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“I would have stayed there forever...” 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
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“I would have stayed there forever...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Beautiful place, wonderful staff, great food and nothing can be said about the location other than absolutely amazing!!

My friend and I went there for 3 days to get a break from the noise and movement of Dubai and it was exactly what we needed and beyond. We were a little fussy at first, not wanting to be near a lodge with loud children or in the same jeep as too many people etc, and the manager went out of his way to accomodate us and make sure we were happy.

Koodos to the chef for his mouth watering soups, and to the drivers who bring you about the safaris. You can tell they really love the wildlife and they can tell you so much about the environment and the animals there...

Love the monkeys and elans and baboons and all the rest of the animals hanging out in the lodge as well... I am a huge animal and nature lover, as well as very picky about service, and eveything about this place was on point. The only sad thing was having to leave after just 3 nights!

Like I said... I would have stayed there forever!!

  • Stayed April 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
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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 (73)
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English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013 via mobile

My kids really enjoyed this holiday and will remember the lions for a very long time! Our room was very spacious and right next to the river. In the photos on the website I saw that the rooms are next to the river, but I did not realize the hippos are swimming in the river. You can hear them make noises in the day and the night. My kids got a real thrill every time they grunted. In the first 2 days we saw 14 lions, 2 cheetah, 1 leopard (she was moving fast), elephant and many plains animals like Zebra and Warthog (our driver Julius calls them the Kenyan Express). I was surprised by the friendliness of the camp staff. James, Julius, and Regan were so friendly and welcoming to my family that my wife became emotional when we said our goodbyes. My kids had never been on safari before, and for them it was an experience to remember.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Arlington, Virginia
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 April 14, 2013

We spent 2 full days & nights here at the recommendation of our son who visited a year ago. Even though he told us what it would be like, we were overwhelmed by the unflagging efforts of the long-time staff to make each guest feel welcomed & valued. Everyone we met seemed like a new friend. The openness of many to share their personal stories enhanced our experience of the Masaii Mara, too. Their knowledge of the region and the animals & their habits was really impressive, as is the education and training that is a prerequisite. Our "room" was quite grand - spacious & well-appointed with beautiful hand-carved furniture, with separate WC & shower rooms. Each meal was served to us by William, who took splendid care to ensure dietary restrictions were met and that we were pleased with our food - which we were. The food was very fresh and healthfully prepared, and portions were very satisfying. Ah, the drives - the reason to visit. Wilson was our assigned driver for the duration and we loved him. His warmth, sense of humor and uncanny ability to bring us within yards of lion cubs, a leopard, cheetahs, et al, all while sharing incredible knowledge about the animals, birds & terrain, was remarkable and memorable. Kudos as well to James, Stephen, Reagan, Samuel & Mark.

  • Stayed April 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
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Caterham
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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.
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 110 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Mara Safari Lodge 4*
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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