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“Great Experience but dont think it will happen again lesson learned !” 2 of 5 stars
Review of E Unoto Retreat

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E Unoto Retreat
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Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Experience but dont think it will happen again lesson learned !”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

Well when I booked my reservations I thought it looked promising a trip away from suburbia and modern stress and over crowding feeling of city life that feeling was achieved but at what price ?

well to sum this up the food was edible but most definitely needs work i don't know how they consider what they feed me food it was bland and tasteless i could have enjoyed an instant noodle bowl better then the food served me while my stay , also i understand the lack of electricity i understood this very well coming into my trip however if you have a fuse issue or lack of power seeing as your prices are very moderate to high you think you would have a backup generator and or solar powered generator as we are in Africa where there is plenty of SUN it was almost comical with all problems from the solar powered water heater or whatever it was providing cold water i don't think it was made correctly you know the solar panels go on the roof or field towards the sun correct but any ways the management needs a lot of work all and all i got through it but don't think it was worth my money and or time overall that's whats important and the lack of more entertainment then dancing and laughing would have been nice this place needs a remodeling just a bit if who ever runs this would hire even a mid decent cook and a couple more English speaking staff the ones there were great but there accents can sometime be difficult to understand so like stated

needs to be fixed
1.) New Chef
2.) New Management
3.) More English
4.) Back-up Generator or better solar powered plating
5.) New paint better Signage to know where what places are.
6.) I Deserve HOT water its Africa boil a tub up if u have too !

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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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39 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    19
    5
    5
    3
    7
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8
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3
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

While I read some other reviews and they all have validation. You have to take this place for what it is, but I agree, it could be better managed.

Now, we experienced a very nice staff, the rooms were fine, the view was gorgeous, but also we didn't have electricity at all while we were there. It did take a few minutes for the water to warm up, and we had a fun time trying to find our way back to our room in the pitch black after dinner, (no electricity, but cell phone flashlight app helped some :o) ).

It was a slight inconvenience to not have electricity to charge our electronics, but we made the best of it, and it was sort of fun.

Make sure to note that you will hear animals through the night, it was enjoyable to hear them off in the distance.

Room Tip: If you require a definite source of electricity, this may not be the best option
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

Stayed there for 2 weeks. The service was fabulous. The employees were friendly. Some employees went above and beyond to ensure our comfort or happiness.
The rustic accommodations were more spacious than expected and safe. The beds were very comfortable.
Keep in mind, this location is remote Tanzania. It is a great place to use as a base to explore the surrounding area.

Room Tip: Bring plenty of mosquito spray. Wear close-toed shoes that you don't mind getting dirty. Also br...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Israel
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2011

The good: The lodge is situated in a great spot overlooking the rift valley. Beautiful views of the lake and banana plantations - and of course the rift escarpment. Service is good from the staff - especially Lengai (our "butler") who was very interactive and seemed to actually take pleasure in talking with us and telling us about his life etc. The basic infrastructure is good, the rooms are large and comfortable and have all the necessary facilities - in fact they were probably the most luxuriously appointed rooms we stayed in during our visit to Tanzania.
The bad: The place is, to be very frank, badly run and managed. It's not easy to run a lodge like this in Tanzania, as many basics are hard to come by - but that's all the more reason to have a really good manager on the spot. It's ok to provide a limited supply of electricity just a few hours a day - we expect that. What we don't expect is that when the generator fuses, they can't fix it, and there is no electricity at all. What exacerbated the situation was that they had not put any thought into back-up plans....the staff started running around looking for candles and matches - which of course blew out in the wind and were pretty useless (One of the staff lent us his torch for the night which was nice of him).The hot water in the rooms is solar heated, so ostensibly should be independent of the electric supply - but it didn't work (despite it being a very sunny day) ..... so no hot showers either! The food was, to put it mildly, uninspiring. We are vegetarians and the cook had absolutely no idea what to do with that piece of information (this was the last of six or seven places we stayed in Tanzania - and up till then none of the camps had any problem at all providing for vegetarians). Dinner turned out to be our lunch...reheated and hidden under a tortilla, the soup was totally tasteless in both meals (there were small bits of meat floating in my "vegetarian" soup), and the "chocolate cake and custard" desert turned out to be a dry crumbling slice of cake smeared with plum (?) jam.
Summary: Get rid of the cook, change the manager, sharpen the place up and you've probably got one of the nicest lodges in Northern Tanzania. Don't - and you're going to lose a lot of custom

