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

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Royal Mara Safari Lodge
Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Essex England
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Paradise in the Mara”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

Before I started to right a review for the Royal Mara I thought hard for words I could use to describe how good it is there, sure like you I know words like, Brilliant,Fantastic,Beautiful, Excellent, but some how these words seem inadequate.
If you read other good reviews what they are saying I can vouch for them and say every word is true, I could write a review myself but it would say what everybody has said over and over again,On the second day there our son was married in the bush twenty one of us were taken to a place a few miles away where we were met by a minister who married them under a tree to the backdrop of roaming antelope,wilderbeest and zebra,afterwards the Masai came and there was much chanting,jumping,thy are such lovely people.
Then we were taken further into the Mara for a sumptuous five course dinner..Fantastic,a big thank you to all at the Royal Mara for a wonderful day,so my advice is book as soon as you can and enjoy heaven in the Mara a truly unforgettable experience.......that the good news, now the bad.
Firstly the feeling the last day you are there is awful you know you have to leave but leaving is like losing part of your family,all the staff waving goodbye with their smiling faces is a sight I will treasure forever.
Secondly Soup will I be able to live without the soup,go there,you will understand.
So I will end by saying my thanks to firstly George Jnr for your help and organization,and guidance,Simon and all the game drivers,thank you my brothers, Regan and the guards for keeping my family safe, all the Chefs cleaners in fact everybody you make this place very special.
Ps thanks also to the Hippo who gave birth outside our tent, the pictures came out fine xx

Room Tip: Any been in them all, occupied by my family all excellent
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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.
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371 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (79)
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English first
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

This is the second time JT safaris has arranged for me to go to the Royal Mara, this time it was to take my children to see what I fell in love with so much the first time. I wouldn't have considered going anywhere else as I felt so safe and had such a good experience during my first time at the Royal Mara. I was surprised and pleased to have Wilson as our guide again although this second time I think we missed out on hime sharing his knowledge of the local wildlife as two of my children are 4 and 5 (not the ideal age to take them but as my oldest children are 16 and 17 it was the only opportunity I may have for us all to travel in one group - would recommend age 5 or 6 as minimum age for safari due to length of the day). Loved the walking safari and it goes without saying that the driving safaris are amazing. Would recommend a visit to the wild white rhino sanctuary. Unfortunately Wilson's car snapped it's axel that day and we had a little adventure waiting for the next car. Wilson and the rangers took really good care of us all and my youngest had fun collecting wood (supervised by a ranger) for the little fire that was built to keep us warm. Just a word of advice - mornings and evenings are cold and daytime is blisteringly hot. Be prepared for this and don't do what my teenage daughter did and just bring warm weather clothes (something about teens ignoring parents). The food is amazing and plentiful. If you have small children you need to be very specific about them just needing a piece of something and maybe cut out some of the courses too. They said that they're thinking of putting up a security fence like other lodges so that guests can walk about more freely. I hope they don't do this as I quite like the feeling of not being separated from the area. Seeing flattened grass near where you slept the night before (but not in a scary way) was lovely to wake up to. While at the lodge we managed to see hippos, and alligator, monkeys, antelope, weaver birds as well as zebra in the distance on our walk.

If anybody can help me out I'd appreciate it - I have a some shillings I wanted to give to Moses the security guard as a tip. We couldn't find him on the last day and I've been unable to find a way of getting the money to him. He was amazingly helpful with everybody in our group and I hate the thought of him missing out. I'm not sure if there's a way of posting the information on here but if someone could find out where I can post an envelope to him then I'd really appreciate it. On that note, while it's customary to tip the room boy, the driver and the waiter people often forget to tip the security people who look after them.

Room Tip: No such thing as a bad room. Would post photos but internet is playing up
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

10 of us in 2 jeeps had such a great time for the 3 days we were there. Julius and Wilson who was a spotter on "Big Cat Diaries" are so knowlegeable and found everything we set out to see. Breakfast and lunch in the bush was awesome. The camp was excellent, the food was good and the hippos noisy in the night.
We even had to rescue a group who managed to drive their jeep into a ditch next to a pride of lions.
The best short safari we have been on.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

We were pleasantly surprised by our visit and did not expect to see so much wildlife. On our first day we saw 11 lions and spent the next day hoping to see a giant male lion. We were not disappointed as we saw 2 male lions. Then the cheetah, then the leopard. The rooms were quite enjoyable and I had never felt so immersed in a bush setting. This was our first safari and we did not really know what to expect. The food was great (western style mixed with some african influences) and the staff were extremely friendly. They told us not to walk around by ourselves at night because hippos may be moving around, and they were. On several of the nights of our stay I woke up to the sound of a giant hippo munching outside of my room. By the last night I was used to it, and now I miss the sound. This hotel is highly recommended and I look forward to seeing East Africa again some day.

  • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 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
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 #22 of 128 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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 
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Also Known As:
Royal Mara Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Royal Mara Safari Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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