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“Good lodge apart from food”
Review of Ashnil Aruba Lodge

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Ashnil Aruba Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 21, 2013

Ashnil is a very nice lodge situated next to the Aruba dam, which unfortunately was dried up when we were there. We booked through the excellent JT Safaris.
They do try very hard and had a barbeque the night we were there. Unfortunately while we were eating we missed 2 lions and 2 cheetahs at the waterhole.
The biggest downside was the food which was not of a very high standard. At lunch the salad was covered in tiny black insects which you could have easily missed if you did not check carefully. The barbecue was not up to much either.
Overall all though a nice place.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Choofie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 - 192 of 669 reviews

Reviewed September 18, 2013

This is a lovely lodge in the middle of Tsavo East NP and was a most welcome break from a tiring safari. The beds were lovely and firm, the bathrooms lovely and modern. We had two adjoining rooms which worked well as we could all have plenty of space.

The meals were enjoyable - we had booked this lodge as part of a package with JT Safaris and as such we just had our drinks to pay for.

Our lodge looked out on to a watering hole, and as such attracted zebra, gazelles and elephants. Truly amazing!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank welovebarbados
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Good room, but you could hear (and see through the keyhole) neighbours. Good mosquito net. Good turndown service. Cold water for shower. Free wifi was a definite bonus as this was the only place in our Kenyan holiday we had this. View from the room was good. We wished that we had realised that there was a walk right round the outskirts of the property before the last 5 minutes of our stay there! At the intro talk they told us there was tea and coffee available all day- on the three occasions we went to look, there was none out and they wanted to charge you for coffee at the bar.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Xinatravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2013

This was a nice location (every lodge location has pluses and minuses) within Tsavo East. We were fortunate to have 2 nights here via a safari with KETS. I say fortunate both due to Ashnil Aruba and particularly to how fantastic Tsavo East was. We had what some refer to as a "bungalow". These are organized as "duplexes" - two bungalows to a building. We were almost the last building in the row moving away from the central reception/dining area. This meant that fewer people walked in front of our building (or behind, between our balcony and the electric fence and the water holes) - but also that we walked farther every time we went to our room. It also meant that we had a bit of an oblique view of the water hole near the lodge. Bungalows are staggered as to location between pathway and lodge boundary. However, the room was spacious and just fine.
Like every other safari lodge we stayed in, it shared the features (to us, downsides) of extremely hard beds and a pool with cold water (OK, it WAS "winter" in Kenya). Thankfully we'd brought our camp mattresses.
Here we learned some general tips about safari lodges: 1. Get food from whatever specialty station is set up. 2. Get dessert that you want and bring to your table early, because the good desserts often run out. 1. We were happiest with food cooked up on the spot at special stations. These included sweet and sour pork, stir-fry, some Indian dish; omelets and fresh pancakes at breakfast. For desserts, the flan and the mousse were particularly delicious. Also, we learned that in general lodges might try to assign you a table for the duration of your stay for all meals. Perhaps this is to cultivate a relationship with your drinks server. However, ours alternated between two adjacent tables as I think other visitors came and went at the lodge and made their own switch. Both tables were actually better tables as we weren't buried in the middle of two dining areas but rather on the periphery - i.e., at the wall between the dining and the deck looking out toward the garden and the water hole and plains beyond. Their cokes and alcoholic drinks seemed a little higher than other lodges during our safari. The hostess and learned our names within one meal and always greeted us. One meal we were a little early and sat in the bar area adjacent to the dining areas; bar staff actually brought over a delicious, free appetizer which would have been welcome as a dinner choice, too!

Internet access was free and only available in the common area - but (as with other lodges that had internet access) we thought it was very slow.
Ashnil Aruba almost always had hot water (and even electricity) when we needed it, so their schedule for on and off appeared quite practical.

