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“Excellent staff, great location, blends with the landscape”
Review of Mara Simba Lodge

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Mara Simba Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 1, 2011

This is a rather simple lodge with a lot of african ambiance. The rooms are located in buildings that resemble a tree house. The rooms are simply decorated and appropriate to what to expect at a lodge in the african park....Rustic is a good word to describe the setting and decor. The Talek river goes through the property and give great viewing for birds, hippos, lizards and even the sacred baboon! Meal are served buffet style and lacked variety. The same vegetables were offered every day, spicy indian foods and a type of meat. Since we stayed here for several days on our safari, the food got really boring! The location for safari was wonderful and just outside the gates, animals were located in huge varieties. The Maasai tribe was around the corner and a visit there was very interesting and should not be missed if you want to understand the culture and the region. The staff at the hotel was extensive, very helpful and friendly. One night when it rained after dinner; we were escorted under umbrellas back to our room! Hair dryers need to be requested upon check in. The rooms while not fancy, are clean and quiet.The pillows do need to be replaced as they were very flat and there was an issue with the water that was resolved. This is just the sort of place I had expected to find on my trip and the stay was most pleasant!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank larkenRidgefield_CT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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176 - 182 of 306 reviews

Reviewed September 24, 2011

Sep 2011 - We had a three night stay at the Mara Simba Lodge earlier this month. Front desk staff was useless and unsympathetic. They overbooked and asked us to have 3 to a room though members of our tour paid the single supplement fee to have their own room. Internet was down 2 out of 3 days. Staff appeared miserable and locals who were on safari treated the staff abysmally. Furnishings are dated. Walls were paper thin and signage to river bank viewing areas would have been nice. The fact that 5 porters latched on to three bags all looking for a tip led me to believe staff are not paid well. As a matter of fact, one indicated he was on a 6-month training program (no wages) in hopes they would hire him after the program was over. Doesn't that amount to slave labour in the 20th century. Not impressed considering the other two lodges we stayed at were excellent. (Lion Hill Sarova and the Ol Tukai)

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank Ves C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2011

Located about 37 mins flight from Wilson Airport, and then an approximate 20 min drive
from the airstrip. On the drive to the lodge, you'll get to do a mini game drive though.
On my first day there, I saw elephants, a giraffe, lions, warthogs, wildebeest, vultures
and various antelopes/gazelles.

Rooms are clean and quite nice. You also get a nice little balcony. I found my room to be a little chilly, but I just piled on the blankets at night, and had a great sleep. Safe located in the
rooms. No TV or phone available in the rooms. Wifi is available for an outrageous fee of $4USD for 30 mins. There is a business centre, but there is no internet access unless you pay the fee. Free toiletries include shampoo, lotion and shower gel. You can ask for an adapter, extra pillows, blankets, etc from the front desk. Electricity available around the clock.

Meals are delicious and buffet style. Juice is not included in meals (only coffee, tea and
hot milk is). Juice goes for $2 USD.

There is a pool, pool table, TV in the bar area, and nightly entertainment. There are also a
couple of souvenir shops in the lobby area. You may also exchange your money at the front
desk, and they accept various credit cards.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank GroovieGurlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

Mara Simba lodge markets itself as a luxury property but it isn't. It is a solid, mid-range hotel with plenty of pluses but plenty of areas for improvement. Much fuss is made in these reviews about the hippos but they pretty much are lurking underwater during daylight. Any game viewing requires about 45 minutes drive before it gets interesting. There are some wildlife near the lodge but one learns it's pretty pedestrian. Buffet is consistent, unimaginative and repetitive. You are assigned one specific table for the duration of the stay but there are limited tables with decent views. Most were dim to dark most meals. You have to lobby hard to get a better table assignment. If this matters to you, I'm told you can request a table near the edges of the dining room that offer a view (although not panoramic as the property is nested amongst trees), air and light. Bar offerings are limited and not too expensive. Wine list is expensive relative to other expenses. We stayed in a tent and it was spotlessly maintained. Lots of hot water with amazing water pressure for being out in the wilds. Electricity available throughout the day. Internet connection slow but fairly priced. Laundry service not expensive and quite reliable. You pay a premium if you want a quicker turnaround but at least they will accommodate your request. Not a lot of public space and what there was felt oppressive. The ceilings are just too low and orientation of property is mostly under trees. The weather was cool and wet most of our stay so we did not have a sense of air and light. Despite cold weather, the large public fireplace was not lit until after sundown and was not replenished. Only for show and only space for about six or seven people to sit in front of. We huddled in public spaces for warmth and comfort. Most of the staff were genuinely helpful -- gift shop, restaurant waiters, porters and security guards who escorted you to and fro when it was dark. Front desk staff is generally unhelpful. In a tourist environment it is hard to know whether the surly or indifferent treatment you are receiving is because they are salivating at (but not permitted to bite) the hand that feeds them. This seems a good place for groups but not necessarily a idyllic spot for couples. We found gift shop staff generally uninformed (and incorrect) on postage requirements for postcards. We learned later on our trip that the amount of postage they sold us exceeded the requirement. Although everyone accepted dollars, if you wanted small bills they required you to exchange dollars for Kenyan shillings at highly unfavourable exchange rates.

Room Tip: the tents cost more but are further away from the public areas. however, tents don't have sound...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Parisfoodie2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

Very nice and pleasant to stay hotel in the middle of the dusty, vast savannah! it is situated on the river and most of the rooms look over the river where lots of animals come to drink water, and the hippos are leisurely enjoying the coolness of the water. The food is perfect and the service in the restaurants and bars - also. The staff is generally very helpful and nice.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Stan040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2011

We stayed here in August 2011. The staff were very professional and friendly, and are a great asset to the lodge. The lodge is well located close to the National Park and is great with resident hippos and crocodiles. We also saw an elephant one night that came down to feed at the riverbank.
The food is good - buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner means you can choose what you eat. The Bar is what you would expect for such a lodge. The rooms were spacious and well maintained. There was always hot water.
Overall a great option for the Masaai Mara. Our stay here was the highlight of our trip to Kenya.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lara_sydney_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2011

This was our second visit to the Mara and the experience was enhanced by our stay at the Simba Lodge. The staff were welcoming, friendly and very efficient ( even gave me a Maasai name - Lamayian). The accommodation was comfortable, clean and well maintained the selection and quality of food also very good.
The location of the lodge overlooking the river meant a constant range of wildlife could be easily observed, from the local family of hippos and crocs to the smaller but equally interesting mongoose, monkeys and birds.

Room Tip: The hippos night time noises remind you how close you are to nature!
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JandASuffolkUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mara Simba Lodge

Address: C14, Keekorok | Talek River, 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #75 of 146 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Class:4 star — Mara Simba Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 84
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Also Known As:
Mara Simba Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Simba Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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