This was my first time to Kenya and the Masai Mara and the whole tented camp experience. I had been to luxury game lodges in South Africa but nothing like this. I absolutely loved it. Being from the mountains of Colorado and loving camping and nature and the African bush, it was just a perfect combination of everything. I have always said that I can be just as comfortable in a tent in the woods as I can at the Four Seasons, and the Luxury Tented Camping experience gives a fantastic combination of that.
All the tents are on the river and the river provides lovely music that helps to conceal any noise from other travelers or things that might otherwise disturb your sleep or peace and quiet while relaxing on your deck over the river.
I loved everything about this place—the tents, the location, the main lodge, the food, the staff, the game drives.
I also had a facial and pedicure (at the same time!) at their lovely private spa deck at the end of camp. It was amazing and the gals are fantastic. I have had hundreds of spa treatments over the years and these ladies were definitely world class. They even do Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, having been trained in Nairobi by a woman who went to Hawaii to learn how to teach Lomi Lomi.
I actually stayed here only two nights and moved to the place next store, just down the road Beyond the next hill. It has a much better and broader reputation than Olonana and I have to say that Olonana trumps them hands down in every way—location, tents, staff, service, food, etc. When I return to the Mara I will stay at Olonana again but not at the other property.
The only thing I wish they would do differently is to have an open fire on the lodge deck on the edge of the river to sit under the stars at night. Or if that is a logistical issue due to the deck, then perhaps building a fire pit in the circular lawn area at the entrance to the lodge, or even by the pool. An African safari experience is just not complete without Bush TV under the starry African sky.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sanctuary Olonana, our award-winning tented camp situated on a private stretch of the Mara River, recently undergone a significant upgrade to the public areas of the lodge as well as a soft refurbishment to the tented rooms and pool area. The interior decor reflects a contemporary design using a combination of light earthy tones and the local Maasai women played an active part in the refurbishment using the same traditional technique used in their own houses to “mud” the interior walls in all of the main areas and curio shop. From the main viewing deck see and hear the family of noisy hippos who colonise the banks below the camp. Relax with a good book in the library, cool off in the pool or for an extra special treat, experience traditional African remedies and spa treatments in the mini-spa. Oversized Safari Tents – Built on the banks of the Mara River, the twelve canvas tents at Sanctuary Olonana are extremely comfortable and spacious. The ensuite tents all have two four-poster beds with floor to ceiling mosquito netting – making them perfect for families travelling with small children. Each of the private verandas overlook the river and offer the perfect spot where guests can relax and watch the resident hippos wallow in the water. There are also two honeymoon suites with each featuring outdoor showers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sanctuary Olonana Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Sanctuary Olonana Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve