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Reviewed 14 August 2010

Checkin – Our reservation was in order. Checkin was prompt and smooth.
We arrived at Amboseli from Tsavo West National Park. Practically the entire 150 odd kms of the journey was on very bumpy, dusty non paved dirt roads. We were glad to be received at the hotel with a wet Towel and we gladly wiped off the layers of dust of our faces and hair. A cold refreshing drink of Passion Fruit juice was another great touch.

There are some rather aggressive monkeys all around the property, so be especially mindful of these. The hotel employs Maasai people in their traditional garb, armed with slingshots that, from time to time, drive away the monkeys. But overall, I would say the monkeys are winning. It does not help that some hotel guests feed them and this encourages their behavior. I saw people seated on outside tables had their muffins stolen from right in front of them by monkeys. They also have taken a liking for the little packets of sugar that are used for Coffee/Tea if left out.

Rooms – Well appointed rooms, clean and practical. To have running water and hot water around the clock in the middle of the jungle is luxury indeed! No TV in the room, but then who comes to an African Jungle lodge to watch TV? In the evenings for their ‘turn down’ service they would put the Mosquito nets out and put on an electric mosquito killer. Although at the time we were there (early August) there was practically no mosquitoes. We had rooms 2 & 3 which are located very close to the main entrance and restaurants. However, practically all other rooms were past our rooms. So there was the constant noise of suitcases being dragged on the walkway outside with people checking in and out, plus the noise from people using the swimming pool close by. So if you want a quiet room, make sure you ask for one that is farther away.

We did have problems with the supply of water from time to time. One time my wife got started in the shower and within 2 minutes the water stopped. I called the Front Desk to complain about no water. They said they would send someone out to the room to check it out. I told them that my wife was standing naked in the shower, and asked them to send water and not a person to check her out.

Restaurant-They assign you a table for the duration of your stay which is a nice feature. The service is superior and the staff is very alert and receptive to needs. Always have a good spread to suit most tastes. Excellent variety of fresh fruit and juices. The service level at the restaurant remained good regardless of whether the place was completely full or empty which is quite a feat to pull off.

Coffee/Tea – They have a separate Coffee/Tea station that is open pretty much all day. This is a rather nice feature indeed. Excellent coffee & tea, but then Kenya is known for this. Watch out that the monkeys dont grab your sugar packets.

Safari Drives – One really needs to be unlucky to not spot game at Amboseli. Being a relatively small area (as far as game parks in Kenya are concerned) and most of the land being completely flat one can see for miles. Amboseli is home to 2500 Elephants and they are everywhere. We got treated to the sight of about 8 Lions including a couple of cubs walking right across the road where our Landcruiser was parked. We were treated to some very rare glimpses of Elephants in action with their families and babies. Apart from this, got to see plenty of Wildebeest, Zebra, Giraffes, Hyena, Flamingo, various antelopes.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kumar S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2010

We thoroughly enjoyed nearly every aspect of our stay at the Sarena Safari Lodge at Amboseli. The Lodge is one of the few right in the middle of the game park. Your Safari starts as soon as you board the Land Cruiser from the airstrip as the route runs past the swamp with its huge variety of bird life. The hotel buildings themselves are designed to resemble a Masi village which sits comfortably in its environment.; the style extends down to the murals of birds and animals in the bedrooms and restaurant. From the terrace you can watch the herds of animals moving slowly across the park. Our bedroom looked out onto an area where Vervet monkeys played. However, most guests are there to get closer to the animals on the twice daily game drives, which are extremely well-organised in small groups by the hotel. Our driver was enthusiastic and knowledgeable, helping us to take some memorable photographs. The service is informal and friendly; staff are very keen for you to be aware of and use the hotel facilities. With most people staying only 2 or 3 nights there is quite a turnover of clients and this churn was most noticeable in the restaurant where we sat at several different tables and were served by a change in procession of waiters and waitresses. Our package included an evening barbecue at the edge of the hotel grounds with floodlights and out into the park (although we didn't see anything). As it was the quiet season there were not many of us and we felt the whole experience was an extravagant use of staff and materials. However, the hotel was a first-class base from which to see the fascinating wildlife of Amboseli.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mylespetheter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2010

This was our first day or the safari trip and it was really a pleasure realxing stay. The food was excelent and service was also excelnt. I cant think of any thing negetive.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank jayshah51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2010

The Location is great, especially since there was a lioness who had given birth to three cubs inside the Lodge premises! Makes you wonder about the security, but goes to show how in-the-middle-of-the-action you get to be!

The rooms are spartan but comfortable. The staff try their best to save you from the mosquitoes. It's not the best of the Serena lot but it is a wonderful place to stay. As all the Serena Hotels, they are very accommodating - be it with packed lunches or vegetarian food.

I'd say stick to the Serena Lodges for your Safaris - they are great Value for Money!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank MumbaiCentral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2010

I stayed there one night mid-may 2010. This is the 'green season' Arpil-May and prices are low, rooms are respectively 95$ for single and 185$ for double/twin... may not be the best for animals at that period.

On arrival, you are given wet towels to clean up slightly from the dust, as well as drinks. Staff is prompt to take baggages to your room and our key was handled to us swiftly after filling a form.

Room was spotless, nicely decorated and functional. Beds was comfortable, bathroom was also spotless and shower having very good pressure.

In the evening the room is prepared by the staff, lights will be switched on, mosquito net down, etc... There are a lot of insects around at that period, so this is necessary to avoid your bed crawling with crickets, grasshopers or similar.

Buffet food for lunch was really excellent. A lot of choice, very tasty and you have an indian corner with spicy food in addition of the 'classic' selection. The desserts were very much appreciated too: ginger pudding, flan, coconut pastries, chocolate cake, etc .. with a choice of whipped cream, chocolate sauce, custard, toffee, ...

Dinner was somewhat similar (with different choice of food and complete new set of desserts) but you had to choose your main meal a la carte. Food was good, but I was less impressed here as meals were barely warm. That said it feeds you well.

Drinks are complimentary and soft drinks charged 120Ksh (1.5$). There is always free coffee and tea available nearby the bar area.

The dining room maybe lack a bit of character as well and could maybe be better looked after, the small rooms on the side makes you feel a bit enclosed.

When you're paying 95$ a night for single and considering this is full board, I find it very good value. However, I would be hard pressed to pay the 300$ full price during high season as I find it a bit steep for Kenya, but you won't have much choice in the area.

Internet wifi is available for 300Ksh (~3.5$)/ hour...this is very slow, so don't expect to do a lot of work over it and download files/upload pictures without spending a considerable amount of time. One is supposed to have signal in your room, but it was too weak and dropping despite having a powerful wifi card, I had to move to the reception to get stable signal.

You have a nice view of the Kilimanjaro at the back of the hotel. The hotel was actually built to mostly face the opposite way where you could potentially see some game during the evening if you're lucky.

During the night even though there were only a few guests at the hotel there was music going on until at least 2am and it was largely audible in my room despite me being a good 200m away from it.

Lunch pack provided on game drive or for the drive is OK but not terribly good value when you consider the lunch buffet. I cannot comment on breakfast since we skipped it due to an orgy of dessert at lunch and dinner the previous day.

Related to Amboseli National Park, I would probably say that this park is appropriate for birding, elephants and the landscape with the vast plains and the Kilimanjaro in the background. During the green season the game might be scattered far away in the bush, so your chance to see big cats might be extremely limited. I would tend to think that a maximum of 2 days here is enough and focusing on Masai Mara might be a better idea.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank bearadvisor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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