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Mara Serena Safari Lodge
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    Reviews (1,019)
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    All reviewshippo breakfastgame drivesrooms are smallthe riverhippo poolhill overlookinghill topsmall hillsitting areathe reservereception areachampagne breakfastlunch and dinnermigration seasonmosquito nettinggift shopindian food
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    849 - 854 of 1,019 reviews
    Reviewed January 28, 2008

    The rooms are very nice and include a sitting room offering a great view. The grounds are very attractively landscaped. Its greatest weakness is the restaurant. The meals are served buffet style although there is "active" cooking (eggs at breakfast and pasta at lunch). The space in which the buffet service was set up was cramped as was the restaurant seating. Our biggest complaint was that no one staff person was responsible for a table so the service was disorganized. The food here (and all three other Serenas at which we stayed over our two weeks in Kenya) was bland and tasteless.
    Although we were here during the civil uprising, at no time did we feel that we were in jeopardy.

    • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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    Thank Jugularatty
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
    Reviewed December 21, 2007

    Fantastiv hotel, great views , great food. Staff incredibly pleasant. Super safari destination. Rooms are nice with great views of the Rift valley. Migration was returning and from the room you could see lots of wildebeast and other animals. Also went to the Masai Village and had a tour and purchased items from them. Lots of animals on the safaris, lions, giraffe, elephants,crocs, hyenas , zebra, wildebeast, hippos, rhinos. Relaxed atmosphere lovely pool. Loved the location, can't get much more beautiful.Highly reccomend.

    • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with friends
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    2  Thank MNelsonNovato
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
    Reviewed December 12, 2007

    I stayed with my parents at Serena Mara in Dec 2006 for 3 days,the beginning of my african safari and couldn't have asked for anything better.
    1)Booking:
    I read the reviews regarding overbooking but I had absolutely no problem arranging my bookings directly with the hotel.I was a little apprehensive initially considering it was my first time in Africa.The hotel management arranged for everything starting from tranfers from Nairobi international airport to the domestic terminal(Quality lady driver,excellent knowledge,ride in a Merc) to all the transfers we required in our furthers trips around Kenya and Tanzania.
    2)Hotel Property:
    I fell in love with the property right from the time I set my eyes on it from our mini plane.Nestled on a hillock with a spectacular view of Mara from all sides.Its like a small little town with a gas station of its own.The rooms were excellent.traditionally furnished to the core with all the requisite modern amenities.The view from the room was spectacular.The flowering trees besides the rooms were a site to behold.The rock garden and pool area was an excellent place to unwind.The staff would arrange for little bonfires in the evening.
    3)Food:
    You won't realise how hungry you are after a game drive till you actually sit at your table.3 course meals three times a day.Excellent speciality soups.Great dessert table.They even had some Indian dishes.Drinking water is priced quite steep carry your complimentary water from the room or order a beer or juice instead.
    The breakfast by the hippo pool was scrumptious and a very different experience altogether.(Imagine digging into your morning meal with a croc lying on the opposite bank and huge hippos in the river.)
    4)Staff:
    Very friendly and helpful.The entire property was spic and span.Arranged for umbrellas when it would rain.All our calls were promptly answered.
    5)Driver:
    He should have been on a rally car circuit.Excellent control of the vehicle even in swampy areas.Made every effort possible to make our game drives memorable.Excellent knowledge regarding the wildlife and ecosystem.
    6)Animals:
    Saw every animals other than the Leopard(very elusive).
    multiple prides of lions.
    Lioness hunting.
    Lions finishing of a zebra
    Cheetah feasting on a gazelle with 4 cubs
    HUGE and I mean a huge herd of zebras.
    Lots of elephants
    A very dangerous looking herd of wild buffaloes
    1 lone giraffe
    A variety of grassland birds(wish I knew more about them)
    In the hotel property there were many baboons, no trouble at all.
    Many coluorful birds.
    Overall and excellent expierence and can't wait to get back therE

    Stayed: December 2006
    2  Thank saumya
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
    Reviewed December 5, 2007

    This was the third and last of the three Serena lodges my wife and I stayed at on our Safari. This place was better than the Serena at Amboseli, but not as good as Samburu.

    The hotel had a sort of funky mushroom village vibe. The room was clean. The bathrooms were nice. The food was good. The game drives were awesome. We saw a rhino!

    What I didn't like:

    1. The room was HOT in the evening! There was no ceiling fan and there was no screen on the balcony door (like at Amboseli) so you couldn't get a lot of cross ventilation going without leaving a door facing the bush open. A fan or a screen would be nice.

    2. The room was bright yellow. Looked yucky.

    3. Again, like the other Serena lodges, the bed is hard as a rock.

    4. The pool was soooo cold. So much so that it wasn't comfortable for more than a quick dip. Could use a heater.

    Otherwise really good. We loved it. Had a blast. Saw it all. The complaints overall are small compared to how much fun we had.

    • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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    2  Thank Grant_grant
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
    Reviewed December 2, 2007

    I absolutely loved this lodge - the bungalow, the food, the Mara, the animals .....

    First there was our bungalow - I don't think a room has ever impressed me more. It was spacious with a huge bed, lovely shower room, and totally unique interior decor - but the thing that (almost) rendered me speechless was the view from the sliding glass doors - right across the Mara ... giraffe wandering about ... wildebeest going about their daily business ... the hippo pool in the distance ... phenomenal!

    The food didn't disappoint either - we quickly got used to working our way through the full three courses at breakfast, lunch and dinner with very little difficulty. The food was mainly European/colonial, and it did occasionally seem a bit incongruous to be tucking into banana jelly, steamed pudding and custard, or a fruit crumble in the middle of Kenya, but we made the best of it!

    The champagne breakfast at the hippo pool after our game drive one morning was a complete surprise and a wonderful experience.

    The Mara was amazing - animals everywhere, almost the minute the Range Rover left the Lodge gates - and if there weren't living animals we saw lots of ex-animals - the Mara is littered with the bones of the unlucky ones! We very soon fell into the routine of our two game drives per day - one at 6.30 a.m. (a bit parky at that time of the morning in a moving, open vehicle) and again at 3.30 p.m. to explore a different area as evening approached. It was exhilharating to see animals previously only seen on TV, and to go off-road when our driver spotted an animal some distance off the (dirt) road - great fun. I think the only animal we didn't see was a leopard, and they're notoriously elusive.

    We had a fantastic holiday and would recommend the Mara Serena wholeheartedly . They do what they do exceptionally well - they are totally geared to making sure everything runs smoothly and all guests have a great time. Even the laundry service was excellent!

    I'd go back in a flash!

    • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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    4  Thank Saesnes
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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