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“Worth the bumpy road!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge

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Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge
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Rhotia Valley Road | 5 Km Off the Main Road Arusha - Serengeti, Karatu, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 34 Specialty Lodging in Karatu
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Kampala, Uganda
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Worth the bumpy road!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

The last leg of your journey to this lodge will be bumpy and dusty but it is worth every jolt of the 5km ride from the main road. Plus, when you arrive, you are greeted with a damp warm cloth to wipe the dust off your face and a delicious glass of juice to quench your thirst. It is the beginning of what will be your best accommodation in Tanzania!

This lodge supports a children's home that you can see on the top of the next hill. You are able to visit the home with one of the owners at 5:30 when the children are home from school. It's an amazing story of how the home and lodge were "born." It's great to know that the profits from the lodge support the children and community.

Each tent is fully equipped with everything you need and the generator is used until 9pm at which point the solar power kicks in for an hour. There is running water in each tent and the shower gets very hot! There is only a privacy half wall between the main room and the toilet so be prepared for that.

Charging happens at the front desk and there is internet after 6pm for a $5 charge. Dinner is served at 7:30 and it is a fixed menu (unless you have special dietary requirements.) Breakfast is fresh fruit, eggs, bacon or sausages, and homemade bread and jam. The coffee is delicious and the tea is a homemade lemongrass tea.

There is a lovely pool that overlooks the valley, a garden in the middle of the property, a bar, a reading area, and a fireplace. It is cool at night and your bed will have a hot water bottle placed under the covers to warm it up while you eat dinner. Once it is dark, you must walk with a guide back to your tent as the lodge is on an elephant route. We did not see elephants but we did hear baboons and also lots of smashing of trees during the night. The birds are spectacular. If you can spend half a day at the lodge just relaxing, it's a great place to recharge your batteries!

One our last day there we stayed until noon and they made a special lunch for us to eat before we left. The day before we had been given a boxed lunch and the amount of food was incredible! All the food was delicious but the soups were heavenly.

Room Tip: Tents face the valley or the forest. The view is bigger if you face the valley.
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  • Stayed October 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.
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146 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    115
    27
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39
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

It's rare that you stay at a lodge or hotel that contributes a significant portion of their profits to an orphanage, they also built, located right next door. Beyond that, the staff was amazing and so kind that they went above and beyond to even make me a birthday cake and put out balloons for a breakfast before I left. We also stayed at two other tented lodges while on safari and they by far had the best hot shower of the places we stayed. On-site organic garden that produces many of the items they use in the food they make, which was also great. Great place all around.

Room Tip: Rooms 16 and 12 both have good views, can't comment on other rooms.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Novi, Michigan
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

We stayed here with extended family in July. It is a bit out of the way (not in the crater) but it is a beautiful place to stay. The view of the Rhotia valley is superb. They have their own organic herb and vegetable garden from which produce is used in cooking for the camp. The service is excellent. The rooms are very charming with nice balconies with a view.
They have a nice bar area where one can sit and enjoy the view and some drinks. The dining area is very cosy and well decorated. There is a sitting area with a fireplace. Breakfast and dinner are both excellent. Loved the atmosphere of this camp.
To top it all, the hosts run a Children's home which is nearby and you can go visit it if you have the time. We were told that 20% of the bill goes towards maintaining the Children's Home.
Highly recommended!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

We stayed here for two nights as part of our honeymoon and we had a great time. The owners/managers were not only great hosts, but their effort in running the children's home were truly inspirational.

The lodge has a great atmosphere including a bar with an amazing view on the valley surrounding the lodge, a cosy sitting area including a fire and a great restaurant. Furthermore, both breakfast and dinner were very good. The tented rooms were nice as well and situated in a beautiful garden.

We also had a tour around the children's home and were impressed by what the owners/managers have managed to set up over the last couple of years. Not only have they been able to build up a great orphanage through various initiatives, they have also been able to a.o. improve education for the local people.

The good thing eventually is that by staying at this great lodge, you also indirectly help the children's home and various initiatives for much needed funding as part of the profit is used for further developments.

In summary, I can definitely recommend staying at this lodge!

