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“Great safari luxury” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Saruni Mara

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Saruni Mara
C14, Keekorok | Mara North Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Palo Alto, California, United States
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great safari luxury”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

The best part about Saruni is it's physical beauty: beautiful (and large) private cottages with balconies overlooking the valley, the open main lodge and fire place, and the general mountainside setting. I was traveling for two weeks in Mara and Zanzibar after, and some of my favorite views of the whole trip were of the valley from my cottage. Service was incredible, food was outstanding, wine was free flowing, and the overall experience was luxurious but not overdone. The guides were knowledgeable and friendly (and bush walk was a really cool alternative to a drive), but it did take a little while each day to get to the start of the game drive (~30-40mins through smallish villages).

Overall, I'd highly recommend Saruni.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, September 21, 2013
Thank you for this fantastic review! And I'm glad that after all the travelling to wonderful destinations in East Africa you found the view from Saruni so satisfying! And I hope the this impression lasted even when the wine stopped flowing....
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95 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 (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Istanbul, Turkey
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

The lodge is very nicely decorated. Rooms are spacious. (we took room no.5). The hospitality and fireside chats in the evening are very nice. The safari experience is very rich. Our guide, William, was amazing. The nights were very cold, much colder than we expected in August. This was our forth safari and so far the best one!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Thank you for your nice review and I'm glad you enjoyed your safari. yes, the weather is July and August is cold: we look forward to have you back to Kenya in January, February, March, when the weather is warm! Thank you again!
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Lubbock, Texas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

An excellent, eco-friendly accommodation. It was cold at night and in the morning and our bed came equipped with a wonderful hot water bottle! The fellowship around the fireplace was a very nice prelude to dinner with almost all of the guests coming from different countries of origin. The Masai guides/drivers into the preserve were absolutely excellent. For two of the three days, our guide was John. He was very patient and persevering. We would find lions, elephants, cheetahs, etc., and he would wait with us as a "story" unfolded. Other lodges guides would drive up, the people would take their photos and off they would go. We stayed and thereby got to see the drama unfold. For example, we came across a treed lion (actually several, but one was plainly visible). The cape buffalo had the tree and area surrounded. We took our photos as did others who drove up. They left. We stayed. Eventually other lions did a flanking action and the cape buffalo moved off to intimidate these newcomers. The treed lions got free. We also had wonderful lunches out on the preserve. An incredible experience!!!!

Room Tip: We had a two bed cabin just down from the office/gift shop with a sweeping view of the hills and val...
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  • 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
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RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, August 28, 2013
Thank you very much for your comments and I really appreciate that you enjoyed our guides and heir ability not to "tick a list" but to tell a story. Good guiding makes a huge difference!
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Reeuwijk
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

You want to feel one with nature and its inhabitants, to drive with experienced drivers through a wonderful landscape, to be part of the great migration during august or september and to do this all from a small private lodge with a wonderful view. To have a bush beeakfast or a bush dinner, to have the Masai dance for you, go to this magical place and be part of Kenya and its animals and people.

Room Tip: alle kamers en er zijn er slechts 7'zijn even mooi en liggen even goed
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Thank you Ellen for this wonderful review, your kind and generous words mean a lot to us all! Hopefully see you soon again!
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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

This little 6 cottages hotel is the best there is when you go on safari to Kenya. It's 1st class accommodation and services, the guides are Masai and knowledgable, they will take you to find what you want to see. I went out early and they even had breakfast ready in the car where we stopped in the middle of no where with wild animals around us and had breakfast laid down for us.
The food at the hotel is all great all meals included with the price.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Thank you Nabeel for your fantastic review, we are proud to have given you such a great experience.
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Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
107 hotel reviews
Reviews in 89 cities Reviews in 89 cities
203 helpful votes 203 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

The game drive started right from the airport.... saw volumes of animals.... loved every moment. Thanks to all the staff for such a memorable trip. Our guide William was fantastic. Not only did we appreciate learning about the wildlife, we learned about the Maasai people and culture. Don't miss out to see the resident Elands.....

Most of all, we loved the 1.1 attention you got - all of your game rides were determined by when you wanted to go, see, etc.

Next time I would like to see a Masaai village and get to know the people better.

Thanks Riccardo for the Italian influence in the kitchen :)

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, May 22, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful review and I'm glad you liked the Italian influence in the kitchen. And thank you for noticing that we do indeed pay individual attention to our guests and we design the experience around their needs and wishes. Hope to see you again in the future!
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Swindon, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

We travelled to Saruni Mara for 3 nights towards the end of March for the first part of a twin base honeymoon. As it was our honeymoon we spent more than we would usually spend on a normal holiday and we were far from disappointed with absolutely everything we received from Saruni Mara.

Being met straight off of our Safari Link flight by our guide Jackson who then took us on our first little game drive back to the lodge was an experience of its very own. Whilst Jackson provided us with cold drinks and some home made biscuits at the side of the Mara River we managed to take in crocodiles and hippos...not a bad start for our first 15 minutes on safari.

