Bad stay at the Gorilla's Nest

Jun 12th, 2008, 07:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 15
Well it seems like I have gotten something going so I should jump back in here. To clarify the pricing for Sabinyo, we were quoted $421 pppn which included a $50 doantion pppn to thier community fund. Our tour operator Far Horizons ended up upgrading us for free because of the poor service at Gorilla's Nest. I didn't directly speak to Volcanoes but our guide told us the price was approx $250pppn. The reason for my original post was simply to alert to people to the apparent decrease in standards and make them aware of their options. I simply do not believe the Gorilla's Nest is currently worth the $150 - $250 per night they are charging. I would have been much happier if we had originally been booked into a backpackers and paid accordingly. I also think people need to consider how the management of a hotel treats its staff.

Mkhonzo, I am disappointed in your rather ungracious posts. I am not a traveler that expects fine linens and wines when I travel - you don't even know me. The Sabinyo was one of the nicest lodges I have stayed at and is far from what I am used to. Of course the Gorilla trek was amazing and as I said I will post a full report as many of the postings on this forum were very helpful in my planning. I am likewise trying to do the same. As a relatively new poster I am suprised by the tone of your response considering you don't even know me. The only reason I compared this hotel to the ones in Ethiopia is to give people an idea of the standards. I have traveled to over 50 countries, on six continents, and stayed at many accomodations ranging from backpackers to american chains. This was one of the worst experience I have had. If that can help someone else planning there trip - great. I am rather surprised I need to defend myself on this forum.
lisahasthetravelbug is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 40
Thanks for sharing your experience. You're right you shouldn't have to defend yourself for sharing your experience at GN. I think it's sad when simple posts like this turn into questioning your value system. Looking forward to your trip report.
jmartmd is offline  
Jun 13th, 2008, 05:28 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 337
I, too appreciate your post, Lisa.
After all, that's what this forum is for.
Because of your information, I have contacted my TO and we are now staying at Kinigi Guesthouse for $100 per night instead of the Gorilla's Nest.

I value the comments and criticisms of people like you who take the time to tell us about their experiences.
I find it very helpful...keep up the good work!
luv2globetrot is offline  
Jun 13th, 2008, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 67
Gorillas Nest was a little bit of a let-down to us as far as the rooms go. When we checked-in the waste baskets had not been emptied from the previous guests; we couldn't quite tell if the sheets had been changed, or not, and there was a squealing noise in the bathroom. Something else was strange; there were clumps of black mud lying around the room. (we found out the next day what that was all about) We went down to the office and told them the room hadn't been cleaned very well, and about the squealing noise. The staff was very accommodating. They moved us right away to the next cabin; it was about the same including the chunks of mud (which we would find out about the next day). The grounds were spectacular and so was the setting among giant eucalyptus trees. The restaurant was open-air and had little open fireplaces interspersed among the tables; it was really cold and we always tried to sit right next to one of the fireplaces. The food was buffet style and was definitely nothing to brag about, but edible. We got there late and went to bed early. It was cold in January and we were appreciative of the extra blankets because there is no heat. After we returned from our hike to see the gorillas we were covered from head-to-toe with black mud. We stripped down to our underwear on the outside porch of our cabin, and one of the Gorillas Nest workers stood there and took our clothes and shoes from us and rushed off to wash them up for us. Water only trickled out of the hand-held shower contraption, and it didn’t have a wall hook so it took 2 people to shower; one to hold the shower thing and drizzle the water over you (water was hot, no problems there). Maybe it is just because the whole gorilla experience was so wonderful... and it overshadows the deficiencies in the housekeeping, but we have some pretty fond memories of this place. When we go back I can't imagine going somewhere else; mud and all. Davgai
davgai1 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2008, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
You had the mystery creature also that turned out to be a squealing shower.
atravelynn is offline  
Jun 14th, 2008, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 499
Lisa, Thank you for sharing your experience. It's sad that someone would accuse you of wanting "the fluff of extra thread count sheets and extra chilled wine" when all you asked was a towel and a bed that didn't break on impact.
SusanSDG is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 08:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 65
Hello Elizabeth, sorry for the late reply, but we have just been away and I will need to look up some of the info, if you still need it. Let me know.
Novak is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 349
I've made plans to stay at the Gorilla's Nest for my trip. We simply couldn't afford the quoted prices of Sabinyo.

I wasn't expecting much from the GN but it's good to be forwarned that I should perhaps expect even less!

We won't be cancelling however as we're ending our African sojourn on the Kenyan coast in a resort that promotes itself as luxury so we can rough it for a while !

Colin is offline  
Jun 29th, 2008, 08:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,513
Colin we stayed there & I agree with you that the prices of alternatives are just too out there. I had read that it could be cold at night so went prepared with a thin set of thermals & got into them after a hot shower before dinner. I found the food a bit boring but we weren't there for the food so that was OK. I think I wrote something in my report but we had no issues with GN & liek you we chose it because of cost. When do you go?

Have an amazing trip the gorillas are just wonderful. How many treks do you plan to do?

jules39 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 02:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 349
Hi Jules

we're going in November and are planning two treks in the Nyungwe forest and two treks in the Virungas.

We're really looking forward to it.

Thanks for the "thermal wear" tip!

Colin is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2008, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 788
Just wanted to post some recent news about Gorilla's Nest (I got this information from the person organizing my group volunteer trip to Uganda in October).

Even though our group has had reservations for months, evidently the new owners/new management (I'm not exactly sure what the situation is) aren't honoring the price from when those reservations were made. We were told that they want to charge everyone an additional $75 per room per night. At this point, we've been told that our tour operator is going to find us a different place to stay, but we haven't heard yet where that will be.

I have never stayed at the Gorilla's Nest, so I can't say anything positive or negative about the place. But I remembered this thread from earlier in the summer and thought I should post, just in case anyone who has upcoming reservations there wants to double-check about a possible change in the room rates.

MyDogKyle is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2008, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 509
We stayed at GN towards the end of August, and it was about what I expected: adequate but certainly not fancy. We did not have any last-minute price increase.

Our room, down near Jack Hanna's house, was large, well-cleaned and had adequate (and silent) hot long as no one lingered in the shower. A second chair in the room might have been nice, and the painting nailed crookedly to the wall made me want to keep straightening it!

On the other hand there was no heating, so I did finally make use of my silk longjohns as well as the extra blanket we'd requested, and the lighting was pretty minimal -- but after a day's trek I wasn't likely to stay up reading anyway.

The biggest negative was the food --breakfast was buffet but the other meals were served. The problem was that they had the same menu for both lunch and dinner, and there were only 4 main courses from which to choose, plus some sandwiches, pasta and (not very good) pizza. Our guide even took us out to lunch one day (at company expense) for a change of venue.

Some of the staff seemed new -- and a bit uncertain? Their stiff black suits seemed a little out of place with the rather rustic nature of the hotel? There were clearly groups of people meeting to discuss upgrades -- and a new enclosed restaurant is being finished on the "other side of the bridge" where our room was located. But I think they should be careful about raising prices until the upgrades are in place?

BTW we visited Virunga Lodge; it looked very nice (but I didn't see a guest room) -- very eco-friendly: solar heated water, etc. But it's along drive to the park HQ; our driver said he would have to pick us up an hour earlier (5:30 am) if we were staying there -- and if it rained, there would be serious question about making it down the precipitous road just below the hotel. Would hate to miss my trek for that reason!
skibumette is offline  
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