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“Watch out for the wildlife!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

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Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Mbingwe Valley, Serengeti National Park N/A, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Watch out for the wildlife!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

Slap bang in the middle of the serengeti you will find this wee oasis to help you relax after another knackering day in the back of a safari jeep!
With its swimming pool , evening entertainment and large comfortable lodges you cant help but unwind and be refreshed to start all over again.
Huge selection of food at the buffet meals but if you have a special diet good luck getting any answers from the chefs regarding ingredients!
Just remember if you wandering about after dark get an escort from security as when they tell you that the lodge is unfenced, my god they mean it as on our second day there we met 2 lions no more than 500 metres from the lodge!
Overall, good place to stay unless your looking for the charm an independent lodge operator can give you, if you are happy to spend your holiday with a large chain of lodges then this is the place for you.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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493 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Switzerland
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2010

We stayed in two non-consecutive nights at this lodge, and I would rate the experience very good in the first night and poor in the second.

The hotel is located at the top of a hill, offering a very nice view of the Seronera valley. It has an observation deck and a small swimming pool.

Upon our arrival, I requested a two-bedroom suite at the top floor, but there was none available anymore. Since we were returning in three days, I made a reservation for this suite, which was then confirmed by the manager.

This lodge is run a little bit differently from the other Serena hotels in the safari areas. The shows are presented after dinner, so there was very little audience as the guests preferred to rest for or because of the game drives. Dinner was also buffet style and not a choice menu. The quality of the food was ok, but sometimes there were long queues and the BBQ station was always offering the meat cooked rare, even if you request it well done.

But the overall experience was good as the staff was very attentive and willing to deliver very good customer service.

Most of the problems happened in the second night. Despite the reservation confirmation, there were no two-bedroom suites available again. The manager offered me one bottle of wine for the mistake. Once settled down, I realized the sound of water dripping in the water tank above the room ceiling. This did not happen in our first stay and also was not happening in the kids room. I call the reception and they inform me that it is normal, the water tank was empty and the dripping and the echo will stop. Five minutes later a messenger delivers a basket of fruits, but it is close to dinner time and it has no use.

Well, after dinner I am happy as the fitful sound was gone, however by mid-night it starts again and continues until dawn.... I started to count drops instead of sheeps in a failed attempt to go back to sleep.

My recommendation: avoid room number 50.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundee, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2010

again due to the hype of the serena brand i was slightly disappointed with this hotel,i stayed in a sopa lodge in kenya 7 years ago and it was every bit as good.
the lodges are located within the serengeti,but you do have a bit of a drive before you see anything exciting,the serengeti was a little disappointing aswell,due to it being a conservation area,if you see a lion or leopard 200m away in the grass then you arent allowed to go see it,you have to stick to the roads,but it was like that in lake manyara and ngorongoro aswell,unlike masai mara in kenya or chobe in botswana where you just drove all over the place,getting really close to everything.the rooms at the serengeti are ok,perhaps a little dated,set out exactly the same as lake manyara rooms.the staff are all excellent,as was the food.
i would probably still recommend to anyone thinking of staying in serengeti to stay here because there wasnt much wrong,but i just expected a little better.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Malaysia
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
312 helpful votes 312 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2010

Stayed in June for two nights as part of our safari itinery over five parks. We have had good reviews of the Serena hotels and were looking forward to staying here.

We were met on arrival with the usual towels and drinks which was pleasant. However, at the reception, for some strange reason, we were given the 'stare down'. Absolutely no smiles at all from the person at the desk. We were spoken to as if we were a bunch of kids. All of us (and there was more than a half dozen of us) all felt the same way. I had then put down a pen on the table in the middle of filling in the usual forms, some other staff member took it back. I asked if I could have another pen and and the the main guy at the desk accused me of having taken and kept the first one with an accusatory tone. Now, why would I want a crummy ball point pen? At first, I thought that perhaps he must have been overworked or something but again, the same continued...and very conscending as well.

