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“Best part of our trip to Kenya” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Mara Safari Lodge

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Royal Mara Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
62 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Best part of our trip to Kenya”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

The Royal Mara Lodge was by far the highlight of our 2 week long Kenya safari. The RML is actually located in the Mara North Conservancy, which is a private conservancy adjacent to the actual Masai Mara Reserve. Because the Mara North is private, drivers can offroad at any time (in the actual national reserve, vehicles are generally required to stay on paths). Offroading permits you to get closer to and seem more animals. We had the closest and best animal encounters of our entire trip while in the Mara North.

The lodge itself is perfection. There are only 8 tents, so it offers a very personal, private experience. Each tent comes with its own staff - you have your driver, your housekeeper and your server, who stay with you throughout your stay. Each tent is spacious and immaculately decorated, with a very comfortable king sized bed and an extra large bathroom. Each tent also has a large porch overlooking the Mara River and the resident hippos. At night, you can fall asleep to the sound of wildlife (particularly the hippos that come out to graze). No tent is better than the next - they are all equally wonderful and spaced reasonably far apart so you have a great deal of privacy.

The food was excellent. Every meal began with a delicious cream of ___ (some vegetable) soup and ended with a lovely homemade dessert.

The best part of the RML experience was the staff. Everyone went above and beyond to make our stay wonderful. Each employee seemed genuinely happy to be there, which says a lot for the way the staff must be treated. In particular, our wonderful driver, James, showed us all of the Big 5 in our short 3 day stay, including THREE leopard sightings. Reagan, Steve, Simon, Tom, Alex, to name a few of our wonderful staff.

We will be recommending RML to all of our friends. I can't speak highly enough of the entire experience.

Room Tip: All of the rooms appear to be similarly great.
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  • Stayed December 2013, 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 gnahzmap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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399 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2014

This review is long overdue, but none the less it’s still worth writing as I know how helpful these reviews were when me and my friends were planning our trip. Pictures cannot express well in words how amazing this Lodge is. If you like what you see, be prepared to be blown away. The exterior and natural surroundings are absolutely breath taking and it was so surreal having wild animals crossing the grounds so peacefully. The Lodges are beautiful and the wood craftsmanship is simply gorgeous, this even beats the best of hotels around the world.

Another great thing about the Royal Mara Lodge is that all the staff are friendly and provide you with all the information that you need. Guards are at hand 24-7, so you can rest assured that you are safe as they are there to protect the visitors. In regards to food, I was pleasantly surprised that the food was so good. So the fact that you are all inclusive, this worked out very well.

Lastly, the game rides were an absolute highlight to the trip. By the second day, we had already seen the big 5 and some exciting hunts through the course of the three days. I would highly recommend Royal Mara Lodge and a Trip to the Masai Mara is an absolute must add to the bucket list. Great honeymoon destination also. 

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nu25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sussex
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2013

Well the title says it all
This camp sited in the Mara is a wonderful place and you are looked after by the most pleasant and attentive people you could ever meet. They are a credit to the company and cannot do enough to ensure that our 2 night 3 day stay was absolute perfection. The lodges are amazing the staff are there at hand to keep you safe from the wildlife that you are surrounded by. On our arrival at the air strip we were met by Julius our personal driver for our stay. He was very knowledgable and ensured that we saw the Big 5 and much more during our stay. The food was varied and plentiful and again nothing was too much trouble .
We had an amazing 2 hr walking safari with The guards which we found to be informative bad fun if not a little exhausting in the heat. This was preceded by a ballon trip which again is a must and ended with the most enjoyable full English breakfast with champagne in the middle of the Mara ( quite surreal ) thanks to all the staff for making our stay a memorable one and also to JT Safari's for organizing the whole trip . We cannot thank you enough Julius Nzumbi for all you and your staff done to ensure this was a trip of a life time
Cannot wait to return and use your services again

Room Tip: All lodges are fantastic and sited right on the river Mara
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  • Stayed December 2013, 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?
1 Thank grommit3d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2013

This is an excellent lodge in a really good location. It is right next to the Mara river. At night the hippos come out to graze next to your bungalow. It is safe at all times and guest are being accompanied to and picked up from the bungalows. Staff is exceptionally nice. Also the food was really good (except for desserts which are a bit too sweet and artificial) - but really excellent chef who knows how to use herbs and spices. You have lunch and breakfast right next to the river and can enjoy the view of the hippos. Dinner is next to a nice fireplace. During safari you get a blanket to keep you warm in the mornings when it gets cold. Our driver was called James and he was excellent!!! For the drinks we decided to go for a lump sum to avoid having to sign every time and this was really a good choice. You can get your laundry done for free as well - just be careful there and check whether you get everything back (I checked and one piece was missing - after claiming they found it and brought it to me. My husband did not check and also noticed that one of his shorts was gone). Overall a really well run luxury camp which I can only recommend.

