It looks old, and feels very well established, but Hogmead is a relatively modern house.
Hogmead: Our full report
On a ten-acre plot in Langata, in the south-west suburbs of Nairobi, Hogmead is a colonial-style homestay/boutique hotel located between Nairobi National Park and the AFEW Giraffe Centre. Built in the 1970s, the house was transformed in 2010/11 and received its first guests in 2011. Unfortunately, the house closed indefinitely on 30th September 2013.
The main central areas of Hogmead are based around a lovely terrace that runs the width of the house and has views across the garden towards the Ngong Hills – usually with giraffe in the middle distance or a family of warthogs grazing in the foreground (no need for lawnmowers here). You’ll probably spend plenty of time on the terrace, but there’s a comfortable lounge and bar, and an indoor dining room.
Hogmead offers a choice of rooms, although the six rooms in the main house are the ones usually used for overnight stays. The seven rooms in the converted stable block are more commonly sold as day rooms.
The main-house rooms are all different, reflecting their former use as rooms in a family home, and the palatial ‘Mara’ room, a double room with a private balcony, is a little more expensive. Others are all ‘standard’ – comfortably spacious, well furnished, with flat-screen TVs, floor and ceiling fans, hairdryers and pull-around floor-to-ceiling mosquito nets. All the very nicely finished bathrooms include walk-in showers, bathtubs, twin washbasins and designer toiletries.
Upstairs rooms are ‘Mount Kenya’ (the second largest and also a double), and two twin/double rooms:‘Lamu’ and ‘Meru’ (which has a private balcony). The two downstairs rooms – Baringo and Naivasha – are adjoining, can be set up as twins or doubles, and are accessed off the terrace.
The stable-block rooms are plain, and much smaller but perfectly comfortable, with straightforward bathrooms consisting of a toilet, handbasin and walk-in shower.
The full range of Nairobi activities is possible from Hogmead, but visits to the DSWT Elephant Orphanage, just ten minutes’ drive away, are particularly easy (daily 11.00am–noon).
Our viewAs a luxury homestay, with good food and convivial hosting, Hogmead has no equal in Nairobi. It doesn’t have the character of some of the district’s older properties, but the main-house rooms are sumptuous. It’s ideal if you’re planning to visit the national park or elephant orphanage and it’s easy enough to drive to the other popular attractions in Langata and Karen.
Unfortunately, Hogmead closed indefinitely on 30th September 2013 and we do not yet have a date for re-opening.
Directions: Allow at least one hour for the transfer to/from Nairobi's Wilson Airport, and two hours to/from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: The food at Hogmead is inventive and high-quality.
Large and leisurely breakfasts and light lunches tend to be the rule during the earlier part of the day, with dinner a multi-course blowout. If you have special requirements, let us know in advance and we’ll make sure they’re advised.
Typical menus for the main courses of dinner might be:
Starter: homemade puff pastry boats with fresh asparagus, prawns and hollandaise sauce.
Main course: marinaded breast of duck with a loquat jelly sauce, duchess potatoes, caramelised carrots and french beans.
Pudding: mango and apple strudel with fresh double cream.
On another evening, the menu would look like this:
Starter: mushroom and sweet corn fettuccine with parsley and a creamy parmesan sauce.
Main course: pork loin chop with blue cheese and apples, rosti potatoes, sauted baby corn and sugar snaps
Pudding: individual pavlovas with local strawberries, boysenberry and passion fruit on a pillow of jersey cream.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £25-30
Drinks included: Water, sodas and juices are usually complimentary. Alcoholic drinks are usually extra. House wine costs from about US$20/bottle.
Attitude towards children: Hogmead are happy to have children
Property’s age restrictions: None
Special activities & services: Babysitting can be organised through housekeeping, although no professional childcare staff are available. There’s a kids’ menu.
Equipment: Cots available.
Generally recommended for children: Hogmead is a fairly adult set-up but the garden has plenty of space for children to let off steam, though younger children will still need constant supervision.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: Cellphone reception is good. There’s free WiFi all over the house, and guests may also use the house computer.
TV & radio: Satellite TV in all rooms
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: A first-aid kit and defibulator are available. The current manager (Bimbi Dyer) is first-aid trained. Nearest hospital, Karen Hospital, is 10km away (15 mins in an emergency)
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: The property has a security gate manned by askaris, and an electric fence.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers and fire-procedure notices in the rooms.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Included
Money: There are safes in all the rooms. Small sums of foreign currency can be exchanged for Kenyan shillings.
Accepted payment on location: Cash payments may be made in US dollars, euros, pounds sterling or Kenyan shillings. Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted with a 5% surcharge.