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“Nice ... For Now” 4 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
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
103 hotel reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
182 helpful votes 182 helpful votes
“Nice ... For Now”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

Until a few years ago, Lake Nakuru National Park was one of Kenya's most perfect spots to vacation with upwards to 1,000,000 Greater and Lesser Flamingoes clogging the lake, shore and water birds virtually everywhere, and animals, including the endangered White Rhinoceros, easy to see. Its roads were charming and its lush trees a perfect "frosting on the cake."

Then a year ago came rain and rain and more rain. Today, the lake is at its highest level in recorded history, there is widespread flooding, the main road that skirted the lakeshore is underwater, and many of the lovely mini-forest trees along that same shoreline, are dying every day because of so much water. The flamingoes have nearly all deserted the lake for more shallow locales. (On our recent visit, we counted less than 40). The park is still more than worth visiting. We spotted, for instance, a lioness and her four cubs frolicking together on one of the many side roads, a grand sight to behold.

What does this all have to do with the Lion Hill Game Lodge? The lodge, operated by the Sarova hotel chain and sitting as it does high on a hill overlooking Lake Nakuru, is still safe from the increasing encroachment of the rising water. Many of the roads leading to and from it, however, are not. A casual drive down any one of them, offers endless scenes of dead or dying trees, water lapping the edges of the road, and a general malaise. Since the Kenyan government is unable (or perhaps unwilling) to do anything to stop the effects of the flooding, it can only get worse in the days ahead.

And that is a shame because, all in all, the SLHGL is a very pleasant establishment. Some of their rooms are small and cramped (my wife was reminded of an attic garret when she saw the first of two rooms we were assigned when we were there in June, 2013) but others offer comfort, more room, and quality for the money. (It should be noted, however, that there is poor lighting in the rooms which makes it hard to read). The grounds are quite scenic though some of the rooms, far from offering views of the lake far below do little more that overlook the extensive, and quite noisy, parking lot.

A highlight of the lodge is its dining facilities. They offer buffet dining three times during the day with choices galore, many of which are excellently prepared. There is also a very nice gift shop which offers little distinctive but all the usual shirts, knick-knacks, and the like. There is also nightly entertainment which, for those who are interested, offers an enjoyable bit of local culture.

For now, the SLHGL, despite an abysmal road connecting it to "the outside world," is one of the nicest places to stay on or near the lake. The plumbing is slightly antiquated and the furniture, at least in our two rooms, less than sterling but then no-one ought to expect first-class accommodations -- this is, after all, rural Kenya. For a pleasant weekend or so, however, it is a delightful place to visit. The staff, to a person, was always helpful and welcoming.

We'd like to be back someday when, hopefully, the lake recedes and the birds and animals return in full spectrum. No-one will be overly disappointed in Lion Hill Lodge if they make this their choice as well but, for now, considering the condition of the lake, the lodge has much less to offer than it once did.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
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Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

I just stayed here with my wife and teenage daughter for one night over the weekend.

Location : It is located within the National Park thus saving you repeated entry fees and time to go for the safaris. It took us about 3 hours to get to the hotel from Nairobi on a leisurely self drive.

Rooms : Most rooms have a view of the lake. The rooms are on the smaller side but extremely comfortable. Good en suite bathrooms with basic toiletries and running hot water off solar heaters. No TVs which is good. Tea and coffee making facilities in the room though! Every bed has mosquito nets which they set up as part of the evening turn down service.

The property : It is a lush green place hidden in the forest. Nicely laid out with due privacy. Little walk ways, benches in the lawn and lots of birds for company. If you have your own car you can drive out into the park rather easily. Rooms are cute little cottages. There is a pool and spa in the property. It was too cold for us to use the pool and we weren't there long enough to try out the spa. I saw signs for a conference room, so please check that there is none planned during your visit. Free wifi available across the property, and should you need laptops are offered to rent. There is a little bird buffet just outside the restaurant to invite the birds to come and sample the wares.

