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“WOW… Soooo….Luxurious & Personalized Service”

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andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“WOW… Soooo….Luxurious & Personalized Service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2013

From the moment your safari vehicle pulls up in front of the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge to the moment you leave, you will feel like your "friends" are so glad you have arrived. Just about the entire staff is outside waiting for you when you arrive to greet you with warm hellos and a nice chilled drink the moment you step out of your vehicle to the moment you depart….they want to treat you like royalty and they do indeed! What a spectacular setting and the views are awesome! The rooms will take your breath away as they are so spacious and gorgeous, which is especially welcoming after a long day on safari. Each room is assigned a private butler who is available to do anything you may need. My husband and I had a room together and our 21 year old son had his own room…each room had an individual butler available at a moment's notice. While we were at dinner our butler turned on the electric blanket on the bed so when we crawled in it was nice and cozy….a nice little touch. The food was good, but I would NOT say the best we had. The service however was wonderful everywhere, including in the restaurant. What a beautiful and memorable place to stay!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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1 Thank bvh7460
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
70 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

This location is a juxtaposition in safari and swank. We also visited andBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas and andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge so look for our companion reviews of those properties.

Safari: We arrived at the Lake Manyara airstrip in mid-morning and ended up sharing a safari vehicle with 2 South African couples who were travelling together. The drive to the Lodge on the crater rim took about 1.5 hours and was not a game drive in any sense. By the time we got to the crater lodge, our guide tried to dissuade us from taking an afternoon game drive because of the limited time we'd have to spend in the crater floor - the cars have to enter the park by 330p and have to be back at the top of the crater rim no later than 6pm. However, my husband and I decided that we really wanted to try and get as much game viewing as possible into our 2 days at Ngorongoro so we asked to go on the drive anyway, we left the lodge at 240p and made it to the entry gate with 10 minutes to spare. To get into the crater, you take a one way road from the top down to the bottom and it's a 40 minute drive from the lodge. There is some road construction on the crater rim, which means that the one way road out of the crater which is closest to the lodge is closed and you have to take the long way around, meaning once you decided to leave the crater, it takes 1.5 hours to get back to the lodge.
I am so glad that we decided to do the afternoon game drive in a rush. We saw lions, lion cubs, a crazy screaming baboon, a rhino, a bazillion zebra, wildebeest, and elephants. The rhino we saw was so far away from us that our super zoom camera captured him only as a dot with a horn, but I guess that was better than nothing. On the second day of the safari drive, we saw some lions feasting on a kill and a bunch of hyenas eagerly awaiting their turn to devour the leftovers. Of the 3 andBeyond safari locations we traveled to, this one was the most crowded. That has both benefits and drawbacks. It's good because if you see a bunch of safari vehicles clumped together, you can be pretty sure there's something interesting to see. But on the other hand, the more vehicles there are, the harder it is to see because there are so many people gathered around. This was the only safari location we travelled to where the vehicles stuck strictly to the well-travelled roads and never went off-road in search of a closer view. I'm guessing the area is pretty heavily patrolled to make sure the guides don't go off-road.
An interesting thing about the animals in the crater is that they are EXTREMELY comfortable with cars being around so they don't run away from cars or the road when you approach. As a result, you can often get some really great close-up shots of the animals because they just don't care if you're close to them.
A note about sharing safari vehicles with other people: When we got in the safari car at the airport and found we were sharing with 2 other couples, the guide asked us what our safari interests were. My husband and I were interested in game viewing (lions, zebras, rhino, etc) and the other folks were interested in bird-watching. That made me very concerned because our two interests just didn't match. Plus, if the car was a democracy, then the 4 bird people would always outvote the 2 game people. Fortunately for us, the bird people didn't want to do a game drive on that first afternoon so we got the car to ourselves. That made us much more ok about sharing a car the next day with people who had such divergent interests from our own. However, I have to give andBeyond MAJOR PROPS. Apparently our guide also shared the concern about our interests being so different from the bird people's because he told us that they had found another car/guide for us so we got to go out on our own again the second day instead of having to share with the bird people. We didn't have to ask for it and we didn't have to pay anything extra for the private vehicle - andBeyond just took their own initiative to recognize the differing interests and address a potential problem before it arose.

the lodging: The Lodge is an unusual combination of traditional Masai design and luxurious French-style furnishings and décor. There is so much detail and opulence that you almost feel guilty experiencing such luxury in a third world country. The rooms are spacious and the bathroom in particular is particularly huge. The one drawback to the room is that it got extremely cold. This is likely because there were lots of little cubbyhole windows that you could open from various parts of the room to see outside. There was a fireplace in the room, but when you wake up in the morning, it is C-O-L-D. The first morning, we woke up, we scurried around the room freezing our butts off and hurriedly dressing. On the second morning, the moment I woke up, I called reception and asked them to send someone to start a fire in our room so that when we eventually got out of bed, it wouldn't be arctic temperatures. The room temperature was kind of a big problem for us, but everything else about the room was great.

the food: Amazing. Delicious and beautifully presented, although not particularly unique. White glove service all the way.

One night before dinner, there was a traditional Masai dance ceremony. When we asked our butler what the dance meant, however, he said he didn't know. However, he sent over another butler who told us what the dance meant. Seeing the ceremony was pretty cool, though it went on a bit long, considering we were all standing up for it.

