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“What a find - used to be David Livingstone! Gem of a place”
Review of Mara River Lodge

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Mara River Lodge
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
174 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“What a find - used to be David Livingstone! Gem of a place”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

Before we left for Kenya, I had serious reservations about this place, I had read some bad reviews etc. However, it turned out to be the best of all the accommodation through our entire 9 day safari through Masai Mara & Serengiti! The resort has gone through some extensive renovations & the new management has brought in a bunch of new people who simply do not know how to say 'NO' to any guest request! Loved the location, its right along the bend of the Mara river, loved the resort itself, little things like the hippo viewing station, library, outside seating, view from the restaurant, nice rooms etc. etc. But most of all loved the service & the staff there!

The approach to the resort is quite long, but they have an air strip right next to it where charter flight & Kenyan airways flies into. Infact we found out that if you book with the lodge they can offer a package inclusive of flight, stay, meals & game drives at fairly reasonable rates! Next time, that's what we'd be doing. Yes the Park West Gate is a bit way off, but there are enough game drive right next to the resort along the river. That's where we saw the famous Cheetah brothers!

The rooms are quite well done, with a huge comfy bed (I think it can fit 6) & the window looks out into the river. Each room has a verandah with vantage viewing points. The bathrooms are very modern & very clean.

The bar and the restaurant couldn't have been located better - plenty of Hippo viewing & loads of other animals. They also store some good South African wines there. The food was great & the chef went out of his way to please. We asked for some local African dishes & next day that's what we got! My daughter was especially taken care of, the chef painstakingly prepared food that she loved, after speaking to her (she's only 4!). Breakfast was sumptuous as well & the packed lunch really extensive.

We wanted to do a Bush dinner, however, there were some logistics issue with that on the day, so as a make good, they did a surprise dinner for just our family next to the pool. It was a candlelit dinner (candles around the whole pool & along the pathways) We had barbecue, great African dishes & a very special fish dish for the little one - all complimentary! It was just beautiful!

The staff are very knowledgeable about the birds & animals of the Mara & they are fantastic to talk to. We had a fantastic time here & wish we could have stayed longer!

So if you are going to Masai Mara, dont think twice just go the the Mara River Resort!

Room Tip: All rooms are good with views of the river
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Keyamom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Rajkot, India
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2013

Set up in a Serene Location, this lodge is the best place to stay in for. Right at the bank of the Mara River, there are lots of Hippos just adjacent to the Hotel.

This Hotel is good in very terms, like Service, Accommodation, Comfort, Food, Surroundings, etc etc.

Just a part lagging is that, this Hotel is a bit far from the Entrance Gate of the Maasai Mara National Park, the drive takes around 30 - 45 Minutes and also the road to this Hotel is a bit rough and abysmal. This is the only negative part for this hotel.

Rest all the things are just Great !!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Adler T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2013

The road leading to the Park from the highway is not a tarred road. It is bumpy and rough. Be prepared for 75 kms of an uncomfortable ride. Takes about 2 hours.
The room is small – a huge canopied bed with walls around it.
There is no place for luggage or bags. There is small verandah with well maintained lawns in front.

There is no mosquito screen on the windows. Therefore cannot keep them open. The bathroom also did not have an exhaust nor did the window open. The toiletries provided are alright – but take your own body lotion and shampoo.
Towels are clean and fresh every day. Because of the closed room sleep is not a relaxed one – there is too much static – one could say “loud sound of silence”

The walk from the reception to the rooms is a long but pleasant one. If you are lucky you can pet a gazelle, rabbit and even gaze at birds.
The food was of good quality but again not sufficient quantity. The serving dishes were not refilled. The Indian food made by Chef “Haggai” was good and plentiful. Food was not spicy or pungent.

The staff here were friendly and helpful. Provided umbrellas to guests when it rained, and even escorted guests to their rooms after dark.

There was no electricity after 10.30 pm to 6am and from 10am to 6pm. Torch is provided in the room.

The stay was comfortable except for the room. At night the Hippos come ashore and the grunts are very audible.

