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“Ngerende Honeymoon”

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Ngerende Island Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Ngerende Honeymoon”
Reviewed 17 September 2012

We stayed for three nights in Ngerende for our honeymoon. The Masai warrior dance welcome at the entrance is quite special and welcoming, they allowed us to join in the dance while Daniel took our photos. as we came into the reception area, we were offered a sweet refereeing cocktail after our long drive from Nairobi to the lodge.

Ours was suite 7 just looking over a hairpin of the Mara river. Although, we couldn't see them, we knew the hippos was close by. The room was amazing with an open terrace, jacuzzi and a small dipping pool filled with flower petals. They even had a honeymoon welcome on the bed. They have rolled up heavy netted walls so that small bugs don't come in at night with bed mosquito nets.

Butler service is included and we were served by Walter who made our stay Vera comfortable, we kind of became friends at the end of the stay. He is quite sweet and puts on a fire in the fireplace after the afternoon drives so you come in to a warm room. He also likes to put in a warm water bag in the bed so your bed is warm when you get in. He also is our waiter for our stay and does a very good job at it. You can call him through a walkie-talkie system to get whatever you want from drinks to food or whatever. He'll also arrange with you your itenerary for your stay do you don't have to worry. Great!!

The food is excellent and our chef is James. He does great western and Asian foods and allows you to choose what you want to eat as long as he can get it close by or have it in stock at the time. We requested to try his Korean cuisine snd he actually did it!! Plus it's tasty too!! He'll come out from time to time to make sure your good and will adjust to your likings if needed.

Daniel who is the Masai expert there took us for bush walks and also gave us a great introduction to the Masai culture before going to the village. He was open for discussion on various topics and questions concerning the Masai. Plus he is very very knowledgablel about his animal wildlife and plants. It's great when you can both enjoy and learn something when you go on a trip.

We did try the spa and Rosemary was our massage therapist and she does a wonderful snd professionsl job in relaxing you.

All in all, this is a great place to be for couples and you'll have a trip of a life time with them.

Kevin from Hong Kong

Room Tip: Rooms 1, 2, 7 are closer to the reception centre and easier to access. Other rooms are a bit far awa...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank kevirgwong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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152 reviews from our community

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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2012

We were blown away by the experience. We have been to places such as Amankilla in Bali, and the Grand Hyatt in Bankok, etc...and this was THE BEST service we have ever received at any hotel/resort. The staff was absolutely amazing. The safari experience was unreal, we saw all the big 5 within the first day, saw the migration, etc...The rooms were excellent, and the food was specially made for us. Isaak, our cook...was unbelievable. Other individuals who were unreal were Daniel, David, and Rapheal. Stephen, our driver/guide...was excellent...he was very knowledgable, and unbelievably nice. The spa was excellent as well, and although we didn't utilize the pool, the views were amazing. We can't say enough about the staff....also, it was 5 mins away from the airstrip, and right over the Mara River! Overall...we can't recommend a better place, this place really blew us all away. Despite our group size (8), they treated us all like family! Expectations were high...and Ngerende blew them out of the water!!! One of the best places we have ever stayed period!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Fire14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vienna, Virginia
Level Contributor
152 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2012

We have stayed at several lodges in the Masai Mara, and we found Ngerende to be the best one. We saw all of the Big Five. Our guide, Stephen, was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, as were all of the staff. They really went the extra mile to make us feel welcome and well cared for. The food was exceptional. We are planning on returning next summer.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Brian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2012

I could write a very long review of Ngerende, but I'll try to give the pros and cons based on our experiences at many safari lodges and camps. This was the third stop on our 9 night safari to the Maasai Mara and the most expensive so I hoped that we had saved the best for last but sadly, that wasn't the case.

Pros-
1. The Maasai warrior greeting and welcome are wonderful and special.
2. The grounds and layout of the camp are beautiful.
3. Each suite/tent is furnished beautifully and has a lovely deck overlooking the Mara river.
4. The service from the staff is very professional, warm and personal. Our butler for our room and meal service was Walter. He went above and beyond to make our stay at Ngerende as comfortable and unique as possible! He is a wonderful asset to their team.
5. The spa was very relaxing with it's location on the river. Listening to the sounds of the rapids as you relax during a massage or facial is wonderful! Their staff are very well trained.
6. Daniel, the resident Maasai expert and naturalist is very knowledgable and very excited about sharing all of it with their guests on bush walks or talks at the lodge.

