Reviews of Giraffe Manor
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
not the highlight id expected
i had looked forward to going to Giraffe Manor for a long time. I am definitely a budget traveller and the manor is way over my usual budget. its actually cost me 7 weeks wages to go there. certainly not a drop in the ocean for me. I was disappointed by a couple of things.
on arrival I was taken into the house and told that I wasn't going to be shown around as its early and the place is untidy. i was never shown around in the time I was there, it really didn't look untidy to me but as I was taken up to my room I noticed something on the stairs carpet, possibly a dead moth, whatever it was, it was still there when I left 3 days later.
I hadn't sleep well on my first night as i was cold, i mentioned it to another couple staying there and they said they had a hot water bottle in their bed, i got mine on the 2nd night but it wasn't very hot and made no difference. I also returned to find stains in my bathroom sink, presumably cleaning liquid that had been poured in and then not cleaned. the shower doors are absolutely filthy, water runs off a clean shower door, these haven't been cleaned in some time.
on the last morning I had to pay for a taxi to take me where I was going as apparently there weren't any cars available! as I left I saw a driver hanging around. he may have been about to go out but I had been sitting for well over an hour waiting for a phone call to make arrangements for me. when I got into my taxi he informed me he had also been booked to take me to my evening hotel. It seems the manor were not providing any transport for me on my last day. as I was about to leave Kenya I didn't have much money left and hadn't budgeted for 3 taxi fares.
Also before I left I was sitting with another guest who was leaving to go to the airport. she was offered a packed lunch to take with her, I wasn't leaving the manor for a flight. I was going to be volunteering at the local dogs home for the day and although the other guest was offered a packed lunch in front of me, I wasn't offered the same courtesy.
The food was lovely, I had mentioned a vegan diet when I booked back in November. while I'm not a strict vegan I don't eat dairy, I had been told almond milk was available. I never got any. I shared dairy milk with other guests. when I asked for dairy free yogurt I was told they didn't have it. Out of the 3 days I was there I was given strawberries in a vinegary sauce twice!
On my last night the staff went around the dinner table asking people how they wanted their steak cooked. I'm not sure how much notice was taken as a steak was put in front of me, I passed it to the lady next to me, and another steak was promptly put in front of me again. I also seemed to miss the afternoon tea without leaving the building. a plate was wafted under my nose one day and quickly whisked away as soon as id taken one crisp never to return!
For the amount of money it costs to stay there I would expect a change of sheets every day, they weren't changed at all in the 3 days. I also went from having two towels to one! I knew I'd forget to ask for another so I was unable to have a shower before dinner and again at breakfast
I also don't like name dropping, I'm really not impressed by it and the fact that both Madonna and president Obama have been refused by the manor means nothing to me. I don't care which superstar has been there or not been there.
I had booked a room with the balcony and soon realised I had to be down on my knees to feed giraffes through the gap at the bottom of the railing as they couldn't reach.
While I think the manor is beautiful and feeding the giraffes through the window during breakfast is quite something, I really don't think its worth the money it costs and sadly it wasn't the highlight I was hoping for.
It has to be said that the staff were great, polite, funny and helpful. I love that they remember and use your name, (I wasn't looking forward to being called madam for the duration.
on a more positive note, feeding the giraffe at breakfast was great. also sitting in front of the fire with a drink and chatting with new friends was lovely. just as lovely to sit outside and feed the giraffes before dinner but it was a tad cold for me and I didn't have warm clothes with me.
having a car and driver to take me from craft shop to bead shop and anywhere in between was helpful too.
Richard Trillo [Ed: of Expert Arica] is a superstar, incredibly helpful with all matters Kenya and I never felt any question was too stupid.
having said all of the above I did enjoy my time at the manor and its been a great experience.
