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“Amazing!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sanctuary Olonana

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Sanctuary Olonana
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C14, Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

We had an amazing 3-night stay at Sanctuary Olonana. Maurice and his team were incredibly welcoming, warm, attentive. Eunice kept our luxurious tent in perfect order, and brought us coffee every morning. Chef Big John's menu was delicious. Henry always served our meals with a big smile. We felt very pampered. We had a vigorous walk up the hill with Richard who generously shared details of his life as a Maasai junior elder. He impressed us with his ability to smell animals from many meters away, and to read the rain clouds perfectly (we succeeded in returning to the lodge just as raindrops started to fall)! Our guide Anderson was superb - we had breakfast in the bush next to hundreds of thousands of wildebeests and zebras (migration), witnessed them crossing, and saw the big 5 in one drive! Team Olonana, thank you so much for this wonderful experience. Everything was outstanding.

Mabel and Germaine

  • Stayed September 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.
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171 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (45)
Date | Rating
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English first
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

We were fortunate to have spent 4 glorious nights at Olonana and words cannot express how much we enjoyed our stay. Maurice & Christine are an excellent management team and all the staff were so helpful and accommodating (Attitude is everything) from Joseph who ensured our room was always perfect to the chefs Big John & Ambrose who provided us with delicious, well presented food, to Henry,Herman & Shadrack who ensured we were well looked after, to Richard for taking us to the Masai village and a huge thank you to our dear Benson who was our guide and ensured we saw everything (except that elusive leopard...next time). The lodge is beautifully positioned on the banks of the Mara river and hippo's outside Tent 2 were quite considerate and only started snorting & cavorting when it was just about time to get up. Besides being one of the best lodges we have ever stayed at with excellent accommodation & food, what stands out is the attitude and teamwork of all the staff...THANK YOU....we hope to return again some day.

Room Tip: All rooms (Tents) are fantastic as all on the banks of the Mara River
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  • Stayed September 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryRetreats_2, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, October 4, 2013
Dear Liesl,

Thank you for taking the time to post this lovely review of your experience at Olonana.

We are thrilled that you had such an enjoyable stay with us and thank you so much for all your kind comments especially about Maurice, Christine, Joseph, Big John, Ambrose and Benson - we shared your feedback with them and the rest of the team and they were very happy to learn you appreciated their efforts.

It was an honour to host you and we look forward to welcoming you back for you to catch a glimpse of that elusive leopard!

In the meantime, keep up with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook. Just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
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New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

Everyone in Africa kept commending me on how brave I was to travel alone. It's not being brave, it's about turning a myth into reality. So happy that I took this trip and it begun at this amazing place, called Olonana!!!!

The staff at Olonana were outstanding!!! The food is incredible. The service is excellent. My guide Benson changed my prospective on the world. He's a precious gem. Despite the cultures differences (being a single female traveler) by the end of day ONE, I felt as if I were visiting family members. I'm very lucky...

That's Olonana's motto too. The Kenyan's are beautiful people. The luxurious tents are worth every dollar you spend. I didn't want to leave Olonana and be assured I'm going back again and again. And too boot, the Maasai people are people we can all learn from.

Thank you...and you are all missed.

Korina

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryRetreats_2, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, September 12, 2013
Dear Korina,

Thank you for this lovely review!!

We are so happy to hear that your experience ay Sanctuary Olonana was up to your expectation and that you felt like you were visiting family members.

Thank you for your kind comments regarding the staff, food and service. We past your feedback onto the rest of the team they were delighted with your comments especially Benson, he loved being your guide and so glad you appreciated he's efforts.

We are missing you as well and do hope you return one day soon.

In the meantime, please keep you to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook. Just search for Sanctuary Retreats.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
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Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

My wife and I took our honeymoon in Tanzania and Kenya, and we stayed at Sanctuary Olonana for four nights at the end of August 2013. We had been in Zanzibar for four nights and a camp in Amboseli National Park for two nights prior to arriving at Sanctuary Olonana.

I've traveled extensively (Western Europe, USA, Australia/New Zealand, South Africa) and lived overseas (Australia, Ireland; currently live in the USA), and I can say that Sanctuary Olonana was **by far the best travel experience I have ever had**. Every aspect of our stay was five-star and I wholeheartedly recommend Sanctuary Olonana to anybody looking for a luxurious, private, but relaxed and fun safari.

Accommodations -- we had the honeymoon tent, number 14. It was perfect, with a large room, beautiful deck overlooking the river and hippo pools, and an outdoor shower. Our room steward, Duncan, would turn down the room every night and bring us coffee in the morning before our game drives (often at 5:30/6am!).

Food -- Big John is an incredible chef, and my wife and I ate like royalty while at Olonana. The breakfasts were made to order most days with a delicious buffet one day; the lunches were delicious salads/lighter fare (but with dessert!); and dinner was truly exceptional, with options between two appetizers, two mains, and two desserts that were varied and delicious every day. We were fortunate to have Shadrack (the Head Waiter) be our server for every meal, and he was extremely personable and professional and a true pleasure to get to know over four days.

Lodge -- the camp itself is relatively small and it is perfect. There is a very nicely appointed main lodge with books, fireplaces, boardgames, a library, and a deck overlooking the hippo pools. There is also a gorgeous spa where my wife had a hot stone massage from Elizabeth overlooking the river. Appetizers and drinks are served in the main lodge before dinner every day. There's a great gift shop with local Masaai displaying their jewelry/woodwork/etc. Most of all, Maurice (the Manager) always would say hello when my my wife and I were passing through the lodge and ask if we needed anything; he was extremely kind and attentive and always wanted to see if he could make our stay better.

