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“Very good location, good hotel but problems with shower and service”

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Seronera Wildlife Lodge
Reviewed August 14, 2013

The hotel is located at the heart of Serengeti. Generally, the atmosphere is pleasant, the rooms are comfortable, there is a swimming pool (practically in a place where water is a scarce resource). The beds are hard as in all Seronera lodges.

In my view, there is a general problem with the hot water in the whole hotel. In my guide it was written that it is the oldest hotel in Serengeti and indeed the bathroom equipment was the oldest from all Seronera lodges we stayed at. So do not shout at the personnel, it is shouted at every evening - the equipment is old and needs renovation. Try to remain calm, if possible.

In my view, the staff is not unpleasant but they hardly speak English or any other language apart from their mother tongue which leads to a lot of misunderstanding and unhappy tourists. You have to be patient and explain with easy words what you want.

As for the service, it can improve. I found one lady at the reception very helpful but this is an exception. You have to know that your full board does not include the drinks which means that you have to buy them in the restaurant. They do not have a glass of water but bring you a bottle of 1,5 l even if you are alone to drink. All prices are in Tanzanian shillings and you can pay with USD but the exchange rate is not favorable at all (you lose 10 USD for each 100 USD because of the exchange rate. At the end of July 2013 the exchange rate in the hotel was 1 USD = 1450 Tanz Shilling). The staff will always invite you to pay cash for your drinks because this is where they get their tip from. I have the impression that the staff is not paid well and really relies on tips. They also insist to carry your suitcases even if it is not necessary (we travelled very light) and are not happy with 1 USD tip for this service. The payment with a credit card is charged with a fee of 5% of the whole bill (in all hotels in the region).

I wanted to give some practical information for future tourists :-). if you have questions, write to me. Have a safe trip!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Elena K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 - 80 of 362 reviews

Reviewed August 7, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for two nights. The buffet style dinner was good with musical entertainment. The viewing area above the pool was an excellent place to take photos of the Serengeti sun set. My room was clean with a comfortable bed. The hotel was experiencing issues with their hot water the first night I stayed there. However, the second night the issue was resolved and I was able to take a hot shower. The staff was friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lindsey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2013

The lodge has stunning views, and a wonderfully attentive staff. Though the water pressure in the showers was less than desirable, the accommodations are certainly nice. The decor is fun, and the architectural details of the lodge are very unique.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank AnnMarie13_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Unfortunately we spent two nights in our safari at this lodge. We were four people and had booked two rooms. On the first night there was no pressure in the showers in both rooms and it was a small trickle, but since we were tired from the safari we managed to have a shower hoping that the next day it will be sorted. On going to the bar, there was no ice available on the first night and they had run out of some brands of beers on both nights we stayed there. I spoke to the hotel manager who was unaware of the issue and took about 20 minutes to come back and explain why they had no ice. The floorboards in the rooms were creaking loudly and we could hear everything from the neighboring rooms and people passing by outside the rooms.
They had run out of glasses and butter during breakfast on the next day. The staff didn't seem bothered and seemed unhappy at their jobs.
On the second night our showers stopped working altogether and had no water coming out. Called reception who told us to wait for 15 minutes and try the showers again. On complaining to the hotel manager, who came across very rudely and wanted to come into the room and check the tap by himself gave us another room which also had the same problem. There were also other people on the same floor whose showers were not working. it took them about an hour to send a plumber and fix the showers, and to my surprise the showers stopped working again the next morning.
The packed lunch provided by the lodge was also very unappetizing.
There is no wifi in the lodge, it had an internet cafe and gym but both was out of service.
Avoid staying at this lodge, it is situated in a good location as we saw alot of animals a few minutes into the game drive and there are good views from the lodge, but the lodge is very badly managed and unless something is done about it, seems like nothing is going to change.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
7  Thank niks2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

We actually stayed in a tented camp which is a sattelite of the Lodge itself. The place was well located and we liked the night sounds from the surrounding wildlife.

