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“Luxury in the middle of Mara” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara

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Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Olare Orok Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya (Formerly Olare Ntiakitiak)   |  
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“Luxury in the middle of Mara”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013 via mobile

Amazing. The entire experience is just out of this world.
Service
The best that one can ever expect. Every single staff made me feel welcome and they are eager to attend to guest and their request. To John and Felix, thank you so much for attending to us during meal times. John has an amazing memory, always getting our orders right and yes he makes the most delicious masala tea.
Not forgetting Domanic, a lovely guy who go all out of the way to attend to us. Showing us around the lodge & the garden.
For the rest of the team, great job. You guys are amazing.
Lodge / Tent
A beautiful lodge in the middle of Mara. One can still have access to wifi. There is also a nice pool and the very frequent sightings of monkeys playing. The tent is huge... With a king size bed. Despite the noise made by the hippos & lions, I had a good sleep. There's also a bath tub & standing shower.
Food
Too much food! Every morning before the start of my game drive, the staff will place a pot of tea and some cookies inside my tent.
After my morning game drive, a full breakfast with choice of eggs/ baked beans/ cereal / yogurt.
One morning, I choose to have my breakfast in the wild. Ranger Philip packed breakfast for us & set up a table under the Acadia tree. How memorable.
Lunch & Dinner is usually a choice from 2 main courses. Appetizer is usually either a soup or a salad. The salad is yummy and the greens used are beautifully fresh. They get the greens from their own garden, can't get any fresher than that.
Game Drive
Our ranger is also our tracker. Philip has to do both roles but he can do both roles very well. However, given the price we paid I expect to have a ranger and a tracker. I spotted some lodge vehicles have both ranger & tracker. It is just better to have a tracker spotting animals & the ranger can concentrate in driving especially when the driving conditions can be rough.
The vehicle used for the game drive can be improve. The current vehicle used is not that great for taking photos from the top. I prefer the topless vehicle where one can stand up and have a better view of the animals.
Location
The location is great as it is inside the conservancy. Less vehicles crowding around. I saw the big 4 (didn't catch the white rhino) & many animals. Lions aplenty. One morning I even catch a pride of lions feasting a buffalo.
Overall an amazing experience.


  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
BernardMercier, General Manager at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara, responded to this review, October 23, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for the lovely review on Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara.
I am extremely pleased to read that all aspects of your stay were brilliant, so glad to hear that the service was perfect, accommodation was comfortable - in terms of the unexpected in the midst of the wilderness (spacious tents, bath tub and shower) and food was delicious. The organic garden is simply super in terms of attaining the freshest produce for our cooking.
Thank you for your notes on the game drives regarding the vehicle and the ranger / tracker. We will most definitely look into these. Pleased to hear that you enjoyed the overall experience of game viewing in the conservancy, which is just so special to us.
Look forward to having you back with us in the Mara in the near future. In case we can support with future reservations, please let us know
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90 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
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London
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

This was our second visit to the Olare Mara Lodge, now managed by Kempinski. Our stay last year was fantastic and it was again this year. Many of the staff remain at the lodge and the high standards have been maintained.
We were housed in the family unit which consists of two "tents" joined by a common verandah. The tents are really beautiful with massive bed in the master tent and two double beds in the other unit. The tents are massive and well constructed. Both have en-suite bathrooms. The tents overlook the river and it is noisy at night with hippos- but we still slept well.
The restaurant is of a very high standard with 4 course menus for lunch and dinner. There is a choice of two mains- normally fish or meat. The main chefs, David and Joel, are excellent and are always willing to propose specials for breakfast or an Kenyan menu for dinner (try this-it is great). Most of the vegetables and bread is produced on site. The rate includes wine (South African mainly) and some spirits. We used the lovely pool and had our lunch at the pool.
Philip was our excellent guide for the 4 days. The game viewing around the camp was superb and we had morning and afternoon game drives. The highlight was watching 2 leopards sleeping in a tree and then mating as dusk approached. We also saw many lions and cheetahs (three on a kill) during the stay. The Olare Orok Conservancy provides excellent game viewing. We did not visit the main Masai Mara National park as we had already done this during the previous 2 years.
The lodge provides massage services and is planning to have a spa operating in 2014.
Thanks to Dominic and Ester and all the other staff for making us so welcome. They all were very willing to assist with all our requests.
As it is now a Kempinski managed lodge, prices have increased but it remains a excellent value destination.
We look forward to returning soon.