Now for the cons and I wished that I had known these before I booked at Ngerende.

1. Their open sided safari vehicles have something going on with their suspension or wrong air pressure in the tires as these were the worst vehicles that we have ever experienced on safari and we have been in many or the last four years! After trying two different vehicles and cutting the second drive short, we decided to forego our game drives and just relax at the lodge. I had paid over $400 extra per day for a private vehicle and it was so uncomfortable making it impossible to enjoy. We were not offered a refund for the fee but instead offered a free massage and facial.

2. We were given suite #5 and our daughter and son in law #6. We immediately discovered that the way the tents are positioned, we could clearly see each other from the balconies! So much for privacy! I was extremely disappointed in this since it was the most expensive camp. Mara Explorer had much better layout providing privacy to each tent.

3. Not only did we not have privacy from tent #6, we soon discovered that a Maasai boma/village was directly across the Mara river from our tents complete with herds of cows, goats and sheep with bells around their necks. Several times a day they were herded down to the water or past the tents for feeding. Along with the animals came the people herding them who had clear view of us on the deck as well as inside the tent since the "walls" are rolled up for the day (including your open air tub and shower)! They would stop and stare or the children would start waving to us. Again, loss of privacy and didn't give you a great feeling of being in the bush! This would have been a deal breaker for us if I had known.

3. Saturday afternoon for 1 1/2 hours, a church in the Maasai village just across the river had church service with loud speakers. I asked someone at the camp if this was normal and they said yes, normally on Saturday and Sunday. Once again, not what I go on safari to encounter.

5. Food is always subjective, but the food at Ngerende wasn't nearly as good as it was at Entim or Mara Explorer and they offered fewer choices.

6. Ngerende is a fenced camp with only small monkeys in the camp.

7. It was a 3 hour drive from Mara Explorer on very dusty roads. We were in an open safari vehicle and were completely covered in dirt by the time we arrived.

All in all, Ngerende is a beautiful camp that has wonderful service and suites. If you don't mind the things I've listed above as our negatives, you'll love Ngerende. However, for the price we wouldn't send any of our friends to Ngerende as we know there are better options in the Mara. All four of us wished that we had stayed back at Entim and Mara Explorer and not moved to Ngerende, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Thank you to Walter, Daniel and the rest of the staff at Ngerende for trying to make our stay enjoyable!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank marcianluanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
Reviewed 17 August 2012

We recently spent three memorable nights at this property a couple of weeks ago and were amazed at the level of service and attention provided by all the members of staff. The resort has an excellent location within the conservancy and is a mere 5 min drive from the airstrip. But the minute you get into the resort, you will experience service at the highest level. Raphael, our butler was excellent!! There are no words to describe his personalized service! The quality of food was fit for a king and the accomodation facilities are out of this world! You have not experienced Mara until you experience Ngerende! Thumbs Up!

Room Tip: The honeymoon suite is awesome
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Rishi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, USA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2012

We spent 3 days at Ngerende with another young couple, after two in our group had been providing medical care near Nairobi for several weeks. Each of us had a bit of prior safari experience. Yet nothing we had previously experienced came close to the experience at Ngerende: the immersion into the Masai culture with the staff, our driver, and our guide; the unparalleled cuisine which was succulent yet regionally inspired; the full head-over-heels experience of early wakeups, unparalleled game drives, surprises throughout the day and evening as the staff sought to make the experience once-in-a-lifetime. Which it was. We cannot recommend Ngerende highly enough -- as a very cool, hip and fantastic safari retreat, yet also a deeply-moving experience with a very special group of Masai.

Room Tip: All of the lodges have fantastic river views
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank seattleafar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fair Haven, New Jersey
Level Contributor
78 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2012

The service was perfect; better than any other hotel we've ever visited. Our butler, Rafael, felt like part of our family by the time we left. Not intrusive, just helpful at every turn.

