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“Absolutely fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Serian

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Serian
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   C14, Keekorok -Siria Escarpment Masai Mara Reserve-, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Absolutely fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

My family spent an amazing 3 days at Serian. We were treated like Royalty in the most amazing surroundings. Fantastic food, staff and tents. We had our own itinerary planned so weren't tied into anything we didn't want to do. We had our own Landcruiser and driver at our beck and call which was really fantastic. 4 o'clock cake was the best I've ever tasted. Tea in the the tent in the morning and a hot water bottle in the bed in the evening were just some of the magic touches that made this trip so fantastic. I would recommend it to anyone.... young or old.

Room Tip: We travelled as a family and all slept in one enormous tent. This worked perfectly as each tent is f...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
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66 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
cleveland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2011

Wonderful five day stay in Kenya. Beautiful views from our tent. Our guide, Steve, and driver, Mikala, were extremely knowledgeable and excellent company. One day I did a walking safari that was extremely difficult, but well worth it, once you reached the top of the escarpment. The views were awesome. The great thing about Serian is that you have your own driver and guide, so you have total control over what time you leave and when you come back to camp. It was great having that flexibility.

The food was wonderful and the staff was extremely helpful and more than willing to provide anything they could. The regular camp managers were on leave, so Sophie was running the camp. She was very funny and it was a pleasure getting to know her.

We saw a wildebeest and zebra river crossing that was so exciting to watch. We saw so much game -- leopard, cheetah, lion, elephant, hippo, crocodile, pack of hyenas including babies and tons of birds.

Most of the drivers and guides are from the Masai tribe. It was great getting to know their culture and beliefs.

  • Stayed September 2011, 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.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

Our trip of a lifetime was completed with 4 days @ Serian Camp. Accommodations were unique and "safari camp" elegant; food was great! The game drive were perfect with fun guides.

We experienced everything we were hoping for at Serian. Hopefully will go again this year!

PS- THE STAFF WAS EXCELLENT with wonderful customer service... ALWAYS!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2011

As first timers to The Mara, we did not know what to expect with our 3 nights in the Serian Mobile and 2 at the Serian lodge. Our experience far exceeded any expectations we had, so much so, we asked to spend all 5 nights in the mobile camp, which we did.
The mobile camp, hosted by Mike with a staff of about 9 is on the banks of The Mara river. We arrived just after the Wildebeest migration and we saw nature at it rawest with dead Wildebeest in the river, crocs, hippo's, vultures and other bird life. This may not be for everyone, so if you need hair straighteners or need a hair dryer, we suggest the main camp, but for us, this was the experience we were looking for. We were lucky to be the only family in the camp and quite frankly were treated like royalty by the staff. This is a rustic setting with many creature comforts akin to the golden age of safari, but if you are expecting the elements of the concrete jungle, then maybe this jungle would not suit you.
The tents were spacious and clean and well equipped with flush toilets and bucket showers. The beds have feather pillows and duvets and were incredibily welcoming and comfortable. We would recommend mosquito repellent although the tents were netted. The hot water bucket showers were some of the most refreshing showers we have ever had and were ordered as and when you wanted them.
The staff were so very attentive and made sure we had drinks, snacks, clean laundry etc.They welcomed our children and took great care of us all. No electricity in the tents, but the staff were able to charge camera's etc for us when the generator was on. This all added to the rustic charm and minimal impact of modern life.
At night we felt very safe with Ascari's escorting us to and from our tents as needed. One morning we woke to find Hyena and Leopard footprints....AMAZING!
Now on to the food, wow, wow, wow. It was like eating in a Michelin star restaurant. My only complaint was that sometimes there was too much food! Breakfast consisted of cereals, fresh fruit, home baked bread, sausages, eggs, bacon, pancakes and Kenyan specialities. Lunch was buffet style with ribs or chicken, salads and fruit desserts. Dinner was always a minimum three course affair - fillet of beef, dauphinoise potatoes, rhubarb crumble and custard, lamb curry, homemade soups and bread rolls. All accompanied by soft drinks, wine, spirits, beer, whatever might take your fancy. We ate better at the camp than anywhere else on our 2 week holiday. After dinner, we sat by a roaring campfire, next to the sound of the river having those life changing and thought provoking conversations the surroundings ultimately gave rise to. We also experienced a local speciality "Dowa" translated as "medicine" - crushed ice, washed in vodka, drizzled with honey and topped with small wedges of lime, all muddled with a bamboo stick! Our New medicine !!
Mornings included a wake up call at a time set by you and included hot drinks of your choice, chai, filter coffee, juice and a basin of hot water, followed by a bucket shower if requested. A refreshing and natural start to the day in the Mara, delivered to your tent.
The game driver and spotter, Masai guides, Dennis and Stephen were phenomenal.
We tried different combinations of game drive, early morning/late evening, early morning with packed lunch, all of which were accommodated. We planned the next day at dinner the night before. Both Dennis and Stephen were excellent and knowledgeable , they were very attentive to your group and individual needs and nothing was too much trouble including finding appropriate Mara PeePee stops. They were able to share many Masai traditions and animal facts with us. We also felt they were extremely sensitive to the animals and the surroundings. Not all land cruisers/drivers were, some got too close, some did not control their guests, especially when it came to noise, acceptable behaviour and appreciation of the animal needs! We had a treat one evening on our way back from the game drive, when we were surprised by the opening of the bonnet bar of the land cruiser, by the team, incorporating gin and tonics( on the rocks with a wedge) in what was one of the most beautiful sunset backdrops in the world.
Mike was a wonderful host and the camp leader Moses, made our stay unforgettable for all the right reasons. If your wish is to be at the heart of The Mara, and in sync with nature, whilst retaining some of those small creature comforts, then the Serian mobile camp, with its attentive staff, excellent guides and wonderful cuisine is the right choice, in fact, we believe, there is NO other choice!

