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“Smell before you buy!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ol Tukai Lodge

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Ol Tukai Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Amboseli National Park | Loitoktok, Amboseli National Park 45403, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Smell before you buy!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

The headline is, this is a lovely place to spend a few nights. If you're lucky you'll get a room right opposite the fields, with elephants grazing just a few feet from your living room window. I was lucky enough to get a room like this (after looking at a few different options). And after a few nights on safari staying in (albeit luxury) tents, a room with actual facilities was a treat. I say all of this with one major caveat - YOU MUST enter and smell the rooms before you commit because there is a bat problem at this lodge. I'm afraid I suffered through 2 nights of a room with a gorgeous view but a very disturbing smell of bat droppings coming from the roof - and the offending creatures swarmed out from there when I opened the door at night. If you're afraid of bats, or are not travelling with copious amounts of air freshener, this can be a real problem. Also, beware of the monkeys gambolling about outside. Left the front door open for 20 seconds and one of the little guys nipped in. They're wise to the fact that there are butter and biscuits to be had in the rooms and are always on the lookout for a way to get in, so be careful. We chased him away easily enough, but he was one of the little guys. The bigger variety that also hang out in the grounds would have been more of a sinister proposition, and I'm sure not so easy to budge. All in all, lots of nature! And lots of good things to say about this hotel, above all the location. Just make sure they show you 2 or 3 rooms before you make your decision on which one to take. Meals are all buffets. Dinner selection somewhat lacking. Breakfast much better. Service from bellboys and restaurant staff average. Service at front desk poor.

Room Tip: Check out various rooms before selecting one. Ask for a room with elephant view, in front line of lo...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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475 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
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English first
Swindon, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

Spent 2 nights here during a week's safari. Lovely rooms, comfy beds, excellent food and very friendly staff. Even Kilimanjaro showed itself to celebrate my husband's birthday! Sitting on the verandah watching the animals was so relaxing - loved it. The large clear glazed window in the shower was a bit disconcerting but only the monkeys could seen in!

Room Tip: Ask for a mountain view as all the elephants and other animals come here too
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Manchester
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

An absolute paradise in a fantastic setting. Once you have stayed here, you are spoilled for other lodges. Rooms are palatial, food is gorgeous, and staff are very genuine and helpful. WOW WOW WOW !!!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duluth, GA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Stayed here with a large group from my job for a three day Safari at Amboseli National Park. The Park itself was VERY unimpressive this weekend (i.e., we saw VERY FEW animals beyond the elephants). But staying at THIS LODGE made the trip worthwhile! It saved the day for me. Absolutely gorgeous place, with wonderful African artwork, paintings, scultures and artifacts. Rooms are beautifully designed and extremely clean. Shower stall is HUGE!! Best part about this facility are the TWO views of the elephant plains on one side and the mountain view on the other. Doesn;t matter which side you stay on, you can easily walk to the other side for a different view. If you are lucky to get a glimpse of the great mountain or even its peaks, you will be greatly blessed! The food is FANTASTIC!!!! Great variety of foods and vegetarian choices. The dining room is very lovely. Staff was terrific - very helpful and knowledgable. The gift shop is very fully stocked with a WIDE RANGE of high quality mechandise, from low costing key chains to expensive jewelry. Although I knew I was paying a little more for some items, I was able to complete my gift shopping there. The grounds are extremely green and well kept. There are monkeys EVERYWHERE, so you have to keep your door closed. Also there is a bird walk path around the lodge. Very convenient to the safari entrance roads. Will book here again and again upon my return to Kenya. You will not be disappointed with this place. A great place to rest, relax and take it all in!!

Room Tip: You will have a choice of elephant or mountain view rooms. Elephant view looks out directly on plain...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We stopped off at Ol Tukai in Amboseli National Park on our way home to Nairobi. My other half had been before with some friends from work so we knew what to expect. It is full of colonial charm and the welcome is lovely. We choose a room with a mountain view, albeit it was a bit misty the views were spectacular. The location of the hotel within the park is perfect and the meals and hospitality are great. My only gripe is the cost of beverages. As we live in Kenya I know the local cost of beer and coke etc and they charge an awful lot here.

I can't comment on the game drives as we drive ourselves but Amboseli is a great park with a high concentration of animals so if you only have one shot at a safari I would recommend Amboseli. We have done Tsavo, Mara, Hells Gate etc etc and This still remains our favourite. That much so that we will be returning with visitors in February.

