Royal Mara is truly a special place. I travel most of the year for business and this is the one place that I find my mind wandering back to. I've now stayed at Royal Mara 3 times, and somehow it keeps getting better each time. Somehow, the food was even better the third time. I loved the soups and the rolls. The butter is even the perfect temperature for spreading. One of my friends could not stop raving about the butter, lol. The breakfast and salads are delicious as well! I never went hungry. All the food was completely included. The service is also very attentive and comprehensive. Which brings me to the best part of Royal Mara.
The staff is so friendly. They are always saying "Hello" and asking how your are doing. Almost every day we went on a walking drive. It was great to get so much fresh air and exercise, but it was also awesome to walk and talk with local Masai. Those guys have been living in that area for generations, so it is very evident how closely they carry their peoples' ties to the wildlife. There are domesticated cows kept by the various tribes, but it is taboo for them to eat wildlife! So you can trust that the driver of your car on safari has a deep respect for the animals he is driving you to see. And the fact that they were so welcoming and hospitable makes all the difference in creating an awesome experience!
I lastly commend Royal Mara on pure attention to detail. The rooms are spacious and luxurious (intricately carved furniture, etc), and now they have WIFI! Monkeys, elands, and many many more species even roam freely throughout the grounds. Every afternoon, a huge family of probably 100+ mongoose would seemingly migrate by the lounge to some burrow nearby. It was truly an awesome sight for an afternoon sitting in the lounge and drinking Tuskers. For me, Royal Mara became a sanctuary of relaxation and dining while being close to the animals and having the convenience of staying in touch with work over email. The game drives are even more awesome, but you know the kind of hotel where you almost don't want to leave to go do things because it's so nice just spending time in your room and in the lounge? Also, you feel like you don't want to even leave. Well this is that type of hotel. Which is why the game drives have to be so amazing, to make sure you get out and explore the savanna more deeply.
If you stay at Royal Mara, expect your time to be comfortable and enchanting. Now that the rooms have free WIFI, i can't think of what more I'd want out of this hotel.
Note - I gave the fitness center 5 stars because I view the walking game drives as their version of fitness center and they are awesome / beautiful. Way better than any other fitness center I've used.