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

My wife and I absolutley love this lodge. The service is A+, the location magnificent and the rooms put together with so much charm!

We will most certainly be your guests again. Best lodge on northern circuit.

Keep it up!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poole, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

We stayed here for one night before visiting the Ngorngoro crater. The camp is perched high up on a hill with the children’s home on the opposite hill. We were shown around the children’s home by a volunteer who was staying for three months from Holland.
The camp and children’s home set up is truly inspirational and very humbling. The running of both the camp and the children’s home is very well organised.
It is definitely worth staying here as it is not touristy like alot of hotels/camps in the crater region.

  • Stayed July 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

We stayed at Rhotia Valley only one night en route to the Ngorongoro Crater like most people, we had an amazing holiday and stayed in some truly outstanding places. Unfortunately for us, Rhotia Valley was not one of these places. We stayed as a family of five and paid not a small amount of money for two tents with meals. Although our welcome speech included a comprehensive list of the limitations of the camp, not one person of the many we spoke to offered to give us a solar lamp for the night time and therefore nobody told us or warned us that the lights go out, completely, at night. I found it terrifying to be in a strange place with no light whatsoever and slept very little (not helped by the generator next to our tent). Our daughter had a tummy upset that night and was reduced to tears of frustration because she could not find the toilet in the dark. Luckily we were up and out at 5am the next morning but of course it was pitch black and we could not find our way around or get to the childrens' tent. We stayed in some very remote places and all of these places gave us a torch/lamp for the night time. Anyway, we were given boxed breakfasts and lunches to take with us that day. I wont bore you with the details suffice to say that breakfast involved a banana, a boiled egg, an unidentified sandwich and a mint. Lunch however was even worse, including another unidentified sandwich, another mint and unbelievably we were given leftover mousaka and crepe that we had been offered the previous night for supper. To add insult to injury Rhotia Valley was the only camp that had not read the notes from ATR that I am wheat intolerant. We complained once we got home, mainly about the distress due to not being given a solar lamp at night time and having paid for ten, effectively unedible and recycled meals. It was as though we paid twice for the same meal. We got in response from Rhotia Valley the most appalling, rude and arrogant response, I still cant believe it. Even though we had photographs of the leftovers for lunch they told us we were lying and they told us we were lying that nobody gave us a lamp, although why we would refuse one I dont know. All in all, I would not stay here again nor advise anyone else to, there are much better places to stay. Nobody can deny they are doing great work with the Childrens' Home down the road and we enjoyed our visit there, however, we did not enjoy our stay there at all, it was very over priced, especially for leftovers as lunch and we were glad to leave.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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 Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge

Address: Rhotia Valley Road | 5 Km Off the Main Road Arusha - Serengeti, Karatu, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Karatu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 34 Specialty Lodging in Karatu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Quietly tucked away on the top of a hill in rural Africa and, at the same time, located in the very heart of the Northern Tanzania safari circuit Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge breathes the atmosphere of true Africa. The lodge is built with indigenous hardwood and in traditional African style. It is in complete harmony with its surroundings. Yet, its spacious set up, personal and friendly service and its finishing touches, such as cozy sofas around the fireplace and warm decorative details, provide a perfectly balanced luxury. With only fifteen individual tents, Rhotia Valley has an intimate charm. Each of the comfortable tented houses has its own veranda with splendid view. The bathrooms are provided with hot and cold running water, shower and flush toilet. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served in our open dining area. Most of the vegetables and all the herbs are grown in our own garden. Daily we bake fresh bread in our Bakery. Moreover, we produce butter from the milk produced by our own cows. Facilities: - Swimming pool with panoramic view. - Wifi is available in the common dining area. - Conference Room fully equipped with beamer and flipchart. Rhotia Valley is more than a lodge. It is completed embedded in the community of Rhotia. Rhotia Valley consists of the Tented Lodge and, on the opposite hill, a CHILDREN'S HOME. Its aim is to give support to the people of the Rhotia area, all the staff and the children in the Home are from the local area. TWO HILLS, ONE GOAL! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rhotia Valley Tented Hotel Karatu
Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge Tanzania/Karatu

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