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“Great getaway!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Serengeti Resort

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The Serengeti Resort
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408 Fuller Dr, Bergheim, TX 78006   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Bergheim
Allen, Texas, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great getaway!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

I read a lot of mixed reviews before coming here...and was not real sure what to expect based on those reviews. I will say, my family of three was VERY pleased with our experience!

We stayed in a tent and were the only "campers" on that particular Thursday night, though there were other guests in the bungalows, etc. some of whom we met and were nice enough to show us their bungalow...very nicely furnished and well kept with beautiful views and great access to the camel and giraffe right from the balcony of their bungalow!

When we arrived, Seth greeted us at the front of the lodge outside the doors, introduced himself to us, got us checked in and told us a little about the property and showed us around so we would know where everything was. He even gave us his cell phone number and told us many times throughout our stay that he is not always able to be at the front desk but is ALWAYS available and to just call if we need anything.

The tent we had was wonderful. It was exactly what one should expect from camping in a tent in Texas during the August heat. Though it is air conditioned, we had no expectation that it would be nice and cool in there during the day...that just can't happen in this area in Texas. That was fine by us, we played in the pool with our 5 year old, she was excited to see the playground equipment which was simple but perfect and had her favorite thing, a tire swing! By nightfall the tent cooled off just fine and we were quite comfortable all evening.

There were enough animals to keep things interesting but not scary. The giraffe kept his distance most of the time we were there, but he did venture over to say hi to us at the fence area outside our tent several times. The camel...I think his name is Clyde...was a real gem! When we got to him he ignored the food in my hand and immediately started nuzzling me....I was a little shocked and not sure what he was doing at first...was he going to eat my hair? haha...nope he was literally rubbing his nose/cheek area on my cheek and neck. It was so sweet and such a fun experience. After he nuzzled me for a few minutes he went ahead and ate some food from my hand.
The ostriches can be a bit intimidating...but we were able to distract them, anytime they came running up to us and getting a little pecky, we just waved food in front of them and then threw it a little distance from our cart and they took the bait pretty easily and left us alone. It gave us some good laughs more than anything. The male was sitting on an egg or eggs most of the time we were there, which turned out to be pretty awesome since the little one hatched and was found while we were there and taken to a cage by Seth early that morning so it would be safe since daddy wasn't being very nice to it. Seth took us to the barn and let us look at the baby and pet it. Sooooo sweet!

The bathroom house at the tent area was clean and kept well. They even had clean towels, soaps, shampoos, etc available for our use. That was not something we expected as campers...it was a very nice touch.

While I was cooking out at the grill the male ostrich, camel and giraffe all came over to the fence line which was about 10 steps away from our tent and paid us little visits one at a time. I got some fabulous pictures and video footage of these beautiful creatures. It was just really neat to have them hanging out like you would expect from a family pet rather than a wild animal.

We found Seth to be extremely accommodating, even giving us some plates and dinnerware to use since we had ours secured inside our pop-up camper which we were using the next night at a different location.

Overall, our one night stay was a total success! Upon checkout we purchased a couple of souvenirs to take home simply because we wanted to support this establishment and their efforts to make this a great place to stay.

Seth mentioned to us that they plan to have a few RV pads sometime around January! If/when this happens we will definitely be back to make use of that!

I think the biggest negative for me was that the grills at the tents were all pretty old and falling apart. I am very experienced with grilling, but couldn't get one of the grills to get enough airflow in the barrel to keep the coals lit. Another one literally had the bottom fall out of it when I went to put charcoal in it, and then a third I was able to get working just fine but it is likely to have the bottom fall out of it soon as well by the looks of it. Next time I will just bring my own portable grill and the problem will be solved. :) All in all, this was just not a big deal though since there was not anyone in the other tents and I could hop from grill to grill till I found one that would work well. I suppose it may have complicated things a little if they had been occupied.

