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“Great outing in the wine country that does not include wine.”
Review of Safari West

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Safari West
Certificate of Excellence
Modesto, Ca
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great outing in the wine country that does not include wine.”
Reviewed March 18, 2013 via mobile

Went to Safari West and was pleasantly surprised. Clean and beautiful facilities. Our guide Richard was knowledgeable and friendly. He was funny and was great with the younger guests. We found the sales clerk in the gift shop to be great. Thanks for a great day.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Memoies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Italy
Level 6 Contributor
467 reviews
103 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

This was a seriously FUN experience! We chose to take our safari in the late afternoon and then take advantage of the cook-out before slumbering in our stilted tents. First of all, our guide (Adrian) was very knowledgeable and it's obvious that he loves his job. We never felt rushed and were able to ask lots of in-depth questions . . . and Adrian knew the answers! Our group ranged in age from 10-46 and none of us were bored. I was pleased that the preserve wasn't overly commercialized. The experience was just a gorgeous day of animal watching and breathing in the fresh air. There were plenty of other groups with LOTS of kids, but we were timed so that our "private tour" was just that . . . private. For parents traveling with older kids, I would definitely offer the kiddos the upper level seating and take advantage of the "Rhinos and Winos" tour . . . everyone is happy! The dinner was pretty good. There is a huge fire pit in the outdoor dining area and there was plenty of grilled chicken and brisket with sides of pasta, macaroni and cheese, salads, etc. Afterward, we walked up to our tent and managed to climb in the MOST comfortable beds imaginable!!! We've stayed in plenty of hotels and were shocked at the shear comfort of the beds at SW!! Each bed was outfitted with an electric blanket (which was a necessity with the temps dropping near freezing). Make sure you put up the window flaps if you're staying in the cooler months and turn on the space heater. Also, I'd skip the morning shower unless you are in training to become a Navy Seal! Other than that, just have a great time! The worst thing of the whole trip was the coffee in the morning . . . and, if that's the worst experience you can complain about . . . that's a good thing!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mis_Adventurous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013

I was taken here as as surprise for my birthday and was completely blown away by the experience. Upon arrival you are taken by 4 wheel drive jeep up to your tent cabin which while appearing rustic was actually nicer than many hotels we've stayed in. I think it had one of the most comfortable beds I've ever experienced, anywhere! Laying there hearing the exotic birds and wildlife is amazing. The meals are great, while I've seen some complain here about the buffet, this is patterned after an African safari expeirence, not the Four Seasons. The communal dining was a lot of fun and just added to the ambiance.
Aside from the amazing animals, one of the truly great assets of this place is the staff. EVERYONE is friendly and helpful, and I mean that! We were wandering around the property and ended up in a back area by the garage where they work on vehicles, and the mechanic came out and without actually saying so, gently let us know we were'nt supposed to be wandering there, but then he went on to tell us a little about the animals nearby and the really cool jeep they were customizing for a rally in Mexico. He was at all times patient, friendly and hospitable. This was true of all of the staff we encountered. We have been all over the world and have experienced many "luxury" brand destinations that could learn a thing or two from the hospitality of Safari West's staff.
The guided Safari of course is not to be missed and is the highlight of the trip it's already been reviewed here in great detail and all I can do is echo the many "thumbs ups".
One note to visitors, due to the nature of this destination there are many small children and with that comes parents who choose to exercise no control and allow them to run amok and harass the birds etc. They didn't detract from our trip, but one of the staff did share that if you want to minimize the kid population, there are fewer on the weekdays during the off season months.
Safari West is a hidden gem in the wine country and is a must see!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Breatheitin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Truckee, CA
Level 6 Contributor
372 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2012

This adventure came highly recommended by a good friend who had been here four times before, so we jumped right in,as we were doing it for our 21st wedding anniversary... not thinking to look it up on trip advisor like I usually do.
First what we did: we stayed the night in tent cabin number 25, had dinner there, breakfast the next morning and then our tour. If you do stay the night try and get cabin 18 if you like giraffes, as its right next to where they are. Our room was above the lake but the trees blocked any real view of any animals.
What I WOULD DO IF I knew then what I know now: arrive early in the day/morning, walk around take the tour and then linger for awhile, pack a picnic lunch and then just hang out after to watch the animals that were near by, in kennels...larger enclosed containment areas. Some amazing birds, monkeys amongst others, and the giraffes.
The dinner we felt was way over priced for a buffet, and the atmosphere wasn't anything special.
The cabin was beautifully decorated, the bed extremely comfortable and warm. The room got cold as we knew it would and we are use to camping so no surprises there. But the bummer was a barking dog in the middle of the night, we expected to hear noises of lions, tigers and bears OH My...even though they have no lions, tigers or bears...but not a barking dog. Supposedly no one else heard it.
The breakfast was continental, and included with the stay. Oatmeal, cold cereals, bagels, toast, fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fresh fruit.
The tour was by far the best part of the adventure, our guide (Karen) I think was her name was amazing, knowledgeable, friendly and made sure we were all having a good adventure.
The giraffes were the main reason for going for me and you didn't have to get on any vehicle to see them as they were in the areas closest to the lodging, eating, exploring area.
Glad we did it, as a real safari is on our bucket list, but not sure we'll be back...but others that were there have been 3 to 5 times...I had hoped to ask the newbies like us that were on the tour and had spent the night what they thought, but none of us hung around to talk afterwards.
What they have done and are doing is amazing and wonderful...still hope to see them all in the wild before they are all gone.

