Review: Sarova, Nakuru (vlog)

Friends, I just experienced a blogger’s nightmare! I lost my post that I typed out last night. 900 words of goodness, lost! I want to yank my hair out; except I barely have any. Let’s start over…

Time out of town is always welcome. Always. A few weeks ago, the family and I had a weekend getaway at Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge in Lake Nakuru National Park. I love any resort that lies within a national park. We all know that the closer you are to the wildlife, the more fulfilling your stay!PhotoGrid_1456318141022

Advice: Start your journey early and arrive as early as possible. The national park closes at 6pm because the lodge is within it, you cannot access it past 6pm.

Let’s chat a little about Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge.

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PRICES and PAYMENT
It was low season and we paid 150USD per night, double room & full board.
Prices go up during the high season and luxury suites also cost more.

Because the lodge is within the national park, park fees also apply. This is 1000KES (10USD) for Kenyans, for a period of 24 hours. Prohibitively higher fees apply for non-Kenyans at 90-100USD for the same duration of 24 hours. If you are staying for several nights, this can get expensive as you can imagine. We stayed for two nights. You must enter the park before 6pm.

You can pay by cash or card (Visa and Mastercard -credit and debit- cards are accepted).

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FOOD
The chefs here won over my heart! And my stomach. Mostly my stomach…

Breakfast had lots of options: cold options, hot options, pastries, juices, coffee and tea…PhotoGrid_1456318206966PhotoGrid_1456316726701

The soups were wonderfully flavourful, without disappointment. I could rave on about them, but then we would never get through this post, now would we? The salads were farm-fresh, the rolls oven-fresh, and there wasn’t a scarcity of dressings and toppings: vinaigrette, pesto, anchovies, sundried tomatoes, olives et cetera.PhotoGrid_1456316972847PhotoGrid_1456317773886PhotoGrid_1456317807130

Dedicated meat station anyone? Different cuts and chops of lamb, turkey, duck, pork, chicken and beef were available at all lunches and suppers. Grilled, roasted, stir fried, they had it all. There was no lack of variety in the carbs and veg department either!

My favourite corner was the ‘Indian Influence’ corner. This had pieces of Indian cuisine; the best channa, daal, naan, aloo. Vegetarian heaven!

I think my sister’s favourite station was the pasta station. I must say, it is a delight to have pasta of your choice heated live with meats, toppings and sauces of your choice: béchamel, bolognaise, marina… The only down side to this was that the pasta portions were so large, you wouldn’t have room for anything else. Which could be a good thing, however you want to look at it.PhotoGrid_1456317587489PhotoGrid_1456316749587

Dessert was no different with respect to variety. Panna cottas, tiramisu, cakes, crème brulée, fruit salad… If you’re one who struggles with decision-making, the dessert stand will make you lose your mind!PhotoGrid_1456316870846PhotoGrid_1456317696524

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SERVICE
The service was spectacular! The entire staff was friendly and went out of their way to make our stay as comfortable as possible. Let me give you an example.

Being the klutz that I am, I managed to lock my telephoto lens in our safe the morning (6:30am) of a game drive. I was running around like a headless chicken looking for someone to help reset it. I had three people come by to help and they helped open it as fast as they could. Also, when mum couldn’t eat at the restaurant (health reasons), they happily provided room service at no extra cost.IMG_20160224_154702

ROOMS & PREMISES
There is a perimeter electric fence, so you don’t have to worry about run-ins with lions. The lawns are immaculately kept and there is adequate lighting for night-time. There are paths to all major areas of the lodge.

The décor is largely African-inspired with warm earthy tones.

The rooms are built in an eco-lodge style; solar water heating and simple eco-friendly building materials. Any effort towards conserving the environment makes me happy!

Each room had a kettle and tea/coffee, safe box, mosquito net and umbrella. There were extra blankets and necessary toiletries provided. The bed linen and towels were crispy clean. My only complaint was that the rooms didn’t have slippers. Luckily I carried my own.

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ENTERTAINMENT
1. Bar and Restaurant
There is a well-stocked bar and terrace restaurant, complete with TV screens. Because we know that even on holiday, our men need to catch their football games!PhotoGrid_1456316813261

2. Live entertainment
Sammy, I think was his name, played his guitar and serenaded us every suppertime with classics and contemporary pieces while we dined in the main Flamingo restaurant.

There was also entertainment from ‘traditional’ dancers every day before supper.PhotoGrid_1456317013516

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OUTDOORS
1. Jogging track
There was a ‘jogging track’ the size of my back yard. Hardly a jogging track, really, but would suffice for yoga, pilates or a good cardio session.

2. Swimming pool
Catch a tan, or cool off in the pool with a good book, drinks, and lots of sunscreen.IMG_20160224_155701PhotoGrid_1456317319804PhotoGrid_1456318367563PhotoGrid_1456317268151

3. Bird watching
There was a trough with feed for birds, and you will be spoilt by different species of birds within the lodge premises. Not to mention out in the park itself.
My only heartbreak is this: the flamingo population in Kenya has dwindled to nil. Lake Nakuru was once a carpet of luscious pink… I hear they’ve migrated to Tanzania. You might know that the water level in the Rift Valley lakes has been increasing. In fact, several roads within the park are now submerged. There are several theories seeking to explain this strange phenomenon; story for another day. Bottomline is that the flamingos can no longer reach their food and had to move.PhotoGrid_1456317880260

4. Game drive
Take an early morning or evening drive, and catch the big five minus one. No elephants here, sorry. But everything else is free game. Pun unintended.PhotoGrid_1456316309424

5. Catch the sunset
Lion Hill is elevated and overlooks the lake towards the west. You know what this means.PhotoGrid_1456318244244

6. Enjoy lake views
There’s something immensely calming about views over water bodies. Just me, my thoughts and a precious view.  I could do it for hours. PhotoGrid_1456318317341

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OTHER
1. Connectivity
The lodge has free WiFi and there are laptop computers and telephones available for anyone that needs to reach home.

2. Spa
There is a spa for some R&R. I didn’t visit it, but I want to believe that it’s as much a stunner as the rest of the lodge.

3. Clinic
An in-house nurse and doctor are available in case of any medical emergencies. I got stung by a bee on my last day there. And while I decided to take it like a woman, it was comforting to know that meds were an arm’s reach away if I needed them.PhotoGrid_1456317055695

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1120 words later, I have successfully retyped this post. I know it was a lengthy one, but I tried to be as comprehensive as I could, because I love detailed reviews myself. 1142 words, I need to stop.

One last thing, I created a Facebook page for my blog. Do like and share! 🙂

Oh! Check out the vlog! 🙂

Love and Love!

 

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