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“Decent, but ...”

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Lake Manyara Serena Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 7, 2012

So to be fair we spent the previous night at the Fairmont Mara Safari club, so the bar had been set. First, Lake Manyara doesn't compare to the other game parks. I don't believe Lake Manyara Park is worth the visit and you are better off spending more days at Ngorongoro or Serengeti, but that is not the lodges fault. The lodge has a great infiniti pool and phenomenal food. In fact, the food was the best of 5 lodges and tent camps we stayed in during our safari in Kenya and Tanzania. The rooms seem a little dated. We had a second floor room and the balcony was too small to enjoy. Get a first floor room if you can. A side note, the Margaritas at the pool bar were incredible. A definite plus was you could access WIFI from your room, but they charged for it. Overall, a decent place to stay but not as phenomenal as the other lodges you become accustomed to during your safari.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
Thank Patrick L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 30, 2012

We stayed here at the end of May during our safari. We arrived just before lunch. Check in was a bit "messy" with people who arrived after us being checked right in whilst we had to wait.We just assumed it was one of those things but subsequent happenings proved otherwise. We went for lunch and there were tables on the outside verandah but we were told we could not have one even though there were no reserved notices, but we could wait until one of the occupied tables became free which we chose to do. However we then saw the same group who were checked in before us come to the restaurant and be immediately seated at one of the vacant tables we couldn't have.There were 6 in our group so we sat patiently only to see another group be seated on the table we were supposed to be having. As the only male member of the party I went to find out what was happening only to be told that we had to eat inside !!! I did not accept this and after another wait and a group leaving we did end up on an outside table but it did leave a sour taste. Worse was to come at Dinner when it became even more obvious that there were "favourite" tourists as again tables were free outside with only one having a reserved label but we ended up inside... Then the evening did take an even worse turn as our waiter was obviously "bullied" into rushing us by the Dining room manager who virtually stood over him (we wondered if this was because we complained at Lunchtime) We refused to accept this and told the waiter to slow down which appeared to scare him so my wife called the Dining room manager over and all of us told him that we were not happy with his behaviour and his apparent bullying. He said it was training !!!!!! but as it was only our waiter and us being treated like this we were of course sceptical..... When we left the dining room the Dining room Manager must have realised how unhappy we were and came and offered us a free drink which we declined and again let him know how we felt... The resort manager also came and apologised but we said the damage had been done !!!!
Now the positives, lovely resort, beautiful views, nice room, staff (apart from above) absolutely fine, food excellent. However we were glared at next morning at breakfast so i have to say this was the only real uncomfortable experience we had at any of the Serena lodges we stayed at on our 9 day safari.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank WELLANDITE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

We stayed one night here as part of our safari and the service is second to none. the staff were sooooo friendly and went out of there way to make our stay amazing even though the place was packed. The food was brilliant and they even let us take a big box of pastries on our safari the next day. The rooms were very nice, really clean and had a great view.

Room Tip: Choose room 21!!
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sharleex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

Stayed at Serena for 1 night in July 2012. I really loved the breakfast and dinner. I was on a 1 week safari and dinner at Serena was the best. There is a chef on the spot to make your pasta of choice. Servers were very attentive, many of which provide much better service compared to back home in Canada. One thing I didn't like is that they charge $5usd/1hour to use the internet even though our tour operator confirmed with me that there is free wifi.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank teresa_asa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2012

We stayed here on our safari trip and the view from the infinity pool was definitely worth it. The staff were really good and I think the rooms on balance were better than the Sopa Lodge. The gardens were well maintained, probably to keep up with what was around them! A very relaxing atmosphere.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ValerieandBarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2012

This Serena property might actually qualify as a "lodge" but only as a high quality one. Situated on the edge of the Valley the view down is spectacular. The pool is of the type where you can swim to the valley side and look down into it and someone would get a spectacular photo of you looking like your about to tumble into it. Food and staff like all the Serena properties I stayed in were well above average for a safari "lodge" and like its sister properties the rooms were clean, spacious and way above acceptable to put it mildly. Again, I would recommend all the Serena properties in Tanzania

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled solo
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6  Thank Pensivelaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2012

A beautiful lodge with pretty grounds and superb views across the rift valley and Lake Manyara. The food was excellent, although the starter and desert courses were buffet. We seemed to arrive just as a new staff team was being trained and although they were always helpful they were not always effective. Be sure to take the bird walk with Yotham the lodge naturalist. He is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and makes a two hour walk seem far too brief.
Although the lodge is perched some 200 metres above the National Park Bushbuck roam the ground freely.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank luap1847
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 #2 of 43 Specialty Lodging in Lake Manyara National Park
Price Range: $301 - $508 (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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