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“Homey Lodge in the Ngorongoro Highlands” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Plantation Lodge & Safaris

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The Plantation Lodge & Safaris
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P.O.Box 34 | Karatu, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Northern California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Homey Lodge in the Ngorongoro Highlands”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2009

We stayed at the Plantation Lodge on safari while visiting Lake Manyara (about 90 min east) and the Ngorongoro Crater (30 min west). Well located if you want to do game viewing at these parks. A drive down a dusty, red clay dirt road reveals this cozy lodge set amidst a coffee plantation.

The atmosphere is probably more German/Dutch plantation than African, but well apointed. Rooms individually decorated with nice furnishings. We were upgraded to the Zanzibar suite which was outstanding.

Service is polite and attentive if not overly polished. The food is good-very good (breakfast is the weakest link) and there is a nice bar for a pre/post dinner drink and nibbles.

Best
-Well located for Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara game viewing (great picnic lunches)
-Nice, individually decorated rooms.
-Quiet, serene atmosphere (a good break post game drive)

Worst
-If you want a view of the Crate from your lodging--this isn't for you (30 min away)
-Decor is more german/dutch than African.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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284 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lusaka, Zambia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2009

Last Sept I had my best holiday ever in Tanzania. That's why we'll repeat it soon :-)
We travelled with a very experienced local travel agency Green Footprint Adventures (as I noticed they changed their name to www.planetafricasafaris.com), which was recommended by Lonely Planet as they "organises upmarket rides". So, this travel agency put us in Plantation Lodge and we had an excellent staying there. The service and the food was very high quality. The garden beautiful and there's possibility to have your lunch there. We could really enjoy to have a delicious soup just together in he garden. The hotel is very nice, everybody's privacy is highly respected given the fact that the lodge consist of more separate buildings, actually we had our own "apartment".
The rest of our trip was not less though: we had a trip to Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro with Plantation Lodge accomodation, then we took the regional flight to Serengheti and we spent 2 nights in Suyan camp and an other 2 nights at Mara river in Sayari camp. It was fantastic, to sleep in the savanna in a luxury tent, having flush toilet in the tent and full service! Something that you should try once :-) I'll upload some pictures about Plantation and about the camps... we highly enjoyed all of them!

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2009

We stayed in a standard room for two nights at the end of June 2009. Rooms were quite basic but nice (bathrooms were good). The lodge itself is in very nice gardens and has a great bar and restaurant. We had pre-dinner drinks in the bar and thought it was very pleasant. Dinner was also of very high standard. The staff were nice and felt very comfortable in the hotel. We would recommend this hotel to our friends and family.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Orlando
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2009

Very clean, grounds were prefect, food was outstanding

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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England
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2009

Fantastic place to stay. The gardens and surrounding lands are marvelous, the rooms comfortable and tastefully decorated with Gilchrist and Soames toiletries.

A very welcoming and relaxing bar, charming owner and staff, great food - what's not to like? Totally recommend it. If Carlsberg did guest lodges...

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
91 hotel reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2009

My wife and I stayed here for one night while on safari, traveling from Lake Manyara to Ngorongoro Crater. Plantation Lodge is well-located for this.

Our room in the Garden House was very nice, with plenty of space. The lodge doesn't have that many rooms, but it is spread out over a large area, giving a very tranquil feel. The grounds and garden are amazing, with good views of the surrounding hills.

The bar was a great place to unwind after safari and have some hors d'oeuvres before dinner. The food at dinner was good, but not great. Perhaps we were spoiled the previous night when we dined at Onsea House in Arusha.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Boulder, Colorado
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2009

My brother and I are backpackers and photographers and we stayed two nights at Plantation Lodge on a twelve-day safari. We booked through Journey to Africa and their Tanzanian counterparts Asilia Tours and Sokwe Tours. I don't know what we paid to stay here, but I'm sure it was spendy.

As backpackers we typically don't stay in places this nice. In Africa we didn't expect luxury. Our photo safari was hard work and everyday we got sweaty, very dirty, and sun-burnt. Plantation Lodge was a refuge at the end of the day. The grounds are lush and well manicured, which is in stark contrast to the nearby, hot and dusty Ngorongoro Crater.

We stayed in the Markus Room which was very comfortable. It's designed in a colonial style with modern accents like halogen track lighting. The best feature though, was the roomy and well-appointed bathroom and shower. I think one of the best showers I have ever had was in that shower!

The bar area is very impressive with a marble and glass floor which reveals a wine cellar below. There are complimentary tasty hors d'oeuvres, and an outside deck with comfortable seating.

The dining room is intimate. There is assigned seating, a fixed menu, and you may be seated with other guests which is a good opportunity to socialize. Dinner is multi-course and very tasty. The breakfast buffet is generous and the coffee is good (this is a coffee plantation).

To get to Ngorongoro Crater when it first opens requires leaving Plantation Lodge at 6 a.m.

The only thing which a little jarring is the drive to Plantation Lodge, which takes you through the nearby town of Karatu and the neighboring farms where you see how Tanzanians live and work. They do not seem impoverished or destitute, but clearly they do not live as comfortably as the guests at Plantation Lodge.

  • Liked — The quiet, comfortable, well-manicured grounds
  • Disliked — can't think of anything...
  • Stayed January 2009
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about The Plantation Lodge & Safaris

Address: P.O.Box 34 | Karatu, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Number of rooms: 17
Also Known As:
The Plantation Lodge And Safaris
The Plantation Lodge & Safaris Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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