The road to the lodge from Ongata Rongai, past the Nazarene University, is part-tarmaced but ends quite early then is rough all the way. It's really not a problem, there are plenty of worse roads, and it gives you the feel that you are on safari and not still within Nairobi!
Rooms are quite comfortable, individual buildings through the grounds, based on the design of a Masai hut - but solid! The bedroom area was quite roomy and comfortable, the bathroom was fine but had seen better days but it was kept very clean. Try and get one that faces Nairobi NP, you can't see too much but it's nice to look over the park. There is a gorge in front with the river running through so you have the sound of the gushing water too (maybe not so during the dry seasons). There are other rooms set back further so the views are of the gardens. The room I had came with a balcony, nice to sit out with a book and just chill.
The food was very good indeed. Breakfast, I would say, was fairly average with the usual bits and pieces, not exactly a feast. But the main meals that we had were excellent and I'd thoroughly recommend the tilapia fillet - delicious! All the food was quite reasonably priced and the menu was had quite a selection, vegetarian and Indian too. Lunch was off the main menu and, unless you had one of the 3 sandwiches on offer (I think they came with chips), there was nothing what I’d call light. Just opt for the B&B and pay for any other meals as you go. You could choose half or full board but you'd end up paying a lot more than you would spend on just taking the a la carte. Drink was quite reasonably priced, 150 for a Tusker, 50 for a soda, around 2-300 for a double G&T.
My only reservation was that it gets really busy on a weekend. We arrived on Saturday and it was fully booked, I would imagine that most of the guests would have come from the city for the Saturday night alone. Also, being a weekend, there were quite a few ‘parties' going on which did restrict your movements within the hotel, for example, you wouldn't have been able to use the pool as there were functions going on, also in the bar area, etc. No problem during the week, I would think, certainly when we were there on the Monday the place was virtually empty except for a seminar that was taking place.
The grounds of the lodge are very well maintained and attractive. It’s situated at the edge of the Silole Sanctuary, we did see a few warthogs in the low area beside the river but nothing else. It’s not the place to come if you have any mobility issues, there are steps aplenty. My quibble with the hotel was with use of the swimming pool. As I mentioned, access is limited at the weekend so we decided to take a day off on the Monday and sit round the pool. We’d been there for about an hour when we were asked to move while they treated the pool. This was at about 11am, and the pool couldn’t be used for another 5-6 hours after that. Why they weren’t able to treat it the previous evening so it could be used the following day, like all other hotels do, I don’t know.
It is a really nice place, I'd certainly go back if I didn't want to go any great distance while in Kenya. As I was only in the country for a flying visit of 5 nights it was ideal.
- Also Known As:
- Masai Hotel
- Masai Hotel Nairobi