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“Absolute top of the line”

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Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
Certificate of Excellence
Holland
Level Contributor
50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Absolute top of the line”
Reviewed 27 September 2011

We spend 4 nights in Ol Seki from 12th till 16th of september and I must say it is a perfectly organised and well suited and comfortable camp.
Many compliment to the chef Evans who amazed us every time with extraordinary good tasting food. The location is close to perfection, Ol Seki is located in a park neighbouring Masai Mara, the park Naboisho conservancy has much to offer itself, and because there are only two camps located in this park it feels like you are in a private zoo, watching lions, elephants, giraffs, cheeta's and hyena's all by yourself, with out hurds of jeeps crowding your space like in the Mara.
We had two awsome guides, George and Judy, and they were just about perfect in spotting everything we wanted to see.
The quality of the roads and how bumpy it is, also depends on the quality of the driver. And come on were you really expecting tarmac roads in the bush bush?

The staff at the camp is very friendly and helpful and its being well managed by Melinda a walking encyclopedia and full of stories.
At night there are Masai guards that escort you to your tent so you do not accidently bump into a zebra or wildabeast. The beds are extremely comfy, and on cold nights they are warmed with a very welcome warm water bottle.
The shower was awesome as well, very hot and a lots of pressure, we were impressed. Specially after our other experiences in Kenia.

If you are you looking for a special place in the Masai Mara than this is absolutely the place to be. Comfy and quality accomodations, Well trained guides, great food, and everything suited for your need, very flexible staff, in camp and during the game drive, making it absolutely a wonderful life time experience.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Dutch_Knight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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123 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Geneva, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2011

If you stay at Oseki and want to visit the Mara River area where the bulk of the animals are at as well as where the wildebeest river crossing occurs, be informed that it is at least a 2 hour ride across very bumpy, rutted roads that will shake your whole body. If we had known this ahead of time, we would have booked closer to the Mara River itself.

Also, we were disappointed in that the food was very bland and you have no choices - they serve one entree with set sides. While the salad dressing they used was good, it was the same salad dressing we had for every lunch & dinner.

Oseki is a decent choice but definitely not top of the line.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Jerry T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2011

Ol Seki is a superb place for experiencing Kenyan wild life and the Maasai culture.

Even though the variety of game is slightly less in the conservancy surrounding Ol Seki than within the Maasai Mara reserve, there was certainly plenty of it anyway (one night we saw a lioness with cubs only 50 metres from our Simba tent). Being outside the reserve also had other advantages:
• We were completely alone during our game drives (while there could be 20-30 vehicles inside the reserve following a leopard that seemed very used to cars...)
• We were able to do night game drives (highly recommended!) which obviously is not allowed inside the reserve
• The surroundings around Ol Seki were more lush and pretty than the parts we drove through inside the reserve

Many reviews mention the stylish tents, fantastic views, nice food etc. We absolutely agree. But what makes Ol Seki stand out among hotels we have previously visited is the social interaction. The manager Cathy acted the perfect hostess and introduced guests to each other and we had many enjoyable conversations at meal times. And the staff almost felt like family by the end of our stay. James and Betty, our fantastic guides, taught us not only about wildlife, but of Kenyan culture in general. Thank you for all our interesting conversations and plentiful good laughs! The two Maasai boys taking care of us in our tent might not be the most professional staff we’ve ever encountered, but certainly the most positive and attentive: they would have tried to pick the moon down for us if we’d asked! We really miss you all!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank anma67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2010

I was looking for a unique and idyllic destination for my honeymoon and boy am I glad I stumbled upon breathtaking lodge Ol Seki. I spent ages researching the perfect holiday location and Ol Seki stood out from the first glimpses I had online to all the reviews I read about it. The owners son Leo was fantastic throughout, he looked after my booking in London and ensured any special requests we had were met.

We were received at the Mara Siana airport by our driver/guide David and spotter Barufa in our well-kitted Land cruiser and were driven to our lodge My new wife was totally oblivious to where she was going to spend her honeymoon and she was ecstatic once she set foot into the lodge. We stayed in their largest luxury tented suite - Simba suite - which was truly out of this world. It had old-colonial sytle decor, its own kitchen and lounge area, large beds, lovely hot showers and stunning all round views from our tent of the Mara plains. Words cannot describe this perfect setting and I already started to regret that we only had 3 nights booked in Ol Seki.

We settled in straight way and were warmly received by the Manager James and his team who looked after us throughout our stay. We were completely spoilt on our honeymoon - we had our own personal maid, chef and attendent who made our safari experience a complete delight. All food was cooked to our taste by Evans, the chef. Drinks served up as you like and as much as you like by our Masaii attendent who by the way made a bloody good G&T and Pamela the maid was always around keeping the place looking spotless.