We were disappointed by the attitude of the camp manager and found that we had to ask for a reduction(successful as it happened) in the price he wanted to charge us for drinks (beer etc.). This is unnecessary, all that is needed is a printed price list in the bar area.
We were very pleased with the service especially from the staff.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Guy2508
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ashish s, Group General Manager at Seronera Wildlife Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2013

Dear valued guest..

Thanks for your review ..

Its seems there is small confusion in regards to property as we are well structured lodge of 80 rooms as guest have mentioned that it is camp site., moreover we are not selling rooms direct from unit it is actually routed through our central reservation Arusha...

With regards.

Ashish.k. and hotels and lodges team.

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Reviewed July 6, 2013

This is one of the most amazing locations for a Hotel I have ever seen.
The pool area features a fantastic view of the Serengeti and a large raised observation area if you wanted to really take everything in and at one stage there was a herd of gazelles and a giraffe within metres of my bedroom window!

We (my parents and I) received a warm welcome from the staff who did whatever they could to make us as comfortable as possible. They were competent and friendly - I think they made the place what it is.

The rooms were beautifully presented - to be honest if you're out all day on safari, all you need is a hot shower and a comfortable bed - the bed was certainly comfortable and falling asleep to the sound of nocturnal animals in pitch darkness was just amazing.
If you, or somebody you are travelling with has trouble walking (both of my parents do) I would strongly advise that you tell them well in advance and request a room as close as possible to the dining room/ reception area - there is a lot of walking if you don't.

There was quite obviously a talented team of chefs because the food was magnificent - though not served very hot which was a shame.

Being in the middle of nowhere, the place is powered by a generator that is switched off during certain hours, when people are expected to be out on safari or asleep. This is perfectly understandable but can make it a little challenging if you need to get up in the middle of the night for something - I hope they will consider my suggestion that they provide a torch or (rechargeable) battery operated lamp at the bedside but in the meantime, I strongly suggest you bring you own.

The biggest disappointment was the total lack of hot water - again hot water is only available at certain times of the day but this did not seem to happen during our visit. (I was advised that the boiler had developed a unique problem that they had not encountered before - just unfortunate, I guess). The staff tried to compensate by cleaning off a bucket and filling it with hot water for me - unfortunately the bucket was still dirty and smelled strongly of paint, so I opted for the cold shower, but I very much appreciated the gesture - they tried!
There was also one evening (after my broken shower had apparently been fixed) where the pathetic trickle of water ceased completely and I had to don a towel and discretely nip into my parents' room to rinse off the soap - not the most dignified encounter but at least I had another room to go to - not always an option.

Overall though I think I would recommend it for the location alone - just be prepared for a few imperfections!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank anonymous706
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Our room at the Seronera Wildlife lodge was small, but adequate. The bed was comfortable. The walls are very thin, so sound can be heard from the other rooms and outside. The setting more than made up for the small accommodations and thin walls. The hotel is built to incorporate the surrounding kopjes into the lodge and restaurant, which makes for a charming atmosphere. The pool area was very nice and there is an observation tower to spot wildlife on the Serengeti or watch the sunrise or sunset. The staff was friendly and welcoming. The food was excellent.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Kim L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KampalaAshsharma, Group General Manager Operations at Seronera Wildlife Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2013

Dear Valued Guest Greetings!!

We are delighted to read your positive review about our lodge and thank you so much for your stay. We are pleased you enjoyed the lodge, our service & our hospitality. Positive comments like yours encourage to build our staff morale. We look forward to welcome you again soon at our seronera wild life lodge.

with regards.

Ashish.k.sharma ( For and behalf of hotels and lodges T Ltd.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Seronera Wildlife Lodge

Address: Central Serengeti, Serengeti National Park 2633, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #108 of 128 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Price Range: $200 - $230 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Seronera Wildlife Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Seronera Wildlife Lodge is artfully constructed round a rocky outcrop from glass and wood elements, perfectly blending into its surrounding; next to the lodge, several waterholes attract day and night the most amazing animals, providing a unique opportunity for a close encounter with the so called Big Five. The Lodge is only 5 minutes far from the departing point of the hot - air balloon safaris, which offer a thrilling birds-eye wildlife perspective of the vast plains of the Serengeti. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Seronera Wildlife Hotel Serengeti National Park

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