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“Beautiful lodge overlooking the crater. ”

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Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful lodge overlooking the crater. ”
Reviewed August 15, 2014 via mobile

We booked a safari with Pristine Trails. One night of the safari was spent here. The staff was very friendly. The put on a show during dinner that was fun to watch. The hotel was clean and had everything we needed for our trip.

It's a little rustic but that's what you would want on safari.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Louis P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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New York City
Level 6 Contributor
912 reviews
145 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 589 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2014

The setting: You are right on the rim of the Ngorongoro caldera. The views from the hotel grounds are spectacular and access to the basin of the caldera is a short 10 minute drive. The only reasons to stay here are the view and the easy access to the basin for your game drive. Other than that this is a nondescript property lacking basic amenities. The weather here fluctuates from frigid misty dawns, when the rim is shrouded in clouds, to sunny and hot afternoons, to crisp evenings and freezing nights. We were here in early August and experienced these harsh fluctuations. There is a pool fronting the rim, but the water is freezing. The lodge/hotel has a large and airy lobby but it is poorly decorated lobby and not at all inviting. There are fire places but none were working during our stay. The indoor bar is outfitted with large, bulky sofas which are placed against the large windows fully occluding the view to the rim. The loungers outside of the bar do have the wonderful views. The staff here are not very friendly; smiles here are few and far between. Wifi is only available in and around the lobby and is spotty at best, requiring flimsy paper slips with log in credentials. Your best bet for internet is at 5-6am, when most guests are asleep.

The rooms: Our rooms were large, almost cavernous stucco structures with popcorn style walls and wooden slats covering the ceiling, making the space smaller than it needs to feel. There are two queen beds in each room. However, there is no TV and no telephones, making wake up calls for early game drives impossible. The bathroom is large but empty of any decor just like the rooms. Hot water is available for a few hours in the morning and in the late afternoon/evening. Water pressure was great. Toiletries are an afterthought. The electric kettle was a welcome perk in the room to make tea. The staff places hot water bottles in the beds during turn down service, which makes for a cozy bed. However, the heat in the room is either turned off or is insufficient to last through the night. We all woke up shivering in the morning as the synthetic blankets are paltry.

The food: The selection served for buffet breakfasts and dinners is sufficient but the food is nothing to write home about. Most guests take boxed lunches on game drives, but if you return to the crater, there is an a la carte lunch menu.

All in all: This lackluster property will negatively impact your experience at the crater, especially if you have stayed in nice mobile camps or the posh Serengeti Four Seasons. The setting is gorgeous and the hotel is a hovel. Be prepared for herds of tourists and I mean 100+ people cramped into the public dining room and public spaces. There are large tour groups with name tags and the like; basically all aspects that will immediately kill any kind of unique feel I look for in properties that are set in indescribably beautiful settings. Unfortunately, there are very few options to stay on the rim, so please book yours at the only other lodge on the rim a year out, otherwise you will get stuck in the mess that is the Sopa lodge. There are many charming inns 30-40 minutes outside the rim, but then you will be wasting time commuting and will not relish the lovely view of the caldera from the rim. Basically, this property is a catch 22, the location is perfect but the experiences is off putting.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Brooklynite_Abroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2014

the hotel is one of the best place to observe the crater from the top. It is just fantastic to stay in front of the pool and enjoy the game of the clouds and the sun. The service is very good but it seems that the hotel rooms need to get some renovation. The food and the buffet in the evening were good and diverse (Western & african, local food)

Room Tip: Don't spend to much money on the rooms. Only few have a real view on the cratere and the most be...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Natandaymerico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2014

The position of the hotel on the rim is superb, giving wonderful views of the crater and super views of the sunset. Our room was very spacious, clean and comfortable, it was near the bottom of the hotel so did not have good views, but otherwise we would not fault it.
On our first night the hotel was completely full so the restaurant was busy and the meal was a self service buffet, however the food was still tasty with plenty of choice. The second night, when they were a little less busy, we ordered from a menu and the food was probably of a slightly higher standard. The staff were all friendly and helpful. No hesitation in recommending this hotel, and if we are lucky enough to be able to come back it will certainly be the place we choose to stay.

Room Tip: Rooms at the 'top' nearest to the lodge probably have the best views.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 52stella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2014 via mobile

Beautiful lodge & large accommodations with a view of the crater. Food very good. Wine a little over priced. Large animals in crater great. Saw the big five and lots more. Packs of hienas, zebras, gnus, lions etc..

Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Bluewaterfrogman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zanzibar City, Zanzibar Urban, Tanzania
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2014

I have stayed at the Sopa Ngorongoro twice before, so I was not expecting anything spectacular all the more after a 7 hours back breaking drive from The Serengeti. We were looking forward to have a quick bite to eat, warm shower and crash. However that was not the case.. on arrival the staff were very attentive, they quickly checked us in and instantly made us feel welcome and homely. We were swiftly taken to our room to settle in, somehow all that tiredness and weariness was lifted when we saw the spectacular sunset over the crater rim, the cozy bar lounge had a fire going and the bar beckoning. Settled in the beautiful leather couches, there was nothing more heavenly then the perfect sunset, great ambience and a nice drink to lift the moment.
Dinner is served in a beautiful restaurant, the food is very delicious and did not have the typical buffet feel to it. Each server introduces himself/herself which I though was a nice touch to elevate the dining experience.

Rooms are spacious with double twin beds and have great views of the crater and the rain forest. The room linen and furnishing could do with a little bit of a uplift, although it was clean and smelt fresh it looked a bit tired. I wanted to give the property 4 stars but sincerely i couldn't because every other aspect for the property and especially the staff were excellent and the fifth star is for them...well done chaps

Room Tip: There in no internet or telephones in the rooms... could be a blessing or a bother.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lancy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hong kong
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2014

Check in staff distracted and not interested, one can often tell what type of experience one is about to experience from this basic first step. We were not encouraged. The room was in desperate need of renovation, sheets and pillow cases very poorly laundered and blankets unusable they were so dirty. Hot water bottles, nice idea but unhygienic, no way of cleaning them after guest use.
Bar/Lounge staff helpful and friendly even lit up a fire for us however the attitude in the dinning room was very different, service was at best brusque at worse plain rude. Food, another buffet, was mediocre and that's being generous.
The senior management was characterised by its total absence during our admittedly brief stay [one night June 20]. We were happy to tip the bar/lounge staff but not the dinning staff. However they had other ideas and we found a tip on our bill when we checked out. Finally the exchange rate was the worst we experienced in the five different hotels we stayed at in TZ and was frankly insulting. This is a hotel with the advantage of a great location for the Crater and plenty of grounds and space. Shame it is run so poorly.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HongKongMichael
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 #7 of 37 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Sopa Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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