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“sublime!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Serena Mountain Lodge

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Serena Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Gosport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“sublime!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013

We spent the 1st night of our essence of Kenya safari here, after 36 hours travelling this place was heaven on earth and more, we were welcomed by the staff with a drink and shown to our rooms, these are basic but comfortable like a swiss lodge everything is wood, with a balcony overlooking the salt lick. We sat out on the balcony quitely watching herds of buffalo, warthogs, impala and monkeys milling around.
We chose to have a nap prior to dinner which was unfortunately disturbed (rather amusingly) by a burgling monkey going through our rucksac! Tip: keep your balcony door bolted. Dinner was fantastic the food was all cooked to perfection and the choice was large and varied shame our belies would not allow us to eat more. After dinner we received a tutorial about the location and wildlife that was both informative and interesting. We retired to our room to snuggle on our balcony under a blanket (quite chilly up the mountain) to watch wildlife in action, the salt lick is floodlit at night and were surprised to watch a hyena stalk and chase a impala and lots of night activity going on.
We retired to our bed both exhausted and excited, great touch was a hot water bottle each in the bed that helped send us snuggly off to sleep although the neighbours had asked for a call from the watchman if the elephants appeared which came about 4 in the morning, we had only requested a call for leopards as one had been seen the previous night. We found out in the morning they had gone down to the ground bunker next to the salt lick to be right next to them.
Breakfast was a large varity and just as sumptuous as the previous nights meal. The staff were pleasant and nothing was too much.
It was a real dissappointment to only have stayed one night, this place would be fantastic for a couple of nights to relax.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mosshops00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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336 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
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English first
Mooloolaba, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

Serena Mountain Lodge
The only ‘tree hotel’ ever to be built on the slopes of Kenya’s legendary Mount Kenya, Serena Mountain Lodge offers a matchless game viewing opportunity whilst combining a glorious panorama of mountain vistas with the primordial splendours of an ancient rainforest. Floating 2,195 m high on the flanks of Kenya’s highest mountain and secreted deep within her largest forest reserve, the lodge offers not only the champagne-clarity of mountain air, the tranquility of the forest and a colourful cavalcade of wildlife but also the chance of scaling the icy peaks of Africa’s second-highest mountain.
Guests can also awake to the trumpeting of elephant, fall asleep to the symphony of the African night or sit in stillness and observe the fascinating interplay of the animals as they arrive to drink, bathe, spar and forage around the water hole. Finally, they can venture down to the secret viewing hide by the water’s edge and experience the awesome thrill of being only meters away from some of the most massive beasts on earth.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2013

The lodge has a great architectural design, the service was very good, and the food is the best we had anywhere in Kenya, but the room had no sound-proofing. Conversations could be heard from guests in adjacent rooms and the people above us walked around sounding like stomping water buffalo.

The water hole was a disappointment and we only saw water buffalo, great forest pigs, and impala during our stay. On our next trip to Kenya I would pick different lodging in this area.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kirkr1701
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oakton virginia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2013

This was a fun locale as we had rooms that overlooked the watering hole for the various animals. It was cool at 8200 ft. and the food and service were excellent. The nature guide was a treat as he was very knowledgeable and had a walking tour in the afternoon and a lecture in the evening after dinner. There is a bunker for photo shooting which provides you protection and an chance to view and photograph the animals without any danger. The vervet monkeys are aggressive but funny and entertaining. Just don't let them in your room!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank theatrelady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

After having completed a 5 days safari, this Lodge is just great for a relaxing day and night. Everything is nice: service, room, restaurant. You are in the middle of a great forest, the air is cool, a lot of animals too. So let's go!

Room Tip: Ask for a small balcony
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AudetR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
163 reviews
117 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2013

Like many earlier reviewers of Mount Kenya's Serena Mountain Lodge, my wife and I visited the lodge as a part of a game safari. Though its location on the side of the nation's most famous and important mountain makes it unique, it is also sadly dated and quite old-fashioned. Cedar-panelled and not unattractive, the rooms are quite small. Each room does have a balcony that overlooks a large waterhole, though the night we were there, the only animals present were Cape Buffalo and Bushbuck antelopes. Perhaps because it was off-season, there were few patrons at the lodge and as a result, the majority of the staff seemed inclined to simply "go through the paces" but little else. Only our wonderful waitress in the dining area, Mary, and several of the young porters who carried our luggage on the long gravel walkway to and from the lodge to the parking area seemed inclined to be openly friendly and welcoming. On the other hand, the lodge did make tea and coffee readily available all day long just outside the dining area, and we were greeted with a glass of refreshing juice when we arrived after our trip from Nairobi. As others have noted too, warm hot water bottles placed in the bed by the room attendants were very welcome.

Speaking of dining, it must also be said that the food in the small area set aside for such things was excellent and the portions always large. The gift shop, however, was closed thoughout the time that we were at the lodge with the exception of a few minutes in the morning as we were heading off on a long drive north. No explanation was given.

The staff cannot, unlike the folks at nearly every other Kenyan establishment, encourage persons to go on exciting game drives, since the park does not allow them. Unless some interesting animals show up at the waterhole, there is little to do. One cannot even be assured of seeing Mount Kenya because of all the usual cloud cover. The building, which I feel sure was considered daringly different years ago when it was built, it now rather passé. It has several floors but no elevators yet it is necessary to go up or down constanly. Anyone with problems walking might be well-advised to avoid the lodge. This is not to say that should we ever be in the region again that we would refuse to stay there. No doubt had there been more wildlife present, some of our feeling of dissatisfaction would have vanished but the "cute" Sykes monkeys, which are everywhere, only can go so far.

Though this property is run by the excellent Serena chain, it rarely seemed so. Of the eight separate places where we stayed during our more than two weeks in Kenya this year, five of which were Serena-run locales, the Mountain Lodge was clearly the one which we liked the least.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BigP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2013

Our stay at Mountain Lodge in June was our 14th stay since 1991. It is a most relaxing and quiet lodge where the animals come to you and where each room has a viewing balcony from which to see those animals. The food and service are excellent and the staff are kind and gracious. A must see for anyone wanting a unique experience. Marvin and Mary Ellen Miller

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 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 Marvin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Serena Mountain Lodge

Property: Serena Mountain Lodge
Address: PO Box 48690, Mount Kenya National Park, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Mount Kenya National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Mount Kenya National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Serena Mountain Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at 2,194 metres on the slopes of Mount Kenya, Serena Mountain Lodge is surrounded by a dense rainforest that comes alive at dusk with a myriad of sounds that make the African bush so special and exhilarating. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Serena Mountain Hotel Mount Kenya National Park
Serena Mountain Lodge Kenya/Mount Kenya National Park

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