Thank you Serengeti Resort for a wonderful 10th anniversary stay! We look forward to returning...hopefully the little baby male ostrich will be grown big and we can see him again!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Houston
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

We had a good time but didn't stay long enuf. If e animals are out then great but they sometimes sneak away. It's a cool getaway. There needs 2 be more variety in animals but 4 the price & location, u get a quasi-feel of what a tiny piece of Africa feels like. Dinner was AWESOME. The steak, salad & mashed potatoes were as good as anywhere's!!!!! The hospitality was great!!!!! Had a great time!!!!! Pleasantly surprised!!!!! If u like tenting they have those 2 plus a pool.

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

First, I have to say we did love our stay. The staff (and yes there is more than 1 on site) make you feel like you are at home. We loved going into the safari. The zebras were our favorite but the ostrich and emus were a little scary. There were many more animals and a great experience for me and my teenagers.

The room was very nicely furnished but had a musty smell that we could not get rid of - I think it was the A/C.

The pool was gorgeous and nice but one of my kids had an allergic reaction to something in it and his fingers got red.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Austin, Texas
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

First let me say that I wish there was a to isolate the employees (well, in this case the one and only one employee) from these rankings.
Seth, basically the only employee on-site for the entire resort, works very hard and is interested in making you happy.
The remedy for this place is to hire a few more like him and do some investing to get the place up to where it needs to be.
Actually, if 4 and 5 diamond resorts had a few Seths on the payroll, there likely would be a 6 diamond category for hotels.
But, he's only one person and overall, this resort really does not live up to expectations and delivery falls short.
While I do travel a lot for business and expect certain things at a hotel,
I relaxed my expectations given the intent of this place.
However, at some point, you have to weigh what you get for the $ you spend and that's where we have issues.


I will list these issues in no particular order. I will then list the positives.

1. We arrived at the resort and could not find anyone for almost an hour. All doors were open, but the place was literally vacant. Actually we
first thought the place was closed (as in no longer accepting overnight guests).
2. signage is missing or is confusing. Two parties walked around trying to find the office and we found it only by trial and error
3. "safari vehicles" = yamaha golf carts. Two had flat tires yet were available for people to use.
4. there's overgrowth everywhere. You have to push stuff out of the way to walk around. There's overgrowth on most chairs at the pool. You can't even see the parrot cage because of the overgrowth.
5. fire ants everywhere. While this is life in Texas, it should be addressed... it's not hard to take care of this. People were getting bitten around the pool
6. pool care is an afterthought. The pool robot was left in the pool apparently for days. The hot tub was murky and needed to be shocked. I wouldn't swim in that.
7. security: the rooms have no keys, you enter a keycode to get in. Apparently it never changes, as the buttons that you push to enter the code were worn away from repeated use. I don't understand how they get away with this. While I'm not a big security freak, this is a real problem.
8. animals. you will be bored within 10 minutes. As other reviewers have said, it's far from exciting. I literally was ready to go back home within 15 minutes. No need to rehash this here.
9. broken stuff everywhere. Broken rocking chairs, broken chairs at the pool. Broken pool gate. Broken light switches. The list goes on... all general maintenance items that could be fixed but are not.
10. Locking mechanism between suites not working and not used. People could freely move between suites because the lockout mechanism was broken.
11. This is not a resort... a resort has service and things you can do to enhance the experience. There are just some bottles of wine and cheese, soda and beer.... that's all you can get. I get that whole roughing it thing, but, calling this a resort is a MAJOR stretch. It's a self-service motel, not a resort.
12. no pool towels. Not enough towels provided for showering and using the pool. Not a big deal, but... why not?
13. while we didn't stay in a tent, the tents do have electricity and it apparently goes out quite often. Again, I get the fact that it's a tent, but, if you market it with certain things, it should have them and they should be reliable.
14. I was told that one tent has a soft-ball sized hole in the roof. The resort would not fi

**** We actually picked up and left at 10pm with a 4 year old. This leads us to the biggest problem of all....

15. Overwhelming sewage smell. Apparently, it was "too much" for the septic system and the resulting odor was absolutely inteolerable. I know
some people make a big deal out of smells, but, this literally caused our room to smell like a port-a-potty. It was so bad we had to pick and leave in a rainstorm with a 4 year old. And that's how it ended, we literally got up and left before staying one night.


