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“Great Place for R & R” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sarova Shaba Game Lodge

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Sarova Shaba Game Lodge
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Shaba National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Nairobi
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great Place for R & R”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

It was my first time to venture this corner of Eastern Province and I was pleasantly surprised to see that Isiolo town just before the Shaba Reserve is a flourishing busy town...the weather is a stark contrast after the nippy mountain air and huge plantations in Timau...

Sarova Shaba was a wonderful idea!!!! The lodge is very organised and we had no trouble with check in despite changing my dates twice...they have chalets on the left and right side of the main lodge that overlooks the Ewaso Nyiro River...so if you like the sound of trickling water then this is a good place to be...

The rooms are classic Sarova standard, I like the tub with a shower option (and they remember to provide a mat to avoid those nasty slips)...I like that there is NO TV in the rooms, but the bar has a screen...if you need a fix. The standard rooms have a fridge so you can keep your drinks cool!

Monkeys are a nuisance so you need to remember to keep the windows closed when not in the room. I found it a little hilarious that the guards carry sling shots which they use to chase naughty curious monkeys...you got to watch that lol!

The pool is delicious and cold, very nice against the punishing heat....we loved it. It has a basket ball net plus a volley ball net for fun and games when cooling off...

Our highlight was the Tulia massage, the hotel signature spa that they have across several of their logdes. We found the prices reasonable and had a massage in the tent by the lake....that was a deal-breaker!!! This is a must try and Beatrice who does the treatments is simply great and very professional.

OK the food is great, not as many fresh fruits as I would have liked but I guess its also a hard place to get fresh fruit in plenty. The staff are great and attentive...I do wish they had no-added fresh juices if it were possible...plus an option of brown sugar. The pastry chef at Shaba is in my view very talented, he made us a perfect cake which we ordered to celebrate a birthday..all the pastries and deserts were spot on!

All the staff are very attentive and friendly, I really liked them. Even the trainees were great and the other staff took them under their wing protectively...I kinda liked that...

I must admit am all 'wild-lifed out' so we didn't venture for the game drive but so you know, the Shaba reserve park is owned by the community and gate charges goes to the local council. You would need to pay for each day in the park plus the car. Rates are different depending on whether one is a Kenyan citizen, Resident or non resident. Vehicle rates depends on car seating capacity. The guy manning the gate is friendly enough and they can offer a guide for a game drive alternatively you could request for one at the reception. There is a fee associated with the guide and a tip is discretional. The views of the gorges and hills on the drive to Shaba is gorgeous...I hear there are very scenic points in the reserve so if your up to a drive its worth a shot...

Overall - this is our new favourite spot...bound to visit again!

Only small notes of concern for those visiting via road - I think the off road (about 10kms) can get seriously intense when it rains - 4 by 4 is a good idea even then, check with lodge just incase parts of the road is flooded with the temporary rivers....and filled up gorges... and I guess I should mention they is an airstrip here for those taking chartered flights....

My other observation is that the hotel is not wheelchair friendly as all meals are eaten at the restaurant which is a flight of stairs up...

Gift shop is great but a bit pricy...make sure you have sun screen and bug spray/lotion prior or you'll pay!!! Nanyuki has a huge supermarket called Nakumatt and you can get most supplies there, this is if your driving from Nairobi...

Room Tip: Pick the top rooms for better view of the lake....some rooms are quite a walk so depending on whethe...
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  • Stayed June 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.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Shaba Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you for your visit earlier in the year. We are happy that indeed Sarova Shaba is your favorite spot and that you intend to return.

The Sarova Shaba team looks forward to hosting you hopefully over this years festive season.

Best regards.
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174 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (40)
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English first
Nairobi, Kenya
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

Our family stay at the Sarova Shaba Game Lodge has just finished and we would like it to have lasted a lot longer.
We took advantage of a promotion by a Nairobi-based tour operator for a long week-end and I can't think of anything that was not top-notch.
The resort is beautifully located on the southern bank of the Ewaso Nyiro river, overlooking a few "regular" crocodiles basking in the sun. Both the public areas and the rooms of the hotels are architecturally very much in tune with the location, with the rooms tastefully furnished and always very clean.
The restaurant always offers a rich and diverse buffet at all meal times, while on given evenings dinner is served in the bush, but still with a rich variety of dishes.
The staff is helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.
Perhaps the only point where some improvement can be made is the evening entertainment.
The game drives are not a "surefire" event, as in the Masai Mara, but we were nonetheless able to see quite a variety of animals over two days, including the final unexpected bonus of a couple of honey badgers spotted before breakfast on the very last day. This is an animal we had not seen before at any of the other parks in Kenya.
Overall, a highly advisable and enjoyable establishment, and we'd love to go back again and again.

