This was one honeymoon stop on our African Safari Honeymoon. We had stayed at a private reserve and this was so different from other parts of Africa we visited.
First of all was the airport pickup. The guide (which was highly certified) was there with our spotter to pick us up on time. The vehicles are top of the line with everything needed for every occasion. We had blankets for the morning, water etc. They were very nice and informative all of the trip. They stayed with you for the duration of your stay and were at your service the whole time. They would adapt to your schedules and were very good at recommending times and areas.
On the way from the airport to the hotel, we were not expecting a safari but got to see a lion eating a buffalo, cheetah brothers and a herd of Hippos. This was the best welcome to the Masai Mara!
Hotel & Rooms(tents)
We arrived at the hotel (about hour drive from airport) and were greeted with wet towels and refreshments. We were taken care of from start to finish. We were walked to our room, (River Tent) which was spectacular. Every single detail in the tent sent you back in time to the 1920's. The beds, old trunks as tables, furniture, toilet, typewriter, lighting and pretty much everything was old style but luxurious. We felt like English Royalty from the 1920's! It is amazing how they give you the luxury and service deserved of a 5 star hotel in a tent in the wild. The feeling of just relaxing in the room or terrace, having a spectacular view of the Masai Mara with no one around is difficult to describe.
The food was actually pretty good. Food was simple but always very good. Times were set up to your own convenience which is different from other lodges, there was no pressure to return on a specific time, again all done to your time table. You could eat at the pool, main tent, your room or wherever you pleased.
The only negative point about this specific hotel is that it is about a 20 minute drive from the animals at the Masai Mara. The drive will be through lot of local farm and sheep herding lands. It is not a big minus since the place is great but Safaris will start about 45 minutes earlier than other locations. This was not a big problem for us but could be better. The guides communicate often and will let each other know of any specific animals or events around the area. We did get to see some baby lions thanks to this. Again, the guides are awesome and I do recommend to have Breakfast in the Bush( bush refers to the wild in Africa) February was an awesome time to go, we got to see most animals with their young which is a spectacular sighting.
We were offered private or community dinner. We had a private dinner the first day which was very good and decided on a community dinner on the second and third. We met some great people at the hotel and even got to have dinner once with the hotel owner, Calvin. It was such a great experience since he has so many stories from his family's legacy. We recommend a private dinner by the fireplace but also get to know the people at the hotel, it will lead to great stories!
Private bath and Massage
We asked for these at our room. They set up a bathtub and a massage table at your tent and with the view for sunset. Again, difficult to describe.
We had a Masai Warrior outside our tent all night. He spoke no English and it was actually a fun time communicating with him. He is there to guide you to the dinner tent at night for protection although not needed. We actually took a night safari to go look for leopards which was great
Overall, we would love to return someday and had a top of the line experience at this place. The service, safari, hotel and rooms are second to none and had no complaints at all. We recommend this hotel as not only a simple hotel, but a whole experience which will be found nowhere else in the world. It is a delightful experience back in time with no sacrifices!
Suite Tents are the best, Look for edges or corners to have more privacy. River Tent was Spectacular...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 20, 2013
Many thanks for your honest and positive review.. On the important issue of cattle and villages on game drives, while we don't lack for wildlife on game drives at cottars (we just had 2 days of big five sightings for example) , we are cognizant of the effect of having high numbers of cattle in the area to our guests experience, and in response we have developed a plan for a wildlife conservancy together with the olderikesi land committee. this was to start on July 1 st but the opening did not happen because the newly elected county representative needed to vet the conservancy agreement to ensure it is fair (a process that we fully support though the delay is frustrating!). Having said this, we have been advised by the land committee that the conservancy should be in place by mid to late August. We shall inform you all when it actually happens, inshallah !
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Inside the Mara reserve proper, all we can do is hope that the new county governor will be able to emulate what he has managed to do in the former transmara part of the reserve over the last few years, and control the illegal grazing of cattle using his senior warden and rangers.
Many thanks for all your support again, and please know that your patronage to cottars is the key to wildlife conservation in the area (we support the only anti poaching efforts in the area) as well as for the future olderikesi wildlife conservancy.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.