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“Almost great...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mara Sopa Lodge

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Mara Sopa Lodge
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C14, Keekorok, Oloolaimutia valley (Masai Mara Reserve) | Oloolaimutia Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Townsville, Australia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Almost great...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2012

You can tell that Sopa Lodge is trying hard to provide a great experience. Staff were friendly, food was plentiful, the Masai display in the lobby bar was good fun. The resort looks lovely, and blends nicely with it's environment. The beds were comfy and the room a good size.

However, I could hear the party in the next room with a little too much clarity for my liking, and both shower taps came off in my hands! Also be aware that some rooms (read ours!) are quite some distance from the main buildings and necessitate walking some slightly hilly paths. This could be a turn off for older/infirm travellers. As a female, I also felt the distance from a personal security perspective as I headed back to my rom alone at night

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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419 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Tampere, Finland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

We enjoyed our stay in Sopa Lodge. The prices are very high (bottle of water 3 euros), but the service was wonderful and the rooms almost luxuryus.
When i was sick, a really good doctor came to our lodge and the quality of treatment what something else you are used to in europe! He was excellent and actually made me feel better. And the nurse took as her own personal mission to take care of me the rest of the safari. If I had the money I would go back!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alsace, France
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2012

We spent two nights here on a short safari. I had specified that I needed guaranteed overnight electricity for medical reasons and I was delighted to find that that this was supplied (because that's not always the case in National Park accommodation) and I didn't have a single powercut.

The downside to this is that the electricity goes off from 10 - 12.30 and 14.00 to 18.00 during the day. This makes the rooms very dark (even with the curtains open!) and I fell over the coffee table more than once! The other downside to the rooms are that the party wall between your bedroom and that of your neighbour is very thin and noise carries easily! Best try to share a bedroom unit with those you know and who know you!!

The beds were very comfortable and the large mosquito nets meant that you could stretch out in bed without fearing putting a limb outside the 'safety zone'! Rooms had easy chairs, a safe and space. There was no TV nor Wifi. The bathroom was large and clean. There were sufficient and good towels plus toiletries and water. Hot water was in limited supply - hours are shown at reception - but this never caused me any problem. Power and water restrictions are normal for this sort of situation.

There is no telephone service to wake you for an early morning safari departure, but personal wake-up calls are offered and they wake you up at the time you've asked for!
During the hours of darkness we were escorted to our room by an askari (security guard), and the askaris also helped with luggage porterage.

The complex was not built yesterday, and this dates it slightly, but in a nostalgic way! There is a bar adjacent to the restaurant, one by the pool and another at the bottom of the complex with a TV that showed football during our stay. There is a free tea/coffee/hot chocolate station outside the dining room, which is available for most of the day and evening ... just the thing before setting off on an early morning trip, with a variety of teas and herb teas.

The bar/lounge has a large central fireplace which was used during our stay. It is also the venue for Masai dancing on some evenings and the feeding of the delightful bushbabies (18.30 and 19.00).

The restaurant is also a large building, with a buffet area, including show cooking, and guests sit at their own reserved tables for every meal. The meals are varied with a good choice, but when the restaurant is under-occupied (as happened on one of our two nights) the buffet is replaced with a 5 course set meal (with a choice at all courses including vegetarian) served at your table. The meal we sampled was good and copious, though as I'd been looking forward to another curry, I had to accept an alternative!

A good choice of wines is available and the hotel offers cocktails.

Another regular mealtime was the feeding of the hyenas at 22.00 from the terrace at the bottom of the hotel. You need to be on time for this! A few minutes and the table will be bare and the guests dispersed from whence they came! There were about 8 who made an appearance during our visit and they made short work of the bones and meat on offer! It was somewhat discouraging to hear the bones being crunched so close to us! A bit of humour was offered by the arrival of a massive mongoose who foraged amongst the hyenas without any fear, and who enjoyed all the bits that the hyenas considered un-transportable (they mostly grab a joint and run away), and also the two hotel cats who also turned up nonchalently and frightened off the hyenas!!! The howling (laughing?) or the hyenas later in the night was a unique sound and reminded you that even if you were lodged half way up a decent hill with a protected access road and perimeter, you were still in 'wild' Africa!