Room Tip: They are all the same quality.
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  • Stayed November 2013, 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?
1 Thank Manuela E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2013

Our stay at Mara was just perfect, from touchdown on the local airstrip 10 minutes from the lodge till we took off again a week later we were looked after. The staff are excellent and arranging all the small the details, they carry you along without ever feeling intrusive and without exception they are pleased to see you and genuinely welcoming.

we soon got to know the names of them all and it felt like leaving a new group of friends when we left.

The Safaris were great, the guide was a wealth of knowledge and skill (particularly with a 4 wheel drive). The drive can be bumpy but then you are literally driving through the bush, that is how you get within a few meters of wildlife.

Treat yourself to a real experience, this place is definitely great value for money - and don't forget to tip at the end, this is the way it done on Safari so seek guidance.

We will be going back if we get the oppertunity

Room Tip: All the rooms I saw are essentially the same, all excellent - we were in No.6
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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?
2 Thank Simon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Holyhead, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2013

Late review but always felt we should give credit where it is due once we started on tripadvisor. This lodge, it's position, the staff, the food were all wonderful and to crown it all the wildlife was just as we had hoped for with all efforts made by James and others to try and ensure we saw all of the big stars of the of the Mara. This was a one off trip for the family and the 9 and 11 year old kids enjoyed the 2 nights there. I guess you can go to a more expensive or posher place but I couldn't see the need. The day starts at dawn but plenty of time to relax and snooze in between various trips out. The guys obviously know their stuff, whether questions about all the main animals but also about plant life, small birds, environmental damage, the walk out with the rangers was really worth it.
Sleep on first night was a bit broken but it's to be expected given how close you are to the weird and wonderful noises of the night, which is part of the fun. The second night we all slept like logs. No surprise given the beds and lodges are so comfortable - perfect.
Food was amazing, don't know how they do it but a credit to all the staff. Will never forget the visit, for all the right reasons.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mistymynydd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
surfers paradise gold coast
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

Leaving our last Lodge on the 4th day with JuliusTSafaris we were warned by our driver we were in for a long drive with some "bumpy" roads. That was an understatement but what lay ahead was nothing but amazing. On arrival at Royal Mara we were greeted by the Manager with cool wet washers and juice, very welcome after a 70 km rough road.
Hearing a 'grunting" noise from the river we ventured over to the edge with a staff member to find a watering hole of what seems hundreds of hippos... surreal and what a welcoming party that was.

Escorted to our ensuite tent we were blown away - first by the "wow" factor on entering the tent,(all African décor) secondly by the layout and thirdly by the cleanliness. This was always going to be a great 3 days at Royal Mara. The Royal Mara is just a small lodge with 8 tents, all meals are taken in the dining area a short walk away or by the River Mara's edge under trees ( we were always accompanied by a security guard with rifle). Wilson, our driver/guide for the 3 days had so much local knowledge that we were able to find the "Big 5" during our stay here. No stone was unturned in our endeavours to do so...
To say Royal Mara and its staff are nothing short of excellent in every respect I can only recommend staying here if you ever have the opportunity. I would go back in a heart beat to see the abundance of animals we got to see on this 3 day stay - just amazing and so awesome.

Room Tip: All tents are close to the River Mara - enjoy
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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 leomac52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Mara Safari Lodge

Property: Royal Mara Safari Lodge
Address: Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Masai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 140 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Mara is a luxury safari and game viewing lodge located in Kenya's world famous Masai Mara, home to the annual Great Migration of the Wildebeest. We are situated directly on the Mara River with six riverfront guest suites. All suites are raised upon wooden decks with full mahogany flooring and original hand carved furniture. See the same wildlife-rich areas as broadcast on the BBC Big Cat Diary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Mara Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Royal Mara Safari Lodge Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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