Room Tip: Rooms 10 and 11 are one of the 2 family units. The other family unit is rooms 7 and 8. Room 11 is bi...
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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.
BernardMercier, General Manager at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara, responded to this review, October 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent review on Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara.
I am extremely pleased to read that this is the second time that you are visiting Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara.
I am delighted to note that you also had a pleasent stay at the resort, and hope that we will have the opportunity to host you once again in the near future.
The game viewing around the camp proves to be a great experience for most of the guests at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara, it seems as though the animals just love being around our camp.
I will definitely pass on your compliments to all our colleagues at the property
In case we can assist with any future reservations, please do contact us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

The 2 nights I spent at Olare Mara Kempinski were a revelation. Fantastic service, great food - world class in fact - and nature pure!

The second night I stayed there, I was all alone and not once did the high standard of service flag. I was treated like royalty and all the staff went out of there way to make me feel welcome: Dominick, Julius, Esther, Lydia, Jackson and my ranger Philip all went above and beyond the call of duty to make my very short stay as comfy as possible.

My huge tent, beautifully appointed, was located very close to the river and during the night, the hippos were grazing (very loudly!) all around my tent. I was safe and cosy in my huge comfy bed, listening to the sounds of the bush, lions and hyenas along with the hippos. Everything you could wish for from a night in the bush.

The food was exceptionally good and well presented and the bush breakfast, complete with "bubbly", served by the river was absolute bliss. Loved the yummy banana bread of which the chef gave me a huge portion in my packed lunch to take long to the beach. Asante sana!

Game driving was a challenge as there was a lot of rain and the tracks were quagmires at times but my ranger Philip mastered this with ease, showing me some fantastic game - especially the serval cat and the leopard.

The suites are fantastic and well appointed with lots of attention to detail. The Kempinski name is a guarantee for an extremely high standard of quality of service.

If there is one small criticism it would be that the vehicle as are not quite up to the standard of the rest of the hotel: hot water bottles on demand only, no bird/animal books, toilet paper etc. And the cool book between the 2 front seats is always in the way. Also,the vehicle did not close properly so that even with the canvas down, poor Philip got drenched and water was still coming in during one especially nasty downpour.

However, the quality of the rooms, service, welcome, food, etc, more than made up for the average vehicle. I truly enjoyed my stay and was sad to leave

Room Tip: I loved my tent no 6 right next to the main building!
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BernardMercier, General Manager at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara, responded to this review, October 3, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your comprehensive review on your recent stay at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara. We are glad to hear that you received the Kempinski style of living in the midst of the wilderness. I will definitely pass on your compliments and kind words to the rest of my colleagues in the Mara.
I am delighted to read that you were happy with the tents, which are a big highlight with the guests, also happy to note that the food on safari was very good, the Kitchen team at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara are known for creating organic, gourmet cuisine for guests.
I have noted your concern regarding the game drive vehicles, thank you for the feedback. We will definitely look into this.
We will eagerly be waiting for your return the next time your travels take you back here.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Crescenta, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

The welcome and send-off we received was unlike any we had received anywhere. Maasai warriors performed for us on arrival and our departure.


The staff was delightful, accommodating, always cheerful. John (maître d') memorized everyone's name in our group of 11 within minutes. He recalled whether we wanted soup, our wine choices and if we had special dietary requirements. Food was excellent and in good quantity. Other management staff, Fairman and Desmond, were always available to answer questions.

Oh, and did I mention the rooms? Beautifully appointed, every amenity thought of. Some rooms had outdoor showers overlooking the Mara - completely sheltered and private. All rooms had the most delightful bathtubs and hot water was never an issue to wash the dust of the day. The only complaint is the room lighting at night - it is a little dark, but certainly doable. Mostly we were abed by 10 because we were up sooo early. Huge beds - larger than king-size were in the standard rooms. In single rooms - two doubles and very comfortable.

At night, one could hear the animals passing through - hippos especially and some lions nearby. What a treat.

Overall, I would recommend the Olare Mara to anyone who wished to stay at this location and avoid the hordes of people at the Mara River crossing.

