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“Value for money”
Review of Mara West Camp

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Mara West Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Value for money”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

Stayed here for 3 nights in january 2012. Fantastic place. Good staff and awesome food. Not much variety though but likeable. We were well taken care off. No complaints as such. The best thing about the place is the location. Gives u a birds eye view of the mara . Loved it

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rajiv2503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Hello Rajiv2503,

We are always glad to hear positive reviews from our guests.

Hopefully, you will visit us the next time you are in the Masai Mara and enjoy and even better service.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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184 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
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Raleigh/Durham
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2013

From the moment we arrived we fell in love with Mara West! The up scale tent cabins on the edge of the escarpment offer the most incredible views of the Mara! There are no fences so the wild animals are all around. My wife and I decided to not go on any of the day long safaris as we had seen so many wild animals driving up to the camp and at the camp. If you are so inclined there is a clinic, a church and a school that serve the Masai within a few miles from the camp that Andrew and Frances Aho , (camp owners) helped build and support.There are opportunities available for those that are so inclined to serve in some small way.
The food is well prepared, plentiful and delicious and the service is excellent. The staff worked really hard to make sure that our stay was a good one and it surely was!

Room Tip: Spend the extra money for a luxury cabin it is worth it for the view alone!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mercedespooldude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, February 5, 2014
Hello mercedespooldude,

We are always glad to hear positive reviews from our guests.

Our aim is to provide an unforgettable experience for our guests and we are over-joyed that you and your wife had exactly that!

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback and we look forward to having you stay with us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2013

The good: We stayed in the luxury cabins for two nights and they are beautiful, with comfortable beds, nice bathrooms with hot water, amazing views of the Mara and incredible wildlife. The food was delicious and the lodge/restaurant staff was very nice. They have apparently made recent repairs to the road and we thought it was ok.
The bad: It is also on our top 5 list of most expensive places we have stayed, and our driver and the car they put us in for our day-long safari were absolutely terrible. Since the safari is pretty much the entire reason most people come here, I think this needs some discussion. There were huge holes in the seats (which also had a funky odor) and the car didn't run. The guy was flooring it and it never went over 20 miles per hour. He ignored us when we told him to get a new car and told us it was fine. He also ignored us when we thought we spotted wildlife and unhelpfully only pointed out things that were standing in the middle of the road. Whenever he turned off the car it needed a jump to get it restarted, and he still insisted it was fine. After that however, he didn't turn it off for the rest of the day and kept it idling every time we stopped, which meant that we spent the day inhaling blue exhaust fumes. He told us to enjoy this "unique" experience of having a car break down in the middle of the Mara. Sorry, but I really didn't travel that far to inhale fumes from a broken down car. The owner of the result blamed it on the driver for failing to maintain the vehicle and basically accepted no responsibility for putting us in such a crappy car. I would have thought it was the responsibility of the resort to ensure that they are sending their guests out in acceptable equipment, and I don't think the "Africa is different" excuse works very well when they are charging as much as they do. To be fair, he did say that he would give us a free drive the next morning, but frankly that seemed like a pretty hollow offer to people who were nursing headaches and racking coughs from breathing fumes all day.
Also, we were traveling with someone who had been there at least 3 other times. It is astonishing, and inexcusable, to me that this is how they treat a repeat guest. As a result, I really can't recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Hello Mel T,

We are grateful that you took the time to give a review of your stay with us.

It is our aim to offer our guests, whether staying with us for the first time or are a repeat guest, an entirely satisfactory service. We sincerely apologize for the experience you had during your safari. More-so we are sorry for the way the matter was handled. It is our responsibility to ensure that our guests are out with comfortable and well maintained vehicles. Mara West has undergone major changes, and that includes ensuring that our vehicles are in top notch condition.

We are very happy that you found our camp wonderful and our staff friendly and helpful.

We hope you will visit us again and give us another chance to give you quality service.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chaves, Portugal
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Every meal served was excellent. Rich with both flavor & texture. We were there for several days and the menu was varied, interesting and more than delicious. As vegetarians we were more than favorably impressed with the abundant options afforded us. All the staff were friendly and very helpful. Zebras, giraffe, Thompson gazelle and elephants grazed all around our tents and the Mara West grounds. Whether watching for game animals or for birds viewing wildlife is superb. Perched on the side of the escarpment overlooking the Mara Game reserve the vistas are without rival. Hours of peaceful tranquility -- basking in the natural beauty of the surroundings-- as well as very pleasurable inspiration and stimulation of the closeness of the animals are opportunities that Mara West affords. Knowing other parts of Africa I can say that the days spent at Mara West for the pure enjoyment and inspiration of absorbing some of Africa's natural wonders are well worth the visit. Whether you are there to simply game view and benefit from the pristine environment or participate in the humanitarian and development projects that Mara West promotes -- you will be enriched.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pedro T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, February 5, 2014
Hello Pedro S,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback.

We are glad that you enjoyed your stay, found our vegetarian meals such a delight, and that the staff made you feel welcome.

We hope that you will stay with us the next time you visit the Mara.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cergy
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We booked 4 nights in a cabine in the end of june 2013.
The cabine was gorgeous.Surprinsingly well furnished and decorated considering the place : the wild Masai Mara.
Nested on the olooloo gate escarpment,with all the silence and privacy needed for that kind of experience, the cabine and its terace offer you (even from your bed) one of the greatest view on the Mara triangle you ever dare to dream of (see the one attached, taken from ours).
After a all day long Safari and a hot shower, you can still enjoy finding animals with binoculars from your own terace.Great experience.
The staff was very nice, careful and discrete and the food was good (a slight improvement can be made on the lunch box).
Considering some comments about the "bad road" that lead to the resort, i'm surprised because we did not spend more than 15/20 mins to get back to the resort from Olooloo gate.We were self driven with a Pajero 4wd and i did not find the road particulary tricky.Some other parts by approching Mara triangle are much worse.

