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“Hotel comfort in the center of wilderness” 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
Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Hotel comfort in the center of wilderness”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

During my recent stay in Kenya, this was the best lodge that I have experienced. The best thing is that it has a very large lodge, with running water bath room. Having a running water bath room is important, at least in my view, when doing safari in Maasai Mara. You will not believe how dusty it would be after a whole day out in the safari. I could not imagine how to survie if I only have the option of bucket shower as in other camps. The bath room is also big and allow you to clean yourself after a whole day of hard work in the field.

Food quality is also something suprisingly good and worth a mentioning. The chef is really doing a great job here to proivde all kinds of quality food for the guest. Lucnh is usually served next to the river where you can wath the Hippo while you are eating. Dinner is usually served at the courtyard next to a fire place.

There are also other nice things which have all been commented by others so I will not repeat them here, inlcuidng the nice carving, nice furniture, comfortable bed, right next to the Mara River where the Hippo stay ...etc.

The only one drawback, if I have to list one, is the distance from the Maasai Mara National Reserve. This lodge is located in the Mara North Conservatory which is next to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Your game drive is in the Mara North Conservatory. You can see all animals here but if you want to see the river crossing, you have to travel back to the Maasai Mara National Reserve which is almost two hours drive from the lodge and you have to pay for the enterance fee which is USD 80 per person, not yet including the hire of a driver and a car to go there (2200 KES for the car and drive, or 25 USD). If you are staying here for more than 3 nights, it will include a one day visit to the National Reserve. Otherwise you have to pay for yourself. In order to see the river crossing, we spent two full days in the National Reserve but still no luck.

During night time, you will hear a lot of noise from the animal, like the Hippo. monkey, sometime the Zebra and Elephant will also come close to the site so it coudl be noisy during the night. At one night, it was so noisy that we were waken up. During the next day, the security staff (who stay overnight every night to guard the site) told us it was because of a group of zebra fighting with the Eland) also because of that, you will be guarded by a security staff wtih gun wherever you go inside the lodge site, e.g. going to and from the restaurant, going to and from the reception etc.

Electricity supply is morning and evening only. You will have plug inside the room to charge your camera etc. The supply is up to 10:30pm so when you are back from the game drive at around 7pm you still have plenty of time to feed you gadgets. In the moring it starts at 5:30am. but will be out soon after everybody gone on game drive.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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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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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Perfect is a word not to used lightly but certainly is appropriate here.

The accommodations were just as pictured on their websites, so the rooms are spacious, beautiful and full of character. All the staff we met were very friendly, but certainly not intrusive. They are proud and intelligent people who were interested in sharing their cultures with us.

The guides all communicate with each other so I think they are all would be great. Personally we did not put any pressure on our guide to see the leopard but he did manage it. We were very fortunate to witness 2 crossings on the day our guide suggest we went to the park. He did not say it at the time but I think he knew in advance our chances would be very high. We did have to pay $80 for each of us, plus the local fee for the driver and vehicle, but definitely worth the experience. You can only pay with cash for this. But tipping and drinks (which was very reasonable) can be done with credit card.

We were all impressed at what they food can prepare for just 10 guests, quality and variety was just right.

The highlight of our stay was the bush lunch. Here we were eating freshly barbecued lamb chops and nice salads amidst hundreds of animals. We were left speechless. We had friends who stayed at the Fairmont Safari Club last year and although they were very satisfied with their stay, I don't think they had the same intimate care and attention we received at the Royal Mara.

Please tip generously as the workers here only get to see their families every 3 months. And most of them have young families to support.

I felt our stay of 3 nights was perfect, may be longer would be nice but definitely no shorter. We met another coupled who has done many other safaris in South Africa and Botswana and they said that the Mara was truly in a class my itself.

Thank you to all the staff at the Royal Mara who helped made our holiday unforgettable.