Game Drives -- these were incredible, and much better than at Amboseli. We had the Head Guide, Abdul, be our guide for four days and it was a joy to have him guide us, and for us to learn from him. He would stop and educate us about animals as we saw them, get to the best location for the best picture when we saw game that was expecially interesting (e.g. cheetah, lion cubs, a river crossing), he even got out a tablecloth and put it on a platform on the hood of our car where we ate lunch in the bush for three of the days. My wife and I have absolutely ALL good things to say about Abdul -- he is funny, smart, dedicated to finding great game for us to see, and most of all, an incredibly kind and enjoyable person to be with. We learned so much from him and he made our stay that much better. If you go to Sanctuary Olonana and have Abdul as your guide, you will be very lucky and impressed -- as my wife and I were!

Overall -- Our stay at Sanctuary Olonana was truly wonderful. The camp is in a gorgeous setting, the accommodations are well thougth out, the food is delicious; but most of all, the people are what make this place special. I am not one to be overly emotional, but both my wife and I teared up when Abdul dropped us off at Kichwa Timbo airstrip for our flight to Nairobi at the end of our stay. We had just spent the best four days of our honeymoon at a wonderful place around extremely kind and warm people who welcomed us to Olonana and Kenya with open arms, and we were sad to leave. We planted a tree at Sanctuary Olonana as we left, and it is our sincere intention and desire to return for an anniversary in the future. If Duncan, Big John, Shadrack, Elizabeth, Maurice, and Abdul are there when we come back in the future, we will be very fortunate and so very happy!

I hope you've found this review useful, but in short -- this is an absolute five-star place, and if I could give it six stars, I would in an instant!

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryRetreats_2, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Dear Tom,

Firstly congratulations on your marriage we wish you many wonderful years together. Secondly delighted that we were able to host you for your honeymoon and last but not least thank you very much for this incredibly detailed and absolutely awesome review of your experience at Sanctuary Olonana.

It gives us great pleasure receiving positive feedback from our guests. This is indeed a lovely review and we will definitely share this with Duncan, Big John, Shadrack, Elizabeth, Maurice, Abdul and the rest of the Olonana team, you will no doubt be thrilled that you appreciated their efforts.

We are very happy that you felt like royalty and that you would give us six stars in an instant!

We are hoping to have the pleasure of welcoming you back; perhaps for your one year anniversary... in the meantime you can follow all the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook. Just search for "Sanctuary Retreats"

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
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Pune, India
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

This is probably the first hotel where i could give 5 stars in all aspects!! When we arrived to the Olonana, we were welcomed by the manager and the staff. After a really warm welcome, we were escorted to our tents, which were bang on the river. The tents are really well appointed and is luxurious. The game drives over the 2 days were a lot of fun and was a really unique experience for us. The chef, Big John, would come and meet us daily to take care of our dietary requirements. Olonana offers unparralleled luxury in the middle of the forest. I must thank Maurice for his personal touch to everything and our guide Anderson, who left no stone unturned to make sure we see the big 5 and more! This was really the highlight of our trip. Thank you team Olonana for making it special.

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryRetreats_2, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Dear Guest,

WOW what a great review “5 stars in all aspects” thank you so much!!

It gives the team great satisfaction receiving such positive feedback from guests following a memorable stay. We appreciate the time you have taken to give us this amazing feedback.
Maurice, Anderson, Big John and the rest of the team were delighted to learn you appreciated their efforts, they are looking forward to welcoming you back one day soon.

We would love for you to keep up with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook. Just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’ and click Like.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
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Houston
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

We spent 3 nights enjoying the luxury of tented accommodations on the shore of the Mara River. The staff was exceptional and we had great service. It was fun staying in a tent with the luxury of running water and hot showers - several hippos were residing across the shore from our tent and we enjoyed awakening to their vocalizations early in the morning. We would definitely come back and stay here again. We also had a great guide - Joe. Very knowledgeable, friendly and the best guide we had on our 2 week trip through Tanzania and Kenya.
My husband and I both had spa treatments - excellent!

Room Tip: Room #2 was across from the hippo quarters.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryRetreats_2, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your Sanctuary Olonana experience with us.

We are very happy that you enjoyed your time with us and thank you for all your kind comments especially about Joseph, he was thrilled with your comments. He asked me to let you know that he loved being your guide and would like to see you again one day soon.

Glad you enjoyed the spa treatments and you should definitely come back soon for some more pampering and wake-up calls from the hippos.

Thanks once again, please keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook. Just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Everything works like clock work. Starts with the Manager's attitude and trickles down to everybody else. Difficult to fault Olonana on anything. Wining and Dining is excellent. The staff and all very well trained in the service industry. Be it the waiter, chef, game driver, housekeeping personnel.., they treat every guest as royalty. The location of the lodge is excellent.

Room Tip: Tent 2 & 3 are the best as they are directly facing the hippo pool.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryRetreats_2, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Dear Guest,

What an excellent review thank you, it’s much appreciated!!

We loved reading your review and to hear that you had the perfect stay at Sanctuary Olonana. We shared your feedback with the rest of the team, who enjoyed hosting you and do hope to welcome you back one day soon for some more excellent wining and dining.

You can follow all the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook. Just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Olonana

Address: C14, Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 110 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sanctuary Olonana is an award-winning tented camp on a private stretch of the Mara River, at the foot of the impressive Siria Escarpment close to where the famous last scene from "Out of Africa" was filmed. Located close to the border with Tanzania, the game concentration is high - and during the annual wildebeest migration, the action happens right on the camp's doorstep. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sanctuary Olonana Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Sanctuary Olonana Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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