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“Very good, but not 5-star overall” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp

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Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Long Island, New York
Level Contributor
344 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“Very good, but not 5-star overall”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014

Spent 4 nights here with my family. Overall, very nice place. Location was wonderful for safari. The grounds/resort are a bit "touristy" which for me is a plus (we like comfort and familiarity). Staff was consistently lovely and helpful. Our family tent (king-bed room with en suite attached via a living area to a 2-bed room with their own en suite and with 2 patios overlooking the river) was well-appointed.

Our safari guide, Simon, was amazing. Very accommodating, knowledgeable, and took a real interest into what we wanted to see. Never felt we were his job for the day. Plus, it was very nice the hotel placed my family of 4 in a safari vehicle by ourselves. We could easily have been combined with another small group/family which would have been potentially awkward and certainly less personal--we don't get enough family time as it is while we are home. Plus we had the same guide from start to finish (picked us up from the airstrip and kept us everyday until he dropped us back at the airstrip). By the way, it was unfortunate but the airstrip was under repair so we couldn't use the one 5 minutes from the hotel but had to travel about 40 minutes...no big deal it was just extra safari time.

So why not 5-star?
1. Facilities/amenities: Electricity is not 24/7 as it is as some safari camps. It is off from midnight until 5 am (and they turned it on early for our arranged sunrise balloon ride and gave us such lovely tea, hot chocolate, and cookies to our tent). And yes, they do let you know they can turn it on with advanced notice if you request...but that's not 5-star. Hot water is limited to certain times (at my other safari camps it was on 24/7) and took quite a while to start up. Plus, the times were limited to (if memory serves me) 6:30-8 am and pm. That either conflicts with early morning safari or with the naturalist talks in the evening. And 5-star diva travel families require a near Broadway production in their daily bathroom routines, right? The towels which were always plentiful were thin and tired. The mattress was quite hard. The outdoor patio furniture was dirty (yes I know it's outside). My children's shower door needed to remain closed as it consistently smelled of sewage. Several tents do not have good views (fortunately ours did). Our rooms were really far away from the main entrance/dining facility. Wifi was limited to certain public areas and was frankly lousy (so slow and inconsistent as to be at times worthless).

2. Meals: Never had breakfast as our guide recommended to get breakfast boxes so we could just picnic and spend more time out on the game drive. Very smart idea. And the boxes were huge with good quality and selection (and even potato chips...my kids were thrilled). Lunch was ok. Dinner--I always found to be good. Here's my big pet peeve. They actually charge you for bottled water (the same free stuff they give you in the rooms) and for soft drinks. This is not 5-star especially when you have no other options. It frankly makes the place seem cheap. Have one server the entire time...nice personal touch and makes for easy tipping. Ours (Paul) was very nice.

3. Have to pay extra for anything including bush breakfast and sundowners. This was included at my other safari places.

4. Our rooms did not have any way to communicate with the hotel staff. No phone. No walkie-talkie. Nothing. This made me very uncomfortable especially at night if we were to have an urgent matter or a security issue. And of course, the electricity would be off and our room was about 10 minutes from the front desk.

Now that I've sufficiently complained...I would like to emphasize that we had a lovely time, our glamping accommodations were certainly higher end and comfortable (with certain flexibility required for such a vacation spot), and our game drives (the most important part) were amazing. But for 5-star Diva Family travel, I want electricity, hot water, better towels, better wifi, and included water (and usually soft-drinks too). Given the price point, I thought I was paying for it and had I been charged an extra $50 dollars or so per day to cover it I wouldn't even have noticed.

Management is very responsive to tripadvisor reviews and concerns. Unfortunately, I have noticed these similar concerns in several other reviews and these issues remain.

