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“Nice property, but held hostage by mangement” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Mara Sopa Lodge

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Mara Sopa Lodge
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C14, Keekorok, Oloolaimutia valley | Oloolaimutia Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Marina del Rey, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Nice property, but held hostage by mangement”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Located in a woodsy riverine area, the Sopa surroundings made for a pleasant respite from the game drive. The room and the grounds are lovely, and the large fireplace in the main room was a pleasure to cozy up to, along with lounging at the pool. However, it’s a bit of distance to the game park on rough, bumpy dirt roads. It can also be a long walk to get from the lobby to your room, as the layout is very linear. Each thatched structure for accommodations has two rooms, and the wall separation was not well sound proofed. The food served was just average. The service was decent and staff were attentive and polite.

Bad news for those who require daily contact with the outside world - there is no Wi-Fi at the lodge, a sad statement these days for a four-star lodge. The bad news gets far worse now…the morning I checked out, my driver was told that the tour company I used to make the booking had not paid the lodge. The lodge manager was attempting to “work it out” with them, but until that happened, we were being denied exit from the lodge property (Sopa has a security gate). In effect, we were being held hostage. When my driver said this to me, I marched up to the reception desk and asked to speak to the manager. Ten minutes later he appeared and explained the situation. I told him that if he didn’t permit my driver and me to leave the premises immediately, I would contact the American Embassy. I walked away to call a contact in Nairobi for the U.S. Embassy number. After a few minutes my driver approached me to say we were free to go. This was no way to treat a guest who was not responsible for the payment snafu!

Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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435 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
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Pretoria, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

We spent 2 nights at the Lodge with Planer Safari from Nairobi. Whilst our visit was during the migration ewe still enjoyed the wildlife. The stay at the llodge was pleasant and relaxed. People were hospitable and meals were adequate. It was great relaxing on the lapa and next to the swimming pool overlooking the Mara plains.
Each thatched rondawel has 2 rooms. Unfortunately the dividing wall was not a very sound proof barrier.

Room Tip: The distance to the furthest room is quite far (and not level) which make it tiring to move between...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 4 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.
Galax, Virginia
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

I've been to the Masai Mara twice and stayed in the Mara Sopa both times. Truthfully, I liked it better the first time. The property is lovely and the staff are very helpful, the pool is beautiful, but if there's a noisy group on the property you can hear them from five rooms away. The food is average and the distance to the reserve means that you spend a lot of time on really rough roads seeing nothing but Maasai cows and goats.

Next time I visit I'll fly in (the roads are bone jarring) and stay at one of the centrally located lodges.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
dubai
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We loved Sopa Lodge. The rooms were clean and spacious. The ambience was very tranquil. The food was good especially the buffet and the breakfast. We loved having our tea infront of the fireplace. We loved it and will return. Very nice pool area.

  • Stayed April 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.
Dubai
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

It is too far from the main entrance to the national reserve. However once you are there, it is awesome. Good choice of food, very attractive property, local style with natural ambience. It comprise of beautiful single story cottages.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Hilo, Hawaii
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Sopa Lodge was a significant part of our enjoyable safari experience. Friendly staff, and good healthy buffet at every meal. Downside: Ceiling partition between rooms are thin so you can hear your neighbor.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
London, England
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

I would agree with other travellers' reviews. This was one of the lodges that we stayed at on a Pollmans/ Rangers safari, and this room was probably the "worst" but by no means was it bad. Here are the things that made it worst: pillows were awful, hardly any stuffing; there is a dearth of sockets in the room (so if you're staying here, remember to pack an extension lead). Food was pretty much the same every day. The porters are rather pushy: I know they want tips but it would be better if that was not quite so obvious.
On the plus side, the mosquito net was one that went all around the bed (rather than hanging centrally from a ceiling hook) . Complimentary drinking water (500 ml each) was supplied daily.
The night feed was interesting. Bird watching was easy from the balcony.
The Masai dance (evening entertainment) needed some explanation - none of us could work out the significance of the dance.
All in all this was OK: the pool was nice, but watch for baboons who can easily access the balcony.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #84 of 125 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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