9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Breath Taking In All Ways
"Elsa's is an enchanting place, from the moment we arrived Clare made us so very welcome. Our Cottage (NO.8) was beautiful and the views from our decking were spectacular.
The Staff were all excellent , food superb and we just never wanted to leave.
We went on many Games Drives, Breakfasted at the Tana River, enjoyed a Bush Walk and visited the Bora at the Village.
We couldn't ask for more, it felt like Paradise.
Paul our Guide was very knowledgeable and made our Drives very enjoyable. Sundowners were enjoyed every evening at different beautiful spots.
After all the awful publicity Kenya has received in the last 8 months, we experienced no effects at all , and this beautiful country really needs our Support. They are such friendly warm welcoming people
I would rebook in a shot. Elsa's was "Perfect" in every way !!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 17th of July 2008
Home of the Hyraxes
"We loved Elsa's Kopje! The staff is friendly and well trained, the food is very good, the rooms/cottages superb. The guide with whom we went on game drives/walk is excellent. Meru is a beautiful national park.
The only negative aspect we found is that although there were plenty empty cottages, our request if our son could have another cottage than us could not be entertained because then, as the manager said, "I have to hire two extra staff"."
- Travel date: Mon 26th of May 2008
Romance and adventure
"My wife and I stayed at a number of safari lodges in Kenya on our honeymoon, and Elsa's was definitely one of our favorites. The honeymoon villa is perched on the back side of the hill, and has a little outdoor bathtub carved into the hillside...very romantic spot to soak after a day of game drives, watching the sun go down and spotting animals off in the distance.
Service was extraordinary. Joel, our driver and guide for the game drives, is incredibly knowledgable and really made it a spectacular memory we'll have forever."
- Travel date: Fri 16th of May 2008
"Once again Cheli and Peacock have an outstanding property in an outstanding location.
We had the family house with the infinity pool and I do not think I have ever stayed anywhere that I did not want to leave the room and go out. Infact on our last night we had drinks and dinner in our dining room and then watched the stars with the kids till late. My husband loved the outside shower and the kids loved the wildlife outside their room.
The grass was long when we were at the Meru but our guide George still found most of the top 5 and we saw amazing sights on our stay. One morning we went fishing to break up the 'safari' and after having breakfast 3 rhino swam past our fishing spot.
Food and staff where outstanding at Elsa's. The walk up the mountain for sundowners is not easy but worth it when you get there.
Another outstanding lodge in and amazing part of the world. I feel priviliged that I got to stay there and share it with my family."
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of January 2008
We named our Dog after this place...really
"Due to time constraints, I must be brief:
--Very Good Staff
Ask for the villa across the rope bridge. I could rave about all of the different ways that Elsa's differentiates, from the massage table on the edge of a cliff, to our sunken outdoor tub that they put candles around for a nighttime plunge, to waking up to coffee and a herd of Giraffe's picking their way through the trees below our porch.
This was an exceptional experience. I was glad we went here before the Mara, because the game is not as plentiful and is more shy. But this is Africa.
Elsa, is a one-year old boxer puppy, so we have a regular reminder of the near flawless experience that we had there.
Once caveat that it is necessary to mention...this is Africa...you are very close to the environment...if you are the hotel type...this is not for you.
- Travel date: Tue 1st of January 2008
Honeymoon of a lifetime
"Firstly i want to mention that i am well traveled (worked on cruise ships for 8 years and literally travelled pretty much everywhere) I also have very high expectations on accommodations and locations for this reason. I state this as i have often read reviews and thought that perhaps the person writing it was maybe not as fortunate as i have been and are wowed by a what i consider to be "quite nice". My very first experience of Kenya was Tsavo national park near Mombasa which although was only for a day from when i was on the ships i had a fantastic time and found it very exhilarating so knew i would go back at some point and our honeymoon seemed the perfect opportunity before our week in Mauritius (Taj Exotica, beautiful but very overpriced but will write a review on that later)
From the moment we got to Elsa's Kopje we were met by Emma the lodge manager, with a very warm and genuine welcome and made to feel like a personal guest which i feel is quite rare.
We were shown around and given a brief on safety and what we could expect from our stay (3 days). The place was beautiful in a very untouched yet luxurious way. There was a bar and restaurant, and infinity pool and sun-lounge area with a view to die for, and even behind the restaurant there was an area to watch the sun set and although it was a small area it was intimate and rarely had more than a couple of people there.
The food was very fresh and tasty, and better than some exclusive restaurants i have eaten at, and the service could not be faulted as they were happy to serve in any way asked but also careful not to be too overbearing which we can find quite off putting but maybe that's an English thing. Our cottage was out of this world, we had cottage Number 1 across the swing bridge, it had a huge four poster bed, which we could watch the sun rise from, a loo with a view (open air except for mosquito nets that were put over at night as nothing looked over the cottage at all) and even a stone looking bath on the outside decking area (which we used while still looking out over the view at the elephants in the distance), also a viewing deck. As the night sets in the lights come on powered by a generator, and even this added to the ambiance of the place as its very low lighting and romantic. At dinner one night they had set the restaurant up on the lawn and it was all lit by candlelight with nothing but the sound of crickets and other such like wild sounds.