If you're looking for a secluded , a nice and a good taste place to enjoy and contemplate wildlife far from the tourist mass, this is definitly the place.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lionel_GRARE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, February 5, 2014
Hello Lionel_GRARE,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback.

It is always a joy to hear positive feedback from our guests. We are glad that you found the secluded chalets well furnished and the views spectacular, as well as a friendly and helpful staff.

We hope you will return to the Mara and stay with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Level 6 Contributor
45 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2013

Thats where i stay mostly during my business trips to Mara lasting at most three nights. Food is good quality, very consistent. Service is good too. The road up the escarpment is hell, needs some work.

Room Tip: The cabins are the best with great views. They cost more though.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Martin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, February 5, 2014
Hello Martin M,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

We endeavor to create a wonderful experience for our guests. We apologize that during the time of your stay the road was a bit of a challenge. However, the camp graded the road from camp. Please find pictures of how the road looks now on our trip advisor page.

We look forward to having you stay with us the next time you are in the Mara.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bungoma
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2013

Just returned from a rainy-season visit to Mara West over the weekend!

I've worked in Kenya for a while now and "been around the block" when it comes to accommodation and getaways out here. I was bringing an old friend to Masai Mara during her 10 day visit to Kenya, and wanted to keep things at a reasonable price, while comfortable.

I found Mara West on Sleepout Kenya, when looking for something in the "economy" category for less than 100 per night, with GOOD food included (my last low season visit to Mara had terrible cuisine results at a different camp, possibly because the normal staff were not around!). Mara West has 3 levels of accomodation--we signed up for the bandas.

I booked Zaria tours to take us from Kisumu to Mara West and for game drives (saves a lot of $$). The road from Kisumu all the way to Kisii is very good (some repair spots but not bad). When the tarmac ends between Kisii and Kilgoris things get very rough (but if you rent a nice land cruiser it'd probably be not so bad, just slow). It took about 6.5 hours in total via Kisii, and would've been longer if we had to go through Kericho/Narok had it not been oddly dry for a few days.

The thing that stands out about Mara West upon arrival is that A) Zebra, gazelles, giraffe and other herbivores really like hanging out there B) The main buildings (dinner hall, tea room etc) are incredibly tasteful and well put together! The staff are great (and clearly proud of the camp!)---and doted on us (the only guests for the weekend!) but not in a smothering way at all.

Other highlights: the bandas were perfect for us--staff kept us equipped with torches and lantern at night, water was HOT, zebras and impala munched grass alongside our windows as we slept (loved hearing their quiet sniffles and shuffles!).

THE FOOD IS SUCH A GOOD DEAL! The chef on call that weekend, Jimmy, was great. They were cooking only for us, and each meal clearly had all of the "little things" done right. Fish was tender with great tartare sauce, roasted chicken in packed lunches was perfectly done, beef stew made with a delicious red wine sauce, appetizer soups were simple and comforting, free tea and coffee at all times....and we were only getting the" economy" option!

The views from Mara West are spectacular. If you walk the grounds in the daytime, there are paths along the escarpment leading to the luxury and mid range options, and we found ourselves reading and scanning the Mara from a common lookout point with table and chairs. Lots of birds among the well-maintained gardens.

The Infamous Road:
We adjusted to it, and I'd do it again with colleagues or other friends that are not too picky about that kind of thing. We had a 4x4 van with pop up roof, and I bet a Land Cruiser would be a bit faster. Does take about 30 minutes to go down or come back from the gate. However, you can view game on the way down, if you keep your wits about you you can take a little driving break, walk alongside your car during the rockiest points, or maybe discuss with the local piki piki (motorcycle drivers) if they can take you down to the gate after breakfast/lunch and your vehicle can go ahead of you. Going by motorbike would probably bring the time down to 15-20 minutes--much more agile. I almost started in on that plan, but didn't want to risk getting stuck in the rain on a moto. Dry season would be a better time to enact that plan!

Our big hiccup was that the rain was intense on the last couple of days. This made the shortest route back to Kisumu impassable. My friend needed to get to an international flight, so she had to spend another $200 on a Safarilink connection to Nairobi. Super convenient back up plan (Kitchiwa Tembo airstrip is super close) but expensive! At this point, Mara West could have been better prepared to assist us with my friend's transfer to the airstrip. The negotiation started with their recommended driver asking $100 for a 10 km drive. We got it down to $40. A reasonable price and plan should already be available in the event that this kind of thing happened. It was the only "low" point of the trip-but it was at the very end--the WORST time to upset clients (first impressions AND last impressions matter most).


All worked out---friend made the flight, I took our safari driver on the LONG route out of the park via Narok when conditions dried up---was fun to see the game one last time!

Well done Mara West! Keep up the great food tradition, keep your prices where they are, the accommodation is great, the animals are great, the Mara Triangle area is FABULOUS! Try to make the road a little better where possible, have a fair airstrip transfer plan and fair road-washout plan ahead of time, and I'll see you next time!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kalieg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mara West Camp

Property: Mara West Camp
Address: C13, Oloololo Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled against a wooded thicket and surrounded by savannah, Mara West provides nature lovers with luxury accommodations while experiencing the sights and sounds of an unforgettable African safari. Luxury tents are perched in secluded spots on an escarpment edge overlooking the vast plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve giving tremendous views and a sense of private exclusion. Mara West is an American owned and managed private safari camp providing high quality service with beautifully designed, comfortable accommodations. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mara West Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara West Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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