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“EXCLUSIVE LUXURY ECO CAMP IN THE MASAI MARA”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Sanctuary Olonana

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Sanctuary Olonana
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“EXCLUSIVE LUXURY ECO CAMP IN THE MASAI MARA”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2014

My husband and I recently stayed at the Sanctuary Olonana located harmoniously on the Mara River. Aside from wonderful game viewing in the 'Mara', we were thoroughly spoilt by the welcoming staff and entertained between game drives and eating fabulous fresh cuisine, by the pods of hippos in the river in front of the main lounge/dining area, and in front of our 'luxury tent'. Such funny antics, we could have watched them for hours. The 'luxury tents' are beautifully appointed and located very close to the river, an electric fence surrounds the camp, and deters any predators from entering plus the grounds are patrolled by security guards. After dark you are escorted to/from your accommodation to the main dining area. The camp is impressively 'green' and rightfully proud of it's eco friendly system. Very innovative. Our game viewing driver/spotter was outstanding and enhanced our safari experience wonderfully. They also have a great spa located beside the river, best massage I experienced for a long time. Great to iron out the kinks from the 'African Massages' of game driving!

Room Tip: All 14 'luxury tents' (very spacious) are located beautifully along the Mara River. If you...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DonnaK1606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, 10 July 2014
Dear Donna,

Thank you for sharing your eperience on Tripadvisor.

So happy to hear that you and your husband enjoyed your time with us at Olonana, thank you so much for all your lovely comments.

The team loved hosting you and hope to welcome you back one day...

In the meantime you can keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook, just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’. We are also on Twitter (@SanctuaryRet) and Instagram (SanctuaryRetreats) if you would like to follow us.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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276 reviews from our community

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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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
113 reviews
103 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2014

What an amazing place! The rooms are huge, very nicely appointed, overlooking the river. The main dining area was really nice too, quite intimate, and the food was great. We did a bush dinner one night, which was also fantastic. All drinks are included. Service was really good. Didn't use the pool, but it looked nice.

The wildlife in the area is spectacular. We never ventured too far for the game drives, and saw just about everything you'd want to, including a massive cobra on the final game drive.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Nikhil_Advani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SanctuaryRetreats_2, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Dear Nikhil,

Thank you for taking the time to post the lovely review, much appreciated.

We are thrilled that you had such an amazing time with us and sounds the animals put on a real show for you. Thank you for the lovely feedback, our staff loved hosting you and look forward to welcoming you and your family back hopefully one day soon.

Would be great if you could keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook, just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’. We are also on Twitter (@SanctuaryRet) and Instagram (SanctuaryRetreats) if you would like to follow us.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenya
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2014

Olonana is an excellent camp at the banks of the Mara River. It is located just outside the Mara Triangle. Access into the park (Mara Conservancy/Triangle) is through the Oloololo Gate which is a 10-15 minute drive away. The meals are amazingly prepared and taste good too. Absolutely mouth watering. All the staff right from the admin, managerial, casual staff are very hospitable, attentive and courteous. Breakfast is buffet though eggs are brought to your table the way you want them prepared. Lunch and dinner are a set menu brought to your table. same goes for dessert. Would go to the place again anytime. Its quite family friendly as well. By road its a 6 hour drive from Nairobi. By flight just 1.5 hours landing at Kichwa Airstrip and a 20 minute drive to camp.

Room Tip: Tents are all very well spaced out and facing the Mara River. Further tents are a bit of a walk away...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Keyur J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SanctuaryRetreats_2, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Dear Guest,

What a great review - thank you!

We are very happy to hear that you had a great time at Olonana and thank you for the lovely feedback.

