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“Nice camp”

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Fairmont Mara Safari Club
Certificate of Excellence
mombasa
Level Contributor
36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Nice camp”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2012

Nice tents, beautiful setup. A very big place almost 50 tents so get ready to walk from room to dining area! Food was very nice and varied from day to day, with a lot of choices. Staff is very friendly and always at hand for any of your needs.good service and value for money. Used the fairmont cars for the safari, comfortable and knowledgeble guides. The camp is far from the crossing, its in a private conservancy, but the game drive there was just as good, infact better coz you can go off road and no restricted timings.when you want to go into mara for crossing leave early! Theres an airstrip close to the hotel, a masai village for tours and an amust see rhino sanctuary. Stood right next to the rhinos.enjoyed and recommended!!

  • Stayed August 2012
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Helpful?
Thank Raha_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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505 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Brasília, DF
Level Contributor
155 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

I went to Masai Mara for a short vacation on August, during the peak of Great Migrations of Wildebeest. The infrastructure is great. the service is excellent and the games safaris are very exciting. The staff is wonderfully friendly: Samuel for Room Service, Jean at the restaurant and Sammy our Game Safari Driver. My tent was very well furnished with great space and a wonderful view to Mara River, full of Hippos. I had great time there and I DO recommend that hotel. It worth which cent I have paid.
Two things that wasn't that good: the food could be improved and the employees work all day, I mean, you will find them at the breakfast, at lunch and at dinner. It seems so abusive! I saw this situation at Fairmont the Norfolk, in Nairobi, as well.

Room Tip: If the weather is cold you won't need a Deluxe Tent as it offer only a outside shower that you c...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank PedroHelder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2012

I agree with the other author that many visitors are likely not seeing the club for what it really is. It is not a good bet and does not meet Fairmont's western standards. I am a platinum member of the Fairmont Brand having stayed at various Fairmont Hotels through the world for almost a year. My experience at both the Mara Safari Club and the Fairmont Norfolk in Nairobi lead to my severing my long standing relationship with the Fairmont brand.

Unlike most guests who fly in for a few days and fly out, we drove into the Mara Club and stayed for a week. This allowed us to meet the many travelers and witness what was really happening behind the scenes. Although the setting above the Mara River allows front row views of wildlife and the main lodge is unbelievable and stunning with views of hippos and crocodials below in the Mara river, the management was not prepared to handle the severe issue I experienced. For example I contracted food poisoning as did our fellow dining partners. Remember the only place to eat is at the Fairmont as the Farimont is not adjacent to any restaurants of grocery stores.

Ok food poisoning can happen as you are in the bush and the electricity is not always on but the proof in the pudding was in how the issue was dealt with that defines the Mara Safari Club as a run of the mill versus a luxury property. The Mara Club management wanted to just sweep the issue under the rug and not acknowledge food poisening by stating they inspected the kitchen and there was no food poisoning found! Yes that is what they said to us. First, how does one find food poisoning just sitting in the kitchen and second how do you explain our contracting food poisoning when we only ate at the Fairmont Mara Club. We were given hydration treatment in the form of electrolyte powder added to water and then asked to pay for it. Our sheets were soiled due to the food poisoning and we were handed a bill for several hundred dollars to replace the sheets and towels. Interesting that the soiled sheet and towel count on the bill were well beyond the one bed that was in our room. We were also charged for water with dinner.

In addition to the severity of poisoning, expect body order to prevail. Granted it is the bush but this is supposedly a first class resort and as such I would assume the Fairmont would provide bathing facilities for its bellman and others and ensure they use them. This was far from the case and the BO permeated our room well after the bellman departed. Again the difference between a first class hotel versus a run of the mill facility.

Lastly, you know those sweet Mara tribesman who come to the lodge to perform. Well we meet them outside in the back 40 after the performance and found them in the designer footwear speaking like any other western teenager as they showed off their tricked out trucks. The Fairmont charges a $70 USA per person per day conservation fee. When asked where the money goes we got conflicting answers.

We were not provided with an authentic experience but a Disney version that happens to be located in a place with live animals and vast plains all of which are managed for the betterment of the wildlife. Not to dissimilar to Animal Kingdom at Disney. This is a simplification but we spoke to many of the guests who told us directly they EXPECTED to witness animals in the bush roaming free. Indeed the experience of a safari in Africa is well worth it, and seeing animals roaming the plains is breathtaking, but staying at the Fairmont is far from luxury and from from National Geographic. The same lion seen by us was seen by slews of tourists in adjacent jeeps whose drivers were heard radioing the other guides to avoid a parking lot of tourists who were paying $50 a head for the game drive. Other blogs and posts will verify this.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Designed4Play
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warren
Level Contributor
62 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2012

We spent 5 days at the Fairmont Mara. The tents were quite livable.. not buggy, and the staff were just awesome friendly, helpful and eager to please. From bed coffee to the drives, we had a really good time.
The only area that needs improvement is the food. It was always buffet style and quite mediocre.
Dont bother doing the baloon ride - It was not worth the money. You see much more with an all day safari. Overall, we had a good time

Room Tip: No fitness center !!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Foodjunkie712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2012