The hotel has a small unheated pool with a lovely view on a terrace jutting out over the savannah... though might need to supervise their non-swimming children carefully, because although there is a line at the bottom of the pool to show where the 'shallow' part ends, there are no depth markings and the pool slopes steeply away from this. There is a changing room and pool towels are provided.

There are only two down-sides of the hotel. One is a lack of wifi or computer facilities. The other is to my mind more contentious. The hotel has a 'Masai village' attraction within the grounds and this is a disappointment and a money-making opportunity which for me takes away from the dignity of the Masai. You go down a path, where two young ladies in Masai dress are waiting, and they escort you to an enclosure where there is a mud house with a thatched roof which you can look inside, scantily furnished with a mud partition (a bedspace) and a couple of wooden stools, and then you are firmly escorted to a series of stalls with handicrafts. The prices asked initially are far higher than those in the Lodge's shop, and the quality inferior. If you don't buy, you are encouraged to pay a fee to the ladies for having given you a 'guided tour'. I don't think this adds to the facilities offered by the Lodge and would like to see it be removed!

I would return to the Lodge as it meets my expectations for a base for a safari holiday, but would not return to the 'village'!

This is a relatively large lodge - 100 guests, mostly short stay on group tours, with adequate but functional staffing.

Room Tip: The rooms are reached by level walkways, but if you have walking difficulties you should ask to be s...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

We stayed here for two nights n our safari and we enjoyed everything here in Mara Sopa lodge .Restaurant and bar, food ,rooms ,were excellent.Also staffs are friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

The lodge was OK. The location is good. The rooms are a little dingy and the wall very thin. Luckily our neighbours weren't too noisy. The bathroom was a little grungy. The staff were mixed - some nice, efficient, friendly and others (including the waiter) provided very poor service and stood around our table taking to co-workers. The food was OK. The porters leered as you walk by - not all that comfortable.

I personally would not go back there but it wasn't horrible. I also read rave reviews in the guest book and couldn't understand why - it was really lackluster

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Bristol
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2011

We stayed here for 2 nights on our safari.

The restaurant and bar areas are pleasant and the food was good. Staff were friendly and helpful. The swimming pool looked nice but appeared to be out of use when we were there (maybe due to the wet weather).

However our room was very dark especially during the day when the electricity was not available. There is no way you could sit in your room and read a book during the day. We even had difficulty locating such item as cameras and binoculars as we couldn't see them. It was also surprising that no torch was supplied (as at other lodges). The rooms also had very thin walls so you could easily hear your neighbours.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Top Contributor
194 reviews 194 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2011

We moved to the Mara Sopa Lodge after being at three previous properties in Kenya -- all tented camps -- so that is the perspective from which I am writing.

Good: Buffet and food quality/choice better than other places. Very decent wine selection for being in the middle of nowhere. Really appreciated our waitress, Annie. She was helpful, friendly, and didn't try to gouge me by suggesting the most expensive bottle. Plenty of hot water. Interesting lounge area, decent gift shop. Interesting "feeding" at night with the hyenas. Seems a bit strange and barbaric, but they throw out carcasses each night and the hyenas come to feed like crazed starving animals. So, my husband watched it and thought it was very interesting. Staff is very friendly and professional.

Not as good: Thin walls and a long walk to rooms. Porters carried our bags back and forth -- always waiting for a tip, of course which we were happy to pay, but...the rooms are rather basic with mosquito netting that can be drawn around the beds. It was nice to be in a room and not a tent, so it was just fine.

Remember -- wherever you do decide to stay, the hotels near Masai land are mandated to hire Masai as employees. Always carry some 100 to 200 schilling bank notes for tips.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Mara Sopa Lodge

Address: C14, Keekorok, Oloolaimutia valley (Masai Mara Reserve) | Oloolaimutia Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #83 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 90
Also Known As:
Mara Sopa Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Sopa Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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