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“Wild, rustic and amazing camping!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Safari West

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Safari West
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3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Martinez, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Wild, rustic and amazing camping!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

We stayed in a tent on a VERY cold night. The bathrooms aren't heated so that was a bit of a chore but we were camping, sort of. Anyhow, everything is put together very well. The heater in the tent worked so well my husband insisted it be turned off as he was sweating. The little futon pad our son slept on was too short for him (at the time he was about 6') but it would be great for a child that isn't that tall. It was actually pretty thick and cushy. The decor is safari-esque and everything is clean, considering it is a tent out in the hills of dusty Santa Rosa.

It was amazing falling asleep to the sound of animals. In the middle of the night a flock of peahens (?) landed on the roof of our tent and had a party! Initially I thought it was the end of the world but then, after I realized what was going on, I was delighted.

We woke at the crack of dawn and went for a walk to watch the animals wake up. The goofy peahens were playing chicken with the cheetahs. Guess who won! WOW! It was like watching National Geographic unfold before our very eyes. The workers who were trying to save the peahen that got caught thought we would be upset but this was survival of the fittest in its truest form. We were absolutely amazed but I can imagine younger kids would have been upset. Those cheetahs aren't the lazy cats you think they are!

This was my second visit but the first time I'd stayed the night. I'll be back again and hopefully soon. Hopefully it will be warmer so I can shower the next morning without causing icicles. Santa Rosa gets COLD!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Guest Relations Manager at Safari West, responded to this review, June 23, 2012
Dear MIghtyMom68,

Thank you for taking time to share your feedback.

We highly appreciate your wonderful comments and particularly your comments on our accommodations. It was delightful to read that we were able to meet and exceed your expectations.

We look forward to welcoming you back at Safari West and you can reach me on my email mdewitt@safariwest.com

With Kind regards,
Mark DeWitt
Director of Hospitality
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118 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Alberta
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

3 Hour Safari Jeep Tour. What an amazing place, great animals and a fantastic tour. Ellie was our guide and she gave an amazing tour with lots of great info on the animals. We rode on top of the jeep the whole time and were literally right beside huge giraffes and all sorts of other African animals.

Room Tip: Ask to do the "Talk Nerdy to me tour", they will give a lot more details on the animals.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
California, Maryland
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2012

Not knowing what to expect, our visit was a wonderful surprise. This is a must for anyone visiting Santa Rosa. The staff is friendly, welcoming, and knowledgable. The preserve is the best tour I have ever taken, I was so close to the Giraffes I could almost give them a big hug and kiss( which is not allowed btw)!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
greybird9, Guest Relations Manager at Safari West, responded to this review, June 8, 2012
Thank you Angie, we sure hope to see you back soon.

Mark DeWitt
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California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

OK right upfront you should know that spending the night at Safari West has a couple of negative aspects but in the whole scheme of things they are so minor they do not detract at all from the overall coolness of the experience.

Here are the only two negatives: The shower is like standing in a soft gentle rain. It is mounted high up in the stall and if you are not tall...I'm not...by the time the water reaches you it has cooled down. The pressure basically comes from gravity and it is low flow so yeah...two of the worst showers I have ever taken were the ones I took at SW. The other negative is really not something anyone should complain about because it goes with the territory but the place is LOUD at night. Flamingos in particular were whooping it up but they were joined by lots of other critters in their noise making. Bring ear plugs! We kind of liked the sounds as they contributed to the overall experience but it did make sleeping a challenge.

Now for the rest of it. We went on a Sun/Mon in early May which I totally recommend. Sunday p.m. was crowded but we had the place to ourselves by Mon pm. There were lots of pg mamas and quite a few babies including giraffes that were 3 and 4 weeks old. Our tour guide Paulette was fabulous and knowledgable and the tour brought us up close to some amazing animals.

After check in they call a Jeep driver who will take you to your vehicle, pick up your luggage and schlep it and you to your tent. When you check out you get the same treatment in reverse. Our driver made a point to make sure we knew that if we needed ANYTHING to just let them know.

The tent was well appointed and met our needs. The ice chest w/ unlimited complimentary ice was perfect as we had brought a picnic dinner and snacks. We sat on our balcony both nights of our stay and enjoyed a glass of wine and a meal. Nestled on the hillside in the trees we had wonderful views from inside the tent

The bed was comfortable. They turn on the electric blanket for you and if you are a hot sleeper like I am than it may be too warm.

Everyone at Safari West seemed to truly enjoy their work. The place is friendly and as our Jeep taxi driver expressed, "Where else can you go to work and be licked by a giraffe?"

It is pricey but it is also a unique experience that you can't get elsewhere. My husband and I made memories and enjoyed every minute...except those spent in the shower :-)

Room Tip: The base camp rooms are closer to the amenities. The hillside ones ones are quieter because they ar...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
greybird9, Guest Relations Manager at Safari West, responded to this review, June 8, 2012
Thank you for your comments and we are delighted you had a wonderful stay.
I plan on taking another look at the shower heads and see if there is a cure, thank you for pointing it out.
Hope to see you again soon,
Mark DeWitt, Director of Hospitality
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CA
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2012

I wanted to take my granddaughter on an adventure for her 10th birthday. Her mother and I had been on safari in Botswana in '06 so I thought this might be fun. I was really surprised by the quality and authenticity of this experience. The tent was well appointed and similar to what I had in Botswana, minus the electric blanket (nice touch!). In the night there there was a huge thunderstorm that gave me some concern, but the tent was well anchored and stable. Next morning we took the game drive in very wet road conditions with no problems. It was impressive!