The biggest problem is that ONE guy takes care of the whole place. The same guy, Seth, did the following even with a full house:
- checks you in
- show you to your room
- tends to the animals
- cuts the grass and trims, etc
- coordinates "safari excusions" (meaning tells you how long you can take the golf cart out)
- tends to animals
- does room maintenance
- is the waiter and serves dinner!
- busses tables
- does wine tastings.
- mans the front desk
- who knows what else....

This is an insane workload for 1 person. At the end, it's just too much for one person and the overall experience reflects this.
If this place is going to suceed, it needs more people. This is the biggest problem overall.


The positives:
1. dinner was actually good, I'm sure it was food from HEB (local grocery store), but, it was cooked well and tasty. The reviews about it being salty were not accurate. It was a peppered steak, but, that's not uncommon in this area and it's still good.
2. the lodge is really well done. It's clean, high end and intersting to look at.
3. the porch overlooking the "plains" is nice and a refreshing change from the normal hotel scene.
4. there's potential (as I've said). More animals, more staff, a little bit of work on the grounds, more security... it's a different place.
5. there's a lot to be said for "being different". You won't find a place like this very often.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lorilynne62, Owner at The Serengeti Resort, responded to this review, August 23, 2012
Oh my goodness. I would love to ignore this but I guess I just can't. Please don;t take offense, but I have to respond.
First, the other employees that spent the day working take exception to the fact that Seth got all the credit. The day you arrived I personally worked behind the front desk until time to go prepare your dinner. The mechanic, dealing with non stop safari cart use, was here for 8 straight hours, the housekeeping team was here, and the kitchen staff was here. You arrived late and Seth happen to be the front of the house management at the time of your arrival. You all didn't stay more than four hours total, and 1.5 of those hours it was dark. Some of your points are valid. I didn't know the lock on the pool gate was broken, or the rocking chair had been destroyed by the previous guest. I have no excuse for the hottub other than we had a birthday party of 13 little girls the day before that took over the hottub and pool for the day and we did fail to check it's condition that morning. My sincere apology for the hot tub condition. As far as the overgrowth...have NO clue what you are talking about. You don't have a four star rating if this place is as terrible as you have conveyed. The amazing thing is the difference of people. I have had two individuals write me on our social page how much they loved it, how amazing it is, how they cant wait to come back. And you all were here at the exact same time. I stand dumbfounded by this hospitality industry most of the time. So sorry for your bad experience.
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Houston, Texas
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

We went for a romantic get away. When we checked in we were told that our room was being changed because the owner had put her friends in our suite, we got the family suite. We got to our room and it hadn't been made from the last guest. We reserved a steak dinner grilled at the lodge offered on the website and at 4:00 we were told it was not cost efficient to make it for us and we could go in to town to buy dinner since they had no restaurant. A storm blew through right as we were returning from our trip into town and when we got to the room, the roof was leaking in 2 places and the ceiling fan on the balcony had blown down. We let the owner and manager know and the manager said, it's not our fault and never came to pick up the fan that was in pieces across the balcony. Their was absolutely no service and no amenities. Now I just checked our credit card and we were over charged $210.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lorilynne62, Owner at The Serengeti Resort, responded to this review, August 18, 2012
Really? We upgraded you to our nicest bungalow at no charge, planned on fixing you your meal, but that 'storm that blew in' had 70 mile an hour hurricane force winds that wiped out three tents that had people and all of their belongings in them. We had monster live oaks blown over, furniture from one end to the other, trees down on the exterior fence, no electricity and the thatch on both of the bungalows was shredded therefore the bungalow leaked. An entire lodge full of day guests stranded and it was check in time. So don't mean to be rude but the fan was such a low priority of crisis that we just truthfully forgot. It is amazing the difference of guests. We had other guests throwing in helping us try to maintain just a shred of sanity in all of the chaos that horrible storm blew thru and we are so grateful for their understanding spirits. But I will say this, I personally remember you.
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Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