Room Tip: Room 18 if you want to be near the giraffes
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank ggintruckee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
817 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Our third stop on our honeymoon after Vegas and Westport, CA was Safari West! We checked in on a Friday afternoon and were taken to our tent in a Jeep, which was really awesome! We had tent #18, which I had read was the best tent to be in, in terms of seeing animals, and it was so true! We were greeted by animals just feet away! We unpacked and relaxed a bit! I had booked the romance package, so we had wine and chocolates waiting in our tent and we had a massage booked for 5pm. The massage was wonderful! Who needs relaxing music, when you have the sounds of the animals as your backdrop. It was so surreal! After we were totally relaxed, we dressed warmly and made our way down to dinner. I almost didn't book dinner because I had read bad reviews about it on here. Umm, you people are crazy because it was one of the best meals I've eating! The variety of food and the quality was awesome! We had missed appetizers because of our massages, but we were able to enjoy some of what was left before we made our dinner plates. The salad was amazing. The mac and cheese was sooo good! Seriously, everything was great! We opted out of the smores making after dinner and visited some of the animals before heading back to our tent.
Although it was chilly in the bathroom part of the tent, it was fun knowing we were "camping"! The bed was so comfortable and we had a really good sleep! The next morning, we woke early and made our way down to have a quick breakfast before showering and packing up. The fog on the mountains was amazing! What a treat to wake up to such a beautiful site! After packing up, we walked around to look at the animals a bit before our safari started. I've now forgotten the name of our safari host, which is a shame, because she was amazing! I think she had been there for something like 15-18 years and had so much knowledge of the animals! I'm really glad we did the walking bit first because I think I would have been less excited after, but the real treat was riding in the safari vehicle through the wild animals. WOW! I cannot recommend this place enough! I have lots of family that live in California and they were so surprised to hear there was a Safari in the middle of Santa Rosa. I'm convincing everyone I know to go check it out! We had a WONDERFUL time! I only hope we can come visit again! Maybe for an anniversary! Thanks Safari West for really rolling out the red carpet! We had a phenomenal time!

Room Tip: Tent 18 was amazing!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank VEE1225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Cerrito, California
Level 5 Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Can't get to Africa, but want to experience a safari? Take a trip to Safari West in Santa Rosa. My husband and I visited for our first time at the end of October, and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. The luxury tent cabins are pretty comfortable, though as others have mentioned, the bathrooms are quite cold this time of year. Still, having a private bathroom with hot water in a tent is quite nice. The electric blankets made for a comfortable night's sleep, but I recommend bringing earplugs if you're a light sleeper, as the animals get rather noisy. It's fun to listen to for a while, but then I needed the earplugs to get some sleep.
We had the dinner buffet, and found the food to be tasty and plentiful. For the price, I think it should include soft drinks. The main dishes were tri-tip and chicken, and for sides, there was salad, corn chowder, grilled vegetables, and 2 different pasta dishes. Bread pudding was served for dessert, but I was partial to roasting marshmallows over the fire pit. (Tip: if you want S'mores, bring your own chocolate & graham crackers.)
We took the 10 am safari tour, and were very impressed. It was nice seeing the animals up close, and in more natural environments than at a traditional zoo. Since most of the passengers wanted to ride on top, we rotated seats several times during the safari so that everyone who wanted to got a turn up top. Parts of the ride are very bumpy, but we enjoyed it.
It's not a cheap place to visit, but it is a fun place for an occasional splurge, and it's much cheaper than going to Africa! Also, they have special events and discounted "full moon madness" days regularly, so you can make it a bit more affordable if you're flexible in your dates.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank glutton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2012

I'm not one to write reviews, but I had such a fantastic time at Safari West, I wanted to give them their just dues! I stayed two nights in a tent cabin in Antelope Alley which was right across the road from the giraffe enclosure. Being an overnight guest was like being in a zoo after hours, I could wander around among the small animal enclosures any time I wanted. I really got to know the personalities of some of the animals. I did the safari one morning and Leslie, the guide, was awesome.

The tent cabin was great, really comfortable. The only negative aspect I can think of was that the shower stall was dark and tiny. I'm tiny and I had a hard time maneuvering around in there. But hey, there was plenty of hot water! It was fun falling asleep and waking up to the raucous bird noises.

Safari West is a really nice, well run facility. The animals seem relaxed, active and happy. I wish I could have stayed longer! If you are into animals, I highly suggest an overnight stay.

Room Tip: If you are a light sleeper, you'd probably want to get a cabin set back further into the hills.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank mycatmiko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Safari West

Property: Safari West
Address: 3115 Porter Creek Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404-9655
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Santa Rosa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Santa Rosa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Safari West 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to Africa by way of Sonoma County…Come discover the Sonoma Serengeti.The classic African safari is a trip of a lifetime for intrepid travelers from around the globe - and, it is closer than you think!. Families who are curious and wild at heart can get close to nature...very close! Marvel under the gaze of a graceful giraffe or explore the Sonoma Serengeti alongside romping rhinos. Our guests enjoy enlightening African wildlife safari drives, and “glamping” tent cabin accommodations. The sounds of Africa will echo in your dreams. Stay one night in a luxury safari tent located on Giraffe Alley, meet some giraffes and go on Safari! Is Safari West Family Friendly?The entire Safari West experience is a kid-friendly adventure for families to enjoy together. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Safari West Hotel Santa Rosa
Safari West Santa Rosa, CA - Sonoma County

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