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“Good lodge for trekking on Mt. Kenya”

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Serena Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bozeman, MT
Level Contributor
61 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Good lodge for trekking on Mt. Kenya”
Reviewed 3 November 2013

We enjoyed this mountain lodge below 17,000 ft. Mt. Kenya for its wildlife and rustic ambiance, although the facility itself could use some sprucing up. The food and service were very good. Six of our small group used the lodge as a base for a trek part-way up Mt. Kenya (10,000 to about 11, 700 ft.) which was amazing for the flora, birds and views until the rain hit. The road to 10,000 ft. was wild. If you are not hiking up the peak with a guide, probably one night here is enough.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank gemBozeman_MT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Belgium
Level Contributor
301 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2013

Spent the first night of my safari here.
The hotel is located around a water hole so is perfect for those who wish to make a 'lazy start' to their safari. Just have a seat at the bar with a beer of a (free) coffee and be amazed.
For those who'd rather get active the hotel offers a number of activities for quite reasonable fees.
I myself went on the 2 hour nature walk around the forest including 'forest tea party'.
The naturalist joining us was a very nice, friendly guy who was happy to answer any questions.
What I liked best at this place was the AMAZING food.
I had the most delicious steak bearnaise for dinner - who saw that coming? Not me for sure :)
Another nice option you have at this place is the "wake-up" service...
During dinner you get offered a list of animals frequenting the water hole and you can point out which ones you'd like to be woken up for, would they make an appearance at night.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Gwen_BE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2013

My Spouse and I visited Mountain Lodge over a long weekend for 2 nights. Here is our review:
• Rooms: log cabin style, all wood walls, but comfortable. Yes it’s true the walls are not sound proof! Showers are amazing albeit a bit cramped. Toiletries linens and Towels are all of good high quality. One thing I didn’t like is almost the whole lodge is carpeted. From the rooms to the common areas. And it being Kenya it is bound to be dusty and muddy. And this caused me an allergy. So In future I would appreciate seeing charming wooden parquets rather than carpeting everywhere.
• Food: gets 10/10. It’s all fresh, nothing recycled and a wide selection for all pallets. They grow a few of their veggies and herbs which I went to see. Fresh herbs make all the difference. The desserts were very different from other lodges and very unique and tasty. Serena is one hotel unlike many many others) who gets fruits right- they cut them when they are ripe and ready. Most hotels serve very raw and unripe fruits.
• Service- extremely friendly and efficient. I had informed the hotel in advance about my husband being on crutches due to an injury. They accommodated him well and made sure he was ok, helped him with food etc.
• Activities: Other than walks and going to the nearby Ol Pejeta there isn’t anything to do. The Park is just all forest. As per the brochure and website they offer trout fishing but when we asked the naturist he had no idea about it. This is a shame because there are lovely steams in the park where guests could go fishing and Serena could make it a nice activity with a bush lunch/breakfast. We ventured out by ourselves and came across an old and very well maintained fishery. It was quite fascinating to see how trout are reared. This also could be an interesting activity for the lodge to offer.
• Spa: They offered most types of treatments but it seemed like they were more comfortable with only massage thought I didn’t get one. Considering that there is not much to do and it’s a place next to nothing else it would be nice t have a steam, sauna and perhaps even a pool.
All in all a good place if all you want to do is indulge in good food, sleep and relax.

Room Tip: Cleanliness only gets an average because of the carpeting everywhere.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank shreyashah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brampton, Canada
Level Contributor
257 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2013