From the moment we arrived at the lodge, every bit of the service was wonderful, the staff were extremely friendly and attentive and the food was absolutely fantastic. Your safari experience is entirely down to you and what you want to do, the guides are happy to advise you on what you might want to do, you choose, and they make it happen.

We went for early morning game drives and a bush breakfast for our two full days, were greeted with fresh juice and coffee with our wake up call at 6am and then off we went for the morning to spot the local wildlife before having breakfast overlooking beautiful plains.

The one thing that is fantastic about Saruni is the knowledge and cunning of the guides to get you to see exactly what you want to see on your trip. Whilst they will also admit there is a slight bit of luck involved, their knowledge of the animals and their behaviour enabled us to always be first on the scene when our favourite big cats were around which meant in one day we spotted lion cubs with their mums, leopard with a kill, cheetah mum and cubs and then lions hunting in the evening.

The bonus of Saruni's personal approach is that it was just my wife and me in a Land Rover with Jackson and we shaped our day around what we wanted to do and see. After early mornings out and returning for lunch, we would return to the plains to see the animals before having Sundowners in the middle of the plains.

As for the facilities, the lodges are perched on the side of a large hill with a view between two other large hills overlooking the North Conservency of the Masai Mara. The lodges are all decorated with individual little touches in accordance with their theme. Due to the remote nature of the lodges, each lodge had its isolated water supply which was heated by solar panels. Some of the workings of Saruni Mara reflect the isolated nature of its location but these little eccentricities make the place what it is and enhance the experience.

We are convinced that we would not have had this incredible experience if it had not been for the personal and very flexible approach offered by Saruni and for the local knowledge of their guides. Being able to see and do what you want in your own Land Rover with open sides is the only way you will now catch me going on Safari and having the flexibility to go out when you see fit and return after dark was the very best way to see the animals at their very best.

The staff all have their very own stories and it was absolutely fascinating to learn more about the culture which I think is important when visiting somewhere like the Masai Mara. My wife and I very much loved their company at dinner each night and we will be looking to keep in touch with them such was the impact that they had on our incredible experience.

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiccardoOrizio, Owner at Saruni Mara, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Thank you very much for your detailed, wonderful feedback. I'm particularly happy to hear that you like our service: we aim at being very very detail-oriented. And of course I like the fact that you appreciated the special knowledge and understanding of nature of our professional masai guides, all people who were born in the Masai mara and were raised among the wildlife of this fantastic conservancy.
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Additional Information about Saruni Mara

Address: C14, Keekorok | Mara North Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 108 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Saruni is a small, luxury lodge in Mara North Conservancy, the best wildlife area in the Masai mara ecosystem. We have one family villa and 5 cottages. Our masai guides are among the best in Kenya and to discover the amazing wildlife of the Mara with them is an unforgettable experience. In July 2012 Saruni Mara opened the doors of a brand new family villa and completed the refurbishment of its existing villa’s in to six beautifully designed, themed rooms.The stylish new villa has two en-suite bedrooms and a large lounge complete with dinning area and comfortable sofa’s sounding the welcoming fireplace. There is also an impressive large veranda overlooking the magnificent scenery of the Masai Mara. The remaining villas have been refurbished to incorporate themes that will engage with guests passions whether that is art, astronomy, photography, literature, natural history or simply romance. All furniture, carpets, lamps and bedding was either sourced locally in Nairobi or designed by Kenyan interior decorator Larissa Hoops and then made by local craftsmen.The Art room will inspire creative guests with an easel and paint as well as a desk with drawing materials.For star gazers, the Astronomy room has a vintage brass telescope, moon map and selection of interesting material on all things cosmic.Book worms and budding writers will enjoy staying in the Literature room with its vintage typewriter, leather reading chairs, desk with brass reading lamp, quill pen and leather blotter. There is also a selection of classic and African literature. For clients that prefer to view life through the lens, the Photography room has an old box browning camera, antique photographic equipment catalogue and stunning prints adorn the walls. The Family villa also doubles as the Natural History room and is decorated with a selection of antique and vintage prints. There is also relevant reading material such a books on mammals, reptiles, tree’s and birds.The Honeymoon room has been simply designed for a relaxing romantic break with comfy furniture and beautiful antiques.Saruni Mara is owned and run by Italian author Riccardo Orizio. This resort is the Masai Mara’s smallest permanent lodge and guests enjoy an exclusive experience with their own private vehicle and guide. Evenings can be spent relaxing in the common area enjoying fine cuisine influenced by Riccardo’s Italian family heritage. Guests can also enjoy bush breakfasts and dinners in breathtaking settings such as in the middle of an acacia forest. Saruni Mara is extremely active in local community and conservation projects and works very closely with the local Masai communities. The lodge is the proud recipient on the Silver rating by Ecotourism Kenya.Rooms at Saruni Mara start from US$390 a night. Prices are based on two people sharing on full board including all house drinks, park fees, game drives and airport transfers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saruni Mara Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Saruni Mara Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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