Room Tip: Rooms on the first floor enjoy a better view of the river and the crocodiles.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Shaba Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear guest,

It was a pleasure to host you earlier this year. Kindly accept our sincere apologies for this delay in response as it was due to unavoidable circumstances. The Sarova Shaba team was greatly encouraged by your feedback and we are working towards raising the bar in service excellence. We look forward to hosting you once again and hopefully soon.

Kind regards
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Nairobi
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2012

I will surely remember sarova Shaba for the best staff hospitality. My family and I enjoyed ambience of the hotel, peace created by the location and quiet environment. I loved the sundowner fun and the bush dinner, sheer creativity. I particularly loved the staff togetherness in serving all clients without discrimination. Commitment of the highest level.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Shaba Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear guest,

The Sarova Shaba team thanks you most sincerely for your visit and highly appreciate your very motivating feedback. The team wishes to assure our valued clients of our commitment to service excellence.

We hope to host you yet again in this near future.

Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

The game lodge is beautiful, the swimming pool is inviting and a great place to unwind.
The climate was wonderful and the staff were very friendly. The great thing about this place is the location and the great weather. It is truly a wonderful place for a vacation.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Shaba Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
Dear guest,

It was a pleasure hosting you earlier in the year. We highly appreciate having been of service to you and that our services were to your satisfaction.

We look forward to hosting you hopefull soon.

Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2012

The lodge is set in an oasis thats so beautiful in the semi-arid area. we arrived late & still managed to get lunch for the whole group. the rooms are clean, spacious and absolutely lovely. there are monkeys almost all over & its advisable to always keep the windows locked.

we had a lovely bush dinner, amazing sundownder by the river all arranged by the hotel.

game drives werent really worth it tho, there wasnt much to see.

the only negative point was the restaurant staff; they insisted on herding us to sit in groups..you couldnt just choose where to sit. and tabel setting was so slow we'd resort to picking cutlery from other tables. but the lovely food made up for this.

i'd definitely go back again...

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Shaba Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
Dear guest,

It was a pleasure hosting you earlier in the year. We highly appreciate having been of service to you and that our services were to your satisfaction. We note your feedback on the restaurant sitting and have taken measures to ease this when the restaurant is not very full as this happened due to many guests coming in for meals at the same time thus restricting us to sitting guests as they travelled. Please accept our sincere apologies for this.

We look forward to hosting you hopefull soon and we are sure your game drive experience will be different especially with the option of the three parks on the same park entry ticked ( Shaba, Buffalo springs and Samburu National reserves).

Kind regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kijabe, Kenya
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012

This is a wonderful resort in an amazing location. The staff really did an outstanding job. The food was pretty good, but we were at Shaba during an incredibly slow time and the kitchen staff did not appear to be in top gear and the chefs did not appear to be as well trained as I am accustomed to at Sarova resorts.

The game was very sparse during our game drive. I don't know if this is common for others. After all, this is not a zoo and animals will move around.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Shaba Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
Dear guest,

It was a pleasure hosting you earlier in the year. We highly appreciate having been of service to you and that our services were to your satisfaction. It was unfortunate that you came at a time when we were very 'Quiet'. We have noted your feedback on our kitchen brigade and wish to assure you that every effort has been made to correct this perception.

We look forward to hosting you hopefull soon and we are sure you will have a different game viewing experience.

Kind regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2012 via mobile

This hotel was great for a relaxed 3 night stay. I was attending a conference nearby and this hotel was a tremendous respite.

Hotel had nice facilities, great location, and the best staff I've experienced so far in Kenya. The staff really made all the difference.

Only downside (and this isn't the hotels fault) was that there was so little game to be seen on the river. The Kenyan government has rented land not far from the hotel to the British military so they do a lot of training and all the explosions have scared the animals to other sections of the park. Even with that, the hotel was great! I highly recommend.

Stayed March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Shaba Game Lodge, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
Dear guest,

It was a pleasure hosting you earlier in the year. We highly appreciate having been of service to you and that our services were to your satisfaction. We take note of your experience of the training excercise that was taking place at that particular time and wish to assure you that those were a 'one off' excercise that is not a standard happening here.

We look forward to hosting you hopefull soon and we assure you of a most restful and memorable stay with us..

Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sarova Shaba Game Lodge

Address: Shaba National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Eastern Province > Shaba National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Shaba National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sarova Shaba Game Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 85
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Also Known As:
Sarova Shaba Game Hotel Shaba National Reserve
Sarova Shaba Game Lodge Kenya/Shaba National Reserve

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