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“Amazing views, average accommodation”

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Boundary Hill Lodge
Sheffield, UK
Level Contributor
31 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Amazing views, average accommodation”
Reviewed June 21, 2012

Accommodaton is of secondary importance when on safari as the experience outweighs the standard of living quarters. However, these accommodations aren't cheap so I feel it important to critically appraise the accommodation itself.
Boundary Hill Lodge is located outside the park gates. It is about 45 minutes beyond Boundary Hill Gate. Bring your insect repellent as the Tsetse flies are located in various geographical 'pockets' en route.
The accommodation is unfenced with superb views of the conservation area. The conservation area was quiet with regards wildlife when we visited at the end of May. However, I am informed this is not always the case at different times of year.
The hotel offers night game drives and morning bush walks which is a real advantage of the conservation area as these are forbidden in national parks. The night game drive cost 20 USD per person and was money well spent. We were lucky enough to spot and photograph strictly nocturnal wildlife such as Genet, Springhare, Tree Rat and Striped Hyena.
The staff are attentive and helpful. Maasai warriors are appointed to guide guests to their rooms after dark. A downside of this is you get a feeling you can't wander the accommodation area even in the day without a feeling somebody is watching where you are going.

The rooms are built into the side of the cliff so offer fantastic views. Decoration is basic, maybe too basic with consideration of the rates.
The only real downside was the food. I understand it is a remote place but all the other accommodations on our safari offered superb food despite the remoteness.

Overall recommended with positives outweighing negatives for me but consider whether this applies to your safari needs.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank CheUK81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Boundary Hill Lodge, responded to this review, June 23, 2012
I am glad overall you liked your stay at Boundary Hill. Just a couple of points, being May the regular chef at BHL was on leave and during this period we had three temps, none of which actually made the grade as to what we expect there. Secondly although about 45 minutes from the Tarangire gate, the road is no more than 700 meters from the national park boundary at any time, in fact BHL is located less than 200 meters from the park Boundary. So as with any game drive there is always the possibility of seeing wildlife en route, as there are no fences