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“Couldn't get excited about this place”

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Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 1, 2008

Stayed here for two nights but the only things that I can really remember are the size of the buffalo that was standing outside my window when I got back from dinner on the second night and the functionality of my shower............the best I had on my trip. Everything else was a bit bland and it seemed to rub off on the rest of the guests who appeared very unforthcoming considering the richness of the environment they were in!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank ygor705
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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945 - 951 of 1,202 reviews

Reviewed October 15, 2008

The Serena Lodge is in a great location. The rooms were lovely all with an amazing view over the Crater. The service was excellent. However, if you are a couple this is not the place to go. Dinner is buffet style with a choice of two main courses. The hotel is overrun with package tour groups who get more of the attention. This is not a boutique hotel. If you know that before you go it is a good location and the rooms are nice - bearable for 2 days

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank HippoNy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2008

We stayed here for 2 nights for our visit to the Crater.

We were fairly pleased with this lodge. It was just about as expected. Great setting, OK rooms.
The setting is spectacular, right on the rim overlooking the crater!
We had a room on the second floor (#55) with a wonderful view. It looked to us like every room on the second floor would have a great view of the crater.
Not sure about the ones on the first floor.

The rooms were pretty nice, a bit scuffed up but clean, fairly large with a desk area, good storage space, and a balcony.
Our room had one double bed (really two twins pushed together) and one twin bed.
The beds were very hard.
The bathroom was very large, with an oversized shower. The water never did get very hot, we never even turned on the cold water for the shower.
There was a hairdryer. No TV, no air conditioning, but you definitely did not need AC. It gets very cool up there.

The hotel offers internet for $5 per hour or $25 for 24 hours.

We had dinner and lunch in the huge dining room. We were very pleased with the buffets! They had a fantastic salad bar! Lunch was a full buffet, with many meat dishes, sides, pasta, rice, fruits, cheeses, etc. You also had a choice of two soups from a menu.
For dinner you ordered off a menu for your soup and entree, and the buffet was still available but with less items available, but still the great salad!
Beer was $5, mixed drinks - $8-10, bottled water - $3.
When the restaurant was crowded for dinner service was very slow.

They packed us a filling breakfast to eat down in the crater next to a hippo pool! This was wonderful!

We were able to exchange money at the reception desk and they gave you an increasingly better rate with the more you exchanged.

We were overall pleased with this lodge and would recommend staying here as it has such a good location.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank luv2globetrot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2008

We have staying here for one night in August. The rooms are not very large but have a large bathroom with shower and a nice terrace where you get a nice view on the crater. Good food and service but a little too much international hotel style without real cachet.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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Thank Jean-PhilippeB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2008

First, my impression of the hotel is based on the fact that I had the pleasure to stay at the Ngorogoro Sopa Lodge in June 2008
That's why I was disappointed when I came to Serena.

The view is not half of the one at Sopa Lodge.
You don't get the amazing sunset.
You DO get a beautiful sunrise, but at that point you are too busy eating your breakfast in a hurry so that you can get down in the crater and spot some wildlife.

Food is mainly bland, however breakfast is not bad.
Service is good by Tanzanian standards, but some waiters are trying too hard...

Interior is dark and dodgy and seems more like a hotel in the Alps than some place in Africa, although they have thrown in a pair of Masai people and artifacts for show...

No pool (it IS cold up there, though)

And then - most guests are in their fifties ++++
I would not recommend this hotel to anyone younger.
I'm 32 and me and my friend joked about being in an old people's home.

My over all impression is that this is an average hotel pretending to be an exclusive hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank hildephilde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2008

We stayed here for two nights in two adjacent rooms (children next door) - check in was swift and the rooms were warm with wonderful views of the crater (if there is no mist, sunrise is spectacular), the bathrooms are OK (nothing special) but there was no hot water when we arrived however a plentiful supply was restored within about 90 minutes (felt a bit irritated by this at the time but we were tired and dusty and hungry and I can't eat whilst mucky!) There are no nets as mozzies are not found at altitude but one of my sons was bitten 12 times during one night (what was that due to?) Lovely bar area with open fires and far reaching views. Food (all buffet) was of a good quality with good service. The hotel is clean and well maintained with efficient and likeable staff - so no complaints there! My husband and I particularly enjoyed a two hour hike to the rim of the crater (not too onerous) with another couple (Hi to Mark and Debbie who were on honeymoon!) accompanied by the hotel naturalist (well worth it for the views) but we were marginally bemused by hiking for two hours with a guide who was armed with nothing but a bird wildlife book - were we to batter any dangerous wildlife with the book? Caused us to laugh anyway!! Enjoy!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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Thank CazRob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2008

We stayed at this lodge in the middle of our safari, it was the first place we could get internet access or make a phone call, You have to call the front desk to place the call, then they call you when they connect. I waited 30 minutes and called the front desk again, and they told me my line was busy. It turned out I didn't have phone service to my room. They tried to fix the phone line, but were unable. When I returned to the room later, they had left my door unlocked. They did have me make the phone call in the middle of the lobby, loud and crowded, then charged $35 for 7 minutes. Food was okay, drink prices slightly higher than the rest of the Serengeti but considering where it's located, not bad. The room was more than adequate with a beautiful patio and view of the crater.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank marcia2328
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Address: Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range: $394 - $824 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched on the jagged rim of the crater, wreathed in morning mist, camouflaged in river-stone and cloaked in indigenous creepers, the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is a triumph of ecological and architectural fusion. Sensitively constructed so as to take nothing from its environment whilst affording endless vistas over the heat-shimmering reaches of the crater below, the clustered boulder-built buildings of the Lodge hug the crater rim, linked by rope-lashed timber walkways that skirt the buttressed roots of ancient, liana-hung trees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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