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“Best play to stay in Masai Mara”

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Mara Serena Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Crawley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Best play to stay in Masai Mara”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2014

Mara Serena offers some specatacular views of the park. The property is right inside the reserve and the hotel provides some good ameneties. The breakfast and lunch buffet were good. WE fnd the rooms to be a little bit less spacious and was not equipped with an airconditioner. All the rooms are provided with mosquito nets and the plenty of hot water is available. The hospitality of the staff is also nice. Mara Serena has got its own runway to help travlers to get to and fro to the airfields as quickly as possible.
All in all a nice experience.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Shantanu M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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905 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Dubai
Level Contributor
303 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Mara Serena Safari Lodge for two nights in January 2014, paying approximately $240 per night for a standard room, which included all meals and wi-fi access.

The list of positives for this lodge has to start with the stunning views across the Maasai Mara National Reserve, The lobby, the terrace, the pool, the fitness center, and every room have absolutely grand views. If you love great natural views, this is the place to stay. Once you leave the lodge and head down to the Mara for a game drive (which we arranged with an independent tour operator), the wildlife is amazing - we saw lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, gazelles, antelope, impala, and an array of birds. This part of Africa is even more stunning and beautiful than it appears on the National Geographic channel. So obviously, the lodge's location is outstanding. At the lodge, the hotel staff were warm, friendly, and helpful. The standard rooms are not large, but are reasonably-sized, with a sitting area were one can look out over the Mara. The bathroom, like the room overall, was not large, but adequate. The food at the restaurant (buffet-style at breakfast and lunch, with themed dinners served at the table) was quite good, with a large selection and good quality. Finally, the lodge's design and decor are funky and distinctly African, something we enjoyed.

There are two negatives for this property. First, the roads into and out of the Reserve are incredibly rough. A ride to or from Nairobi (the closest major airport) is 6-8 hours, at least 2 of which will be on unpaved, bone-jarring dirt roads in the Reserve. We could have avoided this by flying an extra leg in a small propeller-driven plane from Nairobi directly to the small airstrip at the Lodge. The next time we come, we will almost certainly fly to the Lodge to avoid the roads. Unless you have a strong interest in seeing the cities and the countryside outside of the Reserve, I would suggest the additional flight. Second, the rooms were uncomfortably warm at night. The temperature was at least 5-10F cooler outside than it was inside the room. Opening the screened windows created no draft (opening the doors was not an option at night as animals could wander in). A fan would have been welcome and would have helped us sleep better at night. The hotel website says that standard rooms have a ceiling fan - no one in our group of 4 couples had a ceiling fan in their room.

Overall, this was a stunning, wonderful place to enjoy the wildlife and scenery. We loved the lodge and would recommend it strongly.

Room Tip: Ask if you can get a room with a ceiling fan. Even though no one in our group had one, the hotel we...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank drjandthemissus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maputo
Level Contributor
47 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2014

We won a voucher for a 3 night stay here and supplemented this yby booking an additional 2 nights and making use of the special offer with flights from Nairobi added to the package. Rooms small, buut clean and with stunning views over the plains. We saw the big 5 up close and personal in 3 days and took a ballon flight. The food in the restaurant was excellent and with a wide variety. I made use of the gym and personal trainer to help burn off some of the extra calories. The only downside was that we had not been advosed in advance of the conservation fees that we needed to pay for the 3 nights that were complimentary. For 2 people this was $420 and as it was completely unexpected - not a pleasant surprise.

Room Tip: Ask for a river view as although the view of the plains is stunning, the river side is just slightly...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Alex9Maputo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naivasha
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

Perfect location in the middle of the Mara Triangle.
The Mara triangle is the most beautiful of the whole Mara.

This lodge has walls instead of tents. So when traveling with people who don't like camping or think its scary having only canvas between you and the lions its double perfect.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank EddyVerbeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2014

Fantastic hotel, AMAZING location with breathtaking views of the Maasai Mara Plains from any location (it's the only hotel in The Mara that's on top of a hill), friendly, warm and welcoming staff, a wide variety of high quality dishes on the menu for all three meals plus complimentary tea and coffee in the lobby. We are all strict vegetarians but had no difficulty finding something to eat. The entire hotel is beautifully decorated as an imitation of a traditional Maasai 'Manyatta' (or hut). There is free wifi all over the hotel although it was not working well in our rooms. We went on the night time game drive with the hotel staff and it is a must-do at least once in a lifetime if you're in search of an absolutely thrilling experience! The only disappointment was that we couldn't go on a Balloon Safari because of the lack of a minimum number of 4 passengers. Perhaps the manager can consider lowering the price per person and also marketing it more.
We visited during off-peak, just after the new year and end of the short rains in Kenya. The weather was fantastic although it would get a little chilly at night. The whole experience is a welcome escape away from the real world, whether you're looking to have a relaxing holiday, honeymoon or just a good time with friends. My parents and I had the time of our lives and would definitely visit over and over again!

Room Tip: We were allocated rooms on the south facing wing which were very central, close to the patio, recept...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MeerkatMe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2014

Stayed at the Mara Serena Lodge during our family safari and felt the lodge was top class. At first we thought we would not get the opportunity to stay here as it was fully booked at the time our tour booking. Fortunately, our tour operator, African Sermon Safaris, was able to secure rooms for us, which was amazing.

The location is so vantage with great views of the Maasai Mara plains as far as eyes could see. It is so centrally placed for game viewing within the Mara and more so wildebeests crossing point along the Mara River.

Meals at the lodge were often so fresh and delicious. There was so much variety to choose from and got replaced regularly.

The staff were so upto the task, quite knowledgeable, helpful and we could not compliment them enough for the service offered.

Given that we had limited time here, only 3 nights, we would have wished to stay longer, may be 5 nights.

I would more certainly recommend this world class lodge, better than the American standard resorts, to those intending to travel to Masai Mara for their tours.

Room Tip: Suites rooms are excellent - more spacious and access to sunny wilds
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Rogersalmo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Mesa, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2014

After a long bumpy ride through the park to check into the lodge, all of our discomfort was wiped away as soon as we stepped foot outside the safari vehicle and saw the amazing view through the lobby. It was almost a 180 degree view of the Masai Mara...we could see elephants and a few cape buffalo. Check in was great and easy. We had lunch then they escorted us to our rooms. We stayed there on Christmas night so they had special entertainment of Masai warriors dancing and singing. The food buffet was great for every meal...including vegetarian options, hot and cold dishes, and a made to order egg station at breakfast. The gym (which isn't well advertised) is just amazing because it also has a view of the reserve! Our room had a ensuite bathroom with shower, spacious bedroom, sitting area, and balcony which faced the bush and one morning I woke up to an antelope literally one foot away just outside our balcony. The pool is nice and refreshing in the mid day especially when the temps are high 80s. And of course, you can't mention the Mara without the animals. We were lucky to see a leopard in a tree one day, lions every day we were there, hippos (even one out of the water), elephants, cape buffalo, giraffes, hyenas, all type of antelopes, and the list goes on. One of our most favorite resorts that we stayed at on safari.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jklawhorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mara Serena Safari Lodge

Property: Mara Serena Safari Lodge
Address: C14, Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 137 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mara Serena Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mara Serena Safari Lodge, set on a saddle of a hill, overlooks the 1,800 square km of rolling plains at an altitude of 1625 meters at the Masai Mara Triangle, one of the world's richest wildlife sanctuaries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mara Serena Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Serena Safari Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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