  • Stayed April 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

We came with three generations, and I know everyone had a fantastic time. We stayed in two tent cabins overlooking the main giraffe paddock, though the second day's chilly drizzle kept the giraffes indoors. We slept warm and cozy under our electric blankets, and woke to the sounds of flamingos and other wild animals. The behind-the-scenes tour the next morning brought us inside the barns to give the giraffes a treat, feed the blue duikers (a tiny antelope), and even pet a porcupine. Meals were simple but tasty. Taking a shower in the morning proved challenging with the unheated bathroom, we chose to wait until we arrived at our next destination, but we learned from our last visit, that it is better to wait until the afternoon...This was our second trip, and surely it won't be our last!

Room Tip: While the first row of tent-cabins have the best views, none are very far away.
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  • Stayed March 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
greybird9, Guest Relations Manager at Safari West, responded to this review, April 13, 2012
It was great having you and your family back. It is such a joy to see multi-generations enjoying the wonders of Safari West and getting to know each other better. Many thanks for the kind words and hope to see you again soon. Mark DeWitt
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San Francisco
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

I have been wanting to take my daughter here for awhile (my son is too little to enjoy it). We finally had a chance to come here for her Spring break. We drove up in the afternoon and checked in about four. We got a short tour/explanation the grounds and then driven to the cabin (which wasn't far but it was still nice since we had a bit of luggage). The cabin was lovely. The bed was very comfortable (had electric blankets as well as comforters), there was a space heater in the room, and generally the room was cozy and comfortable. The bathroom was nice and large as well. As we stayed late March/Early April it was obviously pretty cold in the unheated tent cabin, but the space heater got it pretty toasty in not too long.

The dinner was also great. They have a bunch of family type seating at large wooden tables, and you pick a spot or share a table for dinner. There is a fairly decent wine selection and you can have a glass of wine while you wait for dinner. There are even cards and board games to play, which is a sort of fun hostel-y type of thing to do while you enjoy a grown-up glass of wine in a proper glass. The food was a buffet but had a lot of options even for a vegetarian such as myself. The choices weren't life-changing but I thought it was pretty good and had options for my picky kid as well.

After dinner, they served dessert and then my daughter and I got some hot cocoas (free all day long) in a to-go cup to go back to our room. We had brought a portable dvd player because we knew we'd be stuck in the beds once we got back to the room in order to stay warm (which we were with the electric blankets) and we drank our cocoas underneath the duvet and watched the movie we brought. It was super cozy since we heard the animals outside too!

The safari itself was a blast (make sure you ask to have a turn up on the top of the jeep) and our tour guide knew tons. I was really impressed with her level of knowledge (we had Sarah as a tour guide- thank you Sarah!!!) about all the animals even with unexpected questions.

All in all we had a great time and I highly recommend it for bay area families looking for a mini vacation. We really felt like we had "gotten away".

As I mentioned, I have a toddler and in the end I was glad I had left him with his dad. They don't recommend for under threes, and I think I'd probably wait until my child was four or five to take him. The jeep trip is fairly long, and the on-foot tour is better if you aren't trying to also parent a small kid. I did see a few three year olds there and they seemed to be enjoying themselves although they weren't on our tour so I can't say how they fared on the jeep....

One other great thing which unfortunately I couldn't take advantage of; the cabins have nice big porches with a table and chairs. YOu can buy beer/wine/juice/snacks at the deli and it would have been SO nice to have a snack on the porch and watch the animals. Alas, the afternoon we checked in it was really pretty cold so we couldn't take advantage of it. Definitely makes me want to come back in the summer next time...

Room Tip: Some of the rooms are nearer to the animals then others. If you have trouble sleeping but like view...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
greybird9, Guest Relations Manager at Safari West, responded to this review, April 7, 2012
Thank you for your kind words, I will pass them on to our team. As it starts to warm up we hope you return for another visit and enjoy your snacks and wine on your patio overlooking our beautiful African animals. Later in April we will again be offering Local Sonoma County selections of cheeses, fruits, breads, beers and wines......as well as some great South African wines from the Stellenbosch wine appellation, located just outside of Cape Town. Combine that with your private tent deck , it's vistas of the animals and you have one of the very best settings in California for a unique and relaxing experience. Hope to see you soon, Mark DeWitt
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Safari West

Address: 3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Santa Rosa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Santa Rosa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to Africa by way of Sonoma County…Come discover the Sonoma Serengeti.The classic African safari is a trip of a lifetime for intrepid travelers from around the globe - and, it is closer than you think!. Families who are curious and wild at heart can get close to nature...very close! Marvel under the gaze of a graceful giraffe or explore the Sonoma Serengeti alongside romping rhinos. Our guests enjoy enlightening African wildlife safari drives, and “glamping” tent cabin accommodations. The sounds of Africa will echo in your dreams. Stay one night in a luxury safari tent located on Giraffe Alley, meet some giraffes and go on Safari! Is Safari West Family Friendly?The entire Safari West experience is a kid-friendly adventure for families to enjoy together. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Safari West Hotel Santa Rosa
Safari West Santa Rosa, CA - Sonoma County

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