We travelled in October 2013 but have waited until now pen some thoughts about our time with &Beyond; I wanted to see if my opinion would have changed during the months since. No chance of that! In a nutshell it was so disappointing that we had to leave! We wish so much that we could go back tomorrow, even better if we could have stayed forever. What a magical experience we had! I organised this trip for my wife as a special surprise for a mile-stone birthday, coinciding with our wedding anniversary whilst there. &Beyond did not let us down at all. We stayed at both Ngorongoro crater lodge and Bateleur Camp. I could go on forever with all the details, but if you take the time to read many of the favourable TripAdvisor reviews for both these places, you will get the idea. I would only be repeating all the good stuff already said.
The staff at both places is what makes the experience a complete package. Warm, welcoming and genuinely friendly people that will cater to your every need, and then some. We couldn’t ask for more if we had tried. The only negative I have to say is experiencing some other guests treating the staff like a commodity. The wonderful people and colourful characters that you have at these lodges deserve nothing but the highest accolades for having to put up with this kind of behaviour. I take my hat off to you all for being able to brush it off like the dust at the end of a fantastic days’ safari.
Tonya Siebert. What a wonderfully patient, totally awesome person you are. I can’t thank you enough for your assistance in organising our African adventure. I truly hope you will be able to help plan our next adventure in a few years. Yes, we are coming back and have already started saving! Tonya helped me plan this adventure via e-mail almost two years prior to the event. I pestered her with silly questions, and numerous changes to my plans which she took in her stride with utmost professionalism, but also in a way which inferred that she enjoyed the challenge of putting together an experience, not just a holiday. I hope one day to say thank you in person, my wife would also love the chance to say thank you to the person that I was covertly staying up late to correspond with!. I had extensively researched where I wanted to go, and thought I had everything covered, including what to expect. I don’t know how you did it but there were even surprises to be had that I was not aware of!
Regarding Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.
For the record, my wife fell in love with this place. The staff, the roses, that bath tub, the view, the gourmet picnic lunch by the lagoon with the huge elephant, hippos, birds and lion asleep under the tree – magical. Thank you so much Noel (our driver) for sharing your valued knowledge, friendship and sharing your life with us for the brief time that we were there. We both loved that you showed off your little girl to us. Its little things like this that made you feel that you were part of a family. The crater was our first introduction to an African Safari – Wow! Although you can’t get as close (at times) to the animals as other places, we had some wonderful wild life experiences and managed to see all the big 5 in one day, although we had to wait until dinner to be ushered outside on to the balcony to see a huge leopard strolling along the lawn!
Not a day has gone by since returning home that I am told of how much of a fantastic time we both had. We both have memories that will last a lifetime born from genuine hospitality that made us feel like kings and queens. We can’t rate this place high enough.
My tips for travelling, October weather was fantastic but dry. Flamingos in large numbers had left the crater lake a few weeks before we arrived. Although we stayed near to the reception area, I think all the rooms would be excellent for the view. Tree camp was under refurbishment whilst we were there and would be awesome for the views.
I need to clarify the average sleep rating. It is a little difficult to sleep when you have animals (buffalo and elephants) munching on the bushes underneath your bungalow! Unique!!
- 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