Of course, I would recommend the place but with the above caveats to those who typically travel 5-star.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 5StarDivaFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Cape Coral
Level Contributor
51 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2014

First class, five star hotel in the middle of one of the coolest places on earth. Guides are so knowledgeable. Plenty of game drives included. Food worthy of Michelin guide. "Tents" are really tastefully furnished resort hotel rooms. Stay here!!!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NathanCapeCoral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2014 via mobile

The Rahmans, Huqs and Hossains returned to Mara Intrepids Club a year on from their first visit for yet another FABULOUS safari in June 2014, accompanied by family friend Mr Shafi Chowdhury.
As before, the Camp and its warm and hospitable staff exceeded expectations and made our 8 day stay a truly memorable one.
Our guides, Saruni and Samson, were simply OUTSTANDING! Well informed and passionate about the enchanting Mara, they took us on game drives that were both exciting and fascinating. From numerous daily viewings of at least a few of the Big 5, to predations by cheetahs, and the witnessing of bonds between families of big cats in the wilderness, we saw it all! And repeatedly. And it was never any less fascinating.
Delicious food was served at every meal, and George and Maureen with their smiling faces and willing ways always made dining a lovely experience.
Gideon's timely wake up calls with steaming tea, hot chocolate and cookies made us look forward to the cold mornings, and the carefully tucked in hot water bottles in our beds at night made turning in for the night a pleasure!
The Camp Manager, Mr George, looked in on our comforts daily, and the Bush Dinner he treated our group of 10 to on our last night at Mara Interpids Club was simply lovely!
Thank you, Mara Intrepids! And we look forward to returning repeatedly to the Club to enjoy your warm hospitality and winning safaris in forthcoming years, In'shaa'Allah!

Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank shq75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

Unbelievable place; humbling actually. I only wish I could have spent longer. Africa at it's purest - raw and real. Dixon, our guide, is the man!! It is not often you get a chance to see one of the natural wonders of the world - the great migration. Just ... WOW!!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rob O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

This was our first Kenya trip (or any Africa trip in fact) and our first stop was Mara Intrepids for 4 nights. We travelled with our 6 children and occupied 4 tents - which were all configured exactly as requested (1 king, 3 twins) which we have become accustomed to not being the case (ie on request only but not necessarily delivered).

The tents were spotless and really well appointed and laid out. Whilst the power was off over night and for 2 hours each afternoon, as they run on a generator, it didn't impact us at all as it was well planned and we were either asleep or out on a game drive when it was off. Each tent has its own coal fired hot water service which the staff lit at 5 am and 5pm each day.

Dining was a mixture of buffets and multiple choice 4 & 5 course meals offering plenty of choice. Our excellent waiter Jeremiah organised an African menu for us one night (our request) and his own lasagne recipe another night. He was super observant and came to know each of our preferences. Couldn't ask for better service, and there was no shortage of food.

The highlight of our visit, which was during the migration season, was our amazing guides - Mathew and Silas - who worked incredibly hard to ensure we saw as many and as wide a variety of wildlife as possible - and they really delivered. They appeared to know the haunts and habits of almost every big cat in the area and almost every day we spotted lions, cheetah, leopard, hippo's (a lot of hippos), elephants, zebra and about 1.5 million wildebeest. Just incredible.

All the staff were excellent (including Mary-Ann our tent-keeper), but Mathew Silas and Jeremiah made it without question our most memorable stay at any property, anywhere - thanks guys.

A long morning drive and breakfast box beside the Mara river is a must, and don't miss the Chief's nightly cultural slide shows at 7pm in the bar over a pre-dinner drink. Very informative and most entertaining.

Whilst the staff regularly shoo-ed off the baboons that snuck through the electric fence, we quite enjoyed seeing them around the camp, as we did the mongoose on the central lawns.

Wouldn't hesitate to recommend Intrepids and will definitely be back.

Room Tip: Either wing is fine - closer to the central amenities could be noisy as early morning game drives he...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MURFREESBORO
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2014

This was our second time at Mara Intrepids and it was every bit as wonderful as our first trip two years ago. This was the final two days of our group mission trip 11 days before and no one was disappointed. After our 7-hour drive to the Mara from the Mbita area of Lake Victoria we were greeted with all of the amenities the staff provides for its guests.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank cmsgeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

I have been visiting Kenya for 25 years, this was my first trip to Intrepids - it was stunning. I will go back as soon as I can, all staff and facilities were amazing, the safari was also stunning - we saw the start of the migration a once in a lifetime event but SO worth every penny

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kate_K_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp

Property: Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp
Address: C14 Keekorok, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 140 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp 4.5*
Number of rooms: 30
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Also Known As:
Mara Intrepids Club Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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