Although no one needs this much luxury, it was a great experience and certainly worth it for the great service and wonderful safari sightseeing we experienced.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank tvnewseditor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2013

A night at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge was a bit of a treat for us while on safari in Tanzania recently. I went on a recommendation of friends, who honeymooned here in 2012, and I was blown away by the standard of accommodation and hospitality here. On arrival we were welcomed by the manager and staff with cold drinks and happy faces. We were shown to the lounge were we had a formal welcome and safety talk, meeting our private butler and other key members of staff.
Then we were shown to our room, the rooms are individual lodges, each with lounge area complete with wood burning stove, beautiful beds with chandelier above, roll top bath over looking the stunning view of the crater, the little touches here make it feel extra special. Little boxes of chocolates, bottle of sherry by the fire, luxury robes and bath products take this to the next level.
We relaxed in our room, sitting on our balcony as Zebra grazed below us. This really did feel so special and we kept smiling at each other as the surrounding beauty sank in.
That evening we dinned in the formal dinning room, after drinks by the fire in the library. The staff couldn't do enough for us, dinner was a beautiful selection of foods accompanied with fine wines.
On return to our room, the wood burning stove was on as requested, drinks arrived and we passed the evening enjoying the luxuries of our room.
The setting of the crater really needs mentioning also, when on safari in the crater we had our first sighting of black horn Rhino, lioness and hyena. We also saw elephant, water buffalo, flamingos, warthogs and many beautiful birds. A great place to visit alongside with it having a very unique scenery.
Overall I would recommend staying here and visiting the crater, it couldn't have been better and we enjoyed our short time here immensely, and will definitely be visiting again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DonnaArmstrong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilbert, Arizona
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013 via mobile

We had a wonderful room with a spectacular view of the crater below. The staff was attentive, and the food was good. Loved hearing the staff sing. So much fun! On the flip side, the game drive through the crater was not enjoyable at all. Ngorongoro Crater is a world heritage site. As such, the vehicles must stay on the roads. The only way you'll see an animal up close is if they wander up to you. I'd recommend going to the Serengeti instead to see wildlife.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Mary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level Contributor
191 reviews
109 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

The road is in the process of being paved, but in the meantime it is a long and dusty ride to the lodge. We also had to take 3 small flights, so getting there is not easy.
Be sure to limit your luggage as the 35 pound limit includes carry-on. They do allow you to check items at the airport for pick-up upon your return. The hotel is an unusual construction with beautiful views onto the crater. Be prepared for very chilly mornings and evenings, even though the vans are enclosed with an open roof for animal viewing. It is a long another dusty and bumpy drive into the crater for game-viewing, so we compacted the drives into one with breakfast and lunch at the designated picnic areas, but a half-day would have been sufficient and rest welcomed. Service was very good, and the rooms spacious and elaborate. Rose petals and an awaiting warm bath welcomed us back. Cocktail hour and dinner felt special with entertainment. With all that, we were not sure it was worth the effort and expense to get there.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank liseuc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Botucatu, SP
Level Contributor
72 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2013

We were in the very elegant hotel of Crater Lodge in Ngorongoro, and we loved the food, the marvelous room, the impeccable service and the view from our room. Acctually anywhere you are in the hotel. But.... when you choose this hotel BE AWARE that you are ONE HOUR drive to the crater ( where your Safari begins). THIS MEANS every morning or afternoon when you want to see the animals, you have to be driven, in a narrow and dusty road, for one hour. And the same at the end of the day. I did not knew this before I booked the hotel ( I am not blaming anybody, cause I know it is my fault). Would I stay there even if I knew that? I do not Know. Maybe not

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Deborah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
80 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2013

The crater lodge was excellent! The setting is absolutely beautiful and peaceful. We would wake up in the morning and watch the zebras roaming free on the lawn. All of the staff were wonderful and very friendly. The service was exceptional! From the moment we arrived until we left, we were treated as if we were their only guests. When we arrived we were greeted by several staff welcoming us with a traditional song, fresh hot towel and a cold drink. We were quickly given a briefing about the property and checked into our beautiful cottage. We stayed in room #9 in North camp, which was perfect in every way. This is located the furthest from the dining area, so very private, but only a very short walk.
Our personal butler, Remingi did an excellent job! He brought me coffee very early each morning as requested. He had a fire going in our fireplace each evening as we returned from game drives. He had a special hot bubble bath for us when we returned one evening. He also took care of serving us our lunches and dinners each evening.
Ladislaus, the North camp manager greeted us each day and inquired how our day went to ensure we were satisfied with their service.
Whenever we returned from the game drives we were greeted by the staff with fresh hot towels for washing up. The laundry is in lauded with your stay and they do an excellent job. They pick it up each morning and return it the same evening.
The caldera game viewing was excellent! We saw many elephants, wilde beast, zebra, Thompson gazelle, grand gazelle, elephants, many lions, baboons, monkeys, austrich, etc. we saw two separate pair of lions mating, we even observed from only a few feet away two male lions fight over their females!
A very special note about our guide, Henry. He was exceptional in every! He was very friendly and accommodated us in every way. He picked us up from the airport and was with us throughout our stay. At the airport on arrival, he had set up a service of coffee and tea for us to welcome us. He prepared wonderful breakfast and lunch for us on game drives, so we could spend the entire day in the caldera. He was perfect at finding and spotting game. He always had us in the perfect spot to view something incredible! He knew exactly where to go to show us mating lions, he knew two of the males were going to fight and put us in perfect position to observe this from only a few feet away! He knew exactly where elephants would be at certain times and brought us to within a few feet of these magnificent creatures! If we come back to any part of Africa where Henry works, we will absolutely request him again as our guide!

Room Tip: All are incredible, but for privacy we stayed in North camp, room #9
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Martinj911
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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