We hope to see you again soon, and until then you can keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook, just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’. We are also on Twitter (@SanctuaryRet) and Instagram (SanctuaryRetreats) if you would like to follow us.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Menlo Park, CA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2014

My husband and I visited Olonana the second week of May 2014. We flew into Nairobi where we overnighted before catching a flight out to the Masai Mara in the morning. The local Abercrombie and Kent agency, Akorn, arranged for someone to pick us up at our hotel and drive us to the Wilson Airport where the small planes depart. There are a couple airlines, including Safari Air and Air Kenya, who fly directly to the Mara and the small airstrips that service the camps there. Flying to the Mara takes about 1 hour or less, while driving takes hours on bumpy roads. The planes seat approx. 12 passengers. The planes can't accomodate much luggage. You are allowed only a small carryon. Consequently we took a smaller bag (which we had packed in our suitcase) to take with us to Olonana. We left our suitcase behind with the Akorn agent.
On arrival at the airstrip we were welcomed by the Olonana staff including the person who would be our driver for the 5 days we were in camp.

The Olonana's location alongside the Mara river is one of its most distinctive features. To stay so close to the hippos and occasional crocodile is fascinating. The camp sits in a wooded area with shade and birds. Olonana truly has a unique setting. There was a local Nairobi film crew there while we were visiting. They were filming a segment for a travel show that highlights great places to visit in Africa and beyond, and they selected Olonana for one of their shows!

One of the other distinctive features of the camp is the food. Locally grown produce and a very talented chef combine to make meals at Olonana delicious. There is always a vegetarian selection and they even have a pizza oven. They also serve nice wines and a full bar.

Our guide during our stay was Nelson. He determined early on what our game viewing priorities were and worked very hard to find the animals we hoped to see. He knows a lot about the animals and is happy to answer any questions. He's a very impressive young man. The abundance of animals in the Masai Triangle, where the game drives take place, should satisfy any visitor's desire to see African wildlife. We saw the "big 5" and much more.

The accomodations are very comfortable. The camp has wi-fi in the common areas and even limited cell phone service. There are also hair dryers in the bathroom! They have a safe in the room and mosquito netting over the beds. The soap/shampoo was lovely- Africology from South Africa.
There are only 14 tents. It feels very intimate. The staff quickly learns your name and your preferred drink. The other guests are from all over the world. They do offer spa services but we didn't try them. The manager is very present and checks in with you every day to ensure the camp is meeting your expectations.
Check out their website for good pictures of the camp - the setting and the rooms. They offer some travel packages during the year.
When we arrived back in Nairobi, the Akorn agent met us, returned our suitcases and took us to our hotel. It all worked very smoothly.
Olonana exceeded our expectations and we highly recommend it.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank simbamenlopark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, 10 July 2014
Dear Guest,

We are thrilled that "Olonana exceeded your expectations and that you highly recommend it"

Thank you for all your kind comments, we hope to welcome you back again one day and hopefully you can try the spa next time?

We would love to see you and your family again, until them it would be great if you could keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook, just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’. We are also on Twitter (@SanctuaryRet) and Instagram (SanctuaryRetreats) if you would like to follow us.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NAIROBI
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2014

Located along the Mara River, the Camp has the best scenic view of the Hippos from every room. With its own birds in the compound you need to listen to their songs and end up in a relaxed mood.
The staffs are friendly, while the Assistant manager (Christine) ensured we were happy at all time for the 2 nights we spend in the Sanctuary. we had a chance to visit ORGANIC GARDEN, ENKERERI SCHOOL, MAASAI WOMEN'S BEADWORK some of their project. we also planted a tree as its part of their schedule for every guest. i will be back again to enjoy the meals as they are superb.

Room Tip: Ask for room 11 with a Maasai name which i cant remember :)
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank SUNDOWNERTOURS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, 10 July 2014
Dear Rebecca,

Thank you for this lovely review!!

We can wait to welcome you back, it was a pleasure hosting you and hope to see you again soon..

