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“Mara West/AMS” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mara West

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Mara West
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C13, Oloololo Gate, Masai Mara Reserve, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Seattle, Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Mara West/AMS”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

The food and lodging at Mara West were amazing. The lookout points from the rooms and all sides of camp are fantastic, and safari services are excellent. My 11 year old son and I stayed as part of a Mission group. We were waited on hand and foot and felt so privileged to be able to stay at this camp which is affiliated with African Mission Services. Zebras were eating by the tent at night. Giraffes, babboons and all kinds of antelope roaming around the grounds. The gardening was simply beautiful. The staff were just lovely and cared for us like family. But what really made an impression for us most was that all the staff including the owners of the lodge were involved in the missionary work on a daily basis, including the hard stuff like hammering nails into roofs to build new schools and clinic buildings, and running and organizing bush clinics and the main clinic a few miles away. It was inspiring to be around such leadership, and this shows in how they run AMS and Mara West also!

Room Tip: We stayed in the high end rooms which were excellent.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 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.
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117 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    93
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    4
    5
    1
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28
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
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English first
Collegedale, Tennessee
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Spent a little over a week at Mara West in the mid-range tents. It was a fabulous stay. Mara West borders the Maasai Mara game park and does not have fences between facilities and the park, making the connection to the park that much greater. I enjoyed hearing the nightly sites and sounds of zebra eating grass right next to our tent as well as other birds and wildlife such as giraffe and impala throughout the Camp.The food was wonderful....especially the daily soups, with a different soup every day for 10 days! The road to the Camp is indeed a bit rough, but certainly not unbearable and, frankly, I rather enjoyed it as a part of the Kenyan adventure I paid for.

There are several Maasai villages near Mara West. Not only was it interesting to see and connect with the Maasai people around the lodge, but Mara West also actively supports extensive humanitarian work with the Maasai. It felt good to be a part of supporting the indigenous community.

Room Tip: Mara West offers three accommodation levels....Luxury, Mid-range, and Economy. Both Mid-range and Lu...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Truely unbelievable. Clean and very nice "tents". They are really not what one might expect from a tent. Much nicer. The animals come right up to the tents (Zebras) although mostly at night. They have a terrace that looks over the mountain(you are on a mountain) and you can see the entire Mara west game reserve. Totally amazing. See the sun rise at between 630-7 over Mara west. Unforgettable. Food was very good too. Went with Kensington Safari's and so the cost was part of the safari. I think alone this place would be very expensive.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 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.
Toronto
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We stayed at Mara West for the first 3 nights of our Safari in December and we couldnt have loved it more! From the moment our driver picked us up we felt welcome. We were able to do some game driving from the airstrip on our way to the camp which really got us excited for our trip.

FYI - yes there is a VERY bumpy hill for a portion of the way up to the camp. However, you are on vacation, you shouldnt be in a rush, just let your driver slowly work their way up the hill and look out the windows at the nature you came to see! This has NOTHING to do with Mara West, the road is government owned and so they are not able to make improvements, the government has "said" they will be fixing it this year. It is only about 10-15 min on this super bumpy part so dont be discouraged by anyones negitive comments on this.

We stayed in the "medium" level cabins and loved it. We had 2 twin beds, we were cold so they were happy to provide extra blankets, hot shower, sink, and proper toilet. The walls and ceiling are made out of tent canvas, but the "tent" is quite comfortable and it gives you the feeling on being on safari with the comfort of being in a proper cottage.

FYI - their power runs on a generator so there is only elecricity from 5:30am-8am and then from 6-10pm. Gives you more than enough time to charge your cameras etc and they provide flashlights for getting around as well.

Meals were great. They had 2 options for your main, one was always veggie. They also had hot drinks set up (tea, coffee, hot chocolate) that you can enjoy any time of day, or sitting around the fire at night.

A suggestion we loved was spending an entire day out on a game drive so that we could see different areas. They packed us a boxed lunch which was great and then off we went. If you are daunted by the road going up to the hotel this is a great option, because then you only do it twice in a day.

We were blown away by how friendly ALL of the staff were. They couldnt do enough to help you out and make sure that you were very comfortable. Make sure to ask about nature walks as well as visiting near by Masai villages. There are also local schools in the area if you are interested in bringing school supplies or treats for the kids you can bring them to the school which is very appreciated and I wish we would have known ahead of time to bring those kinds of things.

Overall amazing experience and would HIGHLY suggest it to anyone.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed for three nights in this sumptuous tented camp on the edge of the Masai Mara preserve. Arriving late afternoon after the long drive on terrible road in a downpour, we were greeted by Rose, who held a large umbrella to shelter the short walk to the main building. There aren't enough superlatives to adequately describe the camp, from the staff to the food to the surroundings, with breathtaking views overlooking the preserve. Masai tribesmen were on hand to escort us to/from our rooms after dark, tall, handsome fellows dressed in traditional attire. At night, we listened to the sounds of zebra, giraffe and impalas outside our tent. We were there over Christmas and celebrated with other guests over a feast and singing that night, topped off by Masai Santa! It was a hoot! I have to agree with others about the roads into the preserve - they are the worst!

  • Stayed December 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.
MaraWest, Marketing at Mara West, responded to this review, January 28, 2014
Hello GailGarber,

We are delighted that you chose to stay at Mara West during Christmas!

The road is much better now and we hope to see you again the next time you are in the Mara (maybe Easter..... A Masai Easter Bunny may show up ;-)! )
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We were at Mara West for 3 days at the end of October. Words are inadequate for this wonderful place. I will try as this is a review...Let me get this out of the way from the first....fly from wherever you to the airstrip near Mara West. Please save yourself from the beautiful, but 'crazy rough' road that starts about 3 hours outside of Nairobi. The road for most of the drive is lovely, but seriously...2 hours more on that unpaved road...too much.
Mara West was an exceptional place to stay. The tents are spacious, comfortable, and very private (except for the zebra who came to graze in the evening).
The food was delicious and Moses, the chef accommodated the fact that I don't eat red meat. The staff are amazing. Christine, the Graces and Charles were hospitable and kind. My big disappointment was that we didn't get to see the Masai village up close. A good reason to return! The drives were also everything I hoped for and more.
Don't miss this fantastic place! The view from tent 7 is gorgeous.

Room Tip: # 7 is the only tent I saw and it was perfect and private.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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Langley City, Canada
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

Spent three nights here in September of 2012 at the end of our safari- incredible experience. Sitting on the deck watching the sunrise and hot air balloons in the valley below each morning, a bit later , after a wonderful hot shower, standing on the deck in the incredibly comfy housecoat, brushing my teeth, watching the baboons giraffes, etc go by-surreal in the most wonderful way.
The food in the restaurant was excellent, the packed lunches for the day safaris were basic, the service was second to none.
The tents were wonderful, beds were comfy and there were no bugs
The walking safari we went on our last day was incredible- we were surrounded by zebras and giraffes at various times-a completely diferent experience thanbeing in the vehicles. Worthy of all the positive reviews-would go back in a heartbeat

Room Tip: The chalet tents are amazing
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  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mara West

Address: C13, Oloololo Gate, Masai Mara Reserve, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled against a wooded thicket and surrounded by savannah, Mara West provides nature lovers with luxury accommodations while experiencing the sights and sounds of an unforgettable African safari. Luxury tents are perched in secluded spots on an escarpment edge overlooking the vast plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve giving tremendous views and a sense of private exclusion. Mara West is an American owned and managed private safari camp providing high quality service with beautifully designed, comfortable accommodations. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mara West Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara West Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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