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“Nice relaxation stop during our trip”

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Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanganyika Wilderness Camps
Certificate of Excellence
Canada
Level Contributor
93 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Nice relaxation stop during our trip”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

We booked a couple of nights here during our safari for two reasons, to recharge our batteries midway through and to be near the tribes for cultural visits. The reception area, including bar, restaurant, sitting area and pool, was very nice. The property is quite spread out, and our rooms were a good 5 minute walk from the reception area. It wasn't an issue for us, but could potentially be if you are of limited mobility.

The room was extremely large, and combined with a large comfortable bed. There was no fan in the room, and we did find it somewhat warm at night. The bathroom was large, ours had a shower/toilet room and a separate room with a sink and a large tub. The walls of the bathroom do not reach the ceiling in these rooms, so there is no privacy (if that matters...). There was a large balcony, which looked out on the grounds.

Each night, prior to dinner, there is a show put on by a local tribe. We greatly enjoyed that. Afterwards, you would go directly to dinner. The food, which was buffet style, was very good with a fairly good variety and probably the best desert selection of our trip.

There were a few minor things that we did think could be improved. One issue for us was that the lights on the path shone directly into our room, even with the blinds closed, so it wasn't as dark as we would've liked. Secondly, we did not get a turn-down service (nets opened over bed and sprayed) either night, although others in our group, who were located closer to the main buildings, did. Also there was no kleenex in the room. Another surprising thing was that the great balcony only had one chair per room, so we both couldn't sit outside comfortably. Finally, the property had apparently recently installed a rule that guides were not allowed to eat with clients; we felt this wasn't fair and should have been our choice.

Overall, we really enjoyed this stop. There are a ton of birds on the property, which was fun, as well as all the various plants from the farm.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank TNEG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Camarillo, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2013

Just left the Farm House a couple of days ago and wanted to write comments while they were fresh. We enjoyed the our stay after a long day at Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and actually stopped by earlier in the morning to pickup a box lunch before starting our safari which we thought was convenient considering we had no access to other lunch before dropping down into the caldera.

The grounds were beautiful and we enjoyed a relaxing evening after returning from Ngorongoro on their patio and mingled with some other tourist who were beginning to drift in from their days safari journey. The wait staff was very friendly and helpful in serving us drinks and directing us to appetizers and providing us with a Masai dance before the start of the buffet dinner.

Dinner was average buffet and I would like to highlight our best parts of the meal that we enjoyed. They made a chili sauce for the roast lamb which was blend of tomatoes, onions, spices, and oil with a chile that was a standout for us. They other was the egg custard dish (flan) for dessert which we thoroughly enjoyed. If you like heat with dinner and good custard dessert, that is our recommendation along with a spicy chicken they made for box lunches. Those were our highlight dishes at the Farm House. Another thing I liked about the Farm House, was the ability or guides and guest to dine together. At other locations we didn't see our guides until the next morning, and I like that the Farm House and other lodges with the same ownership has the guides dining in the same room. There is still an invisible barrier where they dine with other guides and guest stay together but I noticed that some guides did sit with their customers to plan out the next day or review the days events. In the future I would look for that in future travels to Eastern Africa.

The rooms were very spaces with private patio. We were given room with two twins and no queen bed so that was the only issue we had with the room configuration. It was a bit removed from the main lodge but we sleep with windows open so we heard early morning staff preparing for the day at 4:00am. Not really a bother for us still on California time but could be a problem for other guest. No internet in the room but by this part of the week, I was detoxing from internet withdrawals and wasn't willing to wait in line for those fighting for 1-hour access time on their desktop (no wifi) for $5 fee. I wasn't prepared to get a fix of Internet while on vacation at this stage.

The front desk was setup (staffed) oddly as there was a single woman managing all the activities. I have read past reviews that she was curt and abrupt with the guest during the check-in and check-out process, but I think the management should correct that by recognizing they need more staff there during peak check-in and check-out process. It is a single choke point for the Farm House and probably a source of a lot of guest frustration as most of the tourist a flowing in between 5:00pm-7:00pm, and then a mass exodus between 7:00am-8:00am for guest to get early start on safari.

