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!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ngorongoro Crater Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- Hotel Ngorongoro Crater