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“great experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of ol Donyo Lodge

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ol Donyo Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Mbirikani Group Ranch | Chyulu Hills, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Hong Kong, China
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“great experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

very good service, Great BBQ dinner, BBQ served there could be similar to top tier restaurants in Hong Kong.I cannot imagine such food and service in Afican. I could watch animals from room and this seems quite safe since I am higher than them. The galaxy at night is magnificent. I could see thousands of stars and even the galaxy on the roof.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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97 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Stuart, Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

This wonderful lodge was the start of our safari experiences and it did not disappoint. My daughter and I started here on our trip to six lodges in Kenya and Tanzania. As others have noted, the facilities are just gorgeous and the service is perfect. Ray and Allyssa made sure that our visit would be memorable and they could not have been nicer. Our Masai guide James, was knowledgeable and took perfect care of us. Our trip the the Masai village with James was the highlight of our visit...............it is highly recommended.

  • Stayed September 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.
Palos Verdes Estates, California, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

Everyone should visit this amazing place. The location is unbelievably beautiful, with close-up viewing of elephants, zebra, giraffe,and more, all from the luxury of your room, or from "the Hide", where you can (almost) touch them as they pass by. Ray, Alyssa, and the entire staff are wonderful - anticipating every need, and entertaining all with gourmet food and fun. The safari guides are terrific, ours was Jeremiah - he was knowledgeable and a lot of fun, too. Ask to set up the "star bed" on the top level of your private patio for some great late-night stargazing, or just hang out in your beautiful room or the comfortable main lodge. It was our first impression of Africa, and we could not have been more impressed. Definitely hope to get there again someday!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Montreal
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

We had a wonderful experience at Ol Donyo. We were at the lodge at the same time as a large family group that were occupying all of the other rooms. Alyssa and Ray and all of the Ol Donyo staff made sure that we were not overlooked and ensured that we had a very special experience. The setting is one of the best of the five safari lodges we visited, and we especially enjoyed the blind where we could sit for a few quite hours and just watch the different animals come to drink. We only had two nights but would certainly add at least another night the next time. Ol Donyo is one place where you can hang out and relax for a day and really enjoy the lodge - a perfect place to chill with a drink in the middle of a busy safari holiday if you want to take a day off from safari drives. Our Guide Dan was wonderful and after only a couple of days we felt like we were leaving a son behind. He was very knowledgable and he was very attentive to our interests.

Our room was amazing with great views, including a view of Kilimanjaro one clear morning. Everything was clean and comfortable, and the attention to detail was unsurpassed during our trip.

  • Stayed July 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.
Castleton, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

This was our 5th time returning to Ol Donyo and it didnt disappoint. We are always amazed at the beauty of the lodge, built into the hillside . The rooms are utterly gorgeous with lovely appointments - so stylish. The staff are wonderful: very knowlegeable about the surrounding ecosystem . We particularly fond of the wonderful guides who have become friends over the years. James, Dan, Jackson, Jeremiah and the entire staff make the game drives and Sundowners ever so delightful.the food is always good and plentiful- amazing really when you consider how remote the lodge is....
Visit Ol Donyo for it's remote and beautiful setting, for it's fabulous staff and for an experience unlike any other in Kenya.

Stayed June 2013
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Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

From the staff, food, sights, and accommodations, Ol Donyo Lodge is as good as it gets. Warm welcome was followed by great service, star beds on the rooftop of your room, elephants (and everybody else) drinking at the watering hole below the terrace. Alyssa and Ray are great hosts. Lunches and dinners served in the bush under candlelight, the staff met us nightly on our way home ( from school/clinic where we helped out daily) with Sundowners, the best cocktail and snacks on the plains. We wanted for nothing and almost cried when we moved on to other lodges. Top of the hill, this lodge.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
Taipei, Taiwan
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

We spent four days at Ol Donyo, which we coupled with a Great Plains Conservation sister camp, Mara Toto, on a 7-day safari. We absolutely loved everything about Ol Donyo. We were glad we decided to spend more time at each camp rather than hopping around to too many places. Managers Alyssa and Ray were two of the nicest people one could ever hope to meet. Our guide Dan and the rest of the staff were also top-notch.

Each of the handful of rooms at the lodge offers great views of watering holes. The accommodations are incredibly comfortable and there was not a meal that wasn't outstanding. Ol Donyo certainly deserves its status as a Relais & Chateaux property, the only one in Kenya at the present.

We enjoyed a gamut of activities, including day and night safari drives, hiking, bicycle riding, and horseback riding. The picturesque Chyulu Hills area sometimes seems to come with a caveat that the game isn't as plentiful as in other areas, notably the Maasai Mara. Nonetheless, we saw plenty of game, and with its location in a conservation area, we had the entire place virtually to ourselves. And honestly, what's not to love about sleeping under the stars on the star beds.

Kilimanjaro had been shrouded in cloud for our first three days there and we were saddened that we might leave without getting a chance to see it. But just as we dismounted our horses on our final day there and we about to enjoy our farewell sundowner in yet another unbelievably gorgeous location, our guide pointed to us to look in the distance -- the mountain with its snowy summit had emerged from behind the clouds. This, which capped a string of unforgettable days, was only topped by a final memorable dinner.

We deeply hope to visit again one day.

  • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ol Donyo Lodge

Address: Mbirikani Group Ranch | Chyulu Hills, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Amboseli Eco-system
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Amboseli Eco-system
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — ol Donyo Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine...275,000 Acres of scenic Africa, where the wildlife can be found free and roaming, without tourists in mini buses or a set schedule. Imagine...Travelling across the archetypal savannahs of East Africa in an open 4x4 game drive vehicle without limitation, feeling the rhythm of Africa beneath your feet as you walk with expert trackers, or horseback riding with Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. Imagine...Exploring this paradise, and then coming home to one of the most luxurious small lodges in Kenya where a hot bath, in or outdoor shower, or private swimming pool await - all with inspiring views across the expansive plains, plus delicious food, charming hosts and world-class service.Ol Donyo Lodge is in the heart of the 275,000 acre Mbirikani Group Ranch, located on the slopes of the Chyulu Hills National Park between the Amboseli and Tsavo West National Parks in southeast Kenya. Its location is unrivalled with full views of Mount Kilimanjaro and in the path of seasonal elephant migrations. It is a lodge rich in history, passion and conservation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ol Donyo Hotel Amboseli Eco-System

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