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“Loved our time at the Mara Serena!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mara Serena Safari Lodge

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Mara Serena Safari Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   C14, Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Nashua, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
70 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
231 helpful votes 231 helpful votes
“Loved our time at the Mara Serena!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2008

We stayed here for 4 nights and really enjoyed our stay.
Mara Serena was one of three Serenas on our trip (we also stayed at Ngorongoro Serena and Samburu Serena).
We thought this was by far the nicest one!

The lodge is very unique, with all the pod-like rooms and the decor is very whimsical!
The views here are wonderful. No matter where your room is you should have a beautiful vista to enjoy!

The rooms are pretty large, with a separate seating area with a sliding glass door that opens out onto the view.
The beds were fairly soft (which to me means comfortable) and there were lots of good pillows.

The bathroom was nice and large with plenty of counter space.
The shower had good water pressure and hot water, but could have been larger (it'll be difficult for a woman to shave her legs in there).

There is no TV and no air conditioning, but AC was definitely not needed in the first week of October.

Their internet was only working intermittently, sometimes it was down for most of the day.
Ask at the front desk before you pay for time, they'll let you know if it's working or not.
The fee for the internet was $4-5US per hour or $21US for 24 hours.

The outdoor areas were lovely! Lots of little quiet places to sit and enjoy the views!

Drinks weren't cheap. Beer started at around $4US, wine was $8-9US and mixed drinks were outrageously high ($15US for a margarita!)

The food was pretty good, with a large buffet. I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to find something you like. They had a great pasta station where you pick the veggies and sauce you want and they saute it right in front of you. Very tasty!
The desserts, however were always a bit of a disappointment.
The food situation was pretty much the same at all the Serenas.

The staff was friendly and helpful.
Laundry is done very quickly (if you drop off in the morning by 10am they have it back to you that same evening.
Pants and shirts were about $2-3US a piece.

Also, we were able to pay for incidentals (like laundry and drinks) with a credit card with no extra fee added on. We had heard that they charge an extra 3-5% when paying by credit card but found that not to be the case at all the Serenas.

We really enjoyed our stay here. I would highly recommend it and would suggest to stay a minimum of 3 nights here, unless you'll be dividing your time up between 2 places in the park.
Wonderful place!

  • Liked — Spacious room, comfy beds, wonderful setting!
  • Disliked — Expensive drinks and shower was cramped
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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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
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The Hague
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2008

We really enjoyed our stay at the Masai Mara Serena; of all the places we stayed while in Kenya, the Serena had the best service, atmosphere and amazing views. The staff were always so friendly; made us feel very comfortable and at home. The only down side was getting there by road; the airstrip is really close to the Serena and regular flights from Nairobi- for the next time!

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2008

We spent 3 weeks in Kenya during September staying in top end hotels/lodges. The Mara Serena Safari Lodge was by far the best of all. The room was lovely with a fantastic view across the savannah. Food was plentiful, varied and of excellent quality. All the staff without exception were extremely friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I will definitely return some day and would totally recommend it to anybody. The only downside of the trip to the Serena was that we drove from Nairobi. If you are thinking of doing this - don’t. It is a horrendous 6 hour journey due to the state of the roads. There is an airstrip about 2 kms from the lodge and flights from Nairobi are cheap. This is a far better option.

  • Liked — The food and staff.
  • Disliked — Getting there.....
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury, England
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2008

We visited the wonderful Mara Serena in early September following visits to the Serena Mountain Lodge and Sweetwaters Tented Camp. It would not be fair to compare these lodges for they all provide completely different experiences in very varied scenarios. We loved them all - but we loved the Mara Serena the best. Perched on a ridge high above the Mara plains the astonishing views stretch for miles, visible from every one of of the hotel rooms. They are spacious and very comfortable, brightly decorated with Masai embellishments on the mirrors and a place to sit and gaze. The restaurant provides such a huge choice of food even the fussiest eaters should be happy. But it is the game drives that take the Serena Mara way beyond excellent. We loved being in those big open topped, open sided vehicles and we saw everything we could have hoped for, and more, thanks to our amazing driver Emanuel who was determined that we should. (Could give a massive list here)! So we say go and see everything this wonderful place can show you (including Hippos under your bedroom window at night) ! Note: Take some warm clothes, it can get cold and very windy especially at 6.30 am!

  • Liked — The views, the game drives, the room, the staff, but especially the animals.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Glasgow
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2008

Stayed in Mara Serena Lodge for 2 nights as part of a recent safari trip to Kenya. The Lodge was lovely and comfortable. Rooms were spacious and had all facilities that we required. The views across the Mara from our room were breathtaking and I believe that all of the rooms have excellent views across the plains.Food was excellent too with plenty of choices on offer to accomodate all tastes. Staff were attentive and always on hand to assist with any queries. We enjoyed our time in this hotel and woulod not hesitate in recommending it.

  • Liked — Level of comfort and staff
  • Disliked — Journey to get to it! Roads in Kenya are awful!!!!
  • Stayed September 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2008

This vacation was a lifelong dream and the Mara Serena Lodge helped to make the dream a reality. I want to go back! We were there Sept 1-4, 2008 and we flew in from Nairobi. We got in at 1PM and had our first wildlife drive at 4PM. That day we saw more wildlife than I ever imagined possible. Elephants, lions, zebras, wildebeast, hyenas, many kinds of antelope, cheetahs, giraffes, and many kinds of birds. That was just our first drive! Samuel was our driver the entire time and he was wonderful. We had two drives each day and in between we spent relaxing around the pool or grounds.

The room was nice and clean with views that were breathtaking. The facilities were fantastic. The service was very, very good. There was always plenty of food although it was different than what we are used too, so we just had to adapt. We weren't in the United States after all!

A couple of tips: the morning drives were colder than we expected and we are from Minnesota. Bring warm clothes. The afternoons were hot! Bring Visine or other eye drops in the vehicle as if it is dry there will be plenty of dust.

  • Liked — The wildlife drives were amazing
  • Disliked — Food could be better, but really it was just fine.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Maryland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2008

I just returned from spending 3 wonderal days at Mara Serena. This was an absolutely fantastic property. The staff was very professional, the grounds well maintained and the rooms very clean. Oh, and let me not forget the game drivers. Top notch all the way, very knowledgable and it wont matter how many pictures of elephants you have taken they are more than willing to stop for you to take more. The views from the lobby to the bungalows are spectacular. Another great thing about this location is that there are several wildebeest crossing points within 5-10minutes from the hotel. So while others spend all day traveling to these spots, if you stay here its almost as easy as rolling out of bed. The food is served buffet style but every night that had meat, fish and veggie options. The area was always well stocked and VERY CLEAN! There were 8 of us in our party and we all had the same reaction. This is definitely the place to stay in Mara.

  • Liked — Cleanliness and Location
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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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 Serena Safari Lodge

Also Known As:
Mara Serena Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Serena Safari Hotel
Mara Serena
Mara Serena Safari Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve
Address: C14, Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 109 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mara Serena Safari Lodge 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mara Serena Safari Lodge, set on a saddle of a hill, overlooks the 1,800 square km of rolling plains at an altitude of 1625 meters at the Masai Mara Triangle, one of the world's richest wildlife sanctuaries. ... more   less 
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