Ok, the main thing I will say about this place is there are hardly any animals. This is so suprising considering they call themselves a "safari". When you think of a safari, you see HERDS of deers, zebras, antelopes, etc .. right? No, here you have two measly zebras ( who never come to you and run away when you get close), 2 or 3 ostriches (who do chase you around! Mine wasn't that bad like the other lady but I believe her!), a few deers and some antelopes (they do not come to you), three big horn type of deer/antelope .. now these do come to you .. and one camel (not two or three .. just one. He did come to us though and that was fun. I saved the best for last .. Buddy (the only giraffe there and the star attraction). Now he made it up for all the other animals. He was so sweet and do come right up to your cart! Ate out of my hands. What a great experience. If there were another giraffe or more animals, this place would be ok but geez, the grass was so bare it was pathetic. Now, the lodging .. we stayed at the Syrabi Bungalow. I would say it was the best part of this place. Beautiful with 180 degree view of the plain. Interior was very nicely decorated. The location is the best .. right in front of the pasture. The tents and other room types were behind or to the side so the view in teh bungalows is awesome. I would def recommend these if you have 5 or more people. The patio is big with a grill but the kitchen does NOT have a stove! Ok . that was strange. You can't cook anything but only grill. So, otherwise than a nice relaxing stay, it was not good considering there were no animals to see. Oh, they don't serve dinner anymore so don't count on the steak/potatos you see on Facebook. They have breakfast but the area looks tiny so I can't imagine if they serve anything but donuts and cereal and at 10 bucks a head, no thanks. As for staff, they do not ask if you need anything or go the extra mile. They are just there to check you in. So, I'd recommend going elsewhere than here if you are looking for a "safari" experience.

Room Tip: Choose Bungalows for the best view and furnishing/decor. I heard the Umbali cabin is a double wide s...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
lorilynne62, Owner at The Serengeti Resort, responded to this review, August 18, 2012
Well, i don't know if I should think this a good review or a bad review, but there sure is a lot of misinformation on it that I have to respond. First, we really understand the number of animals are not like the 'drive thru safari parks'. That is by our choice, not to mislead anyone but it is a safety issue. Your safari cart is a golf cart without a roof. It is intimidating enough having one adult male camel or adult giraffe love all over you in your seat. We don't think we would have a very favorable response if we had multiple camels and giraffes surrounding you as large and intimidating as they are, without the protection of a vehicle. We limit our zebras to two...they are the meanest animal on the planet and biting seems to be an inherent trait among them ALL. We have sold and bought more zebras than most places in America trying to find 'nice' ones. I am GRATEFUL they don't come up and eat from your hand...that means you still have your fingers. We are different than the animal drive thrus....we don't even remotely attempt to compete or infer that is what you will experience here that the Getti. We can however give you directions to a fabulous drive thru right down the road.
There is no 'rule' about one car behind the other driving down a long road, if you see a group of animals you would like to view closer...just drive across the sendero to get a closer look. We try to create as close to the 'african type safari' as we have room to do.
The resort offers steak night Fridays and Saturdays to our guests.The photos on our face book page is an actual representation of the meal. We have a fabulous restaurant 2 miles from the resort that has made many a guests thrilled when our kitchen is not open.
There is a nation wide drought, our once knee high grass has been reduced to knee high weeds, but unfortunately that is a God issue and we still continue to pray for rain. Hope this clears up the misinformation about this review to other guests.
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San Antonio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2012 via mobile

This is our second visit - had a wonderful time. If you are looking for a full service experience , you may be disappointed. If you take your own must haves and do not have a rigid itenerary in mind - you can have a really wonderful time. 1st time - the tents... Really unique but not sure I'd do that again. A little too " roughing it" for me. This time - the Zazu bungalow for my sons Bday. Pretty much perfect. Very nice amenities . We brought our own food and utilized the grills provided . Hosted a few friends who enjoyed the beautiful animals from comfort of balcony. My son wished to wake up here on the morning of his Bday . Wish granted ;) It was so nice - other families were on the property - but it still felt like we had the place all to ourselves. Thank you for a very memorable weekend !

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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Additional Information about The Serengeti Resort

Address: 408 Fuller Dr, Bergheim, TX 78006
Location: United States > Texas > Bergheim
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Bergheim
Also Known As:
The Serengeti Hotel Bergheim

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