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“Nice place but with some drawbacks” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Mara Sopa Lodge

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Mara Sopa Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   C14, Keekorok, Oloolaimutia valley | Oloolaimutia Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
167 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Nice place but with some drawbacks”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

We received an extremely warm, African welcome here, however, we stayed for 4 nights and were, overall, a little disappointed. We felt that the true Kenyan hospitality was not apparent here (not a reflection on the staff who were at all times friendly, helpful and courteous) - the feel was that the hotel was focused on maximising profit rather than giving guests value for money.

The individual buildings look lovely; we liked their rustic charm. The bathroom was nice (spacious and nicely designed) - apart from the lack of hot water (only on one evening did we get enough for a quick hot shower each!). The bedrooms are also spacious and rustic. Rooms were cleaned daily, though sheets and towels could be changed more often (where necessary only, I'm not suggesting this should be done every day)

The worst thing for me was that the walls of the rooms were so thin (this is why I have rated the rooms as 'poor') and so there was a feeling of having no privacy. We could hear every word spoken by the people in the next room, we could hear them in the bathroom, and one night our neighbours were two very loudly spoken gentlemen, one of whom also snored so loudly that it kept us awake. As our neighbours changed almost daily (it seems most people just pass through for one or two nights) we were woken around 3.30a.m. on two separate occasions by different neighbours getting up and preparing for their sunrise balloon rides.

The lunch and dinner buffets were average, with very little for non meat eaters (some attempt was made at curries / dhal / etc but these were very bland). On 2 of the 4 nights the veggie main course option was stir-fried vegetables of which I was offered just a teaspoonful, then, it seemed grudgingly, another teaspoonful, until I explained that this was my whole main course and I served myself a decent portion. Even for meat eaters there wasn't a lot of variety, though the meat was apparently very good quality, and portions served were extremely small so people had to go back two or three times for extra portions. There were a few salad items as starters though, and the breakfasts were very good every day - omelettes and eggs cooked to perfection, with plenty of vegetables, sausage, bacon, cereals, yoghurt, freshly cooked pancakes,home-made bread etc. too. Good quality fresh fruit was available every mealtime. Also the barbeque they put on one night was good and that one night they even served fish.The tables were packed into the dining hall so tightly that it was often difficult to manoeuvre a route to and from our table from the buffet service. Also, the coffee was very average - not what I'd expect in a Luxury Lodge in Kenya! - but there was a nice terrace outside the restaurant to relax with your coffee or tea and enjoy the good views. Wines, beers and spirits were expensive (though that was expected!)

Staff were friendly, courteous and helpful - most of them had lovely, cheery smiles. The pool looked very nice too, very clean and enticing.

Room Tip: If any of the rooms don't have thin walls then opt for those (but I think they are all the same...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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474 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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Muscat, Oman
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012 via mobile

This place was congested, especially the dining area, as it was full. Recommend facility to make coffee/ tea in room. Hot water was in limited quantity. Food was good. Staff was very courteous. Some rooms could be a long walk from the dining area.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

My Husband and I were on Safari in Kenya and Tanzania in Sept. 2012 and stayed at several of the Sopa Lodges.

The Mara Sopa Lodge, Amboseli Sopa Lodge, Ngorongora Sopa Lodge, Serengeti Sopa Lodge and the Tarangire Sopa Lodge.

Mara Sopa Lodge – loved the African feel to lodge. Roomy bedroom and spacious washroom. Clean stone walkways to your individual "huts" - usually two rooms per hut - very cute with thatched roofs. Nice swimming pool area; grounds nice and natural; large public/leisure areas for sitting and enjoying a drink or coffee. This was a large lodge.

We enjoyed our stay!


Here is some General Info based on our experience staying at all of the Sopa Lodges above and it applies to them all:


The Sopa Lodges actually surprised me - I was not expecting much having read various reviews online and expected they would be basic. They all had something different that was appealing about them.

While the Sopa Lodges were not Deluxe or Luxury by North American Standards, we were very comfortable, food was fine and the lodges were clean. They were nicer than I had anticipated and we had no problem with them at all.

