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“Very well run, friendly and excellent location to explore Lake Naivasha and its many activities” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Lake Naivasha Sawela Lodge

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Lake Naivasha Sawela Lodge
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Moi South Road, Naivasha, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Cape Town, South Africa
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Very well run, friendly and excellent location to explore Lake Naivasha and its many activities”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Sawela Lodge is a really well run establishment with staff working in the gardens, restaurants and on the gates constantly - the lawns are neatly trimmed and the pool is sparkling.
The buffet was one of the best I have had, with variety and well cooked food at every meal. The head chef would talk to every table at dinner time and was genuinely passionate about his food, which carried through to the rest of the kitchen and waiting staff who were always friendly, helpful and accommodating.
My only comment on Sawela Lodge is that I wouldn't take the full board option next time as there is so much to do in Lake Naivasha, that we always ended up buying lunch elsewhere, therefore making the cost a little high.
The bed was very comfortable - and enormous!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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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71 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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English first
Mombasa, Coast, Kenya
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

This lodge surpassed my expectations. My family and I had chosen it since most of the other hotels were fully booked, and I expected a brief, average Christmas getaway. But on arrival, we were assisted by the exceptionally friendly staff, who provided refreshments and showed us to our rooms (whilst assisting us with luggage) after a summary of the hotel and it's facilities. The rooms were smaller than expected (we booked three double deluxe) though the set-up was nice and simple: 2 double beds, double and single, a flat screen TV, small table and chair set and ample cupboard space with a balcony. The bathroom was amply spaced as well, quite clean and the staff replaced toiletries daily. The water heater took a while though. The menu had a good array of food and the wine selection was average. The food was okay, though it could do with some heating as it was cold most of the time. Breakfast is the best meal here. The ambience was lovely, though I would suggest that they include some activities for guests which enable better interaction or keep people occupied as many of younger guests were idle. The tour guide was well informed with 35 years of experience, and the lake was beautiful. Christmas day was busier, so the initially tranquil ambience was replaced with festive buzz.There was music for the guests to enjoy after diner, but that was it. No other activities whatsoever. For a relatively new establishment and its price (3 years thus far) this lodge impressed me, though I'd suggest that they incorporate more activities in order to make visits there more memorable.

Room Tip: Not for the adrenalin junkies!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Reception by hotel staff was great, they showed us the different rooms they have. The food was average. Rooms are spacious & comfy.
Need to change the shower head in the bathrooms....what they have spoils the experience and getting the hot water right was in itself an art:)

You get a free nature walk and to the lake with a resident guide who was realy knowledgeable.

Reservation is on FB....doubt they do any other option.

I would go back again to Sawela.

they have well kept expanse lawns.

Room Tip: get a room on the first floor. Gives you a better view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

This lodge is really beautiful and the service was excellent. However, my cellphone was stolen out of my room in the evening when I stayed there last week. The manager seemed to be very concerned and was very helpful but it was definitely an inside job as my room was locked and I had left my room key at reception.

Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cham, Switzerland
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

On entering Sawela it is easy to imagine it is a 5 star lodge - on the exterior everything seems perfect. However, my room had: lights that did not function, a door that did not lock, low pressure shower, and a broken TV. The morning breakfast was poor and swimming pool seemed to have one too many chemicals.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Springs, California
Top Contributor
240 reviews 240 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
153 helpful votes 153 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Your spirit rises as you enter the gates to the lodge, stunning flowers in the gardens to either side, rows of greenhouses lining the drive filled with roses, their odor mingling with the dust of the roadway.

You arrive at the lodge, greeted by warm towels and a delicious mixed fruit juice, the taste of the wild lingering with every sip. You approach the room, the sweeping lawn spread out before you, the Lake a short 10 minute walk through the trees, and then the room, oh my! The broken lamp by the bed (broken as in two pieces held together by the frayed electric wire), the moldy shower, though it is hard to see the mold because the lights don't work. At least they give you the room next door. Don't plan on charging too many electronic items, you are lucky if you have one open plug in the room.

Meals consist of the usual buffet choices - I wonder if a single buffet meister didn't follow us from place to place bringing the same uninspired food for every meal. The lounge is large and generally unpleasant with a too-loud tv playing always - they will turn it down/off if you insist.

I can't think of any reason to stay here as a tourist. I'd rather extend a stay at Sweetwater or one of the other wildlife-oriented lodges.

Room Tip: One traveler referred to an upgrade. There are two types of rooms here, standard and one suite only...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Kansas City
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

I was pleased with the service. We were the only non-Africans at the entire facility but were made to feel very much at home by the staff. The food was excellent and, as always, the Tusker was tasty. The room was a bit dated, but it wasn't anything worth complaining about.

The manicured lawn is beautiful, with plenty of birds and monkeys to watch. Note that the hotel does not border the lake directly, and you cannot/should not go to the lake without accompaniment.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake Naivasha Sawela Lodge

Address: Moi South Road, Naivasha, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Naivasha
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Naivasha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 49
Also Known As:
Lake Naivasha Sawela Lodge Kenya - Rift Valley

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