Room Tip: Serian mobile camp for those looking for the real African safari.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
nomadic
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

We recently took a long weekend here and absolutely loved it. Its about 45 mins outside the Mara in a private conservancy - lovely rocks and right by a river.

Big tents, each very private, lovely views over the river, plenty of game (spent lots of time watching hippos from our tent terrace). It is clear the layout and design of the accommodation has been well thought through. Bathrooms have big bathtubs for lovely al fresco bathing. Hot water bottles in bed were a bonus.

I travel extensively and this has to be one of the nicest camps I have been to in a long time. Food could be a little better but was tasty and the breads made there are delicious.

Ngare Serian across the river over the footbridge is also beautiful with slightly larger tents and greater privacy.

Our guides and drivers were excellent, staff were friendly, and the place well looked after - a bit like being in a home in atmosphere rather than a formal lodge atmosphere. Walks in the conservancy were lovely. All in all one of the best safari experiences I have had for a while.

Room Tip: If you don't mind a walk, the rooms by the river are best in terms of view. The ones closest to...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
sydney
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights in Jan and to be honested were disappointed overall with serian.

Firstly the positives! The position is excellent, right next to the river and the tents were well equipped and clean etc. The main dining area was attractive and it was nice to have a log fire at night.

The guides, although not "polished" were good and were able to spot a lot of animals and we saw all that we wanted.

This is on the top end of the safari lodges and I think you should be aware that there are certain things that you would not expect from 'luxury lodges". Firstly there is nowhere to charge your equipment so you either have to sit in a separate tent watching your equipment (in our case very expensive cameras, computers etc) or leave it there, exposed to the world!

The food is very disappointing. It is unimaginative and boring. For example for a packed lunch we had boiled pasta, cold lamb chops, garden salad and then mixed fruit salad. No wine, dips etc or anything remotely gourmet which had been the case at other places we stayed in. We were not the only ones who were unhappy about the food - other guests said it was disappointing and way overpriced.

The general service is poor and unwelcoming. The staff for some reason seem surly and gruff and not remotely interested in helping you really. There was no atmosphere in the place, but that was prob as the camp was so empty.

Service was erratic. For example, a nice gesture was to put hot water bottles in the bed which we loved but then one night they forgot! They also forgot to bring tea to our tent one morning.

If you have breakfast, dont order eggs. The chef obviously has no idea at all how to cook eggs and on every occasion they were completely runny. Everything seems too hard. Admittedly the owner Alex was away and so possibly when he is there the camp is run more efficiently. However, that would still not solve the issue of the very average food. Little things I felt were unacceptable - chipped coffee mugs and stained serviettes. Dont expect that in a 'luxury lodge' .

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2011

For a first time safari goer and first time visitor to Africa - yet long time lover of the Masai Mara/Serengeti - picking a safari camp was no easy task. Luckily my travel agent strongly recommended Serian, and we decided to go with them. We stayed for 4 nights in August, during the peak of the Migration.

We were amazed by the luxurious feel of the camp. And not only that - despite the accommodations being luxurious, they were also extraordinarily tasteful and felt appropriate to the Mara, while still retaining somewhat of a rugged, camp aesthetic. Not that we came for the camp aesthetics - our first afternoon of arriving through the herds of wildebeest and driving out for the sundown was an unforgettable experience.

The staff - mostly Masai - were extremely friendly. Getting to know some of them was an unexpected highlight of the trip. Isaac the camp manager went above and beyond in helping us with some special requests. Another unexpected benefit was the time spent with other guests around the dinner table. The small, intimate setting of Serian and the camaraderie of relaxing and sharing stories after a long day of being on safari provided a great chance to make some new friends from around the world.

Serian offers a number of options which your travel agent can explain better than me. Because our stay was short we did not visit any of the other camps. We did the short walk outside of the camp which was a relaxing change of pace. I wish I had time to do the longer walk because it's quite a different experience and not a common opportunity. We also did a balloon ride one morning from another camp - pricey, and very difficult to get up at 4am in the cold, but a good experience. Zip up your tent at night because it gets cold!

The only downside for us was the food - it was good but too Americanized, didn't match with the authenticity of the camp. We would have preferred if they offered maybe one local/regional style dish and one western style dish. Also at times we felt it was too luxurious for us - being the youngest couple in our twenties we felt a bit out of place. Maybe my fault for booking a higher end camp, but after seeing some of the other 'factory' style camps we definitely saw the benefit of a more intimate setting and having our own guide and car. (If traveling with kids a bigger camp might be better.)

Overall an amazing experience and we hope to visit again.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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.

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Additional Information about Serian

Address: C14, Keekorok -Siria Escarpment Masai Mara Reserve-, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 108 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Serian 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A traditional bush camp most suited to adventurous outdoors characters in search of a real experience. "Serian" means peaceful, calm or serene in the Maa language. An artists haven and one of the most picturesque sites in the Mara. Located in the heart of the Mara North Conservancy "Serian" operates throughout the year. A traditional tented camp focusing on quality game viewing and providing clients access to some of the very best game viewing in Africa. The migration of wildebeest occurs from June through October and sometimes November, quickly followed by the birthing season from October to March. April May & June offer opportunities for ornithologists and those who enjoy the solitude of the quiet season. Serian guarantees exclusive use of vehicle at no extra cost. This is the key to a quality experience and not a shared compromise. The Nest is a tree house perfect for a picnic after a bush walk in the private conservancy, where guests can also spend the night in the two oval double beds and watch nocturnal game on the infra-red cameras! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Serian Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Serian Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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