Kenya Accommodation Rating Website??

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Feb 16th, 2006, 07:05 AM
  #1
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Kenya Accommodation Rating Website??

Fodorites,

Does anyone know of a good website that list all Kenyan Accommodations... and then rates them accordingly?

It would be great to get an unbiased rating site in order to be able to compare various lodges and hotels.

Anyone?
simbakubwa is offline  
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Feb 16th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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What rating sites are "unbiased?"
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Feb 16th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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I am 90% sure there is no such thing, although the responses to all your questions are a start! I wouldn't trust one if I found it because it all seems to be a matter of taste. There are these new-fangled things called guidebooks though...
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Feb 16th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Try www.tripadvisor.com I'm not sure how many Kenyan hotels the site lists but I ALWAYS consult it before booking a hotel anywhere and find it very reliable.
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Feb 16th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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Tripadvisor is NOT unbiased. There have been a lot of news reports lately about retaliatory postings, establishments paying for postings, etc.
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Feb 16th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Okay... by unbiased I meant anything from a guest as opposed to the hotel itself.

They have a lot of sites like that for Carribean resorts... and I was wondering if there was anything like that for Kenya.
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Feb 16th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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thit_cho - I wasn't promoting the site just simply answering a question to the best of my knowledge and stating that I always use it myself to get an idea on hotel prior to booking which is completely true. I wasn't aware of retaliatory postings and had actually never thought of that happening - I really hope that it doesn't happen much otherwise that's another good site ruined - where will we find 'real' reviews on hotels?? I will certainly have to think about what I'm reading in future in another light.
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Feb 16th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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Unbiased. I doubt it. Not even the travel mags have unbiased "Top 100." It's only people who have supposedly "stayed" rather than just walked thru the lobby or waved from a bus who should be answering and that isn't what they print for the rest of us to use as a guideline.

Even the Crater Lodge at Ngorongoro gets varied reviews. Yes, expensive and "over-the-top" - women tend to love it, men not nearly as much. And, then there are those velvet drapes! So everyone has their own opinions.

Some people stay at a hotel/lodge/camp because it is the most expensive and is on every Top 100 list. Others are more concerned with "food" over the safari itself. Still other are on a budget and the Serena hotel/lodges are seen as a palace. Lovely, yes, but a palace, I don't think so.

There are those that want small and intimate, others don't care if there are 50+ rooms or tents.

And we do know many properties, regardless where in the world, pay someone for their praises. And many of the answers actually come from travel agents (i.e., the Fodor's International books) so how honest is that when Fodor's promotes that the info is from those who eat or stay somewhere. It is all very personal and what is important to each traveler.

The Burj Al-Arab in Dubai, a so-called 7* hotel, has gotten negatives reviews. Sure, there is plenty of glitz, but complaints have been expressed re service.

You might find a listing of accommodations in both Kenya and/or Tanzania, doubt they will be complete and the reviews, if for all, have to be evaluated based on your own expectations.
 
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Feb 16th, 2006, 11:47 AM
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My 2 cents.

I think there are hardly a bad safari establishment in East Africa (I am talking about lodges/camps/beach resorts and not seedy hotels in dark city streets).

But there are many bad matches resulting in warped reviews. The wrong person at the wrong lodge/camp/resort at the wrong time at the wrong price with wrong expectations! Then sometimes the opposite happens - and a place can get a rave review only to be a letdown for the next guest!

Also, how can one judge anything if you have nothing to compare it too? If you stay at Sopa at Ngorongoro, your review may be different if you also stayed at Crater Lodge and Serena and Wildlife during the same visit! But no-one does!

And then there are out-of-date reviews - do a search for Maji Moto camp and see how many times it pops up on the internet!

And old reviews and pictures of Treetops in Tarangire (it has been rebuilt more than a year ago)!

I prefer forum discussions rather than reviews. Give me some facts - hopefully with pictures - and I will reach my own conclusions!

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Feb 16th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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And there are people like me who like everything! Low standards mean I'm usually pleasantly surprised.

The nice thing about forums is that you can maybe get a sense of where people are coming from, what their expectations are/were and then try to decipher how you might feel about the same place. An interesting experiment, anyway.

In terms of Kenya, doesn't Africa Point list a great number of accommodations? I don't think they rate/review them but there are many photos.
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Feb 16th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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The most complete list of Kenyan accommodation with websites is Bwana Mitch’s amazing website.
http://www.safari-portal.de/Lodging.KE.d.html

Climbhighsleeplow and Leely just about say it all about how to get “reviews” here on Fodor’s.
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Feb 16th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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Hello Simba,

I agree with the other posters that there isn't any such thing as an unbiased review site.

Personally, I really like to see pictures of the place I'm considering -- at least that way I can have some idea of what I'm getting. Ideally the pictures will be from other travellers, not professional photographers (this is something TripAdvisor can help with). I'm quite reluctant to stay somewhere if I can't find any pictures of it -- in these days of easy digital photography and website hosting, it makes me wonder what they're hiding. If it's a small establishment and doesn't have its own website, I'll email the management and ask them to email some photos.

If there is an email address, I usually send a question or two to the management to see how responsive they are (and for practical reasons as well -- I'm asthmatic and non-smoking accommodation is quite important to me). Places that don't write back, or worse, ignore the question and ask for my credit card number, are quickly eliminated.

I also try to do a 'survey' of opinions online -- looking at reviews from different sources and seeing if there is any consensus. I do use TripAdvisor, but take everything I read there and elsewhere with a grain (or more) of salt. I find that people on this forum are often my best sources of information about personal experiences at a place. It's rare to find a place that no Fodorites have stayed in, unless it's very new or very out of the way.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 16th, 2006, 02:44 PM
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simbakubwa:

There is such a report. While researching Kenya before my first safari I purchased the reports and video tapes from Debbie Doelker at:

http://safariplace.com/ratings.html

The videos showing the camps and lodges were helpful before making my decision as to where I wanted to stay. Not all lodges/camps are rated, but it does give one an idea of what to expect in many of them.

Jan
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Feb 16th, 2006, 03:34 PM
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That's so funny! The Safari Place site is one of those who came up when I searched for Maji Moto camp as a joke to see which web sites are out of date! I saw it earlier today!

Is this company still around?
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Feb 16th, 2006, 06:07 PM
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climbhighsleeplow:

I just tried the Doelker website and I keep getting hung up on it and it doesn't go through. However, there is a note on the page that the ratings are now only for those that book their safaris with them. I ordered them in 2000 even though I didn't book my safari with them. They were helpful to me at the time. If one were really serious about getting the ratings, perhaps a call to Safari Place in New York would be helpful.

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Feb 16th, 2006, 07:28 PM
  #16
 
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Hi, just read the post,

I feel Eben's site www.go-safari.com
does give a good photo views of the camps/campsites and lodges atleast in tanzania. Eben pls do something on mara

Also africa point has got a good collection

Bwana mitch's site is also very good

There is a site called www.africaguide.com I feel it is also pretty good from the limited portion that I have researched on this site,

Sonali

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Feb 19th, 2006, 04:03 AM
  #17
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Thanks guys! I'll look into these and see what I can find. I think TRIPADVISOR seems pretty good and fair.
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