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“Easter in the Masai Mara” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Mara Safari Lodge

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Royal Mara Safari Lodge
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4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Caterham
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Easter in the Masai Mara”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

We spent this Easter at the Royal Mara with a three night stay which was wonderful even though it rained heavily every day. Our ' tent' was fantastic and all the staff were friendly and helpful. Our guide for the three days was Simon who was a fantastic driver in the really muddy conditions and managed to find so many animals including all the cats. (Even if I did spot the second cheetah before you Simon!) We had a really interesting walk in the company of armed guide Regan, an experience not to be missed. I am sure we will return to this great lodge.

Room Tip: All tents are alongside the Mara River
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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360 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
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Newport, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

This was our second visit to The Royal Mara Lodge in 14 months, we fell in love with the place last year and just had to go back. We are very well travelled and this is our most favourite place in the whole wide world! There is no doubt that the people who work at the Lodge make the place so great, amazing food and nothing is too much trouble. Joshua was our wonderful waiter and he has become our dear friend. Reagan our gaurd, such a lovely man! and his walking safari's are great!
James was our guide, he did a great job also, seen so many animals : )
Just got to go back for another visit. this place is magical, if you are thinking about staying here, just book it, you wont be dissapointed.

Andrea and Mark Deacon

Room Tip: All rooms re great, all along the river.
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

This was my first safari and I know for certain it will NOT be my last!! From the time we were picked up at the dirt runway airstrip to the moment we were returned to fly back, we were treated fantastically!! The food was fabulous, cooked to perfection!!! The grounds were meticulous. The guards were friendly but still had their eye on the surroundings to make sure you were safe. George the owner was so personal. He would check in with each guest at breakfast and dinner making sure everything was going your way. He would spend time with you and answer any question you have.
I traveled with my sister, dad and I and the three of us did not know what to expect. When you hear the word "tents" you think of pop tent, the kind that may collapse at any moment and could never with stand a heard of hippos!! Well these tents that George has on his lodge are 5 star luxury tents. The carvings in the furniture were like hidden pieces of art!! The decor was perfect for a safari lodge. The bathrooms were huge and i loved the deck. I would lay out and listen to the hippos in the river each morning after our morning drive.
Ok so now for the safari drives because that is why we went in the first place right!! Our driver, Julius was fantastic. He would ask us what we wanted to see that day and we would tell him elephants, giraffes and lions. Each time he found us exactly what we wanted to see. He would drive all over, and also get on his radio asking other drivers if they had seen these animals. WE took amazing pictures and got so close to the animals without disturbing their personal space. These are God's creatures and they were spectacular to watch and listen to. We did an early morning drive to watch the animals wake up, hunt and get the day started. Then we also did an early evening drive to watch the animals on the move again. There was an option to do walking drive (which we did not do). I think you should do it. We regret not doing this because they saw a rare site and that was a baby hippo being born! Wow, how cool would that have been.
So if you are thinking about choosing Royal Mara, do not hesitate, this place is the BEST!! I plan on taking my husband and two sons back here with in a year. Many guests were return guests, which means this place is fantastic!!!
If you have questions, feel free to message me.

Room Tip: Ask for a room closer to the food lodge. It is close to the river and close to the nightly gathering...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
Louisville, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

It's hard to put in to words how amazing our 6 nights at Royal Mara were. We cannot say enough good things about our visit from start to finish. From being greeted at the airstrip by Julius on day one, through our last morning game drive on our final day with Simon, everything was perfect!
We were constantly impressed by the food. The variety of soups that preceded every lunch and dinner were always amazing. The setting for meals was even better. The breakfasts and lunch by the river provided constant entertainment. We loved watching the hippos and crocs in the water and all of the beautiful birds and monkeys along the banks. Dinners around the fire pit were relaxing and delicious after a long day of game drives. The wine and beer were surprisingly inexpensive. Joshua, our waiter, is a very special person. Completely genuine and provided flawless service. He even taught us many words in his language so that we were prepared when we went to the Masai village.
The game drives were simply stunning. We saw the big 5 and so much more! Julius did an amazing job of alway finding the big cats (and anything else we wanted to see). We never knew what we were going to see next. From an elephant stampede to a pride of lions feasting on zebra, to jackles and monkeys fighting, we always found something remarkable. The walking safaris with Steve and Samuel were also awesome. A great way to stretch your legs and see the beautiful scenery.
The room was perfect! I especially enjoyed napping during the day on the daybed with the sounds of the river and all the animals in the background. The bed was very comfortable and we did not get a single mosquito bite during our entire stay. Thanks to Mark, our room attendant, for always keeping our room perfect and bringing drinks to our room. We always enjoyed our walks to and from our room, and to meals/game drives with Moses and Samuel. They were always waiting to keep us safe and enquire about how we were doing and what we had seen on our game drives.
If you are debating on whether or not to book Royal Mara, stop debating and do it! You will not regret it. After our first emails with George, everything was taken care of and straight forward. We are already trying to plan another trip back to Royal Mara as soon as possible to see all our friends... and the animals.
FYI the electrical outlets are three prong Great Britain style. Bring lots of sunscreen and clothes for all weather. The early morning game drives could be quite chilly.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hannover
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

We will not describe the Royal Mara Lodge as this has been done several times and all the pictures speak for themselves.
But some points need to be highlighted no doubt.

First of all if you are in the planning stage and not sure which reserve you gonna visit make sure you are including the Masai Mara. If time and money permits check the other parcs as well but if it is an A or B go straight to the Mara.
Then join James or Jeffrey for a fantastic game drive and enjoy this beautiful country.

The location of the Royal Mara Lodge is perfect. Sitting right next to the river, watching the crocs and hipos while having breakfast or listening to the wildlife during the night is an unforgetable experience.
They are also offering a safari walk which was interesting too.
Special thanks to Regan and Sammy it was just brilliant!!!

Last but not least we want to send our regards and best wishes to everybody working in the Royal Mara Team.
Especially all the efforts spent in preparing and helping me with my marriage proposal were really exceptional. As you know she said "yes" and without you guys.... who knows ;)
For sure we will never forget these days!
Nelson, Stephen and George - Thank you very much!

All the best,

Diana & Timo

Room Tip: All houses seem to be the same standard. Regardless which one you will get they are all superb.
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

I stayed at the royal mara for the first time this past January and it was truly amazing. The game drives are outstanding and getting to see all the animals was a great experience. The lodging itself is top notch and has the great ambience of a lodge with all the modern and luxury amenities one expects from a world class resort. The food was great as well, and I got a bit addicted to their bread made from scratch as well as their soups. Some of the other guests had stayed multiple times and everyone including the staff were very friendly.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

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.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Mara Safari Lodge

Address: Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Mara Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Mara is a luxury safari and game viewing lodge located in Kenya's world famous Masai Mara, home to the annual Great Migration of the Wildebeest. We are situated directly on the Mara River with six riverfront guest suites. All suites are raised upon wooden decks with full mahogany flooring and original hand carved furniture. See the same wildlife-rich areas as broadcast on the BBC Big Cat Diary. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Royal Mara Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Royal Mara Safari Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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