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Reviewed 12 October 2016 via mobile

I stayed here as a medicine student with a 20 minute walk from my campus. Although the services and facilities could do with a lot of work, most of the staff were welcoming and warm.
The biggest issue is with the Chief of Security. I have had 2 visitors both of whom were treated with utmost disrespect by him while on another occasion I visited the wrong washroom so he held me back from class and started comparing me with terrorists and thieves. He wanted to take me to the police station but his seniors quickly reprimanded him. He delayed me for class and you don't really expect a Professor to believe that I skipped out on class because of visiting the wrong toilet and had to sit for a supplementary.
I passed but moved out as soon as possible.
The WiFi services are very slow and restricted to a small area.
And there was an issue of the cleaning staff stealing from the rooms as they clean.
I was very uncomfortable in my room because (even when visitors would be told no smoking) the staff would smoke near the sleeping quarters.
The Chief of Security has a very wild imagination and abuses his powers. One of his watchmen told him I do a drug called khat. Why? Because I come in late and leave very early. Yes, how very unusual for a medicine student to sleep for few hours (?). I want to be a surgeon, with the precision required to weild a scapula why would I do drugs that would leave me shaking at the surgery table.
The only convenience of the place is its distance to the city centre but it's right at the doorstep of a sometimes rowdy university. So if you don't mind tear gas fumes in your room every once in a while, I'd recommend this place for you.
I am forced to disagree with the popular song and say, no it is not fun to stay at the YMCA.

Stayed: July 2016, travelled solo
3  Thank Luke O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2016 via mobile

I visit the YMCA on Fridays for swimming and it has an clean Olympic size swimming pool and a baby pool. If looking for a pocket friendly swimming place in Nairobi CBD this should be your pick.
There us a restaurant at the premise in case you are hungry.
Carry your towel, shower gel and toiletries. They have a basic hot shower.
Haven't used their accommodation so I can't share on that.

Stayed: October 2016, travelled with family
1  Thank Emily M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2016 via mobile

I have visited the Y several times. On my most recent visit they accused me of being a thief and a terrorist and proceeded to search my bag and my phone for any photos I've taken of the place ( which they did not find). A friend was also accused of the same after staying there for 1 year (his included a charge of Miraa chewing and drug dealing). The staff treats you with blatant hostility and it apparently does not matter if you're a resident or just visiting.
They have no sense of customer satisfaction and has been by far the most horrible interaction I have had with a housing facility.
They did not bother to apologise for how they treated me even when they did not find anything in my bag or on my phone.
I would not recommend this place to any decent individual.
Sleep on the streets before you spend money on this place. It's a more respectable option
I really wish there was something less than 1star

Stayed: January 2016, travelled with friends
6  Thank Tendwa O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2015

I have stayed in the central YMCA several times, and have tried a range of different rooms (from the cheapest room with shared bathroom to the most expensive). All of them are pretty run down - mattresses with huge dips in the middle from overwear, showers with erratic hot water, leaking sinks and tattered mosquito nets come as standard. It also tends to be slightly less clean than one might hope, and if you stay here for any length of time you will quickly become frustrated with the meals, which are bland and unvarying.The wifi is also inconvenient, since it is available only in the outside communal area, and is sometimes difficult to access outside 9am-5pm. This is because the wifi password changes every few days, and is only known to the staff at the internet cafe on site - for some reason the other staff are never informed. This means that if they decide to change the password during the day, but you don't try accessing the internet again until after the internet cafe closes at 5pm, you are pretty much stuck - your only hope is that you can find another guest who has managed to obtain the updated password! On quiet evenings this can be an incredibly frustrating exercise.

One other minor irritant is the lack of either a 'do not disturb' sign for the room doors, or any kind of bolt on the inside of the doors. This means that if you try to sleep in late ('late' sometimes meaning as early as 8.30am), you will inevitably be disturbed when someone comes to clean your room - usually knocking, then immediately unlocking the door and walking in. Since the cleaning staff are almost all male, this can be particularly uncomfortable if you're a female guest staying alone.

That said, if you're not too picky then the YMCA is a godsend - less than five minutes walk from the town centre, and with single rooms starting from 1500 shillings including breakfast. It's also such a huge place that it's usually possible to obtain a room at short notice, and you can stay as long as you like, and leave without any prior notice. Despite the proximity to town it is mostly very quiet, a huge bonus compared to the budget hotels inside the CBD itself. Security is pretty good, there is someone on the reception desk 24/7, and most of the staff are relatively friendly. They also take a pretty relaxed attitude if you want to bypass some of their services - i.e. ordering in food on occasion instead of using their restaurant, or doing your laundry yourself and hanging it in your room, instead of using their (expensive!) laundry service. Plus the site includes a swimming pool (which I have never used, but at least from a distance it looks clean enough) and a gym (including early morning aerobics classes, which are a lot of fun).

Overall, acceptable for what it is - cheaper and better located than most other budget hotels in Nairobi, if a little worn and dirty!

Room Tip: Avoid rooms near the in-house church if you value your sleep on Sunday mornings!
  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Lauren W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2015 via mobile

The facility is old, sort of neglected and not so clean it yearns for renovation. Spiders and mosquitos hover across the rooms and the children's park is abandoned and scary.
Similar foods served all the time since what is offered in the menu is so mean.
The staff are not motivated thus expect poor and slow services.
If you got to visit Nairobi on a shoe-string budget, YMCA isn't worth considering.
Not worth.

Stayed: September 2015, travelled with friends
Thank KakaPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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