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“FANTASTIC LODGE, FANTASTIC STAFF, GLORIOUS SAFARIS”

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Mara Serena Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
england
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“FANTASTIC LODGE, FANTASTIC STAFF, GLORIOUS SAFARIS”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2008

We stayed here for two nights three days during a safari arranged by 'Glorious Safaris' during our holiday to Kenya. The food was amazing, the rooms were really nice, the views were fantastic. How anyone can say the food was lousy is beyond me (The food was far better than the food at the Voyager Hotel in Mombasa). Our safari driver was very experienced indeed, we saw everything except Rhino's. It was especially nice to relax by & use the swimming pool whenever we wanted to. I will be returning here when I am next in Kenya for another few days. The vehicles this lodge use are huge 4 wheel drive jeeps, the are capable of driving of road is & when the drives require it.

Paul.

  • Liked — quality, friendly staff, really nice rooms.
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank 1happytraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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906 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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Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
67 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2008

Just got back from the Mara, and got to see the tail end of the migration.Totallyamazing, and the Serena is loacted just near all the action.

Great hotel, amazing views, nice (but small) rooms, good service, but the food....thats at a different level completely.

Never had so many lousy meals in a row as we did at the Serena. Avoid the soups, they taste like dishwater!! (this also seems to be the case at the Nairobi Serena). Avoid the bbq, the meat is hard, dry, overcooked! Avoid everything except for the breakfast, which in all honesty, cannot be messed up!

Serena, you have everything....why not make some effort and feed your guests well?

  • Liked — location and rooms
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed October 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank KulaRaha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashua, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
120 reviews
108 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 315 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2008

We stayed here for 4 nights and really enjoyed our stay.
Mara Serena was one of three Serenas on our trip (we also stayed at Ngorongoro Serena and Samburu Serena).
We thought this was by far the nicest one!

The lodge is very unique, with all the pod-like rooms and the decor is very whimsical!
The views here are wonderful. No matter where your room is you should have a beautiful vista to enjoy!

The rooms are pretty large, with a separate seating area with a sliding glass door that opens out onto the view.
The beds were fairly soft (which to me means comfortable) and there were lots of good pillows.

The bathroom was nice and large with plenty of counter space.
The shower had good water pressure and hot water, but could have been larger (it'll be difficult for a woman to shave her legs in there).

There is no TV and no air conditioning, but AC was definitely not needed in the first week of October.

Their internet was only working intermittently, sometimes it was down for most of the day.
Ask at the front desk before you pay for time, they'll let you know if it's working or not.
The fee for the internet was $4-5US per hour or $21US for 24 hours.

The outdoor areas were lovely! Lots of little quiet places to sit and enjoy the views!

Drinks weren't cheap. Beer started at around $4US, wine was $8-9US and mixed drinks were outrageously high ($15US for a margarita!)

The food was pretty good, with a large buffet. I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to find something you like. They had a great pasta station where you pick the veggies and sauce you want and they saute it right in front of you. Very tasty!
The desserts, however were always a bit of a disappointment.
The food situation was pretty much the same at all the Serenas.

The staff was friendly and helpful.
Laundry is done very quickly (if you drop off in the morning by 10am they have it back to you that same evening.
Pants and shirts were about $2-3US a piece.

Also, we were able to pay for incidentals (like laundry and drinks) with a credit card with no extra fee added on. We had heard that they charge an extra 3-5% when paying by credit card but found that not to be the case at all the Serenas.

We really enjoyed our stay here. I would highly recommend it and would suggest to stay a minimum of 3 nights here, unless you'll be dividing your time up between 2 places in the park.
Wonderful place!

  • Liked — Spacious room, comfy beds, wonderful setting!
  • Disliked — Expensive drinks and shower was cramped
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank luv2globetrot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2008

We really enjoyed our stay at the Masai Mara Serena; of all the places we stayed while in Kenya, the Serena had the best service, atmosphere and amazing views. The staff were always so friendly; made us feel very comfortable and at home. The only down side was getting there by road; the airstrip is really close to the Serena and regular flights from Nairobi- for the next time!

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Rossie7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2008

We spent 3 weeks in Kenya during September staying in top end hotels/lodges. The Mara Serena Safari Lodge was by far the best of all. The room was lovely with a fantastic view across the savannah. Food was plentiful, varied and of excellent quality. All the staff without exception were extremely friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I will definitely return some day and would totally recommend it to anybody. The only downside of the trip to the Serena was that we drove from Nairobi. If you are thinking of doing this - don’t. It is a horrendous 6 hour journey due to the state of the roads. There is an airstrip about 2 kms from the lodge and flights from Nairobi are cheap. This is a far better option.

  • Liked — The food and staff.
  • Disliked — Getting there.....
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Duignad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury, England
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2008

We visited the wonderful Mara Serena in early September following visits to the Serena Mountain Lodge and Sweetwaters Tented Camp. It would not be fair to compare these lodges for they all provide completely different experiences in very varied scenarios. We loved them all - but we loved the Mara Serena the best. Perched on a ridge high above the Mara plains the astonishing views stretch for miles, visible from every one of of the hotel rooms. They are spacious and very comfortable, brightly decorated with Masai embellishments on the mirrors and a place to sit and gaze. The restaurant provides such a huge choice of food even the fussiest eaters should be happy. But it is the game drives that take the Serena Mara way beyond excellent. We loved being in those big open topped, open sided vehicles and we saw everything we could have hoped for, and more, thanks to our amazing driver Emanuel who was determined that we should. (Could give a massive list here)! So we say go and see everything this wonderful place can show you (including Hippos under your bedroom window at night) ! Note: Take some warm clothes, it can get cold and very windy especially at 6.30 am!

  • Liked — The views, the game drives, the room, the staff, but especially the animals.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Everyonerocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2008

Stayed in Mara Serena Lodge for 2 nights as part of a recent safari trip to Kenya. The Lodge was lovely and comfortable. Rooms were spacious and had all facilities that we required. The views across the Mara from our room were breathtaking and I believe that all of the rooms have excellent views across the plains.Food was excellent too with plenty of choices on offer to accomodate all tastes. Staff were attentive and always on hand to assist with any queries. We enjoyed our time in this hotel and woulod not hesitate in recommending it.

  • Liked — Level of comfort and staff
  • Disliked — Journey to get to it! Roads in Kenya are awful!!!!
  • Stayed September 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank wooandwee
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 #20 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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