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“perfection in every details is the right words” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sanctuary Olonana

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Sanctuary Olonana
Certificate of Excellence
Rome
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“perfection in every details is the right words”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2009

Everything is a dream, elegant, detailed, definitely perfect, from the luxory tends, the service, the stunning view, the cousine, the Spa. This is what I've really dreamed of Africa. Under each tent and the restaurant terrace there are two permanent hippos family. The tent number 1 is the best. Our private safari guide, Lucas is highly recommended, in 3 days he managed to show us all the big 5, a gytha family, 2 rinos and a leopard. The romantic pic nic lunch and breakfast in the savannah are something that you have to experience at least once in your lifetime. The spa in the middle of he nature is a true paradise and a such similar terapist is quite hard to find in a European spa. She is very well trained. Definitely an hidden very intimate jem. August is the best time to go and see the Great Migration. There are plenty of all animals everywhere.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 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?
1 Thank vdavale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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)
Date | Rating
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English first
Miami Florida
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2009

This camp is fantastic. The staff is very accomodating and Big John the Chef is great. Several menu choices. One day we wanted to stay in the park all day so he packed a great lunch for us. Boniface, our guide was excellent. Can't say enough good things. The Camp is just outside of the Oloololo gate. Between the camp and the Gate is a Maasai Village. Please go there. Very smart friendly people with a great culture. Stay there. By the way read Wiilbur Smiths "Assegai" All of the lessons learned are referenced in the book. A great pre or post read. You will agree. This was the trip of a lifetime. My pictures are stunning. Everyone thinks I am a photographer. Going to take a class now.

Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank DLG1067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2009

We just returned from a 4 nights stay at the Olonana, Masai Mara. As we have 4 children from 5 yrs to 16 yrs with various interests and needs, we did an extensive research before selecting the Olonana hoping to find a place that would combine outstanding location, comfort and excellent services, top guides with being attentive to and safe for children. This is not easy as some of the better camps are not suitable for children. I am glad to say that the Olonana delivered 100%. The staff went out of their way to cater to all our need. Beginning with Maurice in charge of fulfilling all Clients wishes whatever they may be whenever they are rerquired, continuing with John that provided us with great and friendly service at the table, Big John, the Chef actually responsible for the wonderful cooking, Bonnie our 'hot and learned' safari guide and his intern, Nelson who took me up on a wanderful steep climb up the Sirian Escarpment, and last but not least, Joseph the butler who kept us pampered and cosy at the tents and woke us up every morning for our safari ride with coffee and cookies to the bed. The camp is very spacious so you benefit from a great sence of privacy and each tent has two comfortable double beds, convenient for keeping all the children together. Perhaps the only shortfall I would care to note is the shower's weak hot water pressure, although this may be understandable due to eco-friendly hitting system used. We are travelling quite a lot with the children and would have no hesitation in reccomending the Olonana for an unforgetable stay.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Natiel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Basel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2009

We arrived at the Olonana lodge having fled from Tipilikwani 2 hour and 60 km earlier. Olonana is everything it claims to be and more. It is a beautiful lodge situated just outside the Masai Mara game reserve on the banks of the Mara River. The 14 fixed tents which are laid out along the river are huge and luxurious. Each has its own en-suite bathroom and veranda overlooking the river, which is full of Hippos. The service is truly outstanding with some of the friendliest staff I have ever come across.
Laundry service is included, which I found a great bonus.
The restaurant is very good serving high quality food and a good selection of wine, and best of all the price of the drinks were fair. Its location just outside the Mara reserve means that you can be in the reserve within minutes; it also means that wildlife viewing starts at camp. One morning I was surprised to see a Sykes mountain monkey – the first I had ever seen merrily eating the breakfast cakes I had left on the veranda, my reaction, fantastic! This is the kind of surprise I want when travelling.
On several evenings on returning to Olonana we were held up at the road near the campsite by a large herd of 25 – 30 elephants including many very young individuals ambling along and eating. I can’t think of a more wonderful reason for being delayed. If you want to experience African wildlife in quiet and comfortable surroundings, away form the hubbub of the masses of visitors that frequent some of the other larger lodges. You can do no better than spend a few nights at Olonana Camp we booked 2 nights but ended up staying for 3 and could have stayed much, much longer.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
    • 5 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?
1 Thank BalMed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Potomac, Maryland
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2009

We had the pleasure of spending 5 nights/6 days recently at Olonana. I can't say enough great things about this wonderful, luxurious camp. First the staff, Maurice, Duncan, David, Chef Big John, Shadrick and of course Abdul - (and all of the behind the scenes people) - this staff is first class all the way. There is not a need they cannot meet. Everyone is so pleasant, helpful and kind. I asked Big John if he would cook us a special, authentic Swahili meal and boy did we have a fantastic dinner that night! All of our meals were outstanding but our favorite was by far the special Swahili dinner. They all really out did themselves. They made us feel very special, like we were famous celebrities. The lodge and surroundings are all beautiful. We were in one of the new tents (#14) and I could have easily have just moved right in. Everything was beautiful and comfortable, stylish and "african modern". The private deck was great for hippo and croc watching. Adbul was our personal guide during our stay and he was fantastic. We learned so many things about the Mara from him and really just had fun on every game drive. Of course he introduced us to Bahati, the resident 10 month old Eland, at the ranger station. She and I became fast friends, especially when I had fresh baked goodies from Big John. If you decide to chose Olonana you will not be disappointed, we would return in a heart beat! I really doubt it could get any better! Thanks so much to everyone at Olonana who made our stay so special and memorable! We hope to see you again soon! Jerri & Larry

  • Liked — Location, Staff, Accommodations, Wildlife, Food
  • Disliked — That we had to leave!
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank jlh67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2008

Even though I had done extensive research on this hotel, it still didn't prepare me for how wonderful it actually was. We only stayed two nights - I will definitely plan for longer next time.

Our "tent" on the banks of the Mara River was a great set up. Luxurious, but still an authentic safari-feel. I could have sat out on our terrace for hours, watching the hippos in the river right in front of our tent, but we had lunch waiting for us.

Two thumbs up on the food here. In fact, I had one of the best desserts of my life - a passion fruit pavlova. Yum!

Our room/tent was very roomy and clean. I loved the Molton Brown toiletries! And the fact that I could look out the window of the shower and watch hippos.

We took advantage of the laundry service every day - and every day it all came back to us clean and nicely folded. I wish every hotel had laundry service like this.

My absolute favorite part was hearing the hippos at night. That and the hot coffee brought to our tent every morning.

The staff was very accommodating and helpful.

  • Liked — The intimate, secluded atmosphere.
  • Disliked — no complaints
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank jeanmcramer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2008

I am a little mystified by one of the reviews of this property, but I didn't witness what they say they witnessed, so I won't say anything about that.

I can say, however, that our experience was wonderful. The room was beautiful, clean and comfortable. We had a twin room that had two doubles. The bathroom was the nicest we had on our safari with Molton Brown products in the shower. Our deck was right on the Mara River. I sat outside our tent one morning drinking the hot chocolate they bring as a wakeup call and watched the Hippos come back from their night of grazing. Truly magical.

The lodge was not only clean and comfortable, but also really beautiful with plenty of seating both indoors and out. The food was the best we had in Kenya. I really felt the place was very hygenic, management says that they wash all of the produce etc with bottled water. We ate fresh salad and fruits among other things and had no problem whatsoever. If we go back to the Mara, Olonana would definitely be high on our list.

We found all of the staff to be friendly and quite respectful of the surroundings/environment/wildlife.

Stayed November 2008
Helpful?
3 Thank MyPorch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 #21 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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