The experience is amazing but the room falls somewhat short. Understandable for what and where it is, and would still recommend as a must stay
Arriving is like being in a jungle. The smell of eclipses is magnificent. Monkeys are plentiful. It is like a hotel in treetops overlooking an animal watering hole. That is the big draw. Other than the viewing, there is not much else. There was a nature walk with a guard with a gun, but the main viewing is from the balcony with a bench seat and good view.
The staff is very tip focused but again that is prevalent all over Africa. It is common that with 2 small cases, they have 2 people to bring to lobby (so 2 people to tip) then another team brings form lobby to car (2 more people) a common theme all over.
The room is small with a double bed but comfortable enough. They also have a book so you can ask to be woken up for a specific animal if there is a sighting. We asked for leopards and were not disappointed; we had 2 sightings right at the watering hole visible form our balcony. They have special lights at night for us to see the animals. No safe in room and no hair dryer; bottled water free in room. All the hotels, we used bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth. Monkeys are common on the balcony, have to keep door closed to keep them out of the room.
Truly a mountain lodge. Quiet. Food ok not great but fine. Only stayed 1 night in our safari, 1 night was enough. We were able to see what we wanted. Lodge also has an underground passage to a viewing area closer to the watering hole for the animals. Saw plenty of Cape buffalo, bush pigs, reedbucks and other animals. Bathroom small with shower, towels were terrific large and luscious.
Unique setting and the viewing made it all worthwhile. Could sit on the balcony as there is a bench there, and just watch and take pictures. Also had in lodge other open viewing areas but we found the balcony off room was best. They had fire pits in hotel but did not light them the night we stayed on Sept 9th.
No swimming pool naturally, it is for viewing of animals primarily.

Room Tip: we were in room 18 and anything along 18 to 22 is great in my opinion. 18 was particularily great a...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jackiefrombrampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2013

Recently returned from a Best of Kenya Safari booked through REAL AFRICA in the UK (a company we would highly recommend).

We stayed one night at this unique setting which is 7200 feet above sea level and embedded in lovely dense forest areas. No game drives here because all viewing is either from your own veranda or communal viewing areas that all look down on a large water hole.

What wildlife you actually see depends entirely on what decides to make a trip down to the waterhole. Frankly we were not so lucky in this respect but it didn't spoil our experience – which included being woken up at 3.00 in the morning to see Elephants. This was entirely by choice by the way. During dinner you let the staff know whether you want to be woken up and what animals you want to be woken up for. Something different and a bit of fun.

The rooms are rather small but comfortable nevertheless and the wooden lodge construction has a lovely “lodgey” atmosphere (if that is a word!). This is especially so after dark when the water hole is flood-lit and the large fire is burning in the bar area.

Consistent with lots of holiday accommodation all over the world, power points for the charging of cameras, I-pads, mobile phones and your electric toothbrush etc. are at a premium. It is therefore useful to pack a 3 or 4 way extension block (mains system the same as the UK).

The highlight of the stay was the food. If we could rate it separately it would get 6 stars. All we can say is “what a chef”!!!

If you are planning a multi-location safari, the friendly and pleasant Serena Mountain Lodge experience is well worth one night of your itinerary.

Room Tip: No need to worry about what room is best. The lodge is designed so that all rooms have a veranda loo...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Colin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deerfield, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2013

The Serena Mountain Lodge is a great start to a safari. The hotel is built around an active watering hole. There's plenty of information about the hotel, so I'll focus on my personal experience. I was traveling with a friend and requested two beds. The second bed made the room pretty tight and made it a little difficult to get to the balcony. The food was pretty good and they offered both menu and buffet options.

During my second night I woke up around 2AM with a bad toothache. Around 4AM I finally went downstairs to see if they had any Advil. The staff promptly called a doctor who drove in from outside of the park. He was able to give me an antibiotic and a light painkiller so I could get back to sleep. This may have saved my safari!

We also did the nature walk, which if I recall cost around $25-$30 US. This walk was a nice outing and the guide was pretty entertaining!

Room Tip: All of the rooms seem to have a good view of the watering hold, but rooms to the left side of the ho...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ToBeFreeSpirits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
essex
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2013

Comfy rooms, excellent food and a cosy hot water bottle too! Good opportunity to view the watering hole and its animal visitors. We spotted 'gennet', waterbuck and monkeys (watch those biscuits!) A lovely introduction to our first night on safari

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nurse-suz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Serena Mountain Lodge

Property: Serena Mountain Lodge
Address: PO Box 48690, Mount Kenya National Park, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Mount Kenya National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Mount Kenya National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Serena Mountain Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at 2,194 metres on the slopes of Mount Kenya, Serena Mountain Lodge is surrounded by a dense rainforest that comes alive at dusk with a myriad of sounds that make the African bush so special and exhilarating. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Serena Mountain Hotel Mount Kenya National Park
Serena Mountain Lodge Kenya/Mount Kenya National Park

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