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Lake Manyara Serena Lodge
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Reviewed January 19, 2013

Serena Lake Manyara Safari Lodge is located on the rim overlooking Lake Manyara and the park and is about 10-15 minutes from the entrance to the park. We stayed here on Christmas night, 2012. It is a larger accommodation than we generally like to stay at when visiting Africa, with about 67 rooms vs 6-7. The rooms are large, with 4 rooms per 'rondoval'. The beds are comfortable and all have a balcony/patio with a view. There is no air conditioning, but there is a fan. Our room had a view of the pool (and Lake Manyara). As a Christmas gift, a plate of cookies was brought to our room and there was a manager's reception with music, drinks and appetizers before dinner. The pool area was a bit loud on Christmas with music and 'drinking' contest, but quieted down around 11 pm. The meals are all buffet with a variety of cheeses, fruits, vegetables/salads, meats, pasta, Indian food, breads and desserts. Lunch did not excite us (maybe it was the jet lag), and when we were asked to complete a survey, the manager came to ask what was wrong and what they could do differently. The pancakes (crepes) at breakfast were delicious. Christmas dinner was part buffet, part made-to-order and was good. The dinner menu included Norwegian salmon with avocado, pumpkin soup, beef 'tenderloin' with steamed veggies and potato and an assortment of desserts. The house wine was not very good, but the only other wine was by the bottle (and not cheap compared to other places we've stayed in Africa - around $30). There are few options at Lake Manyara so I would stay here again, but prefer smaller/boutique lodging in general.

Room Tip: The 2nd level rooms probably have more of a view. If you don't want the 'pool' noise, request a room further away from the pool.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank nimett1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

Spectacular views, great service and good food. This was our second lodge on our safari and we all enjoyed it. The food was better than other Serena lodges. The box lunch the next day was also decent (the best we had on safari).

We had four rooms and everyone was happy with the accommodations, the service and the food.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms seem to have a good view. Second story rooms seem to have a better view.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank 01dFo1ks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

My husband and I stayed the night of December 28, 2012. Having just spent the previous night at the Serena Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater, I was a little disappointed in the lack of any view. The establishment is set up more as a resort with a lot of acreage. The property itself is quite large and the accomodations are quite unique. It is well lit in the evenings so there is no problem getting around. Dinner and breakfast were quite enjoyable however unlike the previous lodge the tables were unassigned causing some chaos during meal times. Ideal for families. Service is quite slow but after all 'pole pole' seems to be way of life in Tanzania.

Room Tip: I found the stairs to our room a little trying and not because of the number but the steepness so suggest if you have any physical issues you request a room on the ground floor.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 444SusyQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

Having stayed 8 nights in various Serena and Sarova properties and Kenya and Tanzania, and have been very impressed with all properties in Tanzania we had high expectations that were not met.

We asked a room with a view of the park, and received a room of the 1st floor with no privacy that unfortunately has not been properly cleaned. Unusually in our experience in Africa, the service was pretty poor, when we went to reception to speak to the manager about the room, asking for another room we were told that hotel is full (very possible) and that the room will be cleaned again. Unfortunately the manager did not follow-up in the evening and did not follow-up the next morning when we were checking out. This is not the service we got used to in other Serena properties, where any questions or concerned were addressed very quickly and staff, reception staff, managers always made sure that any situation was resolved. Perhaps this being one of the busiest days of the year (December 26) is a partial explanation.

The room was outdated, the linen looked dated, etc.

On a positive size a spectacular location overlooking the Manyara National Park and the hotel has a nature trail that I can walk independently. There was a good selection and quality of the food.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ilya42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

We stayed in four Serena lodges in Tanzania and Kenya and this was one was the newest and most spectacular grounds. The view was second only to ngorogoro Serena but the food and restaurant service was of a far higher standard and much better than anything else we encountered. Lodges were reasonably sized and well fitted out. Views of the lake were superseded from our dining table in the evening and breakfast.

I am really struggling to pick any kind if fault with this lodge and all I can come up with is that the packed lunches we get here and from other Serena lodges was very poor and not up to the standard of what they served you in restaurants.

I would definitely return here and next time would spend a few days instead on the one that we had.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
Thank Heccy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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