The good: The lodge is situated in a great spot overlooking the rift valley. Beautiful views of the lake and banana plantations - and of course the rift escarpment. Service is good from the staff - especially Lengai (our "butler") who was very interactive and seemed to actually take pleasure in talking with us and telling us about his life etc. The basic infrastructure is good, the rooms are large and comfortable and have all the necessary facilities - in fact they were probably the most luxuriously appointed rooms we stayed in during our visit to Tanzania.
The bad: The place is, to be very frank, badly run and managed. It's not easy to run a lodge like this in Tanzania, as many basics are hard to come by - but that's all the more reason to have a really good manager on the spot. It's ok to provide a limited supply of electricity just a few hours a day - we expect that. What we don't expect is that when the generator fuses, they can't fix it, and there is no electricity at all. What exacerbated the situation was that they had not put any thought into back-up plans....the staff started running around looking for candles and matches - which of course blew out in the wind and were pretty useless (One of the staff lent us his torch for the night which was nice of him).The hot water in the rooms is solar heated, so ostensibly should be independent of the electric supply - but it didn't work (despite it being a very sunny day) ..... so no hot showers either! The food was, to put it mildly, uninspiring. We are vegetarians and the cook had absolutely no idea what to do with that piece of information (this was the last of six or seven places we stayed in Tanzania - and up till then none of the camps had any problem at all providing for vegetarians). Dinner turned out to be our lunch...reheated and hidden under a tortilla, the soup was totally tasteless in both meals (there were small bits of meat floating in my "vegetarian" soup), and the "chocolate cake and custard" desert turned out to be a dry crumbling slice of cake smeared with plum (?) jam.
Summary: Get rid of the cook, change the manager, sharpen the place up and you've probably got one of the nicest lodges in Northern Tanzania. Don't - and you're going to lose a lot of custom
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The only Tanzania Maasai Luxury Lodge - Outside of Lake Manyara Park, overlooking Lake Miwaleni, this secluded, luxurious Maasai-styled lodge uniquely offers 25 spacious bungalows including 4 honeymoon & 4 handicap suites. E Unoto is centrally located to most of the famous and well-known northern parks. ... more less