The gift shop was indeed one of the best we'd turn out to have seen at safari lodges. Items are cheaper than you can possibly negotiate at the markets or with vendors stalking the gates and speed bumps. The selection was great, including as another reviewer mentioned, the books. Indeed, surprisingly, it was the only safari lodge of 6 we used which had books or maps on any if not all of the Kenyan national parks!

At Aruba expect to tip the porters - and perhaps the central tip box which is presumably distributed among all lodge workers and hopefully not skimmed by lodge management.
Nice turn-down service was provided which let down the mosquito net.
From the lodge it was easy to watch vervet monkeys during breakfast. There were frequently elephants out at the water hole but this turned out to be far more distant than what we saw on game drives and less entertaining than watching elephant (and gazelle and water buffalo) at Ngulia in Tsavo West. We had to leave the lodge to really see the wildlife of Tsavo East - and boy, did we, compared to some reviews. So many elephant, giraffe, gazelle, buck, zebra, and even lions up close, plus a cheetah (not quite so close). Indeed, Tsavo East and West together is my favorite.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kosmo63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2013

Me and my life spent 2 nights in this hotel at the end of december 2012.
The room in the lodge is large enough and clean.
There is a small swimming pool, but just a few sunbeds.
The food is not very tasteful nor variate. In the morning you have to wait a lot in line for a fried egg or an omlete. The same thing in the evening for the meat.
The service at the restaurant and the bar is not very bad, but it can be improved with a tip of 100 shillings.
Considering that the only reason to stay in such a place is the safari, a short stay of 2-3 days is acceptable

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Catalin I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

Travelled to Ashnil Aruba in August having booked our safari through JT Safaris, this was the first time we had used the Ashnil Aruba although we have stayed at Ashnil camps before and this camp is equally as good as other Ashnil camps. The staff are friendly and willing to help you with anything you require. The rooms are spacious and kept spotlessly clean. Ours overlooked a watering hole and we sat on the balcony watching herds of elephant ,giraffe and antelope coming down in the evening to drink.The food is good with enough variety to please most people, the drinks, especially the wines are a little bit on the pricey side. Although we did have a complimentary bottle of wine left in the room for being repeat customers of the Ashnil hotels.

The location of the camp is really good within easy reach of a watering hole where we saw a herd of elephant and four cheetah along with the usual variety of antelope and gazelles.All in all it was a pleasant two night stay with an excellent guide, Ken, provided by J.T. Safaris who went out of his way to find us all manner of animals to view.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ebonyuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

Our one night stay at Aruba Lodge was part of a package safari. The staff were great. Rooms are large and comfy with small balcony. The night we stayed there was a barbecue ( braai ) with seating outdoors which was very nice. Unfortunately we did not have time to try out the small swimming pool which overlooks a watering hole. Game viewing mostly reveals a large amount of elephant and buck. We did see 2 young male lion. Being the largest park the amount of game does not compare with the Mara but is still interesting especially if you are on the look out for some out of the ordinary birds. Probably best to stay at least 2 nights.

Room Tip: If you plan on a sleep in ( not taking an early game drive) request a chalet away from the main eati...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank kelvincraig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ashnil Aruba Lodge

Address: | Voi, Tsavo National Park East 00100, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Tsavo National Park East
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Tsavo National Park East
Price Range: $201 - $366 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ashnil Aruba Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ashnil Aruba Lodge lies in the heart of Tsavo East National Park. The lodge comprises 46 deluxe ensuite guest rooms and 6 luxury tents. The lodge is situated on the shaded northern bank of the Voi River looking across the famous Aruba Dam. The Aruba Dam is one of the most notable landmarks in Tsavo East being a huge reservoir that is a major attraction for many animals and a rich bird life; there are over 200 bird species at Aruba. For those who love bird watching, our resident naturalist will take you on a guided tour through the park to learn the various bird species. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ashnil Aruba Hotel Tsavo National Park East
Ashnil Aruba Lodge Kenya/Tsavo National Park East

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