Sanctuary Olonana is an exceptional luxury lodge nestled in the heart of Kenya’s most famous game reserve and commands a dramatic view over the Mara River.
Contemporary architecture is juxtaposed with time-tested building practices such as Maasai mudding and stone walls, with soothing organic tones and a variety of textures adding warmth and character.
The soothing interiors of the main lodge are an extension of the surrounding wilderness — a Kenyan Greenheart tree extends through the centre, floorboards evoke wood bleached by the African sun, while splashes of saturated mustard yellows and cerulean blues conjure the colours of African wildflowers glowing in a ‘golden hour’ light. Ornamentation includes hand-crafted Maasai spears on the walls and patterned prints inspired by these carved wooden weapons once used for lion-hunting ensure an authentic African spirit abounds. Dramatic glass doors open out from the lounge to the terrace. Here, faded indigo rugs and elegant Edison-bulb pendant lights gently illuminate the decking without competing with the natural ambiance and the inviting new boma firepit is encircled by deckchairs, with each seat promising grandstand river views. Dine on the deck of the main lodge and overlook the river’s resident hippos. Relax with a good book in the library, cool off in the pool or for an extra special treat, experience traditional African remedies and spa treatments in the mini-spa.
Sanctuary Olonana’s 14 exceptional suites, at least 130 sqm in size, flaunt clean lines and organic materials, and are so comfortable that guests would be forgiven for being tempted to stay in. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors fold open to reveal magnificent Mara River views and the interiors have been sensitively and tastefully finished with elegant nature-inspired furnishings; this creates an ever-present sense of being connected to the great outdoors. Sumptuous king-sized beds, with overhead fans, and a daybed on the deck invite you to relax inside or out, while the sprawling lower lounge area offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Three of the suites at Sanctuary Olonana feature an extra bedroom, which is heaven-sent for families. The unfaltering attention to detail extends to fully stocked mini-fridges, specially commissioned African art and glamorous ensuites. These refined marble- and slate-accented bathrooms have a generous tub, double vanity and a rain shower.