This was the second stage of our safari holiday, the first stage having been spent at Saruni Samburu which had set an extremely high example of wonderful safari accommodation and experiences. With an extremely hard act to follow we were unsure whether Saruni Mara would, or could, meet our expectations. We needn't have worried! From the first glimpse of the beautiful lodges hidden among the lush green of the surrounding trees we felt reassured that this would be a fabulous place to stay. This was confirmed by the extremely warm and friendly welcome we experienced on our arrival. Much needed after our journey.
The layout of the hotel is beautifully and carefully arranged with exquisite furnishings. The main area is somewhat reminiscent of a ski chalet with its enticing open fire (much needed for the cool evenings) and comfortable seating. The lodges are all separate and very private, each with its own verandah where it is very enjoyable to sit and watch the passing wildlife, such as zebra, buffalo, baboons and gazelles. We were delighted to meet the very tame eland, which has been reared by the staff, as it tried to join us for cocktails one evening! Our lodge was very cosy and tastefully furnished. The hot water bottles placed in our very comfortable bed was a welcome touch and much needed on the cold nights.
The staff were, once again, delightful, friendly, solicitous and extremely polite and helpful. We were treated like long lost friends and made to feel as if we had been invited into someone's home. This was the real meaning of hospitality! Special mention must go to the relief managers, Raymond and Chelsea, for whom nothing was too much trouble and whose presence and amiability added greatly to the convivial atmosphere and bonhomie.
The good food, good wine and communal dining increased the feeling of being at a weekend house party and enabled us, once again, to meet a range of interesting fellow travellers with whom we could share stories and experiences of safaris and travels.
Our drivers and guides were friendly and very knowledgeable about the environment and wildlife and we enjoyed a wonderful guided walk where we learned much about how the Maasai people make use of trees, plants and elephant droppings! We are now the proud owners of Maasai toothbrushes, made for us during the walk from one of the trees (I know I should remember which one but I can't. Thank goodness there wasn't a test at the end!)
We were very sorry to leave Saruni Mara and hope, very much, to return one day.
- Also Known As:
- Saruni Mara Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Saruni Mara Hotel
- Saruni Mara Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve
- 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