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“Good but not great”

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Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Good but not great”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

The Serengeti Serena sits in a nice location overlooking the plains and mountains. The rooms are good sized, and are similar to other Rondavel style rooms at other locations. The food was buffet style, and had a good variety, and pretty good quality. The food staff was not very attentive or friendly, especially compared to the other places we stayed on safari. We arrived after a large group, and were not given the type of room we had requested. We mentioned this to the front desk staff, and the manger assured us we would get a better room the next day, and we did--the Presidential Suite. It has a living room and large bedroom, great views from the balcony, 2 bathrooms, and a large bathtub.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a king-sized bed when you make your reservation if you want one. Room 43 has a p...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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pacifica.ca
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 5, 2013

We traveled with Tanzania Adventure Travel and we requested to stay Serena lodges, their expensive, very crowded, lunch box were normal chicken were not good, staff were friendly and location was nice. get advice from your travel expert before you book these hotels

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Rossof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
33 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2013

The first class accommodation in Serengeti. Serena is beautifully located on the hill overlooking Serengeti. Excellent view with elephants, giraffes and antelopes around.

Large rooms with your own patio. You can see animals in the morning or to hear them at night. Tasty and large variety of foods. They offer entertainment program before dinner.
Shortly, it is the type of accommodation you would expect in some Caribbean resort.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank drago_ca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Level 6 Contributor
70 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

It was our second visit to Serengeti Serena and this one definitely exceeded our expectations
This time we knew what we were doing-one should spend at least two full days here

It all started with a nice surprise -the manager at reception recognized us from last year, we had been speaking for hours about wild nature, Russian politics, holiday habits of various nations and much more. I am awfully sorry-but I do not remember his name!

Well, he remembered mine and we were upgraded to a Presidential suite instead of a regular bungalow-can you imagine it? It has a fantastic view to the endless Serengeti planes and our whole party of 6 Russians preferred our guest room is as a sundowner location rather than the main bar

The famous Serengeti park was sort of a disappointment. You have to ride for hours to find any game, and when you find one- there are at least 10 other jeeps waiting in a queue to see a lion or a leopard...
Though we saw a plenty - a leopard family, a pride of 15 lions and cubs on a tree,bat-eared foxes and lots of other game. But the impression is as you are in a large Zoo rather than a National Park. Perhaps our Tanzanian Guide from Comfort Holidays was a bit lazy and reluctant and it all was his fault -one will never know now.

My advice is to take a lodge' s safari vehicle with a lodge's guide-they know much more about animals and are more enthusiastic than those provided by a safari company.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank AllaMoscow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, Utah
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2013

We used four rooms at the lodge. The buffet line was always crowded and poorly organized. It was difficult to get food. The box lunches were terrible both days, mostly not edible. The bread and rolls were the worst on the safari.

Great location. We really enjoyed the "show" in the evening. Great dancers and musicians. You shouldn't miss this. This was our least favorite lodge on our safari due to the crowds at the buffet lines and mediocre rooms. The internet was extremely fast.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 01dFo1ks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

We spent around 5 nights in Tanzania , 3 at Serengeti Serena Lodge and 2 at Serena Ngororngoro. Both the lodges are neat and clean but nothing to be very excited about. If you are a vegetarian, food is definitely not the best. The best part about both the places was our guide/driver OLAIS. He was absolutely fabulous. Very knowledgeable and enthusiastic to answer all the questions. I highly recommend for anyone traveling to Serenas to specifically ask for Olais.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SnehaMehta75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We spent 2 weeks around the Masai and Serengeti. We stayed at this Lodge 02-05 Jan 2013.

Located well, the Lodge is well spaced out and the request "ask for an escort to your room after dusk because of wild animals" does add a sense of spice to the whole experience! The escort is equipped with only a torch - but I suspect the authorities consider that enough of a wild animal repellent.

The staff are generally "happy" and well-intended. However, they have absolutely no clue with respect to service standards. We stayed in Room 57. Morning tea (no in-room service) usually helped my blood pressure. There is no room-service indication on the phone but after 4 calls to Reception over 45 minutes, we were told to call a particular room service number. The staff spoke good English but could not understand " a pot of black tea, with milk and sugar separately". It usually arrived cold anyway. Why doesn't Serena have in-room tea/coffee service like Sarova? Would be simpler for all, wouldn't it?

The food was pretty insipid and, for the prices we paid, the choice was limited. The person on the hot buffet was left alone and struggled to attend to 5-7 people. Food trays were often empty and guests would run around trying to find someone to replenish the trays. Staff would gather in a group of 3-4 around the bar and diners would be desperately try to attract their attention for service.

We asked if a corkage system was in place for our wine. Yes Sir, certainly. But on the 3 days, we were given 3 different rates! On the last day, staff got into an argument with us whether we had paid the previous day's corkage. Not a question about who is right or wrong - but, for USD 5 - was it worth arguing - yes arguing - with a guest who had paid upwards of USD 1000 for the 3 day stay?

The billing and check out system is archaic and I would urge guests to check invoices carefully - not because someone is pulling a fast one, but simply because the manual system could well be prone to genuine human error.

The Manager helped by giving us a special treat on our last day. Thank you Serena for that but ultimately it will not help in the long run. Basically, staff are helpful, happy, friendly and generally courteous but have no clue about the Hotel business. Serena really needs to train (or re-train) their staff, more so because, Serena doesn't exactly come cheap.

Room Tip: Get rooms near Reception. Otherwise, you will have to wait to get an "escort" back to your...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Abhibasu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Property: Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Address: Mbingwe Valley, Serengeti National Park N/A, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 118 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inspired by a traditional African village this extraordinary lodge presents a vibrant design concept rich in indigenous craft and cultural detail that is without compare. Set high on a hill with rolling visas over the teeming plains of a natural amphitheater it also enjoys a ringside seat for the greatest show on earth, the annual migration of the wildebeest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Serengeti Serena Safari Hotel Serengeti National Park

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