We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Great place but expensive” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fairmont Mara Safari Club

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Fairmont Mara Safari Club
Certificate of Excellence
new york, ny
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great place but expensive”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2009

We were awed by the simplistic beauty of the tents that we stayed in. The beds were comfortable and the bathroom was pretty amazing. The sounds of the gruting hippos and overexcited birds eventually made my boyfriend crazy but didn't mind. The waitstaff and barstaff were so friendly! The management were not nearly as friendly and when we were questioning the incredibly high bill for our stay they were not very accomodating. The game drives, fees, taxes etc truly add up so just be careful - the room rate may look amazing but you're a lot of things are getting tacked on the bill behind the scenese. Also, I wouldn't stay there too long. As wonderful as the Masai is, it's exhausting waking up at 5:45 every morning in an open, bumpy, jeep constantly covered in dirt with only a crappy bagged lunch. We were SO thankful we planned a few days at the beach afterwards.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kara K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

494 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    408
    69
    9
    6
    2
See reviews for
141
180
20
20
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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (146)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2009

The Fairmont has beautiful tents overlooking a river with hippos which is great. The lodge is kitsch safari. However the service is great and the food is excellent. The big issue with this hotel is the terrible location. You are nowhere near the migration or the park - it takes at least an hour on terrible roads to get there. This stops you from seeing any exciting animal behaviour as we had to leave by 5:30 (right when everything gets going in the evenings) to get back to the hotel on time. Also, because it is outside the park you pay conservancy fees PLUS park fees when you want to go inside the park. The conservancies are not as nice as the park, less animals and too much civilization.

So if you want to hand around your tent overlooking the river and relax, then go to the Fairmont; if you want a real safari experience then stay inside the park.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Vandas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
107 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2009

We are going to have the most amazing memories of our honeymoon having spent 3 nights in the Fairmont Mara Safari Club at the beginning of our holiday.

The "tents" are gorgeously decorated and have THE most comfortable beds! The only thing I would say is that there isn't much privacy for the loo!! But I guess there's more privacy than if you were actually camping!

The food is good with quite a choice for being in the middle of nowhere.

The service is impeccable! Amazingly friendly and everyone seems to know your name! I especially liked being woken up with a nice hot drink and the hot water bottles tucked into your bed at nighttime.

It was really nice to have the pool area to lounge around in the middle of the day when there's not much else to do.

The location is great. The camp is perched over a little river inhabited with crocs and hippos. Although the camp isn't right in the park it actually has its benefits. We spent one day in the park (a full day's drive) which was AMAZING and there were hoards of other trucks which all crowded around something when there was something to see. It felt alot more relaxed and authentic in the area surrounding the Fairmont and we saw lions ripping into wildebeest, leopards, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, hippos, baboons, crocs etc etc without hundreds of other jeeps getting into our pictures - altogether much more scenic and relaxing.

Our driver was called John - a very knowledgeable man who found us the most amazing sights.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this luxury camp.

Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Keen_Bean_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upminster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2009

We stayed at Mara Safari Club for two nights and to be honest could have stayed there the whole week. Everything about the place from the location to the tent to the staff was amazing.

Each tent is amazing and faces the mara river which contains hippos and crocs. The hippos grunting in the night was all part of the experience. The tent attendant comes every afternoon to turn down your bed, pull down the canvas shutters and put hot water bottles in your bed. Although it wasn't cold, they were very welcoming.

Between tent 12 and 13 is a 'Hippo hide'. This is positioned at the highest point of the river which is where the hippos lounge during the day. There is a bench there to sit and watch the hippo's and to be honest I could have sat there for hours. What a great idea!

Our driver was Ashford and he was great. The camp is not in the actual Mara game reserve but in a conservancy area. To be honest this didn't really matter as we saw just as much on the game drives in the conservancy as we did in the actual reserve. We weren't due to go to the actual reserve as all the organised game drives are in the Conservancy area. However we spoke to the receptionist (nice lady with braided hair) and explained to her that we would like to go to the reserve and we didn't mind the drive or the fact we would miss lunch and we were willing to pay extra. However she was so hopeful and said that as long as our driver Ashford was ok it was fine. No extra charge and she would organise Packed lunches. We were so glad we did as we saw the migration and the animals crossing the river in amongst the crocs. Amazing.

