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“Lovely, but Some Small Misses”

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Great Plains Conservation ol Donyo Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 23, 2012

As everyone has mentioned before, the room itself is beautiful and the architecture is quite special, in that there are no walls in your bedroom. It does make you feel like you're a part of all of the wildlife (we heard a lion's roar pretty clearly, to the point where we couldn't swear that it wasn't outside our window)

Our guide was fantastic- really nice, keen to please, but also really interesting. Oddly, this was the only time on our trip to Africa where we had some service misses at the lodge. Our second night they forgot to make up our room, and we had asked to have the star bed made up, and they had forgotten. Since there is no easy mode of communication from the room we didn't say much, I'm sure if we had, they would have been very nice about it. I think in a small property, you really do want to get the little things right, though these are really small nits.

Otherwise, the lodge staff had fantastic food (the best on our trip!), catered a dinner under the stars for us, and were generally very friendly and wonderful. Overall thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Traveler31782
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 - 119 of 145 reviews

Reviewed September 6, 2012

We just spend a weekend with good friends in this more than beautifull lodge...the lodge is situated about 45 mins flight from Wilson Airport...
The lodge is situated against South facing low mountain range, by clear wheather the "shy mountain" the Kilimanjaro is clearly visible. We were well received by the lodge manager and his staff with welcome drinks and clear explinations on the various activities that the lodge offers...
This part of the private property adjacent to the Amboseli National Parc is more quiet on animals
here and there some Giraffes/impalas/ our friend elephant TOM for the big 5 you have to drive more then an hour to the Amboseli Park...
The Lodge offers plenty activities to keep your day active or simply stay at the lodge being pampered by the nice staff..
We opted for the Donyo hill and the Caves both nice discovering activities...
The bar area as also the lounge areas are spacious with comfortable lounge chairs, attentive service and the beautifull views... A sundowner after a game drive is a welcome coktail before the excellent dinner...
We enjoed evry single minute of our stay....

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank worldtravellerfrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

I visited Ol Donyo with a friend in June 2012. I recommend it highly.

I heard Ol Donyo was luxurious. The luxury of Ol Donyo is quite astonishing. Beautiful fittings in the bathroom, an outdoor shower deck, a bed set up on the roof at your request, always a barman near the bar and fantastic food. I stayed in a ‘standard’ room and it was by no means standard.

I chose Ol Donyo for the riding and loved the horses and the terrain. I rode Maringu who was the smoothest horse I’ve ever ridden. In addition, the terrain around the lodge is amazingly free of holes and gullies, so it was easy to relax while cantering through the forest and over the plain. This was particularly lovely when running with the giraffes, zebra, hartebeest, gazelle, impala…

My friend is a non-rider but she was able to take a relaxing ride across the plain and enjoy getting close to the wildlife. She agreed that seeing game from a horse is a unique experience. I encourage everyone to give it a try.

For non-riders, you can also hike up Ol Donyo mountain (I chose to take it easier and rode Maringu). My friend biked with the fantastic Maasai guide Daniel K. He took her to the plain so he could keep an eye out for lions, just in case.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank allisonlaux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

I had a chance to enjoy one of the Deluxe Suites and I just didn't want to leave. Room was clean, stylish, and view was to die for! Sadly, rainy season kept me from enjoying the Star Bed but I now have a reason to return :)

Food was delicious and varied, staff was attentive, and time just flew by so that I felt cheated out of experiencing the game viewing blind, shared pool (though I was digging my private plunge pool), and a relaxing breakfast at the lodge (flight issues, not lodge issues).

I did, however, have a Most Excellent horse ride to a bush breakfast, a hike through the lava tubes, and two wonderful sundowners. If people are in to horse riding this is a great place to give it a go. You can do a short morning ride (like my friend and I did), or you can do a multi-day ride (based on your abilities). They will take you to the stable to meet the horses and show off your skills in the yard before setting out. You will LOVE this!

Room Tip: This is important: There are standard rooms and there are deluxe rooms. Be sure if you want to enj...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank AdventureGirrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2012

Stayed here for 3 nights earlier this month. ol Donyo was the first stop on a nearly two week safari through Kenya and Tanzania. The lodge is incredible - the accommodations are HUGE and have an amazing view over the waterhole just in Front of the camp. Our Masai guide, Edwin, was fantastic - probably o e of the best we had. Very knowledgeable, super friendly. he really made our stay perfect. The food is great and we loved meeting all of the other guests at the communal dinners.

Very special place, would efinitely return.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
Thank CaliforniaLori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2012

We went on a riding safari out of Ol Donyo with Ride Kenya and it was an amazing experience. The scenery is incredibly beautiful and we saw no one else on our 5 days in the bush. I particularly loved tracking elephants and lion and the long walks into the mist forests and up a volcano and into caves. Fantastic. Not for the faint hearted but if you want adventure and adrenalin and can ride - this is the perfect holiday. By the way, the food was amazing and the luxury fly camps (with loo and showers) made the rugged 'in the bush' experience very civilised!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Willis68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

This was an amazing place to stay. We loved the lodge, the service, the views and the activities. Recommend it highly.

We stayed for three nights. The rooms are very comfortable. During the day you can see elephants and other animals from your room! The bathroom is huge and the shower gels and shampoos really nice. The little pool is fantastic. We soaked up the sun in the sundecks and had dips in the pool. The star bed on the roof is amazing, although better during the warmer months.

The activities are cool. Because its a huge area for just one lodge, you dont see cars or other people while game driving. It feels incredibly intimate. We saw loads of gazelles, horses, wildebeest, orixes, giraffes, wart hogs etc. We went horseback riding, which was a favorite. The lava cave expedition was really fun too, although make sure you have good shoes and are fit and strong. Night game drive is fun, even though it may take a while to find animals. We saw lots of huddled herbivores, spring hares, jackals and hyenas.

The lodge does the luxuries really well. The massages are amazing. The cocktails great and the views from the dining area great. The little touches like a hot water bottle in the bed, making up your room while you are away, topping up your water, really makes a difference.

We loved our stay at the lodge and would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank eaqubs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Great Plains Conservation ol Donyo Lodge

Address: Mbirikani Group Ranch | Chyulu Hills, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Amboseli Eco-system
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Amboseli Eco-system
Price Range: $1,736 - $2,707 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Great Plains Conservation ol Donyo Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine...275,000 Acres of scenic Africa, where the wildlife can be found free and roaming, without tourists in mini buses or a set schedule. Imagine...Travelling across the archetypal savannahs of East Africa in an open 4x4 game drive vehicle without limitation, feeling the rhythm of Africa beneath your feet as you walk with expert trackers, or horseback riding with Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. Imagine...Exploring this paradise, and then coming home to one of the most luxurious small lodges in Kenya where a hot bath, in or outdoor shower, or private swimming pool await - all with inspiring views across the expansive plains, plus delicious food, charming hosts and world-class service.Ol Donyo Lodge is in the heart of the 275,000 acre Mbirikani Group Ranch, located on the slopes of the Chyulu Hills National Park between the Amboseli and Tsavo West National Parks in southeast Kenya. Its location is unrivalled with full views of Mount Kilimanjaro and in the path of seasonal elephant migrations. It is a lodge rich in history, passion and conservation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ol Donyo Hotel Amboseli Eco-System

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