Expert Africa comments
Giraffe Manor has responded to this traveller and are pleased she enjoyed her time, and grateful for her positive comments. However, they are sorry that the manor appeared to be less tidy than should have been the case. And they offer their sincere apologies for their serious failure to provide the level of food service this guest was expecting and had every right to expect. The manor fully accepts that they did not provide the fully vegan diet she had requested and which they had confirmed would be readily available, as is normally the case. At Expert Africa, we expect very high standards for our travellers at Giraffe Manor. Offering non-dairy milk and steak to a vegan demonstrate an erosion of those standards which we believe they will address urgently. Although it is little comfort to this traveller in retrospect, this dietary issue is a reminder of how important it is to tell the lodge immediately if something is not right with your booking or the service you are receiving.
The manor went on to explain that it isn't usual to do a full tour of the house as rooms are generally occupied. They would however have been delighted to show her around further but the manager was not aware that she was expecting a further tour.
Giraffe Manor accept the hot water bottle was taken to her room too early and apologise for that failing, and for the fact that they forgot to take one to her room at all on her first night. We think this is also a reminder of how chilly the highlands of Kenya can be in the cooler July-August period and how important it it is to have some warm layers when visiting Kenya.
The manor claims that their bathrooms are always cleaned thoroughly, but mineral splash stains on the shower door in the Daisy room have built up and the door does need replacing. This will happen during the manor’s next round of closed-season maintenance.
They explain that some of the rooms have a balcony, but it is not possible to feed the giraffes while standing on the balcony. At Expert Africa, we accept we may not have appreciated the limitations of this aspect, and have corrected the impression given in our report on the manor.
Giraffe Manor has explained that on this traveller’s last day, she requested to spend a few hours at the manor beyond the strict 10am checkout time. The arrival of new guests means that staying after 10am is not usually possible and that vehicles are not then available to departing guests, who do have to make their own arrangements. The manor sincerely apologises that they did not clearly communicate this key issue to this guest on her last morning, and by the time she was ready to leave no vehicle was available. Vehicles are on standby for guests during their stay, between the 11am checkin and the 10am checkout, but unfortunately they are not available outside those times. As a free courtesy, this guest was expected for lunch on the day she checked out, but the staff were not aware that she would have liked a packed lunch instead, and are very sorry that she felt she was not offered something that should have been available.
Giraffe Manor emphasised that they are trying to operate sustainably through everything they do and their policy is to provide fresh linen for every new arrival, and then change a guest’s sheets and towels every three days to reduce laundry. Fresh towels can however always be requested.
Our first stop on our trip. It was a perfect place to relax but still feel in touch with the environment and wildlife.
Staff and service could not have been better and the food was great. They took the time to organise trips for us while we were there and everything went very smoothly.
Unforgettable experience at Giraffe Manor
Wonderful experience, loved happy hour with the giraffes and having the opportunity to feed the animals.
If we didn't have the Jock room with the giraffes waking us in the morning, it probably wouldn't have been as amazing.
A lovely treat
I arrived at Giraffe Manor at breakfast time and there was a short delay whilst the previous occupants checked-out and my room (Betty's) was prepared. The manager showed me around and explained about the giraffe-feeding.
After unpacking and a reviving shower I was escorted to the Giraffe Centre where one of the volunteers introduced me to Betty the giraffe and showed me how to feed her. At 5pm the Centre closes and the giraffes drift up to the Manor to be fed from the Terrace. Even if you're not staying at the Manor, you can arrange to have afternoon tea on the terrace and join in the feeding.
Later I had a beautifully-cooked dinner followed by coffee on the terrace by the light of the full moon. Magical ! Early the following morning I had giraffes at my bedroom window and fed them again through the breakfast-room windows. Overall a lovely treat and fantastic start to my holiday.
Giraffe Manor review
Staying at Giraffe Manor is like staying at a friends house .
There are no locks on the room doors ( well only from inside) You can help yourself to drinks in the lounge.
Betty's room is the best room as it has a balcony that the giraffes visit in the morning ( if you tempt them)
The room we had was lovely - (Jock) . But the bathroom is not perfect - the toilet and bath both need re-surfacing , although I do appreciate they are probably original features and therefore very old.
