My boyfriend and I stayed at the Royal Mara for 10-ish days in May. It was our first time for safari, and I can proudly proclaim we've already booked another stay at the Royal Mara for next year. First off the wildlife guides are so knowledgeable, if you have come to see the animals you will not be disappointed. Julius (even though we slowly figured out there are about 3 equally awesome guys named Julius who work here) was our guide for most of our stay. I feel what sets this place apart from all of the others we have ever stayed in is that the ENTIRE staff is friendly. From the person who brings your coffee in the morning, the person who serves you lunch, the person walks you to your tent at night, to the owner himself. Everyone has great personality, and really listens to you. I had told several of the men working there how excited I was to see the hippos. Several times throughout my stay, when the hippos come on land at night, someone would rush over and grab my boyfriend and I and we would all sneak over to watch the hippos grazing on land. Little details like that are what helped push my opinion of this place from amazing to perfect. We got to see all the animals we could hope to see, and Julius knew some of the perfect hidden and SECLUDED spots to see the animals. The rooms themselves are beautiful and clean, with lots of ornate hand carvings. The shower was amazing and roomy, with a rainfall shower head. The bed was insanely comfortable. Sleeping in somewhere so beautiful, with all the animal noises around you when you wake up in the morning is an experience to be remembered. I also really liked how the rooms had little balcony areas, its nice to be able to say you sunbathed overlooking a river full of hippos. Overall the huge amount of animals we saw, plus the plush rooms, plus the individual attention equals the 5 star stay.