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“Fabulous views”

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Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fabulous views”
Reviewed October 30, 2007

We stayed at this lodge as part of Tanzania safari, and loved it. We were lucky to get one of the newly renovated rooms - new carpet, new curtains, completely renovated bathroom with enormous shower, new fixtures and fittings, it was lovely. I think most of the renovations are complete now at this lodge, and looking at the pictures of the previous rooms, it has made a huge difference. The view from our room (and all common areas of the lodge) was an uninterrupted view down into the crater, from the glassed in balcony with rocking chairs.

Food was great (although no toast at breakfast, only bread), and wine list was extensive, and very reasonable. All the staff were very friendly (if a little pushy sometimes on 'encouraging' us to speak swahili), and the checkin and checkout staff were lovely and very efficient. Bar drinks and water are very reasonably priced.

The picnic lunch provided for the all-day game drives wasn't great - I would stock up on food from the breakfast buffet (they seem quite used to this, as there is a note on the yoghurts asking for those who want to take them out on safari to please take the the plastic spoons) or ask for a vegetarian lunch, as the food sits in the jeep all day in the heat.

  • Liked — Views
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank PimlicoGrid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Newport News, Virginia
Level Contributor
500 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 355 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2007

As part of an eleven day safari, my husband and I stayed two nights at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge. En route to the lodge, we visited Olduvai Gorge and a Maasai village. We stayed in Room 40 of the lodge (two double beds) and were thrilled with the view and great glassed in balcony (with table and two chairs). This was the first time with no mosquito nets (thanks to the cool temps in the evenings) in days. Cape buffalo grazed just below our second floor room. Amazing! We enjoyed lovely sunsets and ideal temps/game viewing in the crater. This hotel is only minutes from entering the crater. One of its best features. Our room was well appointed and clean. Staff was friendly (greeted with juice and washcloths). Pleasant porters took our bags to/from our room. Check in/out was speedy. Great gift shop and we took an optional nature walk (so-so only....mostly walking in a field with cattle) one afternoon. Food was quite good (both buffet and menu). Wine selection was also the best we had seen. Nightly entertainment after dinner. I can easily recommend this lodge as a good place to stay for visiting Ngorongoro Crater.

  • Liked — Location/Crater Views
  • Disliked — No Complaints
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank virginian9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
199 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2007

Located at the very lip of the Ngorongoro Crater this hotel has outstanding views and takes advantage of them in every way. The bar lounge, the dining room, the gardens, swimming pool and each of the guest rooms all take advantage of the splendid crater overlook. The hotel faces South West so evenings are frequently rewarded with a beautiful sunset over the other side of the crater rim. It is magnificent.

The hotel is totally geared to the purpose of supporting people on safari and it does that extremely well with a vast lobby where guests meet up with their guides each day.

The dining room is a little crowded but, nevertheless, very comfortable and the food is outstanding. The service is first class. There is a good shop where the prices are reasonable and the staff are very helpful.

The rooms are huge and each have a glass conservatory with a small table and a couple of chairs so that guests can take best advantage of the view. Two double beds, a dressing room along with some huge cabinets take care of all the logistics while the washroom has a shower the size of a small bedroom to add another touch of luxury.

After dinner in the evenings you are escorted back to your rooms in case wild animals are roaming - there were a couple of buffalo that we had to avoid - because the conservation area requires there to be no fences. It worked well and certainly added an edge to a pleasant evening!

It is hard to see how a hotel, dedicated to a particular purpose, can get any better.

  • Liked — Locatio
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank neilajones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seal Beach, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2007

We arrived at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge after 6 hours of grueling travel on very bumpy roads. We agree with other reviewers that the view is very nice, but the room was in disrepair. The bathroom was dirty and even after 3 requests to clean it, it remained so. One chair in the room was broken and was never repaired. In the morning there was no hot water. Our travel agent, African Safari Company, said it was a 'well managed lodge.' It is not.

