After a series of unpleasant experiences at Ras Nungwi Hotel in Zanzibar, we elected to leave early for a safari covering Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengetti with two nights spent that Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
I must start by stating that my wife and I found this establishment to be virtually faultless; fabulous buildings, an amazing location at 2400m on the crater rim, and brilliantly managed with sensitive, impeccable service
Each cabin is beautifully built, in perfect keeping with the gorgeous surroundings. The lodge is divided into four camps, each with ten or so cabins and its own lounge/bar area and restaurant, kitchens and camp manager. In our case, we were in North Camp but I imagine our experiences are common to all camps.
Upon arrival – and I mean each time you arrive after a drive – the manager and a waiter are at the Land Rover door to greet you, with scented towels and drinks. You are escorted back to your room (buffalo, elephant and zebra frequently amble across the site) where a hot bath has already been drawn in anticipation of your return and drinks await in front of a raging log fire. Simply bliss!
Inside, the cabins are exceptional. Large and of local wood and thatch construction, each is divided into three sections; bedroom, bathroom and WC, with each all overlooking the crater 2000 feet below. Adopting fabulous African-style decor, these are intimate, cosy and spacious. Everything you want is provided, and if its not, then your personal butler will get it for you.
The wooden bed is huge. There is no need for a net as mosquitos do not survive at the altitude. TO one corner is the sitting area, surrounding the lovely wood-burning fire. Two wardrobes divide the living areas from the bathroom, their doors doubling up as a screen between the two areas. Our bathroom was amazing, comprising a large free-standing bath set in the centre of the bathroom area and a huge shower surrounded by two basins and a separate WC, both rooms having panoramic views over the crater.
Wake-up calls (which can be as early as you like to facilitate game drives) comprise your butler coming to your lodge with coffee and biscuits, and sumptuous picnic hampers are provided if required.
Our only tiny criticism was that the intimate lighting restricted one’s ability to write at the desk and my wife had a little difficulty when making up, again due the lighting.
We had a simply fantastic stay at this hotel due in no minor way to the near-perfect service; as good as we have ever experienced. The manager of our camp was simply lovely, and seemed to be able to predict our needs, and these were somehow fulfilled before they were even requested.
A truly magical place that we were genuinely sad to leave; we will certainly return.
- Also Known As:
- Ngorongoro Crater Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- Hotel Ngorongoro Crater
- Ngorongoro Crater Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Steeped in romance, each stilted, handcrafted banana thatch suite at andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is adorned with graceful antiques and unforgettable opulence. Ensuite bathrooms, with a centrepiece of fresh roses, feature huge showers and chandelier-lit bathtubs, while floor-to-ceiling windows ensure breathtaking views from all around. • 30 suites• Fireplaces• Private butler service• Safari Shop• Wifi in some guest areas and at reception• Magnificent Crater views• Game drives on the Crater floor ... more less