Always room for improvement but their our some good things that would bring me back if I were to visit Ngorongoro once again...

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank kayakflyfisherman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We stayed in this lodge for one night after climbing Kilimanjaro and safari in Ngorongoro,and this place is like paradise,the pool,the gardens,the rooms,the service and the food is excellent , very fresh,delicious and abundant.
The suites are very clean and spacious,big shower. Some of the suites are located far away from the dining room. If you have any problems walking,ask for one close to the entrance.
No wi-fi,but they have a computer room where you can check your Email. In general I love this place,so bad we only stay one night. I recommend to anyone visiting Tanzania.

Room Tip: Rooms far from the entrance are quieter,but far from the dinner room.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank 76carlos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2013

I found the setting for this farmhouse to be beautiful with the rolling hills, coffee plantation, abundant wildlife (especially birds) and lovely trees and flowers. It is also really close to the gate of Ngorongoro. However, I found the service of the front end staff to be thoroughly disappointing. While the restaurant staff were great (including providing us with the best zebra high chair for our three year old that I have ever seen), we were treated rather rudely and were lectured to by the woman at the reception. We also weren't offered the traditional hibiscus tea welcome.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank joshuasmith77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here one night because our original accommodation had a problem. This was a serendipitous move as the Farmhouse is anything but a farmhouse. It was a most enjoyable location. The staff, rooms, and grounds were all first rate. Their pool was most welcomed. If you have a choice, don't pass up this lodge, located in the Rift Valley, one of the most archeologically significant places in Africa.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank FotoGraffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2013

We stayed in Ngorongoro Farm House for two nights (Sept 4-6) and were very impressed with both the facilities and the service, especially the quality and freshness of all products used by Farmhouse to prepare meals for its guests. Farm House Lodge lives fully to its name...it is a fully operational farm, where all products used, including the coffee, are grown there and used for all meals. Even the meat and poultry products come from animals kept in the farm. In synthesis, the food was abundant, fresh, delicious, very well presented and varied to appeal to all tastes.
The grounds are meticulously and beautifully well kept. Flowers abound, and the cabins consist of units of two adjoining suites, set on the edge of fragrant coffee plantations, bamboo forests, dense clusters of pine trees, or vegetable patches and fruit orchards. Suites are simply but tastefully furnished, immaculately clean; beds are spacious with nice mattresses and pillows; bathrooms are quite big, with a spacious shower stall and abundant hot water. Each suite has a small terrace where one can sit and read or watch the sun set.
Because Farm House is so big, some of the cabins are located rather far away from the dining room, pool and other common areas. So if walking for quite a distance is an issue for you, make sure you request a cabin that is closer to these common areas. They do have a room with a couple of computers with internet service for guests who want to check on their e-mails, but there is no Wi-Fi available anywhere in the lodge, which I in particular find would be a nice and much enhancing addition to the services they offer, even if limited to only a particular common area. The acoustics in the rooms is another area where improvements would greatly enhance the experience of staying in Farm House since noises and voices carry too easily from one room to the next.
All in all, Ngorongoro Farm House is a lodge I would certainly recommend to anyone visiting Tanzania to enjoy the natural wonder that is the Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation area and surrounding areas. Ah...and the coffee is free...all you can drink.