We were lucky to go up for our balloon ride. Apparently the balloon hadn't flown for 17 days due to the wind but we were lucky! We went up and it was amazing......so smooth! If I had my eyes shut I wouldn't have known I was in the air (I didn't have them shut obviously!).

The food was really good and the staff were so friendly. All took time to ask you how your safari was and to have a chat.

Overall had a great two days here and wish we could have stayed longer. Would definitely recommend and would love to return one day.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank laura_karl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2009

I just returned from my two week honeymoon in Kenya. Of the two weeks there the two nights and three days we spent at the Mara Safari Club were by far the highlight of the trip. The tent was amazing and staff were outstanding. Wilson was an amaizing safari guide and Festus, our waiter was great.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rwa612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2009

Wow what an amazing property and experience. The level of service at the Fairmont Safari Club is truly a step above, including the added touch of the staff knowing you by name – this includes the dining room serving staff, the front desk, and of course our personal safari driver.

When we first booked, we were concerned 5 nights might be too much at just one property– but in reality, we were sad to leave and could have stayed on much longer.

The tents were well appointed and very comfortable. The comfort was enhanced with little extras like the turn down service that includes hot water bottles for the bed and wake up calls that come with your preferred hot beverage. The interaction between nature and resort is in perfect balance – with the monkey swinging in the trees outside our tent as the hippos splash around in the river below.

Part of the experience that made our trip memorable was our personal safari driver, John. He was an incredible guide and had an amazing amount of knowledge to share with us. Through his great efforts, we saw the Big 5 and a billion other things on our safari drives.

We are already talking about – “when we go back…”

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank twigalover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2009

We spend 5 days at the Mara Safari Club (MSC) at the end of August, beginning of September of 2009. I traveled with my 71 year old mother. We each had a single Queen tent (#5 & #6).

Location
The Fairmont MSC is located about 30 miles north of the Masai Mara National Park in a so called conservation area. The hotel is located in a meander of the river Mara so each tent has a river view. Some views are better than others, tent 12 having the best one and therefore the least privacy since everyone comes there to watch the hippo's. The hotel is fenced so no wild animals will actually come close to your tent (unlike e.g. Elephants Camp, where they can enter the camp) except for the aforementioned hippo's in the river below you. They cannot enter the grounds but do make a lot of noise, also at night. Part of the experience, I say.

The conservation area is beautiful and has its share of wildlife. You can see all of the big 5 there. The guides know the place inside and out. The drive to the Masai Mara Ntl Park takes about 60 to 90 minutes and there are no real roads, meaning the trip is bumpy. You will get a good African massage. It is a beautiful drive, but most people do it only once. To get to the river where the crossings take place is another 90 minutes or so.

Grounds
The hotel is beautifully kept. The grounds are wonderful for a stroll. Be advised that it can be quite a walk from your tent to the lobby. Tents 4 to 25 are closest. The so called luxury tents are furthest from the lobby, offering more privacy and an outdoor shower. In my opinion the 'normal' tents are the best choice.

The hotel features a small pool with comfortable deck chairs. You won't be using it much since you are kept busy with safaris, lunches, etc. It is very refreshing after a dusty day on the plains. The hotel serves lunch on a deck next to the river. There is also a restaurant, lobby and bar.

F&B
The hotel offers an all inclusive (food only) option for around $60 per person. You are more or less forced to take it, since they do not have an a la carte dining option. It is set menus and buffets. One night they did a bbq. The food is excellent but do not expect haute cuisine. It is straightforward jungle food. It is that honesty that appealed to us and we ate with great pleasure. The MSC could do with more variety, since they serve the same food in a 4 day cycle. The hotel boasts an impressive wine list (for Kenya and the setting that is!).

There is no real room service. You can stock your fridge with whatever drinks you want on arrival. We found it more convenient and sociable to walk to the bar. There are no food items in your tent at all, so if you are someone who likes to have a little nibble either bring your own or ask to take something to your tent after dinner. Drinks are reasonably priced at around $3 for a coke for instance.

