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All reviewshippo breakfastgame drivesrooms are smallthe riverhippo poolrock hyraxhill tophill overlookingsmall hillthe reservesitting areareception areachampagne breakfastlunch and dinnermigration seasonmosquito netcape buffalo
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Reviewed September 4, 2012

Incredible food, wonderful staff, gorgeous views, and outstanding service are the first things that come to mind when reminiscing about my trip to the Mara Serena. I highly recommend this boutique chain. All of my friends on my photography tour with Aperture Academy adored the hotel. Thank you, Oddysey Safaris, for choosing such an incredibly unique lodge!

Room Tip: I had room #15....all of those around it have beautiful views as well.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank creichmuth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 1, 2012

Booked two nights while visiting Nairobi. First of all expect a very early pick-up from your hotel!
Had been told journey takes around 5 hours but look nearly 9 hours....
The combi-bus or land rover will have pretty good road half the way then there's a surprise in store! We were lukier than most as earlier in week road blocked protest as to its state and after been blocked again by protestors angry lady killed by elephant near Naro.
Journey 320km from nairobi- last half is an experience where kids and elders may have to hang on for dear life! Ladies/kids will be disappointed toilet stops... take own roll and hand sanitizer which i did, luckily we stopped giraffe curio shop which was better than most and purchased gifts there as nice people ans stop was middle of no-where!
Most of time driver OFF the road on private land when sometimes blocked or bribed landowner let us through!
Once entered park saw hippo's mari bridge before enter last 45km to hotel - got best view elephants here on the road!
Hotel hidden away what looks like hill - what a view from the back with pool / rooms looking over vast rift valley and far river where can see elephants.
Rooms are like pods in semi-circle, there are alot of steps to our lower room so if not so mobile ask room closer to pool. NO a/c but not problem for me in early august. Pool itself wasn't used at bit cold in august. Nice room and they draw mosquito nets / plug while dinner but still expect to be bitten. Was lent a candle by family nairobi as switch electric generator off midnight but think change of policy?
The highlight besides seeing the animals of course was the food!
Terrific choice of foods for all tastes with vast choice including desserts! One lunch had a chicken curry which was as good as anything tasted. Alot of veggie dishes including good choice of indian - the head chef always on hand to ask if happy. Drinks reasonable and coffee outside taking in night air.
If lucky will catch sight of big 5 but we were not too disappointed missed some. On the savanna
nice to see little sign of man made interference and at times felt like only ones there and not over-run with tourists. Yes more animals in larger tanzania side but happy as planned visit with annual migration of wildebeast which we saw in vast numbers including the sight of them crossing the mari river which is regarded as the sixth wonder of the world - just happy no choc there at the time as they tend to kill more than they can eat.
The visit finished quickly, wish had more time to sit at the hotel and chill but the journey back was again another experience - i will NEVER moan again about pot-holes on London roads.....

Room Tip: Be prepared for journey and end experience of a lifetime unless you fly in... Also many steps so get room close pool if difficulty with steps
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank jitukot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 25, 2012

I stayed in 4 different places during my May/June visit to Kenya. They were all good in their way, but Mara Serena is the place I'd return to. I was much taken with my large, beautifully decorated room overlooking the plains. The bed was comfortable, and there was a turn-down service every evening drawing the mosquito curtain around the bed. Not that I met a single mosquito during my stay, but maybe I was just lucky. Of course there was no TV, and neither did the room have tea & coffee making facilities, but there was a coffee station in the main building where you could help yourself to tea and coffee until lights out. Also, there were 2 large bottles of mineral water in the room, so you wouldn't go thirsty. The bathroom was smallish, but contained everything I needed, and the water was always hot. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were included in my hard-to-beat rate of $120/night, and the food was exceptional, with service to match. Staff were mostly Maasai, and they were good-natured and always ready to smile. It made for a very relaxed and "happy" atmosphere. I had booked a 4-night stay but no game drives. I organised these and other excursions while at the hotel. This allowed me time for leisure you do not always have if you book a package deal. And you will want some leisure just to sun yourself by the inviting albeit cool pool or indulge in an expertly given massage. The game drives were excellent and well worth the money, you really had the feeling that the guide's heart was in his job and he was eager to deliver the experience for which visitors come to the Mara. I would not necessarily recommend the offered tour to a Maasai village, as this involves hard-selling of local craft which you can buy cheaper elsewhere. Breakfast with the Hippoes was not exactly my cup of tea, either, at least not for what I paid. On the other hand, you could book a one-hour Maasai culture talk and dance for a mere $10. I was the only taker on the day and had the performers all to myself. It's an experience not to be missed, unless, maybe, you've had a similar experience before. If you wanted to connect with the world, internet access is available, although it's a bit pricey, but that's understandable. On the other hand, $40 each way for the the 5-minute transfer from/to the airstrip is close to extortion. When booking accommodation only you need to remember that you'll have to pay a daily park entrance fee of around $70 which will be collected in cash on your arrival at the airstrip. So if you add up all the individual expenses, and not forget the expected and deserved tips for everyone, a stay at Mara Serena, does not come cheap. But it is worth every penny you spend.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank lutzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 25, 2012

It was such an amazing experience to stay in Mara Serena. The location is absolute wonderful. The lodges are beautiful with African decor, comfortable beds,balcony open to endless savannahs. The food is so varied, you get Indian Chinese and continental. Staff is very friendly. They arranged a night safari which was very interesting , a must do activity. Also, their hot air balloon rides are amazing followed by champagne bush breakfast, pilots are warm ,they take good care and help you spot animals while on ride, so highly recommended. In the evening , they have live music in the dining area and also set up camp fire.Also, as the lodge is located within trans mara conservancy which cater to a good concentration of animals, its doubles your chances to spot all kind of animals during your game drives. Also, people aiming for migration, this lodge is apt for stay as mara river point where maximum crossings takes place is just few minutes drive from the lodge. Overall we had an amazing experience and would definitely look forward to return!!!

Room Tip: If you have no problem in walking, try taking the rooms towards the end i.e. 70-75, they have awsome views. Otherwise also, all rooms are decent views as they open either to savannah or mara river.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank trvallr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 22, 2012

We arrived at the Mara Serena after a 2 hour flight from Mombasa in a small 18 seater aeroplane. Upon landing, we were met by the Mara serena guide who urshered in the waiting 4x4 safari jeep. We drove for a few minutes to the lodges and we were welcomed with some warm towels and a glass of very freshly made juice. The Mara Serena is really the best one. Very well located in the strategic "mara triangle", the lodge is so confortable. Excellent cuisine. Staff friendly and very professional.

With Mara river being a few meters away, we were treated with a samptuous breaksfast at the mara river bank, with crocodiles watching, and hippos yawning was simply perfect, a great adventure in the midst of the rather undiscribable serenity.

The game drives were long and our guide didn't seem bothered to check the clock, taking us to every vantage point to see different animals. The highlight of the game drives being a mating lion and the river crossing which we were very lucky to witness.

From the meals, the very clean rooms, the friendly and polite staff, the great swimming pool and the great location of this lodge, this is the perfect place to experience the real beauty of the Maasai mara.

This is a truelly a 5 star lodge in the middle of nowhere.

Our three day safari was arranged online through Plan Safari Ltd (www.plansafari.com). Their services are just next to none and can highly recomend them. Peter and Agnes are the main guys in Mombasa and they will help you sort out your safari with a lot of ease.

Given the opportunity, I will be back at the Mara Serena and for a longer stay.

K. Watson

Room Tip: beware of Loads of monkeys all over the place...didn't feel bothered though
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KinoW92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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