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“One of the top 5 views in the world?”

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andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Pointe Noire, Republic of the Congo
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“One of the top 5 views in the world?”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

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!!

Room Tip: All rooms have stunning views of the crater so hard to pick between them - maybe southern camp and t...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank NickDLuanda_Angola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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662 reviews from our community

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Perth, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

This place is something else!! The view of the crater when you arrive will take your breathe away and then they will take you to your room and your mind will be blown. The rooms are massive with spectacular views, we even had a balcony. Views are everywhere even from the bath and toilet. Very interesting architecture, like someone built their fanatsies. Different styles mixed together and it works beautifully. Fantastic service by our butler Msisi. Great meals. Definitely put this on your wish list.

Room Tip: We had room 22 which was in an excellent position with great views
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank PerthJulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

The views and surroundings here are spectacular. We stayed on a family trip...all the little service touches really made the stay something special. The flower petal baths and fireplace fires they set for you after a day in the crater are one great example. We got an in-room massage for my mother, which she enjoyed very much. Our guide/driver was outstanding and responsive to our every need. Staff here seemed a little reserved compared to other andBeyond properties we had stayed,

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sbradbur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2013

Amazing lodge. Each night, you have stunning views of Ngorongoro crater. Sunsets are brilliant as well.

The lodge is 5 star plus. Rooms are the best. Service is amazing. one speciatly is a hot bath drawn for you after a long day of bumpy safari.

Meals are excellent. Staff is very, very friendly. This is the place to stay when visiting the crater.

Room Tip: All rooms have excellent views of the crater. Can't go wrong.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank OhioTraveled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2013

This establishment was without doubt one of the most interesting places we've ever stayed in our travels around the world. It is located right within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, perched on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, so it is breathtaking and private, with the most interesting "rooms" in African hut style. We had two of these contiguous African "bubbles" which constituted our suite - one side a bedroom and the other, which could be separated by louver doors, was the dressing and bathroom area, with a huge clawfoot bathtub at its center.
A hot bath in this tub, surrounded by roses and rose petals, awaiting guests each afternoon upon returning from a safari trip down into the Crater.....does it get any better than this????

Because the Crater rim is about 5000' ft. up, it is cool in the evenings, with no mosquitos and it is great sleeping temperature. The Lodge has a separate structure which serves as reception, bar and dining room which is truly a site to behold. It is such an eclectic mixture of furnishings and styles - art deco, baroque and Africa - so interesting and pleasant to sit in and enjoy refreshment from the bar. The food is quite good - not fabulous - but served by a most pleasant and willing wait staff and quite tasty. We can only imagine the difficulties of bringing all the supplies expected of a 5-star facility in the middle of a conservation part. A highlight was an impromtu conga line the hotel staff offered - along with a cake - to one of the guests having a birthday. It was great fun!

Since we were relatively isolated and in the middle of a park with lions, elephants, cheetahs and other wildlife, there was always the possibility of running into an unexpected creature on returning to our rooms. So, guests after dinner were accompanied by Masaii warriors to our rooms!

In the mornings, we were awakened by hotel staff bringing a pot of hot coffee and some cookies to nibble on while we dressed and made it to breakfast - which was buffet style, with many tasty choices. The view from the dining room porch and the yard towards the crater was the stuff of novels.

This place is expensive, the food may not be the best we've had in a luxury hotel, but the entire experience was incomparable. It may be a once-in-a lifetime experience - but it is definitely worth doing.

Room Tip: They all face the crater so it doesn't seem to matter which room you get. Some visitors that ha...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank silverwings928
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
257 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2013

We stayed in here 1/2 way through our safari after many great tented nights...this place is incredible from the moment you drive in to the moment you leave. The service...they know how to do service. The view....INCREDIBLE. The accomodations....some of the nicest I have ever seen. The rooms were very big and beautiful. It was very nice hanging out in the parlor before dinner having a gin and talking with the other guests. Dinner was very good. If you are anywhere near here..change your reservations and stay here, you won't regret it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rich30306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013

The lodge describes itself as “Maasai meets Versailles” which clever as it sounds, fails to capture the aesthetic appeal of this luxury establishment. As we drove through the entrance my jaw dropped, words escaped me, and a giddy excitement washed over leaving me flabbergasted … even the seasoned travelers of the group looked amazed.

&Beyond is a luxury adventure company specializing in lavish properties scattered across Africa, including Ngorongoro, which has a stunning vista of the crater floor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World by all who see it. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is famous for containing the world’s only intact volcanic caldera, which along with neighboring Serengeti National Park, creates an immensely rich ecosystem home to around 25,000 animals; including the extremely endangered black rhinoceros numbering less than 60 left on Earth! The original volcano towered to an estimated 4572-5791 meters high and formed the massive caldera with an enormous explosion around 3 million years ago.

The staff greeted us with a delicious homemade concoction in a charming champagne flute, followed by a briefing in the main lodge of south camp. I am a sucker for Rococo art, for the ostentatious and the lodge decor did not disappoint, with strange juxtapositions of art deco, African, Venetian, Indian, and splashes of Arabic influences. I must have looked ridiculous standing there, peering up at the thatched roof accented with a giant chandelier, mouth-agape and camera at “half-mast.”

As usual we were told to never walk alone at night for the camp has no barriers and the wildlife moves freely – as we would discover later with a herd of water buffalo – as well as always having an escort at night, something I had become very accustomed to and comforted by.

We were then escorted to hut 19 near the main lodge, and the room decor is just as overwhelmingly beautiful as the rest of the lodge. Gold, silver and bronze add a beautiful contrast to the dark colored acacia wood that encompasses most walls and the flooring, as well as the red tapestries and leather bound chairs positioned perfectly in front of the wood-burning fire place. A treat box sat between the chairs filled with homemade toffee, brittle, and other delicious creations, along with two crystal sherry glasses and a decanter posed for a calming nightcap.

A free standing tub lies in the middle of the bathroom, with a bubble bath surrounded by roses waiting for your dust and sweat covered body to just melt into… very romantic. Every inch of the lodge has a view with giant windows or these adorable little peek-a-boo windows behind hinged-wooden doors to give you a 360 degree view of the outdoors. The patio outside the huts faces the crater and the dense woodland which comes to life at dawn with thousands of birds calling out to the others, “I’m alive, I made it through another night!”

I could go on and on for pages. The only downside to our visit was that it was way too short and now I will compare every resort, lodge, hotel, etc., to Ngorongoro… and I feel they will always fall drastically short in hospitality, food, and aesthetics. It was such a unique experience, and I must return someday to spend more time getting to know this marvelous place where man, livestock and predators have lived in peace for centuries… and with any luck you will find yours.

Room Tip: All the rooms are amazing, Tree camp is a little more affordable than North and South camps.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank mccallud
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

Property: 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
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 
Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Crater Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Ngorongoro Crater

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