After a delicious lunch we wandered around the lodge and later set off on a short game drive around the local conservancy. At sunset we stopped in the middle of the park and had a table and chair laid out for us with sundowners and snacks served up whilst the wildebeest and other game including hyenas wandered around us. Be assured this is perfectly safe and offers an incredible sense of feeling. As the sun disappeared, there was a complete change in sights and sounds in the Mara as nocturnal wildlife started appearing. On our first night we had local Masai warriors who broke out into song and dance for us in celebration of our honeymoon.This was followed by a hearty dinner and off to bed for an early night in anticipation of our balloon safari the following morning.The beds are very comfortable and you get a good nights sleep even though you can hear lions roaring in the distance from our tent.

Our first balloon safari over the Mara was spectacular with birds eye views of the epic migration visible in large pockets. We were treated to a champagne breakfast on landing and enjoyed a full day game drive thereafter. The game had dried up as we drove for hours and hardly came across much apart from the grazers and a few sleepy lions. The elusive leopard and rhino remained our main targets but it was not to be our luck even though our guide tried very hard to track them for us. Our highly knowledgeable guide nevertheless kept us entertained and educated with all his wonderful facts on every animal we came across. After a long tiring day of game drives we had sumptuous dinner and retired early to bed.

Early next morning after breakfast we sat under the sun lazing in our deckchairs outside the tent and managed to spot a herd of elephants, giraffes and other grazers. Later we had a walking safari, followed by a massage at the Ol Seki spa room and later a night game drive where we came across a lot of nocturnal creatures.

The next day, sadly we realised the first part of our dream honeymoon in the Mara was about to end. We were moving onwards to the 2nd part of our honeymoon to Ol Sekis sister resort on the South Coast of Kenya called Almanara. The excitement of going to Almanara masked our sadness at what we were leaving behind. Ol Seki will remain a fond memory of ours and has a special place in our hearts.

All I can I say is Ol Seki is something normally only what dreams are made of. Thank you all at Ol Seki.

Suraj

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jadu99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buckinghamshire
Level Contributor
114 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2010

Stayed here as the final leg of our Kenyan Safari. From the welcome on arrival until the minute we left we were very well looked after.
The "tents" were very comfortable, the views amazing and the food great (especially the Italian influence!). Kathy and Kiko were great hosts - nothing was too much trouble and they went out of their way to make sure we had an enjoyable stay.
The day trip into the Mara was long and bumpy but well worth it for the wildlife we saw; including 4 river crossings and 1 leopard.
However around the camp the game drives were a little disappointing. (We are well travelled "wildlife nuts" so have a number of camp experiences to compare it with.) Whilst there is a wide range of animals in the area, the low tourist density can make the predators particularly, hard to find. Whilst we were there the wildebeest migration began to arrive and this boosted the number of herbivores in the area.
This is a great place to chill out and relax with wildlife away from the crowds of the Mara, but I would advise keen safari-goers to combine it with other properties in order to get their fix.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lucyleopard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
Reviewed 2 August 2010

My husband and I spent the first part of our honeymoon at Ol Seki before heading to Zanzibar. Ol Seki was a fantastic start to a wonderful trip. We spent four days there, one day in the Mara reserve and three days around the camp. We saw a wealth of game, everything you can think of save for the allusive leopard and rhino. Ol Seki is a paradox of luxury and genuine living amongst the bush and its inhabitants. It is a small camp, with supherb attention to detail in every respect from the pristeen, luxury tents to the top class meals. The Bloody Mary's rival those offered up in any central London waterhole. Kathy and Kiko welcomed us into their gorgeous home with warm and generous hospitality, yet we were given plenty of privacy as honeymoon guests. And the team of staff were extremely friendly and catered to our every need with great efficiency. I could not fault the camp or its hosts - it was a truly special and memorable trip.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank London1XQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 13 November 2009

I have to confess that I was a bit reluctant to go to the Mara given that I had to leave our beautiful beachside resort in Kenya - Almanara! However all my fears were gone five minutes after landing (although I loved every minute of the luxurious private plane journey - someone had to pinch me to make sure I wasn't dreaming!) after encountering my first zebra and three elephants on the way to the camp.

Ol Seki is a truly magical place to be, its energy is one of warmth and complete peace with the outstanding natural beauty that surrounds it. We were greeted with the same warmth and treated like we were extended family from the moment we arrived.

Our personal guides showed us our tents.... um can you really call them tents?- more like luxury house tents! There are many high points to where you sleep after a long day seeing the amazing Mara and plentiful game, not least the hot showers and masai assigned to your tent! But what really made me shriek with delight was the hot water bottle I found in my bed - it is the little touches like that and the breakfast cooked and served to you in the middle of the Mara that fill that moment with joy and make your holiday feel bespoke to you.

I could ramble for hours about the food, the service, the amazing people that occupy the camp, the scenery, the luxury etc but I think the other reviews speak for themselves. There is nowhere that compares to this for safari in style. I can't wait for my next visit when I can see simba and have a massage whilst looking out onto the beautiful Mara all in one day! Wow!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank HollyMcK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ol Seki Hemingways Mara

Property: Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
Address: Naboisho Conservancy, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya (Formerly Ol Seki Mara Camp)
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #48 of 138 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ol Seki Hemingways Mara 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Ol Seki Mara Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Ol Seki Hemingways Mara Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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