I personally found that staff was attentive and eager to please.




• They were what I would call rustic/basic in that furniture did look locally made rather than from a mass producing factory. They had African themes to them. Both of these things were appealing to me as we felt we had "stepped into our environment rather than step out".
• On arrival to each lodge we were met by the Staff with a refreshing hot cloth and a cool drink of juice. We were told where things were, times for dining and times for hot water and electricity.
• Water was provided for brushing of teeth (two bottles nightly). Each bathroom had little soaps and shampoos which we used because we did not bring our own. Some had hairdryers in the rooms and some you asked for a hairdryer at the front desk.
• All except for Ngorongoro Cater had netting around the beds at night the hotel staff came in every evening while you were at dinner and turned down the beds and put the netting around the beds.
• Each Lodge conserves energy and hot water and electricity are not available 24/7. They tell you when you check in what the available hours are and usually it's posted in the Lobby and also on a card they give you on check in. We found the hours of operation convenient and it's different for each lodge. We found that we were gone most of the days all day - you just need to plan your "shower" time and plan your "battery boosting" time as well. We respect that this is East Africa and they don’t have same luxuries as we in North America.
• Laundry Service is available at all Sopa's and it's quick and not expensive - we used this three times!
• The rooms do not have TV's or phones in them. We would have not have used either.
• There was usually always Staff to walk you to your room in the evening, particularly if the Lodge had dark walkways or if your room was further from the main areas. We always took advantage of this and a small tip was appreciated.
• A Tip - bring a small flashlight with you - we always used ours at night and in the mornings because we started very early each day. Also, there were always Staff available on checking out to carry your luggage to Main Area - we always utilized this because sometimes you had steps to walk or your room maybe a little further.
• All Dining Rooms were large. There was always Buffet for Breakfast and either a Buffet for dinner or A la Carte. Tables were always nicely dressed and they kept you at the same table you first sat at for the first meal.
• In general, all Staff was helpful either in the Dining Room or the Porters or the Guys walking you to your room each night and we had lots of 1.00 bills with us for the most appreciated tips.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
British Columbia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

The lodge is charming being made up of individual little buildings with grass roofs. We found it terrific. The bathroom was beautiful. One must remember that electricity is a precious commodity in the middle of the Mara and so it is used carefully. Leave North American expectations behind and you'll be happier. Electricity goes off for some periods and things like hot water while we had no problem can be in short supply some of the time.
We found the staff lovely and the food wonderful. I still miss the desserts. The Lodge had small events like Masai dancing and was very festive. Masai women were able to sell their wares at the bottom of the garden and we appreciated that very much.
The staff was very friendly and always helpful. Would go back if I were lucky enough to be in Kenya again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Martlesham Heath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We were forced to stay at the Sopa Lodge when Somak Holidays let us down. We had booked 2 nights at Keekorok and told last minute that it was over-booked.

It was dark, dingy and not very welcoming. The rooms were below average - the walls were so thin I could hear the gent next door snoring and pretty much every aspect of the couple's conversation the following morning. The food was average, the service average. I think that about sums it up!

(No fitness centre and didn't get room service)

Room Tip: Book somewhere else!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Nice room and food. It was a large lodge so it had a bit of a resort feel -- a bit impersonal, but good facilities. Pool with a view overlooking the Masai Mara was wonderful. Beware the baboons that hang around :p

Only negative was that the hot water ran out -- awful!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
71 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

We stayed here for 1 day during our safari trip and we really loved it. The plan was that we would arrive during lunch but we arrived later and they kept the restaurant open for us so that we could have lunch. We really loved that because we arrived at three and lunch was till two. The ambiance is great, especially the bar and lounge with all the wooden materials. In the evening there was a Masaai Mara show wich we loved. The staff is very friendly and helpfull. The rooms are clean and not so big.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 | Oloolaimutia Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #90 of 133 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mara Sopa Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 90
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Also Known As:
Mara Sopa Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Sopa Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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