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“Quite OK” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge

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Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Lake Nakuru National Park | City Square, Lake Nakuru National Park 72493 - 00200, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Quite OK”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

Was here accompanying a group while on internship at one of the tour companies in Nairobi. Our clients were from an international school, and the group comprised mixed races.

The highlight was definitely the newly renovated/refurbished restaurant, with temperature controlled service stations. This means improved hygiene especially for the salad bar :) . The rooms were also very clean, Love the bathrooms, perfect for a relaxing shower after a dusty safari, guaranteed in the dry season. The staff were friendly as well, and eager to help.

I would recommend this to a traveller to Nakuru. It is near the town as well.

Room Tip: I think they are able to organize rooms to be triples for large groups, if the travellers do not min...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Korirk, Manager at Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, responded to this review, June 20, 2012
Jambo Beryl,
We are glad to note your enjoyed your stay with us and in particular you liked the newly renovated/refurbished restaurant, with temperature controlled service stations. This facility is amongst the first in Kenya only with Sarova Hotels.
Again Asante Sana and we look forward to your next visit

Ken Korir
Manager
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583 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (137)
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Spijkenisse, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
59 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

A great location and that should make it worthwhile. If one starts his/her safari at this property, it will probably be a great experience. When compared to other accommodations elsewhere, it will probably be a very poor experience. Rooms are outdated and in our case even a bit damp. Dining is a kind of upgraded MacDonalds in buffet format. Real bad (really, really bad) 'musicians' trying to overplay the horrible noise of the frogs in the 'pool' besides the restaurant. In my opinion, the only objective review would be: 'it offers a clean place to sleep and protect you against starving'.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nenagh, Ireland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

Just a review of the hotel here and not the park itself, (which I thought was the best we went to by the way.) Rooms are very small and sad. Furniture very knocked about. No phone which is tough as we were at the top of the hill and couldn't call reception for help with luggage and so on. Didn't care much for the dancing.

I think Sarova Hotels, we stayed at 4 different ones in Kenya in 21/2 weeks, need to think about making the WiFi free, this is not a good revenue stream and they were the only people charging during the whole holiday. Very annoying....get into the 21st century guys!!

Food was surprisingly good. Excellent effort from Tammy the pastry chef keep working at it!!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vadodara
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

compare to its sister property in Mara. Very good location- probably the best in Nakuru area.

A beautiful bar and deck overlooking the lake is a great place to sit for sun downers. The standard rooms are average but adequate.

Food was rather good....excellent barbecue and grilled meats on offer. If you are a carnivore you will love the menu here.

It elated our spirits in spite of not spotting single flamingo on the lake!!!!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2012

I believe there are two types of visitors to this somewhat understated retreat: those who will leave a little disappointed, and those who will leave wide-eyed and amazed. The former are generally people who have been lucky enough to enjoy other, more luxurious accommodation when on safari elsewhere in Africa, the latter are generally people to whom the luxury of places like those in the Maasai Mara are slightly out of reach. I fall into neither of these groups, as a regular business traveller to nearby Nakuru, so I am able to observe from a short distance the two sets of travellers and their respective engagement with Sarova Lion Hill. Also, I have enjoyed safaris in the past at both ends of the scale of luxury, so I think I am well-placed to give my two cents' worth!

