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andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 22, 2012

As a solo traveler most of the time I normally don't choose expensive and over the top hotels, preferring to spend my money on sights, good restaurants or shopping, besides I'm rarely in my room to appreciate it when there are sights to see. The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge was, by far, the most opulent and luxurious lodge I have ever stayed at. It has the great views of the crater, great view of the zebras munching on the grass as you have a cocktail on your balcony and the staff are the warmest, best at their job and overall added so much to my experience at the Crater Lodge. This is my second experience at an &Beyond property in Tanzania and I really enjoyed the welcome song they sing as you approach the lodge for the first time - even in the larger setting of this lodge (compared to the smaller tented camps), I was welcomed and addressed by name each time.

The rooms are divided into sections and due to the time of year, I was in the north area - not right on the edge of the crater but still with great views of the crater floor. The rooms are huge and wonderfully decorated. There were so many little things they did that were special: after coming back from a drive, you'll find a bath drawn for you to relax in, a drink is brought to your room by your butler within 5 mins of coming back without asking for it, a fire is drawn in the fireplace as the sun starts to set, the box of homemade fudge in the room and the bottle of cognac along with it. I couldn't eat before the numerous small planes I had to take around Tanzania so I skipped breakfast on my last day...without being asked for it, I was given a lunch bag when I left filled with lots of goodies to enjoy later.

Peter, my guide into the crater, was fantastic and I had him all to myself. We stopped for breakfast along the way and it was plentiful - enjoying the hippos and other animals while having coffee is truly an experience that you'll never forget. The roads getting down to the crater aren't for the faint of heart - I learned all about the African massage from these roads but it was all part of the experience. If it had been paved roads down to the crater, I think I would have been seriously disappointed for spoiling the natural aspect of this area! KK, the butler, always had a smile and warm welcome. Don't forget to stop by the gift shop and meet the Masai woman selling her beaded items.

The nightly price of the lodge is enough to cause heart palpitations for those that don't normally pay this kind of rate BUT it is totally worth every penny! For me, this was a trip of a lifetime, so well worth the money spent even if it means working a little longer to pay for it!

Room Tip: Depending on the time of year - check which area (north, south etc) is open. Each section of rooms...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank Liv6610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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419 - 425 of 698 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2012

The Crater Lodge is an unusually decorated facility. The main lodge has great chandeliers, overstuffed chairs and sofas and exceptionally attentive staff. We arrived after a 45 minute drive from the airport. The road is fine until you get closer to the Crater. Then it is awful. The roads up and down (the Lodge is located on the upper edge of the crater) were miserable. Our driver was as good as she could be but nothing could make these dirt roads anything less than miserable.
But the game was what we were there to see and it was plentiful and active. We spent three days here and enjoyed every one. It is chilly at the altitude in the evening and a long sleeve shirt is comfortable all day. Bring a fleece for night.
Dining was okay. The food tended to be at best luke warm but it ws tasty and served well. Wine was okay too. Nothing great but acceptable.
The rooms are free standing buildings with a large bedroom/living room area and a small fireplace that definitely took the chill off in the evening. The bathroom is huge but the sink areas are poorly lit.
The balcony is useful for watching the numerous animals that wander through the property including elephants, zebras and a herd of cape buffalo, We did a tour of a Masai village and that was informative and fun. I expected some kind of phony display but was pleased to see that where we visited was where the family lived. The living quarters of the Masai are well thought out and simple. The fellow that was our guide was smart and spoke excellent english.
The group was very welcoming and they seemed to enjoy our visit as much as we did.

Room Tip: I would think our rooms, 5 nd 6 are ideal. Close to the lodge and convenient to the pick-up site for...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mike T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

Whilst I suspect that most people who come here can afford the eye watering nightly rate with the daily interest from their current account, this was certainly not the case for us. If you think you are going to get value for your money here then think again but (and it is a big but) I would not have changed this experience for the world. This is an example of one of the things you might only have one chance to do in life. The hotel setting is unparalled and given its location on the rim of the crater so are the ridiculously luxurious interiors. There is no modesty here.

Our butler was wonderful. In my opinion the management ought to take a leaf out of the staff handbook as, despite a very professional service, they lacked some of the really warming qualities that the staff possessed. At the management level the hotel felt too commercial and rather impersonal unlike the more intimate camps we visited.

