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“Beautiful and wild” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Mara Safari Lodge

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Royal Mara Safari Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Istanbul
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful and wild”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

Safari trips can be a mixed bag: you can get great accommodations but lackluster wild game viewing, or great game viewing but dismal rooms and service. This hotel gave us plentiful doses of both. Our room tent #6 was perfectly placed on the edge of the Mara River opposite a river drinking point where impala and zebra would come down to drink river water in the late afternoon. For the duration of our stay, we had our own hippo herd below in the Mara River that never seemed to leave except at night when they foraged. The first time we heard random hippo grunting 20 meters away we were startled, then it grew on us and reminded us where we were, and now we miss their hippo singing. Our room was bigger than we anticipated. Beautiful wood floors, carved furniture with carvings of animals big and small, massive king size bed fit for an elephant (as a skinny Turkish man I used very little of the bed real estate), safe deposit box, sink area, toilet area with carvings of a stork holding our toilet paper because tent #6 has the stork marabou animal theme, and large balcony area with sun chairs.

Meals: continental breakfast in the morning, mostly barbecue style lunches with salads, pastas and other sides, with European style meals at night. The soups at every sitting were amazing. On one afternoon the staff took all the tables out to the plains and we had lunch in full view of zebra and giraffe herds. We didn't pay for the outside plains lunch, and when we asked them how much it would cost they said no charge. Ok! The staff were always smiling and very friendly. At every meal they would ask how are we doing. We are doing great! How was the game drive? Excellent. The volume of wild animals running around the Mara is truly staggering. Every few minutes we came across something different. Lions cubs tugging on their mother's tail, elephant mama nursing her calf, giraffe walking across the horizon at sunset. Magical.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (68)
Date | Rating
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English first
Glyfada, Greece
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

From the moment our flight landed at the airstrip, we could see zebras, gazelles, warthogs (you name it) running free on the savanna. We were not expecting to see so much, so fast, during our 3 night stay. Before the driver took us to the lodge for check-in we saw a herd of 20 giraffe walking around, a herd of 50 or more buffalo, it just went on and on, and within 20 minutes we were overwhelmed. I asked our driver Julius if we would see lions on this drive between the airstrip and the lodge, and he smiled and pointed to a stretch of bushes in the distance. He told us the lions caught a zebra earlier in the night, had eaten, and were busy resting in the shade. "Would you like to see them now?" I told him it was too much to take in so fast, I needed to check in. He laughed and said that in the afternoon we would see the lion pride, and surely we did. But not before we saw our room at check in. The photos on the website do not do these rooms justice. The location is amazing right next to the river, and we could hear and see the hippos thru the day and night. I did not have high expectations given the placement of a hotel out in the middle of nowhere, but it exceeded my expectations with pleasant, tasty food and good, clean rooms. I also felt extra safe with the room on a wooden platform. On one night I heard a hippo eating grass behind the room. The manager James was especially friendly, as were the security staff, Steven and of course our driver Julius. When we finally found the cheetah, my heart melted. I would definitely recommend this hotel to friends and safari seekers.

  • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contignac, France
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

These people were really amazing.

1) the rooms are amazing: large, hand carved furniture, mahogany floors, double vanity, showers and private balconies overlooking the river.

2) the food was awesome. a new soup every night, meals in different places withing the camp as well as out on the plains in sight of many animals, and food that I would have expected in a hotel in a large city, but not in the middle of the African savannah.

3) service: our game drivers, our room keepers, and the waiters for food were all so wonderful. They not only provided great service, but were honestly interested in learning about us and making sure that we were happy with everything. We felt like part of the family there.

I went with my wife, but I will certainly be back again with family and friends.

Room Tip: They are all great. We met some of the other people staying at the camp and hung out with them at...
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  • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
st Petersburg, United States
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

It is difficult to put into words my love for this place and allots staff. The Royal Mara Safari Lodge provided everything we had hoped for, great friendly, knowledgeable staff, good accommodation, excellent food and the most hospitable and can do attitude you could ask for. The game viewing was fantastic as was our guide James. In fact ALL the staff we outstanding. Having spent 8 days in this little corner of heaven we enjoyed it so much we are returning in June 2013. If you want the "best of the best" give the Royal Mara Safari Lodge a visit, you will not be disappointed unless you really are not into the wildlife.

Room Tip: Every lodge is great
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  • Stayed June 2012, 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.
Essex England
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 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.

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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 #15 of 108 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 
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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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