If you have experienced the upper end of luxury elsewhere, do not expect to be blown away by Sarova Lion Hill. It is functional in broad strokes, basic between the gaps, but sprinkled sparingly with brilliance. Above all, it's saving grace is that it looks over one of the truly great wildlife reserves in Africa. So if you are not too fussed with the quality of a room, but more interested in getting in a truck and seeing the beasts of the bush, this could be the place for you. The rooms are scattered in paired chalets across the side of a hill overlooking Lake Nakuru - paired in the sense that they are adjoined in twos. This means you can often hear a lot of what is going on next door, but that you also get the peace and quiet of almost being alone in the bush. Opt for a chalet that is far from the central area, if you don't mind walking a bit, as this will minimise foot traffic past your door. It will mean you can enjoy sunrise on your own personal verandah without having to mutter a grumbly greeting through foggy eyes as tourist after tourist trudges by on their way to a breakfast buffet or early morning safari. Further, the Lodge runs a lot of power off a generator, which becomes less and less audible as you move further from the centre. The beds are in no way inviting, but given there are no televisions (genius, in my opinion) and given that you will do most of your reading or relaxing on your verandah, they are bearable. There isn't a lot of space in your chalet, and they can be a little chilly depending on what time of the year you are there. Most frustratingly - and I am not sure if it is to do with how far up the hill you stay - the hot water is quite simply not hot. I have stayed here perhaps four or five times and never once enjoyed a hot shower. Ask at reception for a chalet that is quiet, but equipped with hot water. The bathroom is small, like the rest of the room, but are you here to sit on a loo and read the latest installment of hotels' collective effort to be more environmentally friendly with their towels, or are you here to see more rhinos than a roadside curio shop - and real ones at that? The latter, I suspect. Just be prepared to share your room with the odd visitor. I once woke up to the sound of someone eating a bag of chips in the corner of my room. I lay in the dark with my heart beating like an african drum before building up the courage to turn the light on. To my relief, I learned it was a small, cute, mouse nosing through the leftover chip packet in my rubbish bin. I'm not the sort to let that bother me, it's Africa and it's guaranteed he hasn't just emerged from a city sewer below!

You may be the sort who finds the high-end lodges just out of reach, or the sort who hasn't much time in Kenya after a business trip to Nairobi. Sarova Lion Hill is perfect. More affordable that most, and relatively close to Nairobi, it's ideal as a toe-dipper for safari first-timers, or for those with limited time and/or money. Whomever you are, the main focus is the reserve. I have seen pretty much all there is to see in Africa, and almost all of it is visible in this park. With the sad exception of elephants. I am still none the wiser as to why there are no elephants in Nakuru - I have been told it's space, but the park is big. I don't see why they wouldn't be able to pop in a couple of orphaned males looking to be rehabilitated back into the wild. I suspect it's to do with the number of rhinos and the fairly flimsy-looking perimeter fence protecting the surrounding villages. Aside from this big-five omission, there is everything else here. I have seen leopard, giraffe, rhino, buffalo, flamingo, vulture, hyena, tortoise, zebra, waterbuck, impala, ostrich, lion, and enough birds to fill the averge binocular lens.

In fact, speaking of birds, if you are a twitcher then you will love this park. Not only is there an abundance out in the park, but you only have to step out of the breakfast area and watch the staff hand out breadcrumbs to the mousebirds, sparrows, weavers and doves ... not to mention my all time favourite African bird, the Heuglin's Robin, now know as a White-browed Robin Chat. If you can turn away from the abundant breakfast buffet long enough, it's a wonderful sight. Breakfast is very good, with all you can think of available. It's worth getting there before others, as it can get busy.

The aforementioned Robin is famous for making sure he's the last bird to sing out at dusk. Listen out for him, but also listen out for the drums as they signal the onset of a slighty touristy, but very fun to watch African dance session on the verandah outside the bar. The bar itself is cosy, and in cooler times they light up their homemade portable furnaces, which are just brilliant. It's well worth relaxing here after an evening in the park. Evening is probably not as good as morning, but make sure to find out how to secure a proper, decent four-by-four for your safaris. Most people end up in modified vans, which just don't do it for me - it's not authentic. The only problem with this park is that it gets busy. If a leopard is sighted, it's likely there will be five or six vans or trucks already there when you arrive on the scene! But if you have to see a leopard with ten others, or not at all, which would you choose? The challenge is getting through the cold shower before you set out for an always rewarding safari.

