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All reviewswatering holesilver ratedmasai marareal highlightluxurious accommodationsun downerwater holegame drivesout of this worldamazing animalsmain buildinginfinity poolwhole experienceevening gamewildebeest crossinglocal communityan abundance
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Reviewed 13 June 2016

This may be a little late as we are now preparing for Safari 2016. Our family arrives shortly from HongKong and we all enjoyed Safari 2015 at Spirit of the Masai Mara so very much that I feel a wander into the wild becoming an annual event during our African years.
The SOTMM holiday can't truly be described in words, or even the glorious photo's - it must be experienced.
Forget glitz and glamor, tables groaning with piles of forgettable food and impersonal staff attempting to appear occupied whilst studiously avoiding contact with guests. Think beautifully appointed chalets, quietly unobtrusive but delightfully attentive staff and an abundance of fresh and healthy food served with the minimum of fuss and the maximum attention to your personal preferences.
We loved the Sundowners by the water hole and the day spent in the park provided us with wonders to last a lifetime. Our host for the day, Brendan, and our guide were both extremely knowledgeable and the care and attention given to our two grandchildren was exceptional.
Would I do anything differently? Yes!! We'd stay an extra day. Possibly lounging at the waterhole with a picnic and book taking in the passing parade in all its variety.

Room Tip: All rooms were lovely and views spectacular.
  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Tintinara12344
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JustinMcCarthy, Owner at Spirit of the Masai Mara, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2016

Dear Tintinara12344,

Thank you for your very kind review, it was fantastic to show you and you kids such a great time in the Masai Mara and at the lodge. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Justin McCarthy
Owner
Spirit of the Masai Mara

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2016 via mobile

'An unforgettable adventure, in the height of comfort and luxury'


We travelled to 'The Spirit of the Masai Mara' in March and cannot recommend it highly enough. From the faultless, luxurious accommodation, to the stunning surroundings and views, the wonderful, friendly and efficient staff and service, the delicious food, and, of course, the out of this world game drives, everything was just fantastic. We loved every minute and were so sad to leave. We haven't stopped talking about it since we got back and are already planning our next visit! Here is a little bit about our stay -


The journey -
We landed in Nairobi and stayed the for one night. The next morning, we went to the giraffe sanctuary and then the elephant sanctuary which was amazing but only a taster. The internal flight was only about 45mins and was great fun, and I'm usually a nervous flyer! By car it's a 5-hour drive but others in our group said that it was enjoyable.
We were met at the airstrip by our guides in 4x4’s and saw Elephants, lions with cubs within 20 mins of landing. They had brought us some tasty snacks and drinks which we stopped off and enjoyed in the stunning, peaceful surroundings.
On the way to the lodge the wildlife was plentiful and all around us, we couldn't believe how much we saw and learned within an hour of landing in the Masai Mara!

The lodge -
We arrived to a very warm welcome from the manager Jules, and all the staff. The lodge is out of this world and really is an amazing feat that something so well done is in such a remote part of the world. The rooms are very impressive - finished really well, comfortable and stylish. There's a full sized living room, with stocked fridge, tea and coffee making equipment, huge glass floor to ceiling doors looking out over the gorgeous scenery, the bedroom was lovely with the same glass doors and views, great quality, comfortable bed, and a full mosquito net to go round the bed at night. Mosquitos were not a problem during our stay and neither of us received any bites (I usually get loads even in England!) The bathroom was lovely, it had a really nice shower, double sink and a really deep freestanding bath with the same amazing views. I recommend having a relaxing drink while soaking in the bath! The toiletries were great quality and smelled amazing! Nothing has been overlooked. The housekeeping service was wonderful, rooms were always extremely clean, fantastic turn down service in the evenings, and any washing was taken and returned to you the next day beautifully washed and ironed!


The main building was next to the pool, and where we all gathered to eat, have a drink, socialise etc. It was a really relaxing place to be, lovely surroundings, lots of comfy seating and tables, and great service. There is a big screen next to the bar where you can view the animals at the watering hole! Upstairs there is more comfortable seating, a big balcony which is a really fantastic place to sit, and also telescopes - the stars are so magical here.


The pool was gorgeous, it's an infinity pool with lovely views all around. You can see the watering hole very well from. The sunbeds around the pool are lovely and comfortable!


The food was excellent - really high quality. Breakfast was cooked to order with lots of choice including how you wanted your eggs cooked. We couldn't resist the perfectly cooked full English every day, but there were other things available too including continental. Lunch was a delicious three course meal, as was dinner, and the service was brilliant. We never had an empty glass! If we were out on a game drive a delicious, varied picnic would be prepared for our breakfast and lunch - seats and tables were set up, it was really special to be able to all sit and eat our delicious food out in the open in such a wonderful place.

The staff were all fantastic, so friendly and welcoming, and nothing was too much trouble. Jules was a great host, and so knowledgeable about Kenya and the local area.

