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“Olonana lodge, Masai Mara” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sanctuary Olonana

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Sanctuary Olonana
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Olonana lodge, Masai Mara”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2014

We were at the Onolana Lodge for 2 nights, 3 day stay. It was magical and exclusive. My grandson who is only 3yrs plus, was astounded by the experience, on the safari drives and also by the hospitality endowed by the management and staff. His dietary needs we're well met and catered for. We are very grateful for the experience , once in a lifetime. Our guide was BRILLIANT AND EXCEPTIONAL. Thoroughly enjoyed his guided safari drives and breakfast picnic by the river where we had crocs and hippos for company. Highly recommend the lodge and would love to return again one day.

Room Tip: Spoilt for choice. Tented accommodation , better than a five star hotel.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Harjinder2014
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,

What a lovely review, thank you much appreciated.

We are very pleased to learn that you and especially your 3 year old grandson had such a wonderful experience with us at Olonana.

Thank you for all your lovely comments we passed this onto the team who were very appreciative of your kind words.

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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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275 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
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2014 via mobile

Olonana is outstanding in every way - from the wonderfully warm and attentive staff to the excellent location on the Mara River to the large, luxury tents to the great food! The game drives were outstanding each and every day seeing many, many animals of all kinds. You cannot believe the population of the Big 5 in this area! The camp is very comfortable and restful. It is fully all-inclusive which makes for a wonderful experience given the high quality of everything offered there!

We visited a closeby Maasi village as well. This was not a highlight for us but the wonderful Maasi people who work at Olonana are very warm, helpful and attentive.

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
Thank DallasMomTravels
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 on Tripadvisor.

"Outstanding in every way" WOW thank you so much!!

We are very happy to hear you had such a wonderful time and thank you for your kind comments.

Thank you once again and we do hope to welcome you back to one of our properties in the future.

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
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2014

We just finished an amazing three nights at Sanctuary Olonana. Upon arrival, we were greeted by our guide, Abdul, who was personable, polite, incredibly knowledgeable and an all-around EXCEPTIONAL guide. He accompanied us on every one of our game drives over three days and seemed to truly love what he does. I cannot say enough good things about him.

In addition to Abdul, the entire staff was attentive, punctual, friendly, and happily attended to any need that we had. The chef, fondly referred to as "Big John" cooked delicious meals with enough variety to suit all tastes. Maurice, the manager, and his entire staff truly understand and deliver 5 star service to every guest.

The rooms and facilities were exceptionally tasteful, modern, and elegant. The sheets, pillows and beds were luxurious as were the bathrooms although the water pressure was weak. The setting on the Mara River was relaxing and peaceful even with the rowdy hippos.

One piece of advice. Get the details of the Village Walk from the staff in advance to decide if you want to participate. It is not for everyone.

If you are looking for a beautiful safari in the Masai Mara region, I could not recommend Olonana more. 5 star experience in every way.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DCMDenver
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,

What an incredible review thank you so much!!

We are very pleased that you enjoyed your time with us at Olonana. We shared you review with the rest of the team who loved your feedback – especially Abdul, "Big John" and Maurice.

We do hope to welcome you back again one day and until then you can keep up to date with the latest news from Sanctuary Retreat and Olonana Camp by liking us on Facebook, just search ‘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
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
107 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
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
Report response as inappropriate
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...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      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
Report response as inappropriate
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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      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
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 #19 of 140 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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