Room Tip: Ask for one with little foot traffic, but with lots of hot water.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Korirk, General Manager at Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, responded to this review, June 12, 2012
Jambo
Thank you for finding time to post this review, I am glad to know that generally your stay was enjoyable and memorable.
We recently commisioned a Effluent Treatment Plant and at the time did not realize how loud the air blowers would be, otherwise we are on the main power grid. The noise from the blowers is at the moment being addressed. I am surprised that you found the hot water not hot enough in the morning, though we use solar panels to heat all our bath water we do supplement with the mains if the weather has not been friendly like as been in the last 3 months.
I might not be the right person to discuss the elephants and the park, but with 140sq. Kms of land many are of the opinion that even 4 elephants would bring down all the beautiful flora and fauna in a matter of few years.
Again and as we say in Kenya "Asante Sana" for the incisive and informative review

Ken Korir
Manager
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Davidsonville, MD
Level Contributor
88 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012

We were in the farthest rooms from the dining area. It is a long walk so not good if anyone in your party is 'limited'. The rooms were spacious but the bathrooms small and a bit outdated. Again, I am comparing to the Sarova Mara Camp. The food selection was excellent but the desserts were dry (cakes) and the "mousse" was gelatiny. Still we ate (too) well and enjoyed the main dish variety very much. The beds were a bit lumpy-inner spring with padding, not foam. The grounds were lush and beautiful and it was designed really well so that as you drive out, you can't even see that there is a lodge there. It blends in well. The park was awesome with plenty of rhino, baboons, water buffalo and many varieties of birds. They have leopard there but we were not lucky enough to spot them. We enjoyed Lake Nakuru the most of all the reserves we visited.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that is close to the dining area since there is really no view from the rooms.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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sussex
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

We stayed at the lodge for one night mid safari. The Lion Hill had been selected for us by Julius at JT Safaris and our selected room looked out over the lake. It was quite wonderful and on our drives we saw an abundance of animals. This was probably the best location we stayed at for birds The food was particularly good and the staff very efficient. Julius at JT Safaris had as usual picked the perfect place to stay.
Keith, Diane & Matthew

Room Tip: Our room was up several steps which could be a problem fo those less mobile.
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Korirk, General Manager at Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, responded to this review, June 12, 2012
Jambo
Thank you for taking to post this review. We are glad to note that you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to your next visit
As we say in Kenya "Asante Sana"

Ken Korir
Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge

Address: Lake Nakuru National Park | City Square, Lake Nakuru National Park 72493 - 00200, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Lake Nakuru National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Lake Nakuru National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated at the heart of the Rift Valley, the Lake Nakuru national park is home to one of the most amazing ornithological spectacles in the world - the flight of the flamingos! Aside from the flamingos, the park has over 450 species of birds - a heaven for any avid bird watchers. The park is also a sanctuary to the highly-endangered black Rhino and abounds with other game such as buffalos, lions and the elusive leopard. Just two hour's drive from Nairobi; Sarova Lion Hill is one of only two lodges situated within the premises of the park. Each of the 67 recently refurbished chalets are equipped with modern conveniences and have an astounding view of the pink rimmed lake and the silhouetted hills beyond. Guests can enjoy country-style dining at the flamingo restaurant or if you like, the chef can set up something special under one of the beautiful acacia trees where one can enjoy lunch with an unobstructed view of the lake. The rift valley bar is just the right spot for that magical sundowner. Cultural dancers delight visitors with their enchanting dancing every night. An inviting swimming pool & sauna facilities are available. Guests can also enjoy outdoor massage treatments with the calming sounds of chirping birds. Outside catering facilities complement the "meals served in the bush", provided as premium add-ons, including cocktails at Baboon Cliff. The Lodge also offers conferencing facilities. The Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge is one of the most sought after Rift Valley Lodges in Kenya, best known for offering finest quality services. A fabulous outdoor swimming pool to a business conference room, the hotel has almost everything that's required to make your stay a memorable one. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sarova Lion Hill Game Hotel Lake Nakuru National Park
Sarova Lion Hill Hotel
Hotel Sarova Lion Hill

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