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“The perfect Safari experience” 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
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“The perfect Safari experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

Our stay at Mara was just perfect, from touchdown on the local airstrip 10 minutes from the lodge till we took off again a week later we were looked after. The staff are excellent and arranging all the small the details, they carry you along without ever feeling intrusive and without exception they are pleased to see you and genuinely welcoming.

we soon got to know the names of them all and it felt like leaving a new group of friends when we left.

The Safaris were great, the guide was a wealth of knowledge and skill (particularly with a 4 wheel drive). The drive can be bumpy but then you are literally driving through the bush, that is how you get within a few meters of wildlife.

Treat yourself to a real experience, this place is definitely great value for money - and don't forget to tip at the end, this is the way it done on Safari so seek guidance.

We will be going back if we get the oppertunity

Room Tip: All the rooms I saw are essentially the same, all excellent - we were in No.6
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  • Stayed October 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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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 (69)
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English first
Holyhead, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

Late review but always felt we should give credit where it is due once we started on tripadvisor. This lodge, it's position, the staff, the food were all wonderful and to crown it all the wildlife was just as we had hoped for with all efforts made by James and others to try and ensure we saw all of the big stars of the of the Mara. This was a one off trip for the family and the 9 and 11 year old kids enjoyed the 2 nights there. I guess you can go to a more expensive or posher place but I couldn't see the need. The day starts at dawn but plenty of time to relax and snooze in between various trips out. The guys obviously know their stuff, whether questions about all the main animals but also about plant life, small birds, environmental damage, the walk out with the rangers was really worth it.
Sleep on first night was a bit broken but it's to be expected given how close you are to the weird and wonderful noises of the night, which is part of the fun. The second night we all slept like logs. No surprise given the beds and lodges are so comfortable - perfect.
Food was amazing, don't know how they do it but a credit to all the staff. Will never forget the visit, for all the right reasons.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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surfers paradise gold coast
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Leaving our last Lodge on the 4th day with JuliusTSafaris we were warned by our driver we were in for a long drive with some "bumpy" roads. That was an understatement but what lay ahead was nothing but amazing. On arrival at Royal Mara we were greeted by the Manager with cool wet washers and juice, very welcome after a 70 km rough road.
Hearing a 'grunting" noise from the river we ventured over to the edge with a staff member to find a watering hole of what seems hundreds of hippos... surreal and what a welcoming party that was.

Escorted to our ensuite tent we were blown away - first by the "wow" factor on entering the tent,(all African décor) secondly by the layout and thirdly by the cleanliness. This was always going to be a great 3 days at Royal Mara. The Royal Mara is just a small lodge with 8 tents, all meals are taken in the dining area a short walk away or by the River Mara's edge under trees ( we were always accompanied by a security guard with rifle). Wilson, our driver/guide for the 3 days had so much local knowledge that we were able to find the "Big 5" during our stay here. No stone was unturned in our endeavours to do so...
To say Royal Mara and its staff are nothing short of excellent in every respect I can only recommend staying here if you ever have the opportunity. I would go back in a heart beat to see the abundance of animals we got to see on this 3 day stay - just amazing and so awesome.

Room Tip: All tents are close to the River Mara - enjoy
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  • Stayed September 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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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

A wonderful stay. We experienced outstanding service during our 5 night stay.
The driving safaris (in comfortable vehicles) were superb. Julian, our driver has a great knack of finding animals and went out of his way to look for which ever animal we wanted to see.
The great thing about staying here is that it's situated in the Mara North Conservatory and there are rules about viewing animals. This means there are not hoards of vehicles crowding each animal. Only a limited number of vehicles can observe an animal/animals at the same time. So, on many occasions we had a pride of lions, etc, to ourselves and you don't feel like animals are being hassled by tourists as it may feel in less regulated areas.
The cabin's are far enough away from each other to offer privacy and are a perfect place for viewing wildlife (without even leaving the balcony). We delighted in watching the resident hippos in the Mara river from our cabin's balcony.
The manager, James, runs a great team. All staff were very friendly.
The chef makes delicious soup and even made them with vegetarian stock whilst we were there.
George, the owner was very good to deal with in the booking process answering all my questions via email.
The only suggestion I would make (and this goes for all lodges), is that rather than providing so many plastic bottles of drinking water every day, guests are given metallic, refillable bottles on arrival which they can refill as required from a water dispenser at the dining area or lounge. (they could even take these home as a memento of their trip, with Royal Mara printed on the side!) Or a large jug of spring water could be delivered to cabins each day to cut down on plastic bottle litter.
Also, the weather means it'd be a great place to install solar power. I think these environmental practices would be welcomed by guests. Just a suggestion to make the place even better!

I recommend the Royal Mara 100%. If you're going to travel all the way to Kenya you may as well stay in a place where you won't be disappointed. The experience of seeing all those animals up close will stay with me always. We were close enough that I filmed them all on my iphone. Didn't need a zoom lens at all!

  • Stayed August 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.
Maryland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

Overall, this place is great if you are looking for small (only 8 cabin tents) and peaceful. Not much to the grounds outside of your tent and the main building for meals, but its all well appointed and perfectly situated along the Mara river. Be warned, if you get nervous when things go bump in the night, this place gets loud at night from the wildlife in and around camp. The Hippos never stop!

The staff are all very friendly and the food is really good. The Mara north conservancy is also great a sits very open and not crowded. I highly recommend staying if you want to enjoy a peaceful safari without much to distract you.

I went during a weekend while in Nairobi for business and will say its not great for solo travelers...much better for couples and decent for families too.

Room Tip: Pick a room in the middle 4-6.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
george741, Owner at Royal Mara Safari Lodge, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Thank you for your review. Please accept our apologies if your sleep was disturbed by hippo noise. Most guests who come to the Mara bush and sleep next to the Mara river and amidst our 200 resident hippos expect to escape their normal quiet sleep at home or in urban hotels and fully enjoy the experience of sleeping amidst the night noises of the wildlife. We are not able nor do most guests expect us to maintain total silence in a bush environment.

Regarding value many guests may not fully be informed of the costs involved on a safari package. After domestic airfare transfer costs, park fees which are now $100 per night with the new 16% VAT, the commisssions taken by overseas and local ground handling tour operators, the 2% hotel tax (in addition to regular 30% income tax), and the new 16% VAT tax on safari packages, in most cases safari camps receive less than one third of what a safari package may cost and struggle to break even, let alone make any profit, with only seasonal operations in the bush but full year round expenses.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, Nottinghamshire UK
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

We stayed here in October 2013 for 4 nights, everything was perfect: - staff at all levels spoke good English, very pleasant & helpful. The manager went out of his way to ensure everything was 500%. Excellent for families. We were very lucky in seeing the wilder beast migration thanks to our excellent guide James. We saw the majority of wild animals at close range & could not have asked for more. We will return

  • Stayed October 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.
kent
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013 via mobile

We cannot praise this camp enough. From the time we arrived until the moment we left we were treated like royalty. 4 nights of pure indulgence with food, company and game drives. Special mention to James our game driver who found everything we asked for, even going out early so we could photograph the sunrise! Up close and personal with so many of the wildlife. Mark who kept our lodge spotless and tea in the morning. Sammi who was our personal waiter, Reagan and other rangers who kept us safe walking around the camp day and night. Also to James camp manager who checked on us everyday to ensure we were happy and enjoying our stay. Oh gosh we loved every bit of it. Please please keep doing what you do so well. We can't wait to return with other family members. We will cherish this holiday for life. Donna and Grant Kent England.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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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 #17 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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