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“A stunning hotel to begin an East African safari!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

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Lake Manyara Serena Lodge
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
317 reviews 317 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
“A stunning hotel to begin an East African safari!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

Being greeted with hot towels and fresh juices as you approached the entrance to this hotel is enough the earn the service here 5 stars. It simply is a beautiful hotel. The rooms are spacious and the shower was simply tranquil. The infinity pool can be loads of fun as is the group of Swahili singers which perform at night. The food was amazing!
Highly recommended!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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477 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

We only had one night here but really loved the hotel, the pool, gardens, rooms, bar, food, staff - all excellent. Lake Manyara was a bit of a disappointment and in light of what was to come at Ndutu, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, would probably have not stopped. Having said that, the hotel was a lovely getaway and we could have whiled away a few days in the resort.

I would highly recommend the Serena Lake Manyara if you are looking to stay in the area.

  • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, England
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

This hotel was probably the most luxurious that we stayed in during our safari. Bathrobes were provided, with Gilchrist and Soames toiletries (the same as Cunard cruises use). Complimentary drinking water is supplied daily. The restaurant has a wide range of food. Wifi is provided over a fairly wide area. Staff are really helpful: at this hotel there is no staff tip box put in a very obvious place. Instead, they give you an envelope (only if you ask) for your money which you then hand back to reception. This is a very welcome change from the "in-your-face" soliciting for tips at other hotels on our safari.
The infinity pool is beautiful though we had no time to use it. 2 of our group had needed hospital treatment that day and the resident doctor at the hotel was very helpful and insisted on checking up on both of them, for no charge.

Room Tip: Some rooms are quite a distance from reception and some have steps. For anyone with a disability, yo...
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  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lima, Peru
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Our first impression of this hotel was walking into the gardens and seeing the beautiful infinity pool that takes you right to the splendid view of the Lake Manyara Nat'l Park from atop the escarpment. We visited in February, when all the trees are in bloom. It was spectacular. The rooms are very comfortable, each with a terrace or balcony. Some have more direct views than others. The pool, and pool bar, were a very welcome relief after days on dusty roads in various national parks. The food is offered in the standard Serena style, mostly buffet, with lots of variety, including vegetarian. There was evening entertainment by the pool. I would definitely go back to this place just for the atmosphere and views. As for Lake Manyara, we saw dozens of elephants, including ones that walked right by our vehicle. There were also giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, hippos, flamingos, gazelles, and all sorts of pretty small birds. We didn't see any lions, but others did. It's always a question of luck.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for one night at the beginning of our weeklong safari in Tanzania (Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro). This was our favorite lodge of the group due to the nice view, awesome pool, and small enough size to where you aren't overwhelmed by all of the other guests (like we were at Ngorongoro Sopa lodge). The food was fine but not outstanding, the room was clean, and the staff members were very friendly. As far as lodges go I would recommend it (especially the pool!), but I would recommend that any adventurous travelers stay in tented camps 100% of the time! My only regret about this trip was that I didn't know this in advance. The experience of the tented camps and hearing the animal noises all around is just amazing. However, definitely choose this place if you'd prefer a lodge and you're going to Manyara! By the way, anyone who tells you that Manyara is boring or not worth a trip must be very jaded.... my husband and I have never been on safari before, and Manyara was our first stop. We were SO EXCITED by the animals we saw (monkeys, baboons, elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebra, etc.) and we couldn't believe that people had told us not to bother going there. It's a great first stop becuase you probably will see more spectacular things in the Serengeti and at Ngorongoro (can't speak for the others), but that doesn't mean it's not worth a trip! I would only recommend staying there one day though.... you can see the entire park in one game drive.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Gloucestershire England
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

The rooms are the usual Serena standard with large views of Lake Manyara in the distance. The lake was fairly dry and there were no flamingoes, and the view was not interesting. There's a nice horizon pool for a dip. During the night we heard lorries grinding up the hill on the road below the hotel. If the road becomes busy it will be noisy. The free "bush breakfast" we were offered would have been in the grounds overlooking the road, so we didn't bother. The game drive in Lake Manyara National Park was a real disappointment. It is through a forest so trees and shrubs hide the animals. There were no tree climbing lions to be seen - and not much of anything else.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Hannover, Germany
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

This was the first stop on our safari and my wife and I just loved this place. We went in mid-February and stayed for 2 nights. Although there were quite a few of us that arrived at the same time, the staff quickly got us introduced to the lodge and moved us on to our room - #61. The room was very clean and the furnishings were wonderful! Our view (we had a second level room) was awesome - the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara. The pool and bar are just incredible - the pride of this lodge! It rained (hard) once for about 15 minutes and it was an amazing sight to see from the bar! The food was also spectacular. We had the breakfast and dinner buffett, and the box lunches (which were average, but everywhere we went they were average). They had a small band playing African rhythms during dinner that was a perfect compliment to the atmosphere.

Although we had mosquito nets, we had NO problem with any bugs. We didn't get a single one in our place (thank goodness!). My wife and I can't think of a single negative thing about this place. We took a bike safari into the village and it was a great experience! Do it! Nevertheless, if we come back to the area this is the place we will be staying and recommending to everyone!

Room Tip: I would try to get a 2nd story room. We did and we didn't have any problems with bugs. Not sur...
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  • 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 Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

Address: Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Lake Manyara National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 25 Specialty Lodging in Lake Manyara National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Lake Manyara Serena Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Taking as its muse the glorious bird life of the fabulously soda-encrusted and pink flamingo-fringed...Lake Manyara, the swooping curves of this elegantly evocative lodge defy description. As do the soaring views over the Great Rift Valley, the rose-gold sunsets over the Mto Wa Mbu escarpment and the utterly unique tree climbing Lake Manyara lions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lake Manyara Serena Hotel Lake Manyara National Park

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