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“View outperforms the room”

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Serena Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Brampton, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
257 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“View outperforms the room”
Reviewed October 21, 2013

The experience is amazing but the room falls somewhat short. Understandable for what and where it is, and would still recommend as a must stay
Arriving is like being in a jungle. The smell of eclipses is magnificent. Monkeys are plentiful. It is like a hotel in treetops overlooking an animal watering hole. That is the big draw. Other than the viewing, there is not much else. There was a nature walk with a guard with a gun, but the main viewing is from the balcony with a bench seat and good view.
The staff is very tip focused but again that is prevalent all over Africa. It is common that with 2 small cases, they have 2 people to bring to lobby (so 2 people to tip) then another team brings form lobby to car (2 more people) a common theme all over.
The room is small with a double bed but comfortable enough. They also have a book so you can ask to be woken up for a specific animal if there is a sighting. We asked for leopards and were not disappointed; we had 2 sightings right at the watering hole visible form our balcony. They have special lights at night for us to see the animals. No safe in room and no hair dryer; bottled water free in room. All the hotels, we used bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth. Monkeys are common on the balcony, have to keep door closed to keep them out of the room.
Truly a mountain lodge. Quiet. Food ok not great but fine. Only stayed 1 night in our safari, 1 night was enough. We were able to see what we wanted. Lodge also has an underground passage to a viewing area closer to the watering hole for the animals. Saw plenty of Cape buffalo, bush pigs, reedbucks and other animals. Bathroom small with shower, towels were terrific large and luscious.
Unique setting and the viewing made it all worthwhile. Could sit on the balcony as there is a bench there, and just watch and take pictures. Also had in lodge other open viewing areas but we found the balcony off room was best. They had fire pits in hotel but did not light them the night we stayed on Sept 9th.
No swimming pool naturally, it is for viewing of animals primarily.

Room Tip: we were in room 18 and anything along 18 to 22 is great in my opinion. 18 was particularily great a...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jackiefrombrampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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348 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Perth, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2013

Recently returned from a Best of Kenya Safari booked through REAL AFRICA in the UK (a company we would highly recommend).

We stayed one night at this unique setting which is 7200 feet above sea level and embedded in lovely dense forest areas. No game drives here because all viewing is either from your own veranda or communal viewing areas that all look down on a large water hole.

What wildlife you actually see depends entirely on what decides to make a trip down to the waterhole. Frankly we were not so lucky in this respect but it didn't spoil our experience – which included being woken up at 3.00 in the morning to see Elephants. This was entirely by choice by the way. During dinner you let the staff know whether you want to be woken up and what animals you want to be woken up for. Something different and a bit of fun.

The rooms are rather small but comfortable nevertheless and the wooden lodge construction has a lovely “lodgey” atmosphere (if that is a word!). This is especially so after dark when the water hole is flood-lit and the large fire is burning in the bar area.

Consistent with lots of holiday accommodation all over the world, power points for the charging of cameras, I-pads, mobile phones and your electric toothbrush etc. are at a premium. It is therefore useful to pack a 3 or 4 way extension block (mains system the same as the UK).

The highlight of the stay was the food. If we could rate it separately it would get 6 stars. All we can say is “what a chef”!!!

If you are planning a multi-location safari, the friendly and pleasant Serena Mountain Lodge experience is well worth one night of your itinerary.

Room Tip: No need to worry about what room is best. The lodge is designed so that all rooms have a veranda loo...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Colin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Deerfield, New Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2013

The Serena Mountain Lodge is a great start to a safari. The hotel is built around an active watering hole. There's plenty of information about the hotel, so I'll focus on my personal experience. I was traveling with a friend and requested two beds. The second bed made the room pretty tight and made it a little difficult to get to the balcony. The food was pretty good and they offered both menu and buffet options.

During my second night I woke up around 2AM with a bad toothache. Around 4AM I finally went downstairs to see if they had any Advil. The staff promptly called a doctor who drove in from outside of the park. He was able to give me an antibiotic and a light painkiller so I could get back to sleep. This may have saved my safari!

We also did the nature walk, which if I recall cost around $25-$30 US. This walk was a nice outing and the guide was pretty entertaining!

Room Tip: All of the rooms seem to have a good view of the watering hold, but rooms to the left side of the ho...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ToBeFreeSpirits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
essex
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Comfy rooms, excellent food and a cosy hot water bottle too! Good opportunity to view the watering hole and its animal visitors. We spotted 'gennet', waterbuck and monkeys (watch those biscuits!) A lovely introduction to our first night on safari

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nurse-suz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Netanya, Israel
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2013

This is a block hotel but still has a great feeling around it. We stayed on the ground floor right over the water hole and enjoyed great views of the animals coming out to drink and eat.
the rooms are very nice and clean.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank zhadar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2013

We enjoyed our stay at the Mountain Lodge. To make up for no game drives the Lodge offers a couple of activities. The opportunity to walk in the forest was a chance to get a bit of exercise and the afternoon tea in the middle of the walk was a pleasant way to pass the time. Nice surprise comes with the coffee or tea. Also in the evening there is a nature talk. The water hole had some activity most of the evening - elephants, buffalo and hyenas. We watched a stand-off between the buffalo and elephants.
This is one of the best meals we had while in Kenya - if you get the chance try the trout.
Rooms were good but slightly noisy but this is due to the type of building.
Certainly worth the experience and much preferred our stay here than Treetops Lodge. Both lodges are same type of construction but the Mountain Lodge is better maintained and more comfortable lounge, better food, better service, better rooms and better waterhole.
One night is probably enough here but if you are looking for a place just to relax and get away from the hectic crowd of animal watchers stay here longer.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sue N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Western North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2013

In checking with other Trip Advisor reviews, we were skeptical of our visit to this property. However, we were happy with our room and the property. The property has been around for awhile and yes, the rooms have thin walls and the monkeys DO GET IN YOUR ROOM if you forget to shut the balcony door. Our travel mates lost a bag of candy as well as a new bag of Kenyan coffee they nibbled on. The balcony and viewing area right outside your room make it convenient to keep an eye on the watering hole. We were disappointed in the few number of animals that visited, but no control over that. Nature walk was interesting and informative. If you have your own rain gear, take it as the ponchos they provide are hot.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joyce 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 7 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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