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“Launch pad for the great safari”
Review of Outspan Hotel

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Outspan Hotel
Stowmarket, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Launch pad for the great safari”
Reviewed 4 August 2013 via mobile

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
Helpful?
1 Thank ke S
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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
81 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2013 via mobile

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, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank olenabklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paphos, Cyprus
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 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, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank Patti S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Aberdare National Park hotels

Kendal, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 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!
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lutterworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
112 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 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.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
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 review, 14 February 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
Christchurch, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 18 January 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
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Bruce n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2013

If you want to feel like Karen Blixen on her African Farm, this place will do it. The rooms are huge, with fireplaces and a sitting area. Ours had double doors opening straight out to the view of Mount Kenya. Stunning! The pool area is nothing much, but a place to cool down. The dinner is mediocre, but it is nice that everyone at the hotel meets up for this, breakfast is quite okay, an omelet will be cooked to order, if needed.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rygsaek
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 review, 14 February 2013
Dear Guest, your review on trip advisor is appreciated. Outspan is reminiscent of the old in very many ways. Though we plan to refurbish the property, the old charm will remain. As for meals, the chef has improved Sherry items and introduced a new menu at The Tavern. We hope your travels will bring you back to Outspan someday.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Outspan Hotel

Property: Outspan Hotel
Address: Aberdare National Park, Kenya
Region: 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 
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Also Known As:
Outspan Hotel Aberdare National Park
Outspan Hotel Kenya/Aberdare National Park

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