Until them it would be great if you could keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook, just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’. We are also on Twitter (@SanctuaryRet) and Instagram (SanctuaryRetreats) if you would like to follow us.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

This was my first safari, and it will not be my last. Olonana was the perfect choice. We were welcomed with open arms by our terrific driver and guide Benson a member of the Masi Tribe. He picked us up in 3 hours outside of Kericho and drove us through the heart of Kenya to the Masa Mara. Explaining things about the country side and its people. Then we arrived at Olonana. You could not get a more honest and warm welcome anywhere. We were greeted by Maurice and his staff, told to kick back with cocktails on a beautiful patio overlooking a river which has Hippos! We are told that someone will pick up our clothes and wash them and not to worry about anything. You walk through a beautiful stoned path to your tent. I use the term loosely. It was a beautiful structure with 2 queens size beds, carpeting, a stone shower, separate powder room and toilet. All of it out of a magazine. You relax as soon as you enter. There is a patio where you can watch the hippos. And, if your lucky a baboon will run past your room. It's the most enjoyable experience, and I'm a city slicker. The food is New York fare and it competes on every level. Of all my meals in Africa, Olonana's were the best. After any meal you can retire to the sitting rooms each with fire places. I usually don't have great things to say about every place I've visited, but I can't wait to go back and do it all over again.

Room Tip: I think the way the rooms are located along the river all the rooms are equal.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rebecca Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, 10 July 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience of Sanctuary Olonana Camp on Tripadvisor!

We are very happy to hear you had such a wonderful time and thank you for your kind comments, the team loved your feedback.

Thank you once again and we do hope to welcome you back one day soon!

In the meantime you can keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook, just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’. We are also on Twitter (@SanctuaryRet) and Instagram (SanctuaryRetreats) if you would like to follow us.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2014

I stayed as a single traveller in mid March - very few other guests, one night there were only 3 guests in the entire lodge. The main lodge is spacious with a long veranda by the river and the meals are excellent. The lodge is wonderful, placed on the Mara river and sitting on the tent front porch I watched the hippos and local weaver birds darting to and fro. The staff were friendly and helpful. We saw the big 5 even finding 3 rhinos although from a distance. The migration is in the South at this time however the we saw 3 prides of lionesses one group with cubs, a leopard and kill in the branches of a tree and cheetah chasing jackals for the fun of it. Would recommend staying here as it's far enough from the maddening crowds that often our land cruiser was the only vehicle in sight.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AliBtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sanctuary R, Manager at Sanctuary Olonana, responded to this review, 10 July 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for this wonderful review!!

We are very pleased that you enjoyed your time with us and thank you for all the kind comments.

It was indeed a great pleasure hosting you and we do hope to welcome you back soon.

It would be great if you can keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreats and Olonana by liking us on Facebook, just search for ‘Sanctuary Retreats’. We are also on Twitter (@SanctuaryRet) and Instagram (SanctuaryRetreats) if you would like to follow us.

Best wishes
Sanctuary Retreats
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Olonana

Property: Sanctuary Olonana
Address: C14, Keekorok, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 137 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanctuary Olonana 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sanctuary Olonana, our award-winning tented camp situated on a private stretch of the Mara River, recently undergone a significant upgrade to the public areas of the lodge as well as a soft refurbishment to the tented rooms and pool area. The interior decor reflects a contemporary design using a combination of light earthy tones and the local Maasai women played an active part in the refurbishment using the same traditional technique used in their own houses to “mud” the interior walls in all of the main areas and curio shop. From the main viewing deck see and hear the family of noisy hippos who colonise the banks below the camp. Relax with a good book in the library, cool off in the pool or for an extra special treat, experience traditional African remedies and spa treatments in the mini-spa. Oversized Safari Tents – Built on the banks of the Mara River, the twelve canvas tents at Sanctuary Olonana are extremely comfortable and spacious. The ensuite tents all have two four-poster beds with floor to ceiling mosquito netting – making them perfect for families travelling with small children. Each of the private verandas overlook the river and offer the perfect spot where guests can relax and watch the resident hippos wallow in the water. There are also two honeymoon suites with each featuring outdoor showers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Olonana Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Sanctuary Olonana Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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