Built on the top of a hill, the Mara Serena Safari Lodge overlooks the national reserve of Masai Mara. It therefore offers its guests a superb panoramic view of the savannah. The few water ponds at the foot of the hill attract various species of animal which you can watch from the hotel. Built in 1973, the hotel was inaugurated six years later, in 1979. Since then, the hotel has been kept very well and is a pleasant place to stay for a safari break in Masai Mara.
Over 200 mi separate the Mara Serena Safari Lodge from Nairobi. You will need approximately six hours to reach the reserve of Masai Mara. If you enter through Oloololo Gate, allow an extra 25 mi, and through Sekenani Gate, an extra 45 mi to reach the hotel. The flight is 55 minutes long.
There aren't any facilities for children here. It is possible however to get a baby-sitter for parents who wish to spend a romantic evening together.
As for excursions, the Mara Serena Safari Lodge organizes various outings: the traditional safari in the reserve but also meals out in the bush, a balloon flight at sun rise, and a walk led by a naturalist who will tell you every secret of the Kenyan wildlife (10.30am every day).
The panoramic view from the Mara Serena is beautiful from every corner of the hotel. It definitely is this hotel's main asset, compared to all the other lodges in Masai Mara. Once inside, you will find a lobby decorated in the Masai way with old African artifacts. The main building as the rest of the hotel was designed as a troglodyte village. All openings are rounded, as well as the paintings on the walls. It is a rather surprising place, but really quite welcoming. The hotel's guests are welcomed in the small lobby where the reception can be found. Outside, some wooden tables and armchairs are laid out for you to enjoy the view. A bonfire is lit every night to keep the guests warm outside and to have a drink by the fire.
To refresh yourself or do a few breaststrokes, the Hippo Pool lies below the main building level, where the reception, the bar and the restaurant are. The pool isn't very large, but is still worth having. A few parasols and wooden deckchairs are set up all around it.
The 74 bedrooms are distributed on either side of the reception. On one side, they have a view of the Mara River, on the other side, a view of the plains of the Serengeti, in Tanzania. The categories of room are standard and superior. Some of the rooms are connecting, ideal for families. They all are in small bungalows, set up in rows, on a slope. The decoration is the same style as in the rest of the hotel. All murals are round-shaped, all along the walls. African fabrics ornament the bed and curtains of the room. A small balcony is a good place to take a look outside and watch the animals strolling around. The interior is therefore pleasantly bright. There is no mini-bar however, no room service, no television, and the safe is at the reception. The telephone will nevertheless keep you in touch with the rest of the world thanks to a direct international line. As for the bathroom, it is not very large but its rounded shape gives enough space for a shower, an exposed sink and a toilet. You will find anti-mosquito wipes here as well as hospitality products.
Mara Serena's main restaurant is next to the reception, on several levels. A buffet is generally presented but you can sometimes choose à la carte when the hotel isn't too busy. It is a little noisy and the tables aren't spaced out very much. As for food, the cuisine on offer is both local and international. Everyone will find something to their taste out of all the dishes presented. When the weather permits, the hotel sometimes organizes barbecues outside the restaurant. Breakfast is served from 6.30 to 9am. So you can have it before or after your safari. Lunch is served from 12.30 to 2.30pm and dinner from 7.30 to 10pm.
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