Room Tip: We had room 1 which was nearer to the hippos but more interesting. Our teens had room 5 and they we...
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  • Stayed July 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
    • 4 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.
Big Bear City, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

This camp was everything one would want. The tents, in covered structures, were very nice. The carvings in the furniture were fun to explore and what a talent. The accommodations were roomy, convenient, and nice; both inside and out. Big lounges and table and chairs sat under the covered deck overlooking the river. The hippos were the neighbors in the river. The food was great, served in nice settings, with plenty of fruits and vegetables. For lunch it was back at camp, out in the bush, or a pack lunch. The lodge offered a walking safari, with guards, to be out in the bush with some of the zebras and small animals. I personally loved the walks and the feeling of being in the middle of it "all." The safari trips were exciting as was watching the animals next move. Sometimes really close, too. The guide was excellent. Travel to and from excellent.

  • Stayed July 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.
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

This camp was really exceptional. With only eight "tents," it features highly personal service by a staff that is genuine, careful, and attentive. And the sleeping quarters are called "tents," but they are really much more elaborate: large, individual, elevated super-structures that hold up the canvas and mesh tents on their inside, with a large bedroom, bathroom and veranda. The structure and the furniture are all very extravagant and unique, made of whole logs with sculptures carved into them. There are also public buildings at each end of the camp for happy hour, meals, etc., which you are escorted to and fro by armed escorts (beware the hippos). Game drives were amazing, led by knowledgeable drivers and held in small groups (our truck load was just my family of four). You can't imagine all the animals- or the feeling when a large male lion five meters away stares straight at you. The location of the camp is wonderful and the landscape is beautiful, which you get up close to during game walks. It was truly a special place for such a great adventure.

  • Stayed July 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poway, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

This was a very special place. The staff was a delight and the hippos at night were fun too. We saw lions each time we went on our driving safaris, along with mating ostriches, zebras, gnus, hyenas, giraffes, water buffalo, elephants, cheetahs, and so much, much more. Truly a special place. The staff took great care of us, and our host George was a wealth of knowledge. I would stay here again in a heart beat.

Room Tip: All of the rooms face the river and are a delight!!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
wigan
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

this was my second time in the masai mara but my first to the Mara North Conservancy and wow wow wow lions galoure . I was in heaven many small cubs were about and we got really really close thanks to wonderful James our safari guide . all 4 days of our drives were amazing only 4 of the big 5 but I was happy too see the cats . within the first 1 hour we saw a cheetah mum with her 2 cubs and then a pride of about 15 lions , we arrived at the camp and wow again . its amazingly done with all the carved rustic wood the tent was very spacious and clean .lovely sun lounges for a few hours in the afternoon before the evening drive , mark our tent boy was such a lovely guy and a good friend as was Joshua our waiter . Samuel our security guide was great and kept us safe . James the manager gave us what ever we wanted as we had the camp to ourselves , the chief cooked every day what we wanted and it was delicious every time , breakfast in the bush every day was amazing thanks to James for setting the table and chairs out the last day we had to rush as a herd of ellis were coming to join us . saw 2 different leopards very close and the night drive was awesome and we was lucky to see a beautiful serval hunting , I will return definatly as I always use JT safaris from Diani in Mombasa as my rep he is a great business man with fab prices . thankyou for our memorable stay Royal mara

Room Tip: we stayed in tent 8 , wonderful
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  • Stayed June 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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Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

Words cannot express how grateful we are to the staff at Royal Mara for making our stay in the Mara such a great experience....

My husband and I have traveled a lot and we have never stayed with such lovely, hospitable, friendly, caring people as we did at royal Mara. The staff are the best we have ever come across. In particular, Camp manager James, Simon our driver, Steven our waiter and Steven the security guard, Samuel the security guard, Moses and Johnson.

The owners, George Snr & George Jnr, as well were amazing, so helpful and no request was ever too much for them.

The rooms were out of this world, they are huge all with a large balcony overlooking the river where the resident hippos & crocodiles are on display, all wood used inside the cabin & furniture is hand carved, and the attention to detail is sensational! The game drives were great as well, seeing 4 of the "Big 5" multiple times across the week and getting great pictures of them all. The staff took so much pride in ensuring we had a great time.

The food is restaurant quality, never once were we left feeling hungry. Great variety and wholesome good food. There are also only 8 cabins so it gives a very intimate feeling and everyone gets looked after well.

We would recommend the Royal Mara to anyone who is thinking of this type of holiday, we will most definitely be going back!

  • Stayed June 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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