We brought our 4 children ages 17, 15, 10 and 7. The two youngest stayed in a lodge by themselves, which allowed my wife and I to lodge together (and enjoy the romantic atmosphere). They have a walkie talkie system that allows quick communication between rooms. The system is monitored by the staff 24 hrs per day. The two youngest felt safe and comfortable throughout the stay (which is saying something because they are not particularly adventurous).

The game drives were awesome. Our driver, Leng, spoke perfect English and had encyclopedic knowledge about the animals. He helped us see the big 5, plus everything else. He was patient with our children and kept us safe.

The Maasai Mara is broken into two parts: the Conservatory in the east and the Game Reserve in the west. Because Ngerende is in the northeast corner of the Conservatory your game drives will be here. We spent a couple of days in a lodge in the Game Reserve before coming to Ngerende. Basically the Game Reserve and Conservatory have the same types of animals, but the Game Reserve has a higher quantity. We were a little bummed at first with the Conservatory, but by the end we had seen some things in the Conservatory which we didn't see in the Game Reserve (like watching a cheetah hunt and kill a Thompson's gazelle). One upside to being in the Conservatory is that the drive to Nairobi is a little shorter.

Every meal was an event. The food was spectacular and imaginative. Livingston, the chef, would prep us before meals to make sure we were happy with what was coming (they don't have menus). One of our children is a very picky eater, and they did everything they could to keep her happy. One unexpected bonus was that by the end of our visit our children had learned to manage silverware during a five course meal!

The rooms were awesome. All of them are situated on the banks of the Mara River. They are covered by a canopy of trees so they are cool during the hottest parts of the day. They have fireplaces, soaking tubs, beautiful furniture, basically everything you'd expect from a luxury lodge.

The spa was, well, minimalist. It was a room on the banks of the river with a couple of massage tables. My wife and two oldest daughters used the spa and enjoyed the experience. The cost was very reasonable.

One thing you must be aware of is that Kenya in July is COLD! At night and in the morning the temperature is in the 50's. They don't have heating or air conditioning, so bring warm clothing. You'll be up at 6 am to go on the morning game drive. Bring layers, bring jackets, bring a warm hat. Once you are in bed you'll be toasty. And they do everything they can to keep you comfortable.

One other thing to be aware of is that hippopotami are noisy. The rooms are on the banks of the Mara River. The portion of the river adjacent to the lodge is filled with hippopotami. It's really cool to watch them from the porch during the day. It's not as cool when they snort and bellow in the middle of the night and wake you up. You get used to it quickly, it's not a big deal, just be aware that animal noises are part of staying at a safari lodge.

Overall our family loved the experience. We will definitely stay here again if we return to the Mara.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Central_Jersey_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ngerende Island Lodge

Property: Ngerende Island Lodge
Address: PO Box 1274 | Karen Connection Complex, Masai Mara National Reserve 00502, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #63 of 137 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Ngerende Island Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ngerende Island Lodge has only 7 luxury en-suite canvas and wood suites all with raised platforms giving panoramic views of the Mara River and the woods on the opposite bank. Each suite has polished Mahogany floors (including the terrace) and is very spacious providing open plan sleeping and living area complete with wood fire, a separate bathroom providing both Villeroy & Boch massage shower, open air bath (if desired) hand wash basins and flushing toilet. Comfortable seating is provided both in the living area and on the terrace so that the true tranquility of the lodge can be best appreciated. The distance between each suite has been maximised to reduce any risk of disturbance that may be caused by other guests. There is one honeymoon suite isolated from the main lodge, has a private plunge pool and Jacuzzi and has stunning views of the Mara river. Lovely touches as flowers on the bed, fire in the suites, bubble bath with essential oil prepared by your personal butler, hot-water bottle set Ngerende Island Lodge apart from the rest providing a memorable experience. The lodge has been designed to complement the safari experience so as to give comfort, luxury and service naturally. There is an abundance of wildlife both on the Conservation Ranch and of course within the Masai Mara Game Reserve to include Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Hippos and many others. A feature of the Conservation Ranch is an exclusive project to rear the White Rhino so that they can take their place back in the Mara society to which they belong in greater numbers. Over 180 varieties of birds have been spotted within the lodge itself and there are 3 Hippo Pods strategically located around the lodge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ngerende Island Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Ngerende Island Lodge Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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