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“Spectacular Lodge” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

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Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Spectacular Lodge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

We stayed at this lodge for the last few nights of a safari that was part of our honeymoon trip to Tanzania. We were so impressed by the Serena resorts. They were absolutely incredible. The Ngorongoro lodge is an impressive building - it has spectacular views of the lodge, an amazing lounge area and wonderful clean and quiet rooms. We were upgraded to a suite and it was a fantastic room - beautifully decorated with breathtaking views of the crater. We had fantastic meals and were treated so well by the staff who always took a moment to speak to us and tell us about their wonderful country. I can thoroughly recommend this lodge and the Serena hotel chain in general - it was an amazing experience

Room Tip: All rooms will be clean and quiet and will have amazing views. If you can splurge, upgrade to a sui...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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642 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (135)
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

We spent 3 days at his Lodge while on safari with a large group. The Lodge is beautiful with incredible views for all rooms and the Main Lodge of the Ngorongoro Crater. Our room was small with 2 twin beds, but adequate. The washroom was clean and well supplied, including a heated towel rack. The laundry service was excellent as was our room service. My roommate was tired one day and chose to rest up for the day. The staff checked on her quietly and then later delivered the towels etc. when she went for dinner.
The layout of the Lodge is spread out but connected by covered and walled in walkways all made from local stone. The Lodge is environmentally conscious: growing their own trees in a nursery, growing a garden, and are currently planting trees to replace the soil damaging eucalyptus trees. I know this from taking a tour with Albert the on site walking guide who was extremely knowledgeable and easygoing. For a small fee he took 2 of us on a tour around the grounds of the
Lodge, pointed out foliage with medicinal purposes, gardens, wildlife, birds and introduced us to a Masai warrior who was herding his cattle.
The Lodge itself has many stairs so we got some exercise. The dining rooms are picturesque, the meals were excellent as was the service.
The drive down to the crater is one to remember. The animals are amazing. However, returning to the Lodge and being greeted with a smile, a cloth to clear the dust from your face and a glass of cool juice is simply heaven. There is no swimming pool at this Lodge.
The front desk staff were excellent at everything, from helping with Internet problems to booking massage therapy appointments. Simply wonderful!

Room Tip: Ask for a room closer to the main lodge on the ground floor if you have difficulty walking as the fu...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

Wow! - thats what was the feeling when I looked through the balcony of my room. The view from the balcony is fantastic.
The outside of hotel walls is made from rocks which beautifuly matches the jungle background. The rooms are very good and clean. It has a big bathroom and interiors nicely decorated.
The location is too good and I think all the rooms face the crater view.
The bar is good and we also enjoyed a african tribal dance as we sipped through our drinks inside the bar.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

can't even describe the beauty of this hotel. we kept joking that each lodging got better and better, and we said we saved the best for last! welcomed with fresh squeezed drinks and escorted to our room with balcony overlooking the whole crater. beautiful, amazing, unbelievable view. we even saw animals right outside our balcony. bathrooms very spacious with separate luggage storage area. dinner way wonderful with buffet salads and deserts, with dinner plate served to us (indian food). there is a nice lounge/bar area with massive glass windows for views of the crater. again, amazing. you have to stay here!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Colchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

just recently come back from a Safari to Tanzania. This was one of the hotels we stayed at during our Safari in the Serengetti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Awesome.
Words cannot describe the position of this hotel nor the ambience of it. All the hotels on our trip were fantastic, but this one I think has a special magic.
Food excellent. Entertainment good. Staff friendly.
Trip down into the crater is a memory that will stay with me for ever. Even saw and filmed a wilderbeest having a baby. Amazing nature in the raw.

Room Tip: first floor I think you would have a slightly better view as higher than the ground floor would see...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermilion, Ohio
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

My wife and I were exhausted after our long, dusty, rough drive to this hotel; but then we walked out onto our balcony overlooking the Ngorongoro Crater and we simultaneously agreed that it was more than worth it. The view of the crater would be fantastic if you were staying in a tent, but when you add in the beautiful Serena Safari Lodge you have arrived at a little bit of heaven on earth. We saw a number of game parks and stayed at a number of nice lodges during our African safari, but if we ever come back to Africa, this is where we will stay.

After the fantastic view, one next notices the architecture - especially the hand-laid stone walls. This building could not be duplicated anywhere else in the world. The rooms are big, but most important is that the builder understood why you came to the crater and has included huge, glass doors that open onto your private balcony and the incredible view. We ordered a bottle of wine and spent several hours just sitting on our balcony and watching the night fall.

But now for some specifics:
- It can be a long walk to your room, but this just comes with the territory.
- The second floor is definitely better than the first.
- Room service was quick, but the waiter forgot the bill. Later when I tried to pay it at the bar, things got very confusing. Don't get me wrong, the service was polite, but definitely a language barrier.
- Bellhop was abrupt when showing us the room. We had to quiz him about several things.
- Food in the large and picturesque dinning room is quite good.
- Water in the shower was hot and plentiful!
- Like most toilets in this part of Africa, ours was extremely hard to flush and temperamental. American toilet manufacturers are missing a big market in this part of the world.
- Make sure to get up in time to view the incredible sunrise over the crater.
- But at the end of the day, it is all about the view.

As far as the crater itself, if you have a choice definitely opt for the day long drive versus the two half-day ones; as the drive in and out of the crater takes quite a bit of time. The actual game viewing in the crater was probably the best we had anywhere in Tanzania and Kenya. While you don't have the vast herds of the Serengeti, the game is much more diversified. We saw all of the Big Five here, except the leopard, plus a lot of other animals. Also, the setting makes for great pictures with the wall of the crater in the background.

I highly recommend this lodge.



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Room Tip: Second floor room gives a better view into the crater. Ours was quite a distance from the common ar...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bicester, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

The Ngorongoro Lodge was the last of four Serena Lodges we stayed at on our safari and our favourite. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with a small dressing room and a large bathroom with a great shower. The view from the room was magnificent and the sunrises spectacular. We had a free afternoon so we booked a nature walk with a hotel guide through the area around the lodge - if you have time this is great and really interesting. The guide was very informative over a range of subjects - birdlife, animals, plants, customs etc and made it very enjoyable. Food was excellent and the dining room beautiful with very good service.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Address: Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched on the jagged rim of the crater, wreathed in morning mist, camouflaged in river-stone and cloaked in indigenous creepers, the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is a triumph of ecological and architectural fusion. Sensitively constructed so as to take nothing from its environment whilst affording endless vistas over the heat-shimmering reaches of the crater below, the clustered boulder-built buildings of the Lodge hug the crater rim, linked by rope-lashed timber walkways that skirt the buttressed roots of ancient, liana-hung trees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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