Room Tip: If walking is an issue with you, ask for a room close to the dinning room, pool and other common are...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sonia747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maple Ridge, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2013

Like most travellers, my mum and were awed at the beauty of the Farmhouse. There is no doubt that the grounds are spectacular and soothing for safari goers coming from dry bush conditions. However, after three days and two nights, we were sadly disillusioned and glad to leave because the service was abysmal. In every department, whether porters, waiting staff, reception or cleaners, the staff was brusque, unwelcoming and in one case, downright hostile. After checking in, we were led to our room by an unsmiling woman who did not say a word, just burst through the door, put down our cases and started turning down the beds. We looked around and poked our heads in the bathroom, trying a few lights and finding where everything was while she flung back the curtains and then left, apparently miffed that we hadn't thrust a few dollars in her direction. (We make a point of asking, at every location, whether there is a tip box from which all tips are shared between all staff. As there was one at reception, we decided to follow our usual procedure of leaving a substantial tip to be shared rather than tipping individuals.) Our dining experience was similar. Calling a waiter over to order a drink seemed to be an imposition. One of the evenings we met up with a group and joined them at a large table for ten in the far dining hall. We were shocked the next morning when the sole breakfast waitress on duty greeted us not with "hello", but with the command, "You must sit at the same table as last night!" We explained that since we were a party of only two, it was hardly reasonable that we venture to the far dining room to sit at an enormous table a full 40 meters away from the buffet , especially as the small tables nearby were empty. Again we were told to sit at last night's table. We declined and sat where we chose. The waitress then proceeded to ignore the three polite requests we made for coffee, and wouldn't even glance in our direction. In the end, my mum walked to the coffee room around 50 metres away (next to far dining room!) and carried her own coffee through a few doors and to our table.

Leaving one morning for a trip into the crater, my mum had the key to our room in her pack. Since we were returning that afternoon, it did not occur to her to consult reception and she walked by the desk towards the car. Suddenly the receptionist shouted after her, "HEY, YOU NEED TO LEAVE THE KEY!!" Her attitude was indignant, even arrogant. A polite "Pardon me" would have sufficed.

At the end of our stay, we watched as the porters stalked us from the neighbouring hut's deck. When they heard our door open, two sprung into action and grabbed our suitcases without asking. Under normal circumstances we use a porter, but we did not appreciate their non-communicative assumptions and decided to bring up our suitcases ourselves. Upon check out, we were presented with a bill for our drinks, then a surprise bill for $10 US with the title "Nature Walk", apparently a fee for the privilege of walking around the lodge grounds.

This lodge needs a serious re-education of its staff and concepts of customer service. We were also surprised that no wireless is provided and that there is a very hefty fee to use their computers, internet-cafe style. This may have been appropriate ten years ago, but in 2013, wireless should be a given, and provided free of charge.

It gives me no pleasure to leave such a poor review. We were honestly puzzled because Maramboi Tented Lodge, where we had stayed previously, is owned by the same group and was excellent in every respect, even providing indivdual routers in every tent.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank susanjen680
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NgorongoroFarmHouse, Owner at Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanganyika Wilderness Camps, responded to this review, October 29, 2013
Dear Traveller,

Thank you very much for your reviews, we really appreciate receiving your comments as it allows us
to make improvements to our services.

We are concerned about the observations made about the reception of guests on arrival and matters related to the charges for extras such as the use of wifi and garden walks.

The Management, after studying the matters raised, has decided to take the following measures:

1-Free use of wifi in lounges, restaurant and reception area.
2-Provide complimentary guided walks in the gardens.
3-Provide complimentary mineral water during meals.

Our staff is being trained on how to proceed when receiving guests on their arrival and how to make their stay with us a memorable experience.

The Ownes
Tanganyika Wilderness Camps
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanganyika Wilderness Camps

Property: Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanganyika Wilderness Camps
Address: Ngorongoro Highlands, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 37 Specialty Lodging in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ngorongoro – KaratuLodge. Ngorongoro Farm House is a 500 acre coffee farm nestle in a beautiful woodland area and located 4 km from the Lolduare entrance to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.48 cottage rooms and 3 suite rooms built in 3 intimate camps.The Lodge has eco-friendly electric power supplied by solar panels, with a generator as a back-up.Nearest airstrip: Lake Manyara Airstrip 40 min away.Activities: Guided walks in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, guided walk around the coffee plantation followed by a coffee bean roasting demonstration. Visits to local villages and schools or swim in the pool. At any time guests may enjoy a relaxing massage. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Farm House Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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