We did a three day safari wedding in Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Stayed at Fairmont Mara Safari Club, I will definitely stay there again and I would recommend it to anybody going to Masai Mara for a safari. from the moment we landed to the game drives (2x a day), to the staff at the resort, to luxury tents that we stayed in, they had thought of every detail. I give the Fairmont Mara Safari Club and its staff a A++, Well done guys!!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank np318
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California Central Coast
Level Contributor
183 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2012

We stayed two nights at the Mara Safari Club on a two-week safari in Tanzania and Kenya and wished we could have stayed longer. This was our first tented camp, and we loved it. As noted by an earlier reviewer, the rooms are like regular hotel rooms with canvas walls. The room was nicely arranged with the bed facing the front of the tent, a sink and dressing area behind the bed, and separate shower and toilet at the very back. There was also a small deck with chairs and a table overlooking the river. Everything was very clean, comfortable, and well taken care of. We were in room 2, which was close to the main building. We had lizards, birds, and monkeys around us, with hippos and crocodiles in the river below. The main building had a nice reception area, lounge, and restaurant, as well as a deck overlooking the river. We enjoyed breakfasts and dinners there; the food was good and the staff were attentive. The game drives on the Maasai Mara were more challenging than on the Serengeti; few roads and rougher tracks. But the animal sightings were terrific; for example, we had seen the big 9 in other parks but finally got to see not one but several male lions. The biggest thrill was the migrations, with thousands of wildebeest and zebras. We also had a hot air balloon ride at dawn over the Maasai Mara, which gave us breathtaking views. Once landed near the migration, we had a champagne breakfast, complete with freshly made eggs. We even had Maasai gather near us to sell their wares. This was in the middle of nowhere, and we wondered how far they had come. Overall, we could not say enough about our wonderful experiences at the Mara Safari Club and would like to return.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank PalmSpringsVisitors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2012

My family (husband & 2 boys aged 6 & 9) spent several days at the Fairmont over Christmas 2011. It was such an amazing experience, it's hard to know where to start. We were collected from the airstrip by Jarrad who continued to be our personal guide for the extent of our stay. A great idea as there is then continuity every time you go out to view the animals - your guide knows what you have and haven't seen. Jarrad was exceptional. He had a degree in some kind of environment studies and really understood animal behaviour. This enabled him to second-guess where the animals might be and what they would do next so we were often the first on the scene or in the best positions for photo's. Even today, 9 months' on, my boys still talk about him and wish they could go back to see him again.

The tents were great. I can see there are people on here with issues about bugs. Seriously folks, you're in Africa! What can you expect? If you want to go bug free, go stay in an air-conditioned metropolis! I am currently writing this review from a 4 star hotel in Rome and I can tell you, I was happier with the bedroom and bathroom in Kenya!!!

The food was also excellent, with daily meals served under the trees above the river. Breakfasts were fresh with omelettes cooked to order. All meals were buffets so you could pick and choose what you liked. The menu seemed to centre around vegetables and curries (understandable given the location) which weren't too strong as even my kids wolfed them down. Soups were awesome, so don't pass them up!

On Boxing Day I took my children to the local Masi village for a cultural trip. Some might think this was a bit contrived, but for 2 "city kids", it was a real "moment of truth". They spent the morning playing with their peers in the African way while I wandered the market and tried to converse with the local women. My boys were taught by the local boys how to shoot a bow and arrow. They were shown through one of the houses and left open mouthed to learn that not every child in the world has a Wii or even electricity or running water for that matter. The climax came when my 9 year old turned to me and said "Mum, it's all about where you're born, isn't it?" QED. My job was done.

Animals - in 5 days we saw them all...the Big Five (some of them several times) and all the others! Even so much as a leopard who had caught a gazelle and dragged it up a tree so the hyenas couldn't get to it. My tip here is to make sure you take one of the Fairmont's big 4 x 4 Land Cruisers. There were lots of guests caught out because they had booked through other packages and were stuffed into little hi-ace vans that did not have the wheel height or gear ratio to traverse the creeks to get to where the animals were. Some even spent several hours bogged in mud when their driver had taken risks and failed to negotiate the terrain. Their frustration at dinner when we all discussed what we saw was palpable.

My other tip is when you book your tent, check where abouts it is. There is at least one but maybe two spots where the tents are close to generators and can get a bit noisy. There are also tents that are closer to the hippo colonies, so if you fancy sitting out on your veranda or wandering down to the viewing platform, you might like a tent closer to those.

It's hard to sum this trip up succinctly. It was magical. Africa is an amazing continent and the Mara certainly won't fail you. The staff at the Fairmont were all wonderful and really, genuinely, love kids. The Fairmont was warm and welcoming every step of the way. If I had a complaint (and I'm digging here) it would be that at certain times of the day the electricity is turned off and that was a bit annoying if you needed the internet to check into work etc. Other than that it was all good. I'm tempted to give it 5 stars, but I'm a hard marker, LOL.

Room Tip: Check where your room is in relation to the generator/s and the hippos.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Travellingmum578
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Mara Safari Club

Property: Fairmont Mara Safari Club
Address: C14, Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Fairmont Mara Safari Club 4*
Number of rooms: 50
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Mara Safari Club Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Fairmont Mara Safari Hotel
Mara Safari Club
Fairmont Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve Fairmont
Fairmont Mara Safari Club Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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