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“A fine hotel”

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Lake Manyara Serena Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 28, 2011

We stayed at the Lake Manyara Serena towards the end of our vacation. As this was the fifth Serena hotel we stayed at within a 2-week span, we had high expectations, and unfortunately, these were not met. The hotel is perfectly good, but was missing the "little things" that made the other Serenas great. I would give this hotel 3 1/2 on 5 if this website would allow it. I chose to be on the generous side, however, so as to not harm this Serena unnecessarily.

The first thing that we noticed was that staff members were buzzing around as porters, and we were assigned two porters for our two bags. In prior Serenas, we were given one porter for both of us, and so this was our first experience with what felt like a blatant grab for tips.

The food was buffet style, which by this point in our trip had become a bit boring. Many of the dishes were obviously de-spiced for wider appeal. One highlight was the grill station in the buffet, which churned out hot and fresh food.

The room was nice and clean, and we were given a beautiful view of the lake. We spent our "off-time" from the game drive on the balcony, just reading and enjoying the peace.

Once again as we left the hotel the next morning, we saw vast numbers of porters waiting anxiously to carry each bag that a guest had brought.

We were quite happy with the hotel, and would certainly recommend it, but caution Serena travelers to not expect quite as high level of quality as other Serenas in Tanzania.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mpotechin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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532 - 538 of 798 reviews

Reviewed July 21, 2011

Serena Lake Maniara
We had an opportunity to visit the 3 hotel Serena in Tanzania, Lake Maniara, Nogorogoro and Serengueti. I would say that was the worst experience that we had on our 20 family trips on Tanzania.
The so call “hotel” Serena on Lake Maniara it is the kind of place that you should avoid. The service is way beyond what we should expect from a 5 stars hotel, the rooms are old, not clean most of the time and the bathroom deserve no comments (most of the public restroom are much better than what we saw at the hotel).
The food make club med buffet looks a tree star Michelin restaurant, many options with no nice presentation and bad food quality. The pasta place (if we can call pasta) has to be avoided, Tabasco in every place trying to hide the low quality of the pasta and sauce.
If you need the internet service simply forget, when it works you can’t disconnect otherwise you have to by a new 1 hour pass.
It is not a 5, 4 or 3 star hotel – do not go.
The Safari isn’t great. The Booboo’s where nice.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank rick333000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2011

Stunning location perched up above the park. A fabulous greeting for our honeymoon from the hotel staff with a cream cake congratulating us follwed by champagne with our evening meal. The hotel has been designed sympathetically to fit into its surroundings and they are very clean and tidy if starting to look a little dated. The restaurant was very good and the menu was a la carte which made a pleasant change from other safari lodges. The breakfast was buffet style and very nice. The staff were pleasant altough the service they provided wasn't the best on the trip. The infinity pool is nothing short of spectacular and even if you don't bother with a dip in the pool take time to have a cocktail and enjoy the sunset.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank TravellingK77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2011

Stayed at the Lake Manyara Serena lodge for one night as part of a 5 day Northern Safari circuit tour. Hotel is set up like the other Serena hotels with a busy central bar area and a separate area for the buffet meals. The hotels are pretty 'westernized', so don't stay here if you are looking for an authentic African safari experience. The hotels tend to attract families with children and can be busy and noisy especially at the buffet line. Plenty of choice of food at the buffet, but nothing exceptional. Nice pool area with a separate bar.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank nj_traveller16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2011

We spent the first night of our safari at this hotel and found it to be a lovely hotel with great character. We had a room at the upper level of the 2 storey rondavel. From the balcony of our room we had great views of the Lake. In addition there are amazing views from the infinity swimming pool

The room was spacious and very clean. There are no TVs in the rooms but when you have great views as we had from the balcony who needs a TV! The ensuite was also very clean.

Breakfast and dinner in the hotel were both buffet style with a great choice of food.

The staff were very friendly and helpful. We were on honeymoon and the hotel left a cake in our room wishing us a happy honeymoon. A lovely touch indeed.

The hotel is also very convenient for safaris in Lake Manyara Park. I would certainly love to return to Lake Manyara and this hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank alan_ni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2011

Excellent location, overlooking Lake Manyara. Natural landscaping, gives it a very good atmosphere. Excellent food, with plenty of choice for vegetarians. Rooms comparatively small, and not so well maintained.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Gautam_Nayak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

We stayed here on the first night of our safari and were booked into a top floor room (highly recommend making this request) with an amazing view of the lake and surrounding grounds. The infinity pool was gorgeous and the perfect spot for watching the sun set over Lake Manyara. We were there in September, so the lake was relatively full and the flamingos were abundant. I found the food to be very good and the service very satisfactory.

There are no TV's, phones, etc. so the quiet is very nice! If you are looking for a more rustic experience, this is probably not the hotel for you. I found the guests to range in ages from early thirties and up, and did not see any children at this Serena Lodge, although I did see them at the Ngorongoro Crater Serena. I would be very comfortable taking my children here when they are a bit older as it felt very safe. I don't have any hesitation recommending this hotel to other travelers.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with friends
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3  Thank MichelleD_31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

Address: Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Lake Manyara National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 43 Specialty Lodging in Lake Manyara National Park
Price Range: $178 - $616 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Lake Manyara Serena Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Taking as its muse the glorious bird life of the fabulously soda-encrusted and pink flamingo-fringed...Lake Manyara, the swooping curves of this elegantly evocative lodge defy description. As do the soaring views over the Great Rift Valley, the rose-gold sunsets over the Mto Wa Mbu escarpment and the utterly unique tree climbing Lake Manyara lions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lake Manyara Serena Hotel Lake Manyara National Park

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