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“Great Safari - amazing experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fairmont Mara Safari Club

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Fairmont Mara Safari Club
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   C14, Keekorok | P.O. Box 58581, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
san mateo
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Safari - amazing experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2014

The Mara safari club was simply amazing. Arriving at the airstrip, and being greeted by a knowledgeable and friendly guide was the perfect warm up to the trip. After a cool drink, we headed down to the lodge. Lots of hippos, lions, and even a leopard sighting.

This was my first safari, but I will be back for more for sure.

Room Tip: Hey - this is glamping, you are in a tent, so every room is as good as the next. I do suggest you s...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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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304 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
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Sugar Land, Texas
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2014

This was the second stop on our 14 Safari with Micato. From the time that they picked us up in the Fairmont Toyota Land Rovers - to the time they took us back to the airstrip for the next leg on our trip is was over the top. The "tent" was incredible - very comfortable and what a view. The food was great and would highly recommend this property.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

The Mara Safari club was an incredible experience. From the moment we arrived at the air strip we were graciously met by our guide who welcomed us and offered us cool drinks. Instead of rushing us to the lodge, he made several stops along the bumpy road to catch glimpses of hippos lazying by the Mara river. imagine our thrill!
Once at the lodge we were taken to our "tent" that was lovely with an incredible outdoor shower - heaven! As our tent was on the Mara River, listening to the hippos at night was magical!
As we had our game drives early in the morning, we would be awakened with hot coffee and a joyful "jumbo!" Our guide Samuel took us on all our safari drives. I've read other reviews that game drives were limited but Samuel would pick us up at 6am for the morning drive, have breakfast for us on the Mara (amazing!) at no extra charge and would bring us back late in the evening on the second drive as he was determined for us to see the leopard which shows up mostly in the early morning or the late afternoon. I'm thrilled to say we saw all of the "big five"! Samuel was the most passionate and knowledgeable driver that one can imagine. We learnt so much ! He even took us for a visit to the Masai village - what an experience that was!
Kudos to Fairmont for their amazing staff. All of them so kind, polite and attentive and always on hand to please with smiling faces. A most unforgettable trip!

Room Tip: try and book a tent with an outdoor shower!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Helsinki, Finland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

We were a family of five on our 2nd safari ever, and everything worked well. Good tents (very), spectacular setting on the riverbank /Mara river full of hippos, very good guide, great game drives, we were lucky to see a kill by a lion pride, a male leopard walking with a kill he had just achieved out of sight from us, and an unsuccessful hunt by a pair of male cheetahs. So the main attraction: animals & game drives was excellent. On the “room for improvement” side our main comment is about food, it was mediocre, all buffet and not as good as it could/should be. As the camp is large, there were a lot of guests. Further about the food/meals, while there were always many things to select from, it was like eating at a (very good) company cafeteria as regards quality and ambience. You get the picture. The pool was OK. Well, we later stayed a a more upscale camp in Amboseli, at twice the cost. Cannot decide which was better value for money..., Mara Safari Club probably.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Halifax, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

Fairmont Mara safari club is undoubtedly a jewel of Africa - in so much as the accommodation is absolute luxury - blew my 12 year old son's mind! However, I visited here in 1999 and standards have slipped since then.

To be honest the tents are faultless, the safari is amazing but after my recent visit I feel hugely let down.

When I first visited I would honestly say the food and service were world class - seriously! I had never had beef medallions so tender and have spoken about this on many occasions. The safari driver was excellent and I saw everything I needed to. I only stopped for 1 night and the game drives, the entertainment, the staff and the location were absolutely perfect given that I was only there for a short time.

I came back to Mara Safari Lodge this year and expectations were high. My husband and son had not done safari in Masai Mara before and they were expecting the same experiences as I had previously had.

When we arrived at the air strip, we were whisked into luxury immediately. I think the lady who greeted us was called Miriam and she was fantastic. A glass of mango cocktail and a fresh cool, menthol facecloth was most refreshing. Only a short wait and we were taken to our accommodation. We saw a couple of animals on the way and the excitement in the jeep was intoxicating.

We arrived at Mara Safari Club and were taken through to the riverside veranda to complete our details. The first thing I noticed was that the booking in details were only for 2 people - I amended this to 3 but obviously all the hotel planning had catered for 2 in advance. Therefore there were only 2 dressing gowns instead of 3, only towels for 2 and every time we went to eat there was only 2 places set for our party and we had to wait for a 3rd to be set. To be honest my son would have been happy to perch at our table with a knife and fork but in an establishment such as this - bread knives, plates, glasses etc delayed the process.