  • Stayed August 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Sealbeachbuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2007

How you like this hotel will probably be relative to where you may have stayed prior to the Ngorongoro Sopa. After roughing it in Tanzania for several weeks (including a rather rustic weekend in a tent at a Maasai village), and seeing so many Tanzanian people living in tremendous poverty, the Sopa seemed indulgently luxurious. There's lighting that you can actually read by, comfortable western beds and furnishings, and abundant hot water twice daily. (The efforts that take place behind the scenes to supply such a commodity to this remote hotel are considerable.) There almost appears to be more staff people than there are tourists, who politely cater to your every need. The food is abundant, tasty, and safe (but I would avoid the ice at all costs, despite what you are told -- trust me on this). Our room was well-cleaned, and the beds and linens were comfortable. The view from the lodge, perched on the crater rim, is exceptional. A distinct and singular advantage to staying at the Sopa is that it is positioned for sunsets, and the majority of its hotel rooms enjoy this view. Both the lounge and dining room, encased in soaring windows, are oriented towards the crater offering splendid views in good weather.

That said, I found something subtly alienating, or at least impersonal, about this big hotel, with oversized bedrooms, oversized dining room, oversized lobby, and oversized lounge. You could shoot a cannon through the lobby after breakfast, as everyone who's not on the payroll leaves for safari. There are good rooms, and worse. We were initially assigned a fairly dismal room at the far, less desirable end of the complex (lower numbers), with a view of mostly shrubbery and a marginal view of the crater. After 10 minutes of resistance from the front desk, we were given a much better room at the other end of the complex (numbered in the 50s), with an exceptionally nice, updated bathroom, and an improved view. If you are on the first floor of this section, you will notice a well-worn foot-path immediately in front of the expansive windows outside of your bedroom. Maintenance workers walk by, who always stop to see what you are doing inside, and then wave at you. My advice would be to keep your bathrobe on, enjoy the fun, and wave back! A monkey scampered right by our window as soon as we arrived, much to our amusement. It is exciting -- the Sopa's nicely manicured grounds are, indeed, still in the middle of the wilds of Ngorongoro, and this is why security men bearing flashlights appear out of the night to usher you from the dining hall to your room after dinner -- so that you don't get mauled by jungle animals. (Really bad for business.) If not in a Polar Bear Club, I would totally skip the pool, which the hotel's own in-room literature describes as "bracing."

The Sopa is somewhat dated, overpriced in the summer high season, and surely not the best hotel I have stayed at, but as a clean and quite comfortable resting place in the middle of nowhere between safaris, with good food (inclusive in hotel fee), helpful staff, and sunset and crater views, it is considerably far above average -- especially for Tanzania -- and fine for the brief visit to Ngorongoro. Not a place for singles (one would surely feel alone), it would perhaps be most enjoyed when traveling in a group.
P.S. Don't get ripped off in the gift shop with its tourist-price mark-ups -- the banana leaf nativity scene, at $26, was found elsewhere at half the price.

  • Liked — view
  • Disliked — somewhat dated
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MsEd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2007

I travelled to this Logde in January 2007, found it a little cold ofcouse because of the Altitude but the view was just magical especially in the early morning when you can actually watch the clouds rising up. The food was amazing and the service was excellent. I chose the title as it is in the wilderness, there are no phones & no TV....which is like a drug withdrawal for us Americans :) Our fingers were suffering as we had no internet for the time we were there but it gave us the oppotunity to enjoy the scenery. All the rooms have a view of the crater and are nice as they have used natural earth materials to make the furniture which was unique. The rooms have floor to ceiling windows so you can sit on the enclosed balcony and enjoy the view. Would definitely recomment to someone as well as would definitely return

Helpful?
2 Thank bsanchez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 6, 2007

The hotel was old and not so clean. The carpeting in the rooms made you never want to take your shoes off. The bathrooms, although spacious, were very outdated. The water from the faucet (in the tub) had a brown tinge to it.
Hot water is only available from 5am-8am and 5pm-8pm.
The first room I was in was a single. The walls were dirty and there was no actual entrance to the room. You entered via sliding glass doors and had to have the curtains drawn for any privacy which meant NO view. I was later moved to a double which was much better but still very old, a bit dirty and outdated.
Food in the main dining room is OK. Not good, not terrible.
Most meals are buffet style. For those that are menu based, it is a set menu that you can select from. Variety is good.
The most redeaming quality of this hotel is the view! You are right on the rim of the crater. Hope for a clear day with no fog so you can take advantage of it.

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — The condition of the rooms.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AA_Away
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Property: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Address: Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 37 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Sopa Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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