I will reiterate that the food can not be measured by the price. Even before our incredible experience with the food at a small tented camp, given the facilities at Crater Lodge and the access to fresh ingredients and presumably the quality of ingredients not being a problem, the food was not inspiring. On the most part it was perfectly pleasant (everyones tastebuds will have a different opinion on this) but the menu was too Western and if its going to be like that then it has to be really good, which for me it was not. There is plenty to eat of course (way too much actually) and unless you have really really really high gastronomic standards you wont struggle finding something to eat, but if you are a 'foodie' don't go expecting something extraordinary.

The rooms were incredible and for a once in a lifetime experience it is well worth trying. If the price is no skin off your nose and you are not looking for modesty then this is the place for you. If you have to work a month or two to afford this then way up your expectations and whether you think this level of opulence add a whole new dimension to your trip.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

The staff at the lodge provide personalised butler service. The rooms are huge with a free standing bath and beautiful shower amenities. The view from each room is into the crater itself. Animals roam through the Lodge area and we were delighted to see Zebras frolicking outside our balcony. The food is fabulous and they cater for all dietary requirements.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
Thank SheryleMoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

At the top of the Ngorongoro Crater, with great view of the crater, the lodge is made ​​up of several bungalows disposed in three locations that refer to different lounges to not burden the common areas. The buildings - designed by an itlian architect living in south Africa - are made ​​of concrete, stone and straw, very spacious and well appointed. What is most striking is the decor, which includes different styles in a patchwork of settings and color that leaves you amazed. The staff is very pleasant and does his best to make you enjoy every moment, even if the management is affected by the lack of personality; probably is missing an effective resident manager to properly address relationships with customers. Nights, at least in August, are quite cold but the butler, assigned to you at your arrival, will let you find a warm fireplace after dinner, helping to make even more magical the atmosphere, while a heating pad in bed will make you sleep warm. From the terraces of your bungalow, in addition to the view of the crater at dawn and at sunset you can see the animals that come close in total freedom. The food is good but not excellent, while there is a nice range of South African wines, aperitifs and after dinner liquors. Certainly the cost of the lodge is very high compared to accommodations of equal level and probably not justified, however, are certain that we made ​​the right choice because coming to this location without enjoying the view of the crater and discovering this lodge, so different from all the others, would be something we'd definitely regret.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank NiloCalvi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Where do I start, the rooms are amazing. The pre run baths with a view are memorable. The lite fireplaces and the fudge is not to be forgotten. The staff are exceptional and friendly and the overall experience is life enriching. It's tough to decide which of north or south or tree camp is better but if you are a small group then tree camp otherwise south camp is my favourite.

Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
1  Thank kckenya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012

Accommodations: Italian Renaissance meets African safari. If you can’t fall in love with your spouse/significant other here all over again, it probably is never going to happen. The service here is what a five star should be – roaring fire awaiting you with a glass of sherry after dinner, a bathtub filled with bubble bath and the floor covered in roses, your own personal butler to attend to your special needs, and the bed warmed by an electrical blanket awaiting your arrival. The décor is really something to see in of itself. The rooms are very large with multiple decks overlooking the crater and much of the walls are paneled in hardwood. WiFi is available only in the common area and is a bit slow especially for larger files.

Activities/Game drives: Ours was done privately with Peter. Although you are going to see just about everything you can imagine, you should be aware that during high season this is a very busy area. The day of one of the black rhino sightings there were no less than 70 vehicles at the site jostling for position. The vehicles are required to stay strictly on the roads, so no tracking of the animals is allowed. The picnic areas, although nice, are jam packed during lunch.

Dining: Both nights we were seated in front of a roaring fire (this area gets chilly) and service was attentive, well paced, and the food well conceived, constructed and assembled. On one evening the electricity went out and service continued without a hitch.

Final recommendation: This is a wonderful place for a two night stay – you’re probably not going to get more bang for your buck by doing game drives for more than two days in this area.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AmyandDeanHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Address: Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range: $1,602 - $3,453 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Steeped in romance, each stilted, handcrafted banana thatch suite at andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is adorned with graceful antiques and unforgettable opulence. Ensuite bathrooms, with a centrepiece of fresh roses, feature huge showers and chandelier-lit bathtubs, while floor-to-ceiling windows ensure breathtaking views from all around. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Crater Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Ngorongoro Crater

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