Food : There is a reasonable variety of food available. Lots of meat dishes of course and there is a sizeable vegetarian option available as well. I wouldn't say the food was outstanding or memorable, but it seem just right after a 3 hour ride in the forest!!

Service : Most Kenyans are very pleasant and friendly. Sarova was no exception. They were quite efficient at check in and in the restaurant and bar. They were challenged on Saturday night as all the guests came to dinner at the same time on the finish of the dance performance. This is something they should look into as they can never be staffed up to meet that kind of demand. In spite of that they were always happy and willing to help. Everyone's smiling and greeting you.

Safaris ; We took two safaris arranged by the hotel. One in the afternoon and one the next day morning. The afternoon safari just ended up being a drive as most animals seemed to have gone into hiding! We saw the ubiquitous giraffes, deer and zebras. But no lions. The morning one more than made up as we spent half an hour in the company of 4 lions who decided to lie around our jeep and enjoy the weather!! Perhaps morning safaris are the ones to go?

Surprise 1 : As part of the evening turn down service they also slide in a hot water bottle under the bed. Which was really welcome on the cold wintry night.

Surprise 2 : Someone from the hotel had washed our car overnight, which had got extremely dusty from our drive in from Nairobi.

All told this is a really great property to stay in Lake Nakuru to enjoy the National Park. I think it caters primarily to the international traveler though, as amongst all the guests there were just 2 families who were Kenyan residents. If I could afford it, I'd visit here very frequently!

I recommend this place strongly to anyone visiting the Park.

Room Tip: The rooms on the higher levels of the 'mountain' have the better views. Those numbered in th...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Diriamba, Nicaragua
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

Savona Lion Hill Game Lodge was more than we imagined. The beds were comfy, the food was delicious, the scenery awesome. The 'traditional dances' left something to be desired. Wifi was available in our cabin, much to our delight. Restful and relaxing.

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karachi, Pakistan
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

Undoutly a breathing experience. The location was good along with the bar/tea area. Though the birds that are famous for this place were absent yet the other wild life was on its top. Four out of five bigs were seen except leopard. Watching the white rhino was a dream came true. Evening at hotel was unexpectedly wonderful and the local music/verity show was awesome. in short staying at sarova hill was a wonderful experience. I will be really comming back with my family.

Room Tip: The rooms are on hill and are in an incline. Try to get the upper most one to have the finest look...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
hamshire
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Stunning location, the chalet was fine, pool, restaurant, (pretty good buffet), bar, really very good. Staff very helpful. Cannot give it 5, but it was very close. Lake Nakuru is reknowned for it's 2 million flamingos, but, due to excess rains, they've either gone or drowned (i guess the migrated elsewhere excuse was reasonable). However everything else in the game drive was great, well worth a visit.

Room Tip: all chalets, no difference.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

We had a great time. The food was good, the accommodation as well. Didn't offer much in terms of experience but i cant really complain. At dinner there was a guy on guitar strumming away and it was fantastic. He played great songs and we sang a loud pretty loudly!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bangalore
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

We spent two nights at Lake Nakuru and had a good time at Sarova Lion Hill. It sucks that the place has no fitness centre and they shut down the pool at 6PM when you're most likely going to get back from the game drive only by 7PM. The tracks near the room are great, and I did manage to get some runs in the evening. Given that the water levels at the lake have been rising, it's been tough birding in the park. However the habitat in the resort itself is quite awesome and I managed to get some good photographs both times I visited. There are weavers building nests right at the reception and you can get some good shots of them there or just watch and be entertained.

The food at the restaurant is really good and I'm grateful that for the dinners I got food that matched my meal preferences. In general they have a really huge spread!

The rooms are pretty basic on the inside which is why I didn't bother photographing, but they're fairly comfortable and the bed warmers are fairly comfortable.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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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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