Our safaris were from 6.30am to about midday which i thought would be hard as I'm not a morning person but i slept like a baby the whole time i was there so it didn't seem so bad, plus they made us up a breakfast with hot flasks to take with us, which was wonderful as for the first hour it could be a bit chilly. The afternoon drive was from around 4pm until 7. We had the driver john who we felt very safe with and was also very knowledgeable. we loved the fact that it was just us and one other couple with the driver as with other safaris there tends to be either a convoy of jeeps or a minibus style car so the decisions on the days locations are made by the majority.
We didn't manage to see any of the cats although that was just luck as many others staying at the same time as us did but we did see tons of elephants, giraffe, zebra, hippo, baboons, the list goes on.
The day we left was quite emotional, i knew that nowhere else could ever top this. We said goodbye to Emma the manageress who may i add was kind enough to drive us to the landing strip to await our plane. I really could go on and on about this amazing place but i would not want to give it all away before anyone wishes to see it for themselves. If anyone is considering Elsa's Kopje all i can say is that if decide not to then you are making a massive mistake as both myself and husband found it to be the most peaceful beautiful yet exciting place either of us have ever been, and thank Emma and the team for making it so special for us on our honeymoon.
We booked with Cheli & Peacock and If we could afford to go back, we would. Every year!
PS, I found it to be a welcome break the odd night from wearing make up and posh dress but If your the kind of person that likes to dress up a bit especially on a honeymoon then i would take the odd outfit as it would not look out of place provided its not too over the top but heels are not a wise move obviously. Take a wrap or a cardie too although i rarely needed it.
PPS, Only got 1 mosquito bite and even that was only while on a game drive. Accomodation was very clean and provided everything you could need including umberella (just in case) and laundry service."
- Travel date: Sun 9th of December 2007
A real little gem
"We have just returned from three nights at Elsa's and it was definately not long enought infact we are planning to return in the near future. Staying here is like staying at a weekend house party. The management go out of their way to make you feel at home, calling you by your first names and seeing you off and back from your game drives. We had cottage number 5 which had an amazing view over the plain, what fantastic sun rises. There was no glass with the open walls being covered by mosquito netting at night. Bath robes are supplied and a free laundry service. The food is superb, and the staff go out of their way to make you feel at home. If you need it there is a hair dryer in the pool house. The electricity is turned off when the last person leaves the bar and each bungalow is individually sola heated so you are responsible for monitoring your hot water usage. The game drives were wonderful, each morning we took breakfast with us and ate it in the bush and then each evening we had a sundowner watching the sun set, one we had on top of a large rock a breathtaking experience. Our last one we had watching two lion cubs playing on a rock, just myself, my husband and our guide absolute paradise and that memory will stay in my mind for ever. There are only 9 bungalows here and you really do feel that you are special, it is a wonderful experience. One day we went to see Elsa's grave, very moving especially if like me you are a Born Free fan. Meru itself is completely unspoilt. It is not like the Mara etc where lots of vehicles turn up to see one animal, not once did we see another vehicle when we came across an animal. We saw 5 lions but unfortunately no lepoard althought we heard them in the vecinity of the Kopje. Rhino and a baby, lots of giraffe and elephant. The animals are slightly wary of vehicles which is good although I suspect that this will change over the years. Would I return to Meru, most definately infact we are planning to in 2009, I totally fell in love with the place and so will you."
- Travel date: Tue 16th of October 2007
You will not be disappointed
"Elsaâs Kopje was the highlight of our honeymoon. The management and staff were of a quality I have rarely seen, the rooms were to die for and the food was just tremendous. There are just so many positives about this location I could not name them all but it is easy for me to list the negatives because there are none. Every morning we were woken for our safari with hot coffee and biscuits. Our guide was very informative and managed to find 4 of the big 5 which was wonderful as we were not expecting too much after the Mara. In the afternoon we lazed by the beautiful pool and were allowed to relax to our hearts content. In the evenings we went out for further drives and were treated to some of the most amazing sunsets I have ever witnessed. On each drive we had a pleasing stop where refreshments were served and we got chance to stretch our legs. There was also the option (which we took) of a safari walk, a real must. Finally in the evenings we were served gourmet food by professional staff (Alex the head waiter really knows his job, his staff and how to make guests feel special) in luxurious surroundings. We cannot praise this place highly enough, I only hope we will get the chance to return some day. You will not be disappointed in Elsaâs."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of August 2007
"We have recently returned from two week safari travelling throughout Kenya. The highlight was the 2 night stay at Elsa's Kopje, Meru. What a gem! Tucked into a hill, each room with its own unique view over the plains (no nasty glass windows!). Imagine SITTING in the shower looking out at the plains of Meru, and fiding out when you retuen to you room after lunch that all evidence of the much needed after safari shower has been cleared away and fresh towels provided etc.
Superb service from Emma, Anton and their team - food to die for and eating under the stars at night - what more could you ask for!
No big cat viewing - due to rains the plains are very lush - we could hear loads of lions, especially during the night drive. However, we saw so many beautiful animals, rhino, hippos, scores of elephants, birds in theri hundreds, bush babies, etc. etc.
Would recommend to anybody - next time we will stay longer to enjoy the lodge and its 5 start service more!"
- Travel date: Mon 5th of March 2007
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