However there were real roses in the room which was lovely and a hairdryer in a drawer!!
There was a glass decanter for the drinking water and a safe in the room .
We arrived for lunch which was lovely and we had it outside in the courtyard
Then - we met the giraffes (5pm ) outside the front of the house. I didn't realise we would be able to feed them in the evening as well as the morning - so that was a nice surprise. We all had great fun taking photos and feeding the giraffes ( and warthogs)
We were able to feed them from our room window also. The grill on the front of the window makes it difficult to lean out though.
Later, we were walked to the giraffe sactuary by some staff - and entered via a particular gate ( so you don't have to pay)
We met some giraffes , fed them some food. You can buy childrens drawings there. There Is a small tourist souvenir shop.
Meals were good, drinks were included.
Breakfast with the giraffes was at 6:30- Bettys room upstairs got them first - but then they came to the breakfast room later.
The manor has it's own shop which is quite expensive for some items. I saw a lovely silver giraffe pendant there that I wanted but was too dear. Later I saw it in a shop in the local area ( Utamundi I think ?) and it was considerably cheaper.
Also saw the giraffe tealight holders that they have on the table at dinner in a local shop which was much cheaper than at the manor's shop.
The morning visit in the breakfast room went on for ages and we took lots of photos.
The staff also take photos for you but some are more skilled at photography than others ! - be aware many photos will probably be discarded when you get home. I thought the breakfast room would be very busy but it was quite a calm affair with plenty of time with the giraffes. Only six tables - so plenty of room to move around to different windows.
Ed was the nicest giraffe :)
The annexe is built to match the main house and seemed very nice. It has it's own lounge and dining room but people staying there joined us for dinner in the main house. They found no problem with staying there rather than the main building.
Heard they do have non-residents for afternoon tea and also dinner if they are not full BTW.
A unique experience
We arrived at Giraffe Manor on an unexpectedly cool and damp day. We were given a tour of the lovely manor house and shown to our room. The "Daisy" room was very petite, but had a lovely terrace which we were unable to use because of the rain. We understand that most of the other rooms are larger, but Daisy was the only one that was available for both nights of our stay. The Manor has a lovely gift shop with reasonably priced items. We did not utilize the spa facilities.
The staff was very cordial and welcoming, helping us plan activities for our stay with them and suggesting appropriate timing for touring various places. Their driver was available to take us where we wanted to tour in the area. The highlights of our stay were a morning tour of the Kazuri Bead workshop -- the process is interesting, and the jewelry makes wonderful gifts -- and a delightful visit to the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. We highly recommend both places. We were escorted to the Giraffe Centre and given a tour of the nature walk by one of their guides, and then fed the one giraffe who approached the viewing platform. A brief visit there was sufficient, as we were not offered the opportunity to do any other activity other than go to their gift shop.
Feeding the giraffes at breakfast was a fun and unique experience. Due to the rainy weather during our stay, the staff had trouble coaxing the giraffes to come out of the trees to the windows for their treats, but finally were successful in enticing two of them to entertain us.
The food was excellent. On one night dinner was served at individual tables, and on the other night it was served to all the guests at a communal table. We wished that the manager or another staff member had dined with us as they usually do at bush camps.
Giraffe Manor provided a great break in our travels among safari camps.
Giraffe Manor Review
A unique experience,combining wonderful interaction with the giraffes with excellent accomodation and staff. Highly recommend.Read more about the whole trip
Giraffe Manor is a unique experience. There is nothing quite like feeding a giraffe from your room if you get a soom in the original hous. The service is excellent and the food good too. If you want to visit anywhere else in Nairobi this can be easily arranged as well. Overall, a remarkable place.
There are a couple of things to note. The new building fits in beautifully but the giraffes don't go there for their food so it does not quite have the same charm. Also, when we were there, there was a big group, so we ended up having dinner in the breakfast room rather than on the communal dining room where we ate last time we were here. althoughh the experience was still excellent, this took away fom the country house atmosphere that this place otherwise does so well.