An amazing place, the reviews elsewhere on TA have captured the essence of the lodge magnificently. This truly is one of the great hotel locations of the world, and the rooms, and the service are outstanding - the hot bath, the fresh roses, the sherry and the chocolates are all excellent touches. Staff are very friendly and very attentive, and for us, could not be faulted at all - all exactly what you'd expect. The location and its advantages for getting into the crater for viewing we're brilliant, and sunrise from the crater floor on a damp and foggy day was super-evocative; it really did feel a little bit like an inverted version of Conan Doyle's Lost World, particularly when we were able to get away from the other trucks. (Of which there are many - you can lose yourself on some of the lesser-travelled tracks, but if you find a bunch of lions sunning themselves, expect to be joined by 5-20 other trucks pretty quickly).
So why not 5 stars? Really its just a function of the cost - AndBeyond holidays are clearly not cheap - you know that all too well when going in. However, when assessing this lodge against say the facilities and service offered by Manyara or Under Canvas, I try to view the rating and more importantly my expectations, objectively against the distance and trouble involved in getting there and running the place.
In the case of the Ngorogoro Lodge with those other two AB lodges, this is actually the best connected to the 'outside' world of the three we stayed at. Its a big lodge and has access to a bigger (and closer) support network than the others, and hence for the prices charged, I just expected a tiny bit more. Maybe one or two more meal options could have been offered over dinner or possibly one or two more recreational options offered in the lodge for when you're not on game drives. When you charge and pay the rates of AndBeyond, you do expect that extra, extra, extra mile - and the Crater Lodge doesn't *quite* have that.
But that's just quibbling over a single star - its still gob-smackingly beautiful, you will have a stellar, completely brilliant experience, and they will make you feel like a rock star! Just don't worry about the pennies!!
- 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
- Also Known As:
- Ngorongoro Crater Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- Hotel Ngorongoro Crater