We got settled and unpacked in our tent - this word does not accurately describe the accommodation - it is like a palace - as tents go! We then went to get a drink and were taking in our surroundings and we were treated to the sight of a 10 foot crocodile swimming up the river and coming out on to the river bank to bask in the sun- it was absolutely fantastic - we were so lucky to see it.

We then went for lunch, myself and my husband were extremely happy with the beef curry but the choices were very minimal to a choosy eater. Thankfully my son has been brought up to eat what is put in front of him but I would say most children would struggle. Moses, our waiter, seemed most attentive at this point and nothing was too much trouble, my son enjoyed a chance to exchange a conversation in Swahili with him and all was well.

We went on our first game drive with Henry which was fantastic - to be honest I don't need to describe it - you need to see it for yourself. We were the last jeep to get back to the lodge (7.30pm) and as it was fairly chilly the open fire and a drink was most welcome when we returned to enjoy reminiscing about the day. One of the club's staff - Jonathan - came to give a talk about the wildlife and was most interesting. Unfortunately, we knew we had a timescale to get to our tent, showered and changed into the prescribed dress code to be back to have dinner before the restaurant closed at 9pm.

After excusing ourselves (If we had known about Jonathan's talk, and the fact the dress code was not adhered to) we would have stayed and gone straight into dinner.

The dinner choice was abysmal. The choice was smoked salmon roulade followed by spinach soup. Main choice: chicken with peanut and chilli sauce and wedges, or baked fish, or bean stew. One choice of desert: Coffee gateau.

This may be high class dining and I'm sure to the more discerning palate it would be suitable. Had I not stayed here 14 years ago I would have thought it was amazing to achieve such a menu in the middle of nowhere. However, for some reason it took the staff over 15 minutes to bring bread rolls for the soup as my husband and son opted for this - by which time the soup was cold. The waiter (Moses) non attentive by this point (long day - fair enough) kept trying to bring me soup (I had the salmon - expressed no soup). My son was still eating his cold soup and roll and Moses tried to bring us our mains. We asked him to wait and I could clearly see our mains on the side getting cold. When they came the chicken was dry, sauce cold and not what we had expected. Myself and my husband excused ourselves, after nibbling our dinner, as a cigarette was necessary at this point. When we returned, 2 desserts had been delivered (not 3) at least another portion was not wasted. I am positive alcohol was in this - fine for me but not a 12 year old who declared it quite rich but at least tasted it. This is supposed to be a high class establishment - we had enjoyed better food in our basic all inclusive hotel on the coast.

Anyway we chalked this up to experience and were eagerly awaiting our game drive in the morning. At dinner the previous evening, we had been asked which hot drink we would like in the morning. This was wrong - my husband requested tea and got coffee - we were not really that bothered - give us what you want to give us - but if you ask a question at least get it right! Especially given the amount we paid for the stay!

The following day was fabulous, we had breakfast on the plains which was wonderful and were then told we were going to a Masai village - not part of a safari but we were all interested. This is until we were expected to pay 2200 Kenyan shillings as an entrance fee - each! I would have loved to ask the driver if this was optional but he disappeared into the bush with his mobile and we were stood opposite a Masai requesting money - we did not argue! Lovely experience but had a feeling we had been charged an exceptionally high price when we left - not sure Masai warriors should understand about Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal football teams.

All in all a good experience (could have been awesome) with massive high points (wildlife) and very low points (food and service) but we may need to adopt a more laid back way of life - Hakuna Matata! I hope this review has been helpful and I would love a response from the hotel.

Asante sana x

Room Tip: Room 27 is a fantastic location, right next door to the main lodge, could not fault this.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Treasure Island, Florida, United States
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

I returned from my 3rd trip to the Mara Safari Club in early December, and remain as impressed as always. The food and service are excellent. The "tents" clean and comfortable, and the safaris remain amazing. I'm very particular when I pay this kind of money, and I have not beendisappointed in any way.

Room Tip: I encourage you to consider this if you are going to the Mara.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

My friends and I had a two day stay here and it was awesome! Luxury in the bush! We loved the tented camps near the river. Tents were excellent and equipped with everything to make one feel just at home. Service was nice and food was excellent! Loved the free internet and little library near the lounge! We also loved the idea of staying in the Mara conservation, without necessarily entering the real Masai Mara Park. The game drives were awesome too! TOP and friendly service team!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Mara Safari Club

Address: C14, Keekorok | P.O. Box 58581, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Fairmont Mara Safari Club 4*
Number of rooms: 50
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Mara Safari Club Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Fairmont Mara Safari Hotel
Mara Safari Club
Fairmont Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve Fairmont
Fairmont Mara Safari Club Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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