa unreservedly; there was a local live band! Under the cover of night, fires were lit in the garden under the trees, I cheat you not, the band filled the night with the sound and texture of The village It was beautiful.
A word of advise for future visitors, the nights can get chilly for outdoor activities so carry a warm jumper and cosy socks. :-)
I may have gotten carried away with my words, but it's all true, Sosa is serenity.

Room Tip: Choose the cottage facing Lake Victoria for the obvious reason - the view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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7  Thank Ondiso L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2011

Stayed here in August 2011. Left after one night, were booked, prepaid for two nights. Three cottages.
The dinner we were served was completely inedible. The manager agreed.
We had no water in any of our rooms the night we were there. We
could not shower, wash our hands, or flush the toilets. We had
employees going in and out of rooms until 3:30 AM testing the faucets.
Never had a drop of running water the whole time we were there!
On top of all of this, at 2:30 AM someone was banging on the metal gate and screaming.
When we went outside to see what was going on we were told that the
"woman was sick in the head and that they had called a doctor".
We asked why security wasn't removing her from the premises
and we were told that she WAS AN EMPLOYEE! She continued
banging and running around the grounds, up and down the cottages, and
they told us "you better go inside".
There was no wireless available, even though the employes kept saying 'it
will be turned on right away'. Never happened.
Finally will decided to leave and insisted we would not pay for the night we stayed and certainly would be wanting a refund for the night we were not staying. The manage agreed. Now the owner has decided 'it is a practice, worldwide, that once a payment has been processed a refund can not be given'. DO NOT STAY AT THIS PLACE.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Jaykhan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2011

I went to Sosa Cottages last year to enjoy some time away with my family over the Christmas Break. I have to say, this place was amazing and great for the whole family. The food was good - even the kids had no problem. We didn't have any terrible experiences, and it was so nice to leave the hustle and bustle of the city for a short time. But it was also great to know that Kisumu was only a drive away if we needed amenities larger than Gisambai could offer (although we never did!).

The children especially enjoyed the playground and the bike rides, and they made fast friends with the staff. My whole family enjoyed the week, and we were a group of several different age groups and interests. There were lots of activities including tours of the caves and of Kakamega Rainforest which is amaaazing, and we were never bored once.

I have read the reviews below and definitely concur with the first two, this place is fabulous and we will definitely visit it again. To the two very negative reviews, it seems to me that you let one experience cloud your judgement of the whole place. Certainly you might choose to never visit again, but to rate it down for everything even while acknowledging the beautiful grounds and rooms is disingenuous. Also for what it’s worth, I am Kenyan and though I live in the capital I come down to Mbale and Gisambai often enough. I have never heard of what you are talking about happen.

In summary, this place is definitely worth a visit!! Great place for a getaway, with amazing staff!! Do it - you will not regret it :)

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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5  Thank echo_painter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2011

I just read a review that described a situation similar to my own. If I were to be informed that one of my family or friends were staying at this place, I would call for an emergency evacuation by my embassy...allow me to explain, please:

I had brought my group here on a recommendation of a friend. When I arrived, I found the grounds to be very well manicured and the rooms were clean and relatively peaceful and private, with the exception of the many roosters crowing from the farm next door and the farmers themselves peering over the fence into my window. The large bar area is nice and has a nice sitting area.The carpentry and tiling is of relatively high quality and good craftsmanship. We had started out having a good experience, relative to what we may have had within a 30-40km sq radius. That was until we sat down for dinner. The food here is nowhere near good, with tough chicken being one of two choices (each day they ask if you would like "beef or chicken" prepared in only one way. The breakfast is the typical Kenya low-grade eggs drowned in grease, dry bread and brown fruit served by a woman who drops it on your table with a side of resentment. Most of the staff stare at you while they pick there noses, oblivious to the uncomfortable situation they're creating while you slide the eggs down or try to swallow the dry chicken or rubber-like beef. OK, so you get it: the staff are creepy and the food is terrible, but, that's not where the real problem was, the one that scared the heck out of us. During our stay, the staff would take our key for the purpose of cleaning the room whilst we were at the conference room holding our meetings. All seemed fine until the final day when one key was missing...just the key from my room. No one could find the key for thirty minutes after I had requested it. Then, the key reappeared from a source presently unidentified. I went to the locked room to retrieve Ksh60,000 ($750) to pay the bill. It had all been STOLEN, I suspect by whomever it was that had hidden the key from me for those thirty minutes!! I was livid! We demanded that the local police come in and investigate. Instead, some non-uniformed men, called by the management, came in to talk with a few staff, never taking a statement from us, and left, for what we were told (this is almost laughable), to go and get their uniforms and badges. They never returned. What a joke. We had been dropped at the resort by public means and myself and one other from our team had been promised a ride back in the Resort van. They refused to let us leave for our homes, locking everyone of us inside until we paid! They actually instructed the guard to keep the gate closed!! This was now a hostage situation. We were not given real police to speak to and the mode of investigation included searching through everything in my room and on my person, as if I was a suspect! I had stayed here twice before, mind you, each time paying in full. My continuous demands to see real police officers with ID's, uniforms and badges was brushed aside until the sun was getting low in the sky and we were facing the dangers of travelling at night down the Kakamega road to Kisumu, a narrow and treacherous road, not recommended for travel by anyone with little experience driving in Kenya. We were held at Sosa Cottages until a friend of mine who had flown all the way from Mombasa (on the Kenya coast) hired a vehicle and arrived with cans of mace, parking the car in the gate so he could not be shut in and bravely packed up all of our things while he argued with the staff and management about the number and severity of crimes they were committing, even to the point of being shoved around by the manager!! We were shocked and appalled! We rushed out of there as fast as we could. I've never seen someone drive so fast down such a dangerous road. We made it to safety in Kisumu where I broke down and cried (even the other men involved had cried). The worst thing that came out of this situation is that, for the most part, with a few exceptions, I no longer trust Kenyans. Now I see angry, resentful, hateful and untrustworthy faces of people whereas before I would see the beautiful, loving, big-hearted and joyful spirit shining through those same eyes and smiles. This trauma will take some time and some healing to get through, but I'm grateful for my friend who bravely rescued us and for having made it out before dark and possibly experiencing the threats play out (by the management and Director), threats of being "connected with President Kibaki", develop into something more terrible than what we had already experienced in being held against our will by a combative staff that had stolen from us and locked us inside. Our only remaining option would have been to call our local embassy for a military-like evacuation.

I pray that anyone considering a visit to Sosa Cottages reads this warning first and takes it seriously. I urge you to avoid this place at all costs, for the safety of you and yours.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled on business
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6  Thank SynergyStar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sosa Cottages

Address: Majengo Hamisi Road, Gisambai 50304, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Western Province > Gisambai
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Gisambai
Price Range: $67 - $107 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sosa Cottages 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
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