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“Pure luxury” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp

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Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp
4.0 of 5 Specialty Inn   |   Soysambu Conservancy, Lake Elementaita, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Nairobi
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Pure luxury”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

If you're looking for somewhere to relax, unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city then this is the place for you.. Service is excellent, rooms are very comfortable and the setting is picturesque, though views of the lake are a bit limited. Stayed here for two nights over the Easter weekend and loved it.. The food is excellent and plentiful.
An aside re the children policy: the camp's fact sheet says that children under 7 are not allowed but this rule does not appear to be enforced - good news if you've got kids that young travelling with you on holiday, not so good if you don't like the sound of a baby crying from the cottage next door...

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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133 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    108
    24
    1
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27
56
5
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
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English first
India
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

If you are planning to propose to your sweetheart while holidaying in kenya, do choose this hotel. This is not strictly a wild life place , though set near the Elimentaita Lake, the tall acacia bushes hide the birds and the lone Buffalo who visits can hardly be called wild. Sure , birders can see a few endemics - but for the rest , this place is just to soak up the luxury.

The staff are just great - the friendly kitchen staff made a cake for our daughter's birthday and sung a beautiful song and danced to it. All very magical. This is a well managed place with fantastic staff willing to meet your every need. The little curio shop is well stocked.

If if you are planning a trip to lake Nakaru or Naivasha you can use this place as a base & take some well deserved break.

Loved it. Thanks to all the staff. Particularly Stephen (Steve) the manager !

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Vernon, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Yes, the quality and decor of the rooms and the lodge is stunning. The term "tents" sent us into fits of laughter as we remember camping in leaky pup tents; we should only have been so lucky as to have had these tents. Everything was immaculate and the housekeeping and grounds maintenance was excellent. Our only and I mean only complaint is the speed of the food service. People at a table are served randomly and you are unable to determine what order is used to determine who gets what first. This is not an issue in the evening, relax and have an ant-malarial gin and tonic, but at breakfast or lunch when you are on a schedule fro a game drive, it can be tight. That being said, the staff members truly make you feel welcome and there is never the "cash cow" feeling or attitude; they are truly gracious. BTW use your room water, the facility is very generous with it so if you feel the need for water it is available. In a country where 52% of the people have no clean drinking water, just the availability of bottled water is a supreme luxury.

Room Tip: Just show up, they are all great.
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  • Stayed February 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.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Wow! This property was superb and either met or exceeded all our standards. The "camp" and I use the term loosely was tent camping at it's best. The tents are superbly appointed with tumbled stone and hardwood floors and quality furnishings. They offer a nod to the historical African Safari tent camp with every with modern conveniences. Screened windows provided lovely afternoon breezes and patios for enjoying a bottle of wine and canapes were really appreciated. Quality bath products are provided and spacious ensuites with a dedicated dressing and make-up area.

Romance abounds as a result of great design and service. The staff works very hard to meet the needs of their guests and tried to anticipate requests and provide excellence. Meals are well thought out with a variety of options and served in a manner conducive to the luxury brand.

My partner and I were travelling with 4 friends and stayed here as the second stop in a week long safari. Spending 2 nights here we wanted to stay longer! We availed ourselves of the pool and spa services and found them to be top notch. The gift store had a variety of items at different price points to meet all kinds of budgets. Our game drives from this location were easy and proved a chance to get used to spotting animals in their natural habitat.

The hotel asks a rather steep corkage fee for wines you bring with you. It was originally quoted at $20. Since this seemed VERY high we opted to enjoy cocktails with friends or as a couple on our patio in lieu of in the common areas. I suggest Serena rethink this high tariff.

Also be aware that tipping is widely expected and appreciated in Kenya. Carrying your own luggage is not an option and will require a tip. Each bag is carried by a different individual to insure maximum tipping and an opportunity for all to receive a slight renumeration. This tip should be provided at the time the bags are delivered. Wages are very low so tips are a major component in the economy. Be prepared to tip servers, housekeeping staff, and anyone who brings additional towels, ice or other items to your room. We choose to do this on a daily basis as the service was provided instead of in a lump sum at the end of our stay. Accordingly, we found we got incredible service and in many cases substantially better than others who either didn't tip at all or tipped upon leaving the property.

we travel internationally extensively and visit 5 to 10 countries a year. We have experienced the best of the best and the worst of the worst and can honestly reccomend this property. Stay here...you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed February 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.
Nairobi, Kenya
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

This truly is one of my happy places.
Amazing staff.
Amazing food.
Tents to die for and an overall standard that should be aspired to.
Have stayed twice and would love to stay again.
Cant recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed February 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

To the reviewer unpleasantly surprised by the charge for water:
From Nairobi to the Mara, Kenyans charge for water at the table. Serena is reasonable: 300 KSh for a liter. We were charged $8 USD at the hotel Norfolk, Lord Delamere Terrace. Oh, we'll, live and learn. We take our room water (gratis) to the dining table if needed. As Americans, we expect good, potable water as a birthright. It is not so in Kenya.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

Of all the five Serena camps/hotels on our safari, the accommodations here were the best. It's a new (2011) facility with huge rooms and lovely accoutrements.
There are few flamingos this year, because the water level is too high for algae. It should be a one night stay, anyway, because there are no game drives. A must is the nature walk ( kudos, Elijah). Black-faced Monkeys, birds aplenty, water buck, and the threat of Cape buffalo. The armed guard, Vincent, is reassuring.
Order from the menu, NO buffet (hurrah). Food is excellent.
Be sure and read the history, Lord Delamere, etc.
Only wanted a bathtub and/or handheld shower head. But we could have hosted a small cocktail party in the shower.
The property is spotless, the people wonderful.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp

Address: Soysambu Conservancy, Lake Elementaita, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Lake Elementaita
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Lake Elementaita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 24
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