In the room, and we wanted a hairdryer. Called housekeeping and was told that there was one in the bathroom. We told them that there was an attachment meant for a hairdryer but there was no hairdryer. We were again told that there should be one! Urrgh! (we do speak perfectly good English)

Saving grace: the security staff accompanying us to the restaurant at night and the lady at the entrance to the restaurant was very nice and polite. However, at the dinner, again, the waiters/waitresses were sombre looking. We all felt pretty uncomfortable by then. Dinner had a barbeque section and the main man there does not look happy one bit when dishing out the barbequed stuff. He made his displeasure felt and many guests were talking about this. We all felt like Oliver Twist!

The same happened the next day and the next evening. Then there was this gentleman who came around from table to table during dinner (on both evenings) insisting that we should take a walk with him at 6am in the morning out in the bush. He too was sombre looking and was very insistent. We he finally accepted that we did not want to go for this excursion, he definitely made his displeasure felt!

When we checked put, a member of the group had put a handphone and charger on the top pocket of a backpack and the porter had taken it to the front of the hotel from the room while we had breakfast. On the way out of the park, we found it missing and turned back. The first reaction from the Manager is that we must have misplaced it (again, with a very stern look). He finally took down our handphone numbers and said he would call us back that evening (as we are going to another Serena Hotel). That was a month ago and still no phone call. Even if they did not find it, I would have thought that a promised phone call should have been made in any event. We have all searched our luggage and the phone was not with us.

So, there you go. I have done many reviews in the past and have never felt so strange about a hotel before. We all know that we expect what we pay for and in some lesser hotels, we do not expect so much. But then, it is never like this.

Consolation, the place was in a lovely setting, the "huts" very creatively done and the ambience great. But..it is the people that makes a place. Every member in the group felt the same way (On the second night, some other guest was seen screaming at the man at the barbeque stand). We were so apprehensive of the next place of accomodation after that, which was another Serena establishment, the Serena Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. BUT, the Serena Ngorongoro was so different, the staff so friendly and accomodating and we were made to feel welcome (wow, what a feeling!). Why the stark difference?

What a shame. The place could have been so perfect. Luckily, Serengeti (the National park that is) being what it is more than made up for it.

Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
689 reviews 689 reviews
92 hotel reviews
Reviews in 172 cities Reviews in 172 cities
836 helpful votes 836 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2010

Only spent one night at this lodge. Our unit was the size of a standard chain hotel. We had 3 beds. There was a hair dryer and a fan. There were fires all around the area and it was extremely smoky. The room did not have great cross ventilation. The shower wall could have been cleaner. They had mold and the grout looked dirty. Water pressure was good. The bar area was nice. They served appetizers complimentary. The buffet was well presented and have a nice selection of decent offerings. For one night this place was fine. Wouldn't want to spend much more time here.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nuevo, CA
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2010

We stayed 2 nights at Serengeti Serena. We were travelling with our 2 children ages 11 and 19 so they put us in a family hut. It was very spacious with a kitchenette and sitting room with television, dvd player etc. Well the television had no reception and the dvd player did not work. Also the internet in the business center was down the entire time. The beds were extremely hard as well. Water pressure was slightly better than some of the other places and there was no shortage of hot water. The food was buffet style and was above average. Biggest drawback was that the start of the buffet line was not clearly marked so repeatedly you would have people jumping in front of you at the meat section. Also at breakfast the wait for made to order eggs was quite lengthy.

On a positive note the evening entertainment was good, and the staff werfe friendly. They stocked the fridge with water, soft drinks and even a couple beers at no charge, and delivered an evening fruit basket. The location within the park is also a big draw being fairly close to the Seronera area. Although it did not live up to my expectations Serengeti Serena is the best option in this area of the park.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2010

The hotel was very nice. To be in the middle of the serengeti and get a very nice, comfortable and clean place is great. I would have liked to be out there under canvas but as it was our honeymoon we went for the plush hotel. Food was very good and the resident hiarax and lizards were very friendly.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Address: Mbingwe Valley, Serengeti National Park N/A, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 78 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inspired by a traditional African village this extraordinary lodge presents a vibrant design concept rich in indigenous craft and cultural detail that is without compare. Set high on a hill with rolling visas over the teeming plains of a natural amphitheater it also enjoys a ringside seat for the greatest show on earth, the annual migration of the wildebeest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Serengeti Serena Safari Hotel Serengeti National Park

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