Room Tip: Rooms 1-4 are a wee bit farther from the main lodge area. But if you don't mind walking, they a...
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BernardMercier, General Manager at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara, responded to this review, October 3, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your review on your stay at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara. We are delighted to hear that you had the most memorable check in and check out experience, both being very unique to Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara.
I am also extremely pleased to read that the service at the resort was perfect. I will pass on your compliments to all my colleagues.
Glad to also note that you enjoyed the food and the facilities of the tents, which are indeed perfectly suited to luxury living in the midst of the wilderness.
The sounds of the residents animals at night are indeed the most perfect bush treat.
Thank you so much for selecting Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara as your accommodation of choice in the Mara, and we look forward to having you back with us in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

A hotel with beautiful "tents". Of course the tents are mostly structure,with some canvas.
They are up off the ground with a porch and optional outdoor shower.
They food, service, and drinks were all high quality. We liked the telephone in the room,(as opposed to be given a walkie-talkie and a whisltle),in case of danger?????
The staff were wonderful.

Room Tip: If you choose tent#5 you will be "entertained" by the hippos
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BernardMercier, General Manager at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara, responded to this review, September 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent review on Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara.
We are pleased to hear that you were happy with the tents, they are definitely a highlight at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara.
We are also delighted to note that you were happy with the food and beverage options, overall service and facilities such as the telephone in the tents.
We will pass on your compliments to all our colleagues in the Masai Mara and look forward to having you stay with us once again in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

My Own opinion is that Olare Mara Kempinski is in truly beautiful ,stylish and magnificent natural surroundings, complimented by very efficient camp Manager Geoffery Mulla and his attentive staff who all went out of their way to cater and please our group of 16 guests.
Game Drives, Mara river migration, Balloon Safari were all memorable and so was the Stay at the Camp perfect in every way.
Rajni & Kiran

  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BernardMercier, General Manager at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara, responded to this review, September 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent review on Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara. We are extremely pleased to hear that your group of 16 guests enjoyed the magic of the Mara and the beautiful Kempinski property, Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara, located in the Olare Orok Conservancy.

Gald to also note that you enjoyed the overall safari experience of game drives, Mara River migration, Ballon Safari. These memories can be compared to no other.

Look forward to having you stay with us once again in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mandurah,WA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

They call it a tent. I call it a house with some canvas. The 'standard' rooms are huge, with living room, a bed big enough for multiple families (I am 6 feet tall and with my toes hanging over one side, I couldn't reach the other side with outstretched arms), desk, other sitting chairs, an inside and outside shower, bath, double vanities, a large deck with outside loungers to view game grazing across the creek, or watch the hippoes wandering through your yard at night. The main buildings have a very comfortable lounge, restaurant, library, pool, bar, outside lawn dining by the creek. The food was superb, the staff extremely efficient. The welcoming tree tomato drink was delicious. Absolutely could not fault the facilities or staff. We had David as our driver and guide. He showed us the migration animals, river crossing, fantastic close up encounters with the local lion prides and resident leopard. I especially enjoyed the walking safari, although the wildebeest, zebra and gazelles kept a wary distance. The highlight was the ballon safari, despite the 4.15 am wakeup. We stayed at up-market lodges, hotels and tent camps throughout and this was the best. I'm not sure of the value rating as we paid for the trip as a whole so cannot say what the cost was. The non-included 'premium' drinks are expensive by anyone's standard, but their standard drinks are prefectly palatable.

Room Tip: We had room 1 which was the furthest from the main building. Advantage was the hippos nearby, plus t...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BernardMercier, General Manager at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara, responded to this review, September 10, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for posting a review on your stay at Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara.
My team and I are happy to note that you had an extremely adventurous holiday, with the walking safari, balloon safari and game drives. These will be memories forever. We are also pleased to note that you were happy wih your stay in our spacious tents, which are 80 sqm and the honeymoon suite - 120 sqm.
Glad to also hear that you enjoyed the various outdoor dining options at the resort and were pleased with the food and beverage options.
We will pass on your compliments to our colleagues in the Mara regarding the overall service experience and hope to have you back with us again in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara

Address: Olare Orok Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya (Formerly Olare Ntiakitiak)
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara is located in Olare Orok Conservancy. The resort comprises of 12 deluxe suites tents of which 1 is a honeymoon suite. The deluxe suites cover an area of 80 sq m and are furnished in the classic style of the grand African safaris, with large four poster beds and reproduction furniture, offset by modern amenities. The honeymoon suite has its very own plunge pool, ideal for watching the sun set over the Mara and toasting to life together with champagne. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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