I prefer a small lodge when I travel in east Africa, but based on reviews here I picked Ol Tukai for a spur-of-the-moment two-night trip to Amboseli with my two teen-age sons. We weren't disappointed. We didn't have the best weather - we got only fleeting glimpses of Kilimanjaro while we were there - but there isn't much you can do about that.
Hospitality begins as you pull up and is consistently great throughout the property and stay. Warm, friendly, gracious. Up to the point of being fawned over without crossing the line into obnoxiousness.
We had adjoining rooms on the Marsh View side of the lodge (Mountain View is the other). The rooms were quite a ways from the lodge. We liked that, but you should ask for rooms close to the main lodge if you don't like a bit of a stroll. Rooms are very large and nicely appointed. Hot water was a little dodgy.
The food was typical of the Serena/Sharova-type hotel and lodge chains. Good and plentiful. Nothing that will blow you away, but a nice variety with a few pleasant surprises thrown in. The service in the dining room and bar was really exceptional.
The lodge is perfectly situated to explore Amboseli. We had our own driver/guide so I can't tell you how the lodge's services are, other than that seemed expensive at $60 per person per 2-hour game drive. The grounds are beautiful and there's a nice pool we took advantage of in the afternoons. Sitting by the pool with a cold Tusker while watching elephants and zebras graze less than 100 yards away is a hell of a way to spend an hour or two.
Just outside the park there is a Maasai village you can visit. I have mixed feelings about that sort of contrived cultural tourism, but I thought this one was good enough to overcome that.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The essence of Africa Ol Tukai Lodge is one of the best spots in the world to watch elephant with the backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Writers have described Ol Tukai and the surrounding Amboseli National Park as a 'home for the Gods.’ Ol Tukai is an eco-rated lodge having excellent outdoor and indoor facilities with its unique collection of African art. The property receives overwhelming response from the international and local tourism market. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ol Tukai Hotel Amboseli National Park