Room Tip: You have a choice of elephants or Kilimanjaro - the mountain won't move but the animals might so...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mpls
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We had a wonderful 3 night stay at Ol Tukai Lodge in Amboseli Park, Kenya. The accommodations and staff were first rate. Views from the lodge of both Mt. Kilimanjaro and elephants in the adjoining swamp were unbeatable! Safari experience was delightful and did not disappoint. We traveled with 2 children and the staff were extremely friendly and accommodating to the kids. The staff sent a cake to our table on our last evening as a "thank you" for our stay. That was a nice touch. We have traveled extensively in Kenya and really enjoyed Ol Tukai Lodge. We will definitely return!

Room Tip: You can choose either an elephant view or Kilimanjaro view. Both are great!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helensburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

As this was our first accommodation in Kenya, we were not sure what to expect, but our two nights at Ol Tukai set the bar fairly high to start off our holiday - booked with Somak through Escape Worldwide (who were absolutely brilliant in helping us arrange our trip).

Getting here from Nairobi in a Nissan minivan was a fairly tiring and extremely bumpy 4-hour drive but on entering reception, we were handed a fresh cloth and a refreshing fruit-juice beverage. The check-in process was fairly painless – fill in a small form, take the key assigned to you and follow the porter to your room.

The rooms themselves I’d describe as “authentic African” but I realise that doesn’t really mean anything. A more accurate description would be that the rooms are how I imagine African lodges to be, constructed mainly of dark timber with high beamed ceilings and an interior decor comprised of a mix of neutral colours with flashes or red/orange.

One thing to note is that although every room does indeed have a view, not all views are equal.. our room (number 29) was set back from some of the other lodges and so we had a partial view out to the landscape between two other lodges). Insist, if you can, on one of the lodges with unimpeded views, if that is important to you.

The grounds of the lodge are made up of some small stone paths running along large grassy areas with a large expanse of grass between the buildings and the fencing that keeps the larger wildlife out. You can go right up to the fence to take pics of nearby animals but you do so at your own risk.. the inner fence is electrified and I noticed more than one person get a small shock. The pool area is a separate little section with a decent sized two-section pool surrounded by sun loungers and a small bar. We didn't spend much time there but it’s a nice place to sit and have a drink whilst listening to the sound of nature and looking out towards Kilimanjaro.

The dining area is in two sections, inside and outside with the latter usually being far more busy than the former. The food is generally quite good with a buffet breakfast that contains everything you’d expect from cereals to pastries to several cooked options plus a breakfast chef who will do whatever you like with some eggs. Lunch is also primarily a buffet with options that change from day-to-day. Dinner is a-la-carte and on being seated, we were presented with a single page menu to choose from. The food, as before, was of a fairly good standard and portion sizes were just about right.

Service was always good during our stay with plenty of smiles and attentiveness from the staff, which, apart from a few exceptions elsewhere, that seems to be par for the course in Kenya.

Ol Tukai is in a superb location, being quite close to the centre of Amboseli with great views to the south towards Mt Kilimanjaro. It was fairly hazy during our stay and the top half of the mountain was behind clouds most of the time but I imagine the view from the lodge on a clear day, is remarkable. Amboseli isn’t a massive park and we covered most of it over 3 game drives during our stay – Ol Tukai’s central location allowed us to take a different route each time and we saw plenty of elephants, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and gazelle along with a few glimpses of hippos and a pair of cheetahs. That said, with a pair of binoculars or a decent zoom lens, you can see most of the above from within the fence at Ol Tukai, not to mention the colourful birds and cheeky Vervet monkeys that hang around the lodge (there’s something mildly hilarious about watching a Masai in native clothing chasing a monkey around the bar with a slingshot).

There are only a few negative points I can raise about Ol Tukai – namely the lack of wi-fi (the only place during our trip not to offer it), the room safes were extremely small (you won’t fit a small laptop or much camera equipment in there) and the drive into the Ol Tukai grounds are a bit depressing as it involves driving past the old ruins of Amboseli Lodge, but those are fairly minor points and certainly didn't have any impact on our stay here.

Pros:
• Authentic feel to the rooms
• Great location right in the heart of Amboseli
• Good food quality and selection
• Nice pool area

Cons:
• Tiny safe
• Not every room has a good view
• Not 24h power
• Derelict buildings at entrance to hotel
• No WiFi

Room Tip: Try and ask for one of the rooms with an unimpeded view of the plains.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Ol Tukai Lodge

Address: Amboseli National Park | Loitoktok, Amboseli National Park 45403, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Amboseli Eco-system > Amboseli National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Amboseli National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ol Tukai Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Essence of AfricaOl Tukai Lodge is one of the best spots in the world to watch elephant with the backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Writers have described Ol Tukai and the surrounding Amboseli National Park ‘as a home for the Gods’. Ol Tukai is an Eco-rated lodge having excellent outdoor and indoor facilities with its unique collection of African art. The property receives overwhelming response from the international and local tourism market. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ol Tukai Hotel Amboseli National Park

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