The tent
The 'tent' is very luxurious. It has one or two very comfortable 4-poster beds with a great mattress. It has a shower in the back that takes a while to get really hot and is tough to get exactly right in temperature, but I have had much, much worse in other 5 start properties. They clean your tent when you go on safari and have a turn down service when you eat, that includes a very welcome hot water bottle for your tired muscles. The floor is granite tiles and it all feels very solid and warm. We had no issues with bugs or animals in the tent.

Staff
The staff is extremely kind, well trained, helpful and courteous. You will hear 'Jambo!' (hello!) everywhere you walk and all the attention feels genuine. You will have the same waiter and driver during your stay and they learn your habits fast. The only 'issue' I had was actually getting good information from the front desk, since there really isn't any. Everyone is very approachable and knowledgeable so you can always get the info you need. The staff made the biggest difference in this place. They are truly fantastic!

Business Services
There is a well equipped business center (although no printer) and wireless is offered in the main building. The speed is surprisingly good considering the location and it is free (at least to Presidents Club members, can't speak for the others). There is no Internet in the tents. Mobile telephone service is available but spotty. 3G service (for internet and email) only worked one time when I could get signal from safaricom.

Safaris
The hotel offers morning and afternoon game drives. They start at 07:30 and 15:30 and take about 2 hours (morning) and 3 hours in the afternoon. The morning safari gives you a greater chance at lions that are actually awake, the afternoon one offers great sunsets and lots of animals. The safaris are done using a variety of vehicles. The 3 main types (all Toyota Land Cruiser) are completely open, closed with a raised roof and one without a roof altogether, but with windows. I would go for the completely open one if you don't want to stand during the drives.

Alternate trips are the full day safari to the Masai Ntl Park or a balloon safari. A balloon safari will set you back $450 and you need to get up at 04:45. Given this is an elevated area there are a lot of cancellations at the last minute so book it on your first day. We got as far as the launch site but never made the flight in 4 attempts due to heavy winds. The full day safari is a must.

Getting here and away
You reach the hotel either by plane or by car. I would take the 45 minute flight over the 4 hour drive (or more) any day. We used Air Kenya and they are good. Small plane and spectacular views. The landing is an event in its own right.

Pricing
We stayed here on a promotional fare but the average price seems to be around $300. This is however excluding considerable tax (27%), park fees ($60 per person and mandatory even though you are not in the park), full board (($66 per person), making the total price for 2 around $632 per day. To this you need to add the cost of game drives ($60 per person per drive) and/or other excursions or activities. All well in line with other properties in the area. We felt the MSC offered more of a hotel feel than other properties.

You are expected to tip at the end of your stay. We gave our driver $80, our waiter $100 and the remaining staff $40. Don't forget them, since this extra income is important to them!

Overall experience
The general picture was very positive. It may be worth considering staying in the Masai Mara itself of you are a die hard safari enthusiast (Governor's Camp) and pay a little extra. We had a wonderful time here and will consider this hotel again for future visits, with thanks to Wilson (our driver) and Vincent (our waiter). He made our departure unforgettable when he organized a farewell song from the entire staff at our last dinner. Thank you Vincent!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Henkybaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Maasai Mara National Reserve hotels
34.3 mi away
Keekorok Lodge-Sun Africa Hotels
Keekorok Lodge-Sun Africa Hotels
#4 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
4.5 of 5 bubbles 969 reviews
25.4 mi away
Mara Leisure Camp
Mara Leisure Camp
#6 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
4.5 of 5 bubbles 211 reviews
39.8 mi away
AA Lodge Masai Mara
AA Lodge Masai Mara
#8 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
3.5 of 5 bubbles 102 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
31.2 mi away
Sarova Mara Game Camp
Sarova Mara Game Camp
#3 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
4.5 of 5 bubbles 982 reviews
29.9 mi away
Mara Serena Safari Lodge
Mara Serena Safari Lodge
#23 of 140 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
4.5 of 5 bubbles 898 reviews
18.2 mi away
Governor's Camp
Governor's Camp
#14 of 140 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
5.0 of 5 bubbles 882 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Fairmont Mara Safari Club? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Fairmont Mara Safari Club

Property: Fairmont Mara Safari Club
Address: C14, Keekorok | P.O. Box 58581, 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
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Fairmont Hotels, Jovago.com and Jetsetter so you can book your Fairmont Mara Safari Club reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing