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“Enjoyable, yet strange and confusing”

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Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 2, 2014

Everyone in our family found this hotel puzzling. Physically, it's gorgeous. Every room is a separate cabin, with an enormous living room, and enormous bedroom. Finished entirely in wood, decorated with African art, the rooms are lovely. Each comes with a large deck, overlooking the Tanzanian mountains. However, the furniture is stained, the ceiling fans rattle, our children's room door latch didn't work (you had to lock it to keep it closed). Around the small pool, the furniture is again stained, and is in poor physical condition.

The views are astounding. You can see elephants and giraffes in the mountains beyond.

The food is good. The staff are friendly, and hard working, but ill-trained. There are serious language issues with many of them, even in the dining room. As a result, service is hit and miss, with some excellent, and others who simply do not know what they are doing. The manager is omnipresent, but seems to do little other than watch, and greet guests.

Do not be confused by the description of the location. "At the gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area" means exactly that. The hotel is located on a highway just outside the gates. However, the Crater itself is a fair distance away, perhaps a 30-40 minute drive, and this hotel does not have any view of the crater, unlike other hotels and lodges.

Unlike any of the other places we stayed on our safari, in this one we could hear highway noise, as the upper tier of rooms are perhaps 100 feet and some landscaping away from the highway outside the crater gate.

We would not run back.

Room Tip: Try to get a cabin in the lower tier. You can hear highway sounds from the upper tier.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mpols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 2, 2014

My wife and I recently returned from a journey through Africa and the lodge was one of our favourites. The accommodation was first class, food and service excellent. Not a bad bungalow on the property.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Barry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2014

We spent there only one night during a safari. The cottage was nice and big - more than enough room for 2 people. It seems that the staff thought of every single detail (even a spare toilet paper was wrapped like a gift). And when we came back around midnight we found a warm thermophore in our bed :)
Food was tasty and looked like made by an artist :)
The only less attractive feature of the place is views. There are plenty of astonishing spots you visit on a safari and this is only mediocre compared to rest of them.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank linbrethil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

This hotel was our first overnight stop on our Serengeti safari and immediately set a standard that was difficult to beat.

From the moment that you arrive you are feeling special. We arrived quite late but still there was a lot of people waiting to greet us, take our luggage and gave us a welcome drink. The bungalows are luxurious and spacious and have everything in it that you might need. It includes complimentary bottles of water and cold drinks. Mosquito nets are provided and every night when you return after dinner the nets are in place and a chocolate is placed on your pillow.
The deck has a lovely view of the establishment and hills.

Lunch and dinner are something to look forward to and the food is very tasty and well prepared. The personnel are very friendly and attentative and will fill up your glass of wine before you need to ask for it. You can enjoy a pre-dinner drink at the bar our outside.

Room Tip: Choose a bungalow in the second or first row
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Tuscany987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Loved this place, up in the mountains, surrounded by greenery, huge cottages with luxurious interiors and large patios, lovely restaurant, lots of birds visit the property, very courteous staff, did not want to leave :-(
definitely coming back to this place.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Dl0vestotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

I cannot recommend this property enough - it was first class. The location is 2 mins from the entrance to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area gate.(nb not the entrance to the crater floor, just the area surrounding it. Once you are through this gate it is a 40 min bumpy road up and then down to the crater floor.) We stayed on the crater rim on the first night, did the crater and then were back at this lush hotel by 3pm and in the gorgeous pool by 3.15!

The manager welcomes you and he is of the highest caliber - he knows what high standards are. The first impressions of the place are WOW. The staff took our bags straight to our room and they did not do the usual hang around for a tip - so refreshing.

We were lodge 20 and honestly I think it was in the best location. It was on its own and utterly secluded. The rooms were gigantic and the view from the enormous balcony was over a valley of greenness, we think we could hear monkeys out there too ! I think that every lodge is the same inside, but some are more secluded than others.

The bed was very comfy and there were endless special touches from the night time turn down with hot water bottles and little notes on the pillows to shoe polishing kits. Honestly it was just lovely and a special room for the end of our 10 day holiday.

The entire complex is exceptionally well kept with lovely flowers everywhere. There are a few steps to some of the rooms so do mention this on booking if you have accessibility issues.

The lodge is all inclusive and we took full advantage of this! The cocktails and afternoon snacks were lovely. (just wonder if on the menu there could have been a high tea option ie some little sandwiches and a cake or two, as this is what we really fancied). One of us does not drink alcohol so the option of mocktails was well received.

The service is EXCELLENT and it is impossible to not give all the staff 10/10. They clearly have been well trained.

Dinner was a five course feast - yes you can order from the entire menu and we did. It was the best meal we had in our 10 days with delicious and well cooked beef. It was also nice to have a nice glass of sauv blanc :)

Other tips and facts:

There is a little gift shop and here you can buy postcards and even stamps and they will post for you!
The plugs are english style
Do get there earlyish to take full advantage of it - it would be daft to arrive at 7pm and leave at 7am
Stay one night on the crater rim and then one night here
The lunch box was the best we had out of our 3 hotels.

This was THE place to stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a secluded room and one on the lower level as then you get an unobstructed view. Room 20 was...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank LondonLucyLu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

The best location is not enough. The service is great. The Lodge manager, Mr. Stanley , is there for you at all times to assist you. Our group, with special dietry needs , spent a weekend there , none of them will ever forget.
Moshe
ISRAEL

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank moshe n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge

Address: Ngorongoro Conservation Area 6222, Tanzania (Formerly Exploreans Ngorongoro Lodge)
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range: $504 - $1,040 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in 50 acres of virgin Tanzanian bush in the Ngorongoro volcanic landscape, this all suites wood log cabin style retreat is located a few steps from the Game Reserve Gate and 20 minutes drive away from the Ngorongoro Crater that is said to have the most dense concentration of wildlife in Africa. This all inclusive property features 20 spacious private log cabins with fire place, a restaurant, a bar and conference facilities. Indulge in moments of relaxation at the swimming pool or at the Mvua African Rain Spa after a full-day game drive. ... more   less 
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