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Toshi Oct 4th, 2006 10:35 AM

Best Rooms at Mara Serena
For those of you following our saga, we cleared the wait list and will be spending our 3 day post gorilla trek (in December) at the Mara Serena. Hooray! (and thanks for all the helpful advice)

On last year's trip we had a horrible room - #64 - at the Serengeti Serena. It was on the far edge of the property (lots of noise from guides camp), had no view, three single beds, and NO CROSS BREEZE. (We did like the property though, and found the pool area heavenly.)

Trying to avoid a repeat by requesting a specific room or area in advance.


santharamhari Oct 4th, 2006 09:59 PM

Out of curiosity, how many rooms do they hv in total?


jenn24 Oct 5th, 2006 02:54 AM


The website says 73 rooms total.


santharamhari Oct 5th, 2006 05:33 AM

Wow!!! thanks, Jenn.....

OnlyMeOirish Oct 5th, 2006 07:12 AM

Hi Toshi,
We stayed at the Serena in July. First we were assigned room 76 which was Waaayyy away from the lodge on a slight slope. We changed from this room (as it had two sindle beds and not a double as requested) to number 5 which was just 5 doors away from the main lodge, was slightly bigger than 76 and had a better view in my opinion. Noise from the lodge wasn't an issue (if you read my trip report you will see we did have some noise issues from our loud neighbours on one night though) as it was far enough away from the lodge and basically most people were in bed relatively early.

I wouldn't hesitate asking for room 5 or one of the nearer rooms to the lodge again. I would be hessitant to take a room as far away from the lodge as 76 again - all that up and down hill, 6 or 7 times a day!


Toshi Oct 6th, 2006 07:50 AM

Imelda- Thanks for the tip. Now I know the numbering scheme too so if I get a high number at check in I'll protest accordingly !

From your trip report it sounded like you used the Serena vehicles for your game drives. I assume that they are decent 4x4's - with some sort of cover (not just the roof pops off and you are exposed to the sun) - right? Any tips there (other than to avoid Sammy)?

We have two 1/2 days in Nairobi on either side of this and have contacted Kennedy already :) We're going to do the cheetah visit on one day and aren't sure what to do on the other. We have from noon to 9pm (and we have a day room to rest and clean up before our LOOONNNGG flight home). Which of your Nairobi activities (other than the cheetahs)did you enjoy the most?

OnlyMeOirish Oct 9th, 2006 08:15 AM

Hi Toshi,
Sorry it has taken so long to reply but I've been away from the boards for a while.
With regard to the Serena vehicles, yes, they are in very good condition and either 5 or 7 seater. BUT the roof pops off entirely so it is not a pop-up, rather a pop-off! Although this does leave you exposed to the sun we never found this a problem, just make sure you use sun cream.
As for tips, if you can, request Samuel as your guide - he was BRILLIANT on our first game drive and as you correctly stated - make sure you don't get Sammy!!If you can, I'd do the Hippo Pool Breakfast - we really enjoyed it and also, if you're into (or even if you're not!) massages I highly recommend having one (or two!) there. What else? Water is provided on game drives and they give you little DEET wipes in your room each day. I can't think of anything else.

I'm glad you have arranged Kennedy for Nairobi - he's a great guy! What days will you be in Nairobi? This does make a difference as we were there on a Saturday and both the Giraffe Manor and the Elephant Orphanage were mobbed. Definately the highlight of Nairobi for us was the evening visit with our Ellie Orphans at the Sheldrick Orphanage. You have to be a foster parent to be able to arrange this. It costs $50 per year and in my opinion is well worth it. We also went to visit the Ellies the following morning but because of the crowds it wasn't anything near the experience of our 'up close and personal' visit the evening before. Although, in saying that, I wouldn't have missed either visit for the world. I would also do the Giraffe Manor again but would try to arrange it so that it wasn't on a Saturday.
I MIGHT also do a 'safari' in Nairobi NP. We didn't do this while we were there but from Darren's photos, it looked like it was interesting and he saw some different species of antelope.

If there is anything else I can help with don't hesitate to ask - you're in for a FANTASTIC holiday!!


Patty Oct 9th, 2006 10:32 AM

I have a pic of the view from room #33 in this album

As you walk out of the reception area (facing the pool), #33 would be toward your right. I don't recall exactly how far it was from the dining/reception area but it didn't seem very far. We didn't stay at the Serena so unfortunately I can't tell you much else about it. We stopped there for lunch and I asked if we could see a room.

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