The game drives -

It's hard to put into words how fantastic the game drives were! We've always wanted to go on safari and this totally exceeded all our expectations. It was so beautiful to see all the animals up close, in their natural habitat, and something we'll never forget. All our guides were professionally certified Masai guides, they were excellent at spotting and such a wealth of information. Their knowledge about all the animals, big and small, was fantastic. We saw other visitors from other camps and a lot of their drivers appeared to be taxi drivers as opposed to Masai guides. We got the real deal. We saw pretty much everything - lionesses with their cubs, cheetahs with their cubs, eating, and hunting, leopards, giraffes, hippos, elephants, rhinos, buffalos, wildebeest, and many more types of antelope (Dik diks were my favourite - so cute!), baboons, hyenas, jackal, vultures, eagles, and all types of amazing birds. We even saw wild dogs one morning, which is extremely rare, and got some brilliant shots and video. Even the other Masai guides were excited when we showed them. The only thing we didn't manage to see was a male lion, I think we were just unlucky as there are lots of them about. We did hear them roaring a few times, which was quite spectacular! Do make sure to go along on the night game drive, that was a very special experience, and also definitely the early morning ones as it's really beautiful to be out at that time and you see lots.

We also got the opportunity to visit the local school, for the opening ceremony of their new classroom. It was wonderful to meet all the local people, they were so friendly and welcoming. Watching all the traditional Masai dancing was a real highlight, particularly the children, another once in a lifetime experience!

Thank you for such a fantastic and memorable experience.

Katie & Terry

Stayed: March 2016, travelled with friends
1  Thank Terry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JustinMcCarthy, Owner at Spirit of the Masai Mara, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2016

Dear Katie and Terry,

Thank you for your wonderful review of Spirit of the Masai Mara. It was a real pleasure to host you and show you this amazing part of the world. We are really happy you enjoyed the lodge and all the special activities we can do in the Siana Conservancy such as night game drives and sundowners.
We look forward to seeing you again soon

Justin McCarthy
Owner
Spirit of the Masai Mara

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2016

“Jambo Rafiki wapi Spirit of Masai?” ......”Twendeni juu tuu, taa fika mara moja - straight kabisa”........The masai community surrounding the spirit, have embraced the lodge as an extension of they’re land, they all smile widely and clear a path between they’re cattle and goats for my black Xtrail to get through, reaching out for high fives as I drive though. Granted we did get lost on the way, not once, but twice - thats just simply due to my partners and mine total lack of navigation dexterities.
As we ploughed through the majestic hills, and gawked at the lashings of different green and yellow acacia trees, we forgot the city we left behind us.
“ohh theres a Land Cruiser there, ummm its flashing us!” .......lost again, but rescued by the attentive Silver Rated guides of the Lodge.
A few minutes latter saluted by the guard and welcomed with open arms.
Attention - all your needs and wants captured before arrival, your likes and preferences, any requests you may have are all fulfilled; you are after all, part of the Spirit of the Mara community.
Blue eyed Ms. Jules and Dave the LionMan are possibly the best story tellers I have had the pleasure of dining with in a long time - enchanting stories of Kenya, of the years gone by, history, the wilderness, facts and figures are accompanied by an flavoursome meal ..... “our chef made that mango chutney, he’s a trainee from the Maasai community, I love his attitude and have high expectations for him” Jules compassionately announces, as I dip my homemade naan bread into a deliciously sweet mango chutney.
The team here identify and develop talent of the local community - they have pledged to provide opportunities for local masai and are doing an commendable job so far.
As I sit back on my leather pleated sofa and stare at the uninterrupted views of the Siana Valley, a plethora of silver stars glistening in the back, I am already planning my next visit - I did after all not have time to dive into the pool, or use the telescope for star watching, read the history, wildlife and educational books in the library, or better yet speak more time with jules and dave.
As we depart we are taken on a behind the scenes tour of the lodge, a must try for all visitors - the environmental best practices, showcase the lodges and staff ethics towards protecting the surrounding environment.
We were just on our way to Nairobi, completed a 4 day tour of the Mara - and got the opportunity to unwind and relax at the Spirit - little did we know we would return, inspired and enriched.
Spirits uplifted - thank you Jules and team.

Room Tip: “all rooms have uninterrupted views"
  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank RHSG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JustinMcCarthy, Owner at Spirit of the Masai Mara, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2016

Dear RHSG,

Thank you for your kind review of Spirit of the Masai Mara, we are very happy you had such a good time and appreciated our community evolvement. We work very hard to support the local community and to protect the environment.

We look forward to yo seeing you again soon

Justin McCarthy
Spirit of the Masai Mara

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2016 via mobile

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Kenya and stay at the Spirit of The Masia Mara. The accommodation, food and staff were flawless. Most notably personally was the quality and knowledge of the tour guides each day on the safaris. I gained a huge amount of education about the amazing animals and the natural habitat surrounding them. This is the only place you should stay if you travel to this wonderful part of the world.

Stayed: October 2015, travelled with friends
Thank Stephen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JustinMcCarthy, Owner at Spirit of the Masai Mara, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2016

Dear Stephen C,

Thank you for your kind review of the lodge. I will be sure to pass on your thanks to our guides and all the other staff.

We look forward to seeing you there again soon.

Justin McCarthy

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2016 via mobile

Such a magical resort in a magical place. Everything about the spirit of the masai mara was first class. A truely once in a lifetime holiday made even better by staying in such wonderful surroundings. The safaris were unbelievable, the lodge is just wonderful and with great hospitality.

I would highly recommend the spirit of masai mara.

Stayed: October 2015, travelled with friends
Thank Craig D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JustinMcCarthy, Owner at Spirit of the Masai Mara, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2016

Dear Craig D,

Thank you for your kind review, we are very happy you found the lodge magical, and you enjoyed the Safaris so much.

We look forward to seeing you again

Justin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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