Room Tip: Check hot water first to see the heater works
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Tokyo
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2011

I was just planning to stay a night or two at E’Unoto to ‘unwind’ and ended up extending my stay for well over a week! This place is truly a gem in the middle of the Maasai boma- yes it’s a little tough to find, yes the road is bumpy, but after you make it here, you won’t
want to leave. After a 3 month trip in Africa, this place was one of my highlights, so I’ll do a thorough review!
I arrived and right away was introduced to my butler (Lengai is his name) and had my own hut with a huge American-sized bed, beautifully decorated with Maasai carvings and beadwork. My room had a porch, which had a gorgeous sunset view, and you wake up to the sounds ofnature.
I have to say, the whole idea of having a butler made me uncomfortable at first, but since I ended up staying so long, I got a lot of time to talk with Lengai and find out about his life and his cows. He is Maasai and lives 26km away and walks to E’Unoto for work- his shoes
are made from tires- amazing! I liked how the staff actually interacted with you, checked in on you, asked about your day- not because they felt obligated, but because they are actually interested to know. This was really cool for me, as during my safari, I felt like I was just in a tourist bubble, observing, but not actually experiencing Africa- which is what I came for. E’Unoto is the first place I felt- wow! I am actually here.
The place is outside the town, and the pool overlooks a nice lake where you can see some animals and fishermen, and there are lots of monkeys and birds around the property- nice if you bring the kids. Since I stayed for over a week, I spent my days hiking around, visiting the Maasai in the boma, enjoying the nightly entertainment, also I went to the elementary school that E’Unoto built- please arrange for this if you go- it’s a casual thing, but there are hundreds of kids there and very humbling.

I’m vegetarian, so special meals were prepared for me- delish! Apparently Eluid, the new manager, is a trained chef, so the menu has gotten a makeover. One day he took me to market to pick out fresh veggies for my dinner- gold star for that!

This place does have limited power, 3 hours or so in the morning and 3in the evening, so by 10pm, you’ll want to be in bed. This was tough adjustment for me after a life in neon Tokyo, but trust me- walk outside and look at the stars, the sky is unbelievable.

You need to know what to expect when you book here- it’s a shame those who have commented negatively have not had accurate expectations set up for them by their travel agents and safari operators. E’Unoto sits on Maasai land and hires and supports local families-it’s not the Ritz. If you are looking to be pampered in 5 star luxury, your throne
awaits at the Serena. If you want to experience real Tanzania, check this place out! You will be happy you did!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2011

If you want a lodge experience situated along the busy tourist trail, this is not the place for you. However, if you're looking for a secluded resort that is culturally appealing with both a comforting and rustic feel, E Unoto is a perfect choice. The lodge hosts also invest in the community surrounding the resort by assisting with the provision of educational and health services for local villagers. So, you can feel good that your stay at E Unoto is helping contribute to assisting others.

E Unoto is situated a distance from the main road near Mto wa Mbu. The drive in is quite pleasant as you pass Maasai bomas and young male warriors herding cattle. Once you arrive, you'll see that much care was taken in the resort's design to keep the lodge tucked into the trees from view. The views from the perfectly situated bar and restaurant over the swimming pool deck, to a nearby hippo watering hole and up the Great Rift Valley escarpment, leave little to be desired. Rooms are spacious with comfy beds and duvets and all have beautifully African-made decor. Adding to the lodge's rusticity and to minimize their environmental impact, E Unoto utilizes electricity only during the morning and evening, and solar energy is used for heating your cottage's water.

The E Unoto staff is also friendly and attentive. I would recommend it to any visitor looking for a comfortable stay and who has an interest in learning more about Tanzania and its people.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Arusha
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2011

What a beautiful place! We loved it the moment we arrived! We were greeted by very friendly staff, who also took such great care of us throughtout the three days we stayed at Undoto. The food was delicious and the rooms cozy. The staff left such an impression on us, they literally went out of their to serve us! We became great friends! I still remember Pascal and Husain, Thank you guys! :)

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about E Unoto Retreat

Address: Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Lake Manyara National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 25 Specialty Lodging in Lake Manyara National Park
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only Tanzania Maasai Luxury Lodge - Outside of Lake Manyara Park, overlooking Lake Miwaleni, this secluded, luxurious Maasai-styled lodge uniquely offers 25 spacious bungalows including 4 honeymoon & 4 handicap suites. E Unoto is centrally located to most of the famous and well-known northern parks. ... more   less 

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