Room Tip: Carry a jacket, scarf/cap, dust mask - it is cold in Game Park in the early morning and evening and...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank prabharao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar
Level Contributor
42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

We have spent three days in the lodge in August 2013, now renamed as Mara river lodge, after some extensive refurbishment. It is very comfortable, the bathrooms are nicely redone, spotless and the stay was really lovely. The monkeys running around, hippos and crocodiles just couple metres away - amazing experience. The food was nice, but a little too much aimed at Asian/Indian customers, we figured. More meat options would not hurt. Having said that, it was still more then enough choice and the staff was very nice. The only downside of the lodge is its location - is far from the main road from Narok, the road is VERY bumpy and it is also quite far from the Mara park entrance. But the conservancies around, in which we drove on the last day, were beautiful in their own measure - and we have seen as many, if not more, animals, including lions, as in Mara itself. All and all, very nice experience, but next time, we would either fly in (there is an airstrip next to it) or choose a different location.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jana D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Global African
Level Contributor
37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

The lodge is placed in a wonderful location on a bank of the Mara river.
Many hippos right outside the bar and dining area. Also some smaller plains animals and birds come to drink. Special.
A new management company have recently taken over and are striving to increase standards.
Staff have a "can do" attitude and are helpful.
Although the food is buffet style, the chef is happy to accommodate special requests.
Seperate vegetarian kitchen which produced delicious Indian veg food while we were there.
Rooms are small, but adequate, with a glorious huge shower.
As with most lodges in the bush, be prepared for limited hours of electricity; we were pleasantly surprised that the generator was started early when it rained late one afternoon and it was very gloomy.

Some of the reviews complain about the location - we found that the conservancy in which this lodge is, provided excellent game and bird sightings. Saw lion (mating pair plus a pride with young and a kill) and 2 cheetah inside the conservancy.
But we need to remember that no sigtings are guaranteed anywhere in any wildlife area unless you go to a zoo, or very small private park where they track the animals!

The location is not great if you want to view migration crossings, as they do not happen on the section of river where this lodge is. If you want to try to see the crossings, better to stay within the Mara triangle. We went to the traingle for a full day trip, but it is quite far and attracts an extra entry fee per person. We were not fortunate enough to see a crossing but we did see a large pride of lion, a leopard cub playing hide & seek, many plains game and birds.

We were part of a group of 21 and all enjoyed the 3 night stay

Room Tip: ask for a room looking over the river
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank yachtneutron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 1, 2013 via mobile

Absolutely everything was right about this accomodation. Just re-opened under new management the day before we ariived and it is just amazing. The rooms are clean, modern and the beds are very big and comfy. The location is further away from the Mara then some othe places but the location is beyond everything. You can view the hippos from your dining table, just outside the resort you can spot many animals. The staff is very kind and helpfull and the food is absolutely delicious.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Casper W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
55 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2012

I stayed here for a long weekend in the off season when I was in Kenya working in spring of 2011. I thought it exceeded my expectations! Rooms were clean, atmosphere was relaxing, setting was amazing with the hippos! The resort was not busy and my friend and I ended up having private game drives. There was even a nice pool which I didn't expect and hadn't brought a swim suit! Food was good and I thought it was excellent that I always had a vegetarian option. I'm surprised at some of the reviews here- I thought it was an excellent stay and great value.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DC_diva_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mara River Lodge

Property: Mara River Lodge
Address: C12 | Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00200, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #82 of 138 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mara River Lodge commands one of most spectacular views in the Serengeti - Mara ecosystem; the lodge lies on the Mara River at the edge of Maasai Mara Game Reserve and overlooks deep pools where crocodiles and hippos bask all day. Painted in traditional Maasai red ochre and lit by hundreds of lanterns, the lodge is surrounded by indigenous trees and plants and is an attractive complement to the local environment. Guests can see hippos across the river from their tables as they sit down to enjoy the international cuisine on offer. Families of hippos spend their days basking in the deep pools beyond the bars and restaurant throughout the day. After a hot day's safari Maasai warriors in full regalia greet guests as they return to their 'bush home.' ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mara River Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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