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“Honeymoon Safari - Final Lodge”

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Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 21, 2009

The final Serena lodge on our safari, and it did not disappoint. We had a fantastic room overlooking the amazing crater, with no need to use the curtains as the room was not overlooked. We would even spot elephants on the crater floor from our balcony!
Again we were treated well with fruit on our arrival, and lots of entertainment with a nature walk, acrobatics and a slide show of the area.
The service on our first night at dinner was slow, but the food was incredible when it arrived. The second night we had a different waitress and there were less customers, so service and food were both perfect!
This was my favourite of the 4 Serena Lodges that we stayed at, but I would add that the pictures on the Serena Lodge website may not do this hotel justice as it looks dated in them and I do not feel that this is the case - I will try to put some others up!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank lovingholidays80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 10, 2009

What could be better than waking up overrlooking the Ngorongoro crater and watching the sun rise over the crater from your bed!! We were mesmerized. We chose the trip we were on with OAT simply because they did stay at this hotel where we had always wanted to stay. We were not disappointed! It is not a luxurious lodge but the view is what counts here and they did go out of their way to make arrangements for my dietary restarictions.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mexfolkart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2009

This hotel offers the most panromic view of the crater at all time of the day. The view is breath taking. Its location is perfect for early start for the safari in the crater. The rooms were clean and spacious - a touch of colonial era. There was ample choice at meal times for both the vegetarians and non veg. The service was spactacular - staff were very friendly.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank safarisurfers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2009

Stayed two nights 10 & 11 July 2009 during a weeks safari.
Fantastic place to stay, on the rim of the crater overlooking it with unbelievable views.
the rooms were clean and spacious with central heating. (you need it, it's cold that high up, although this means no mosquito's).Service was excellent, including hot water bottles placed in your bed's at night. Food was good, a buffet breakfast (and a chef who cooked full english breakfast's for you, and a choice of main meals in the evening. A good packed lunch was provided to take on safari with you.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank seventh-time-lucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2009

Unfortunately we arrived at this lodge after 3 superb nights at Serena Amboseli, Kenya, and were expecting a similarly run lodge and were bitterly disappointed. The only thing going for this lodge is its fabulous location on the crater rim.

The lodge was poorly managed, the staff apathetic and honesty of gift shop staff questionable.

Hot water was a major problem in all four of our rooms. In the bitter cold, cold showers were not acceptable.

The rooms were bitterly cold, even though a heater was in the bathroom and guest room. This heating made no difference to the temperature within the room. Although we had plently of warm clothing, there was only one robe available in each room. Two of my children slept with this on, over winter pyjamas as they were so cold. The hotel did place hot water bottles in the beds, however by 1am the rooms were so cold you were woken by it. Another of my children had to get into bed with me to stay warm.

I found myself pulling additional blankets out of the cupboard at 1am and was horrified at the state they were in. They were putrid, however we were so cold "we grinned and bared it".

The food at the lodge was ordinary and the staff were totally apathetic. There was no chef available at breakfast for omelettes or eggs, and Dinner; which is the standard at Serena Serengeti and Amboseli. Plates remained uncleared from the table, even after people had left. My children and I remained seated at our table one night for an additional 45 minutes after 5 family members had left the table. All dirty plates remained even after we got up and left. This occurred at every meal.

The packed lunches were a disgrace and were largely inedible. However, in fairness to the Ngorongoro kitchen this seemed to be a problem at all lodges in Tanzania. They are definitely not up to "Western" expectations.

I wouldn't recommend this establishment, unless there was a complete change in management. Good management, produces good staff and "ship-shape" facilities, Serena Amboseli and Serengeti being the perfect examples.

Restaurant and Bar staff seemed more interested in chatting to each other than completing any work. It was like they were paid to stand there and chat, but were still looking for a tip at the end of the meal. Somebody needs to let them know, that tipping is the reward of serving excellence, it is not their right to receive for nothing.

The only thing going for this lodge, is its location, "kitschy" architecture, and reasonably priced, good quality Masaii Craft sold on the verandah outside the restaurant.

The two other Serena Lodges we utilised were excellent establishments, so my review is not meant to tarnish the Serena name.

The crater had some of the best game viewing in our 4 weeks of African Safari's and as a destination to see "kills and stalking" was without doubt the best area to view this.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank C0nstantlyOnTheG0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2009

Only place we stayed in Tanzania that the room needed some cleaning. We ran out of hot water the second day at the lodge since we got back to the hotel late. We had an issue with ants in the bathroom.

The hot water bottle to warm up the bed was a nice touch.

The food was very good at this lodge, it would have been nice to have had the chance to have a view of the crater, but only tables for large groups were allowed to be seated at those tables. Lodge should consider changing tables each day.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank love2travel071187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2009

This place only has the views going for itself. The rooms are lacking, the mattress was uncomfortable, and the food very very poor. In fact, my wife and I went hungry after no dinner. We took boxed lunches for the following day which were mediocre. The staff were very very pushy and insistent on tips which put us off. Wish we had just forked up a few more bucks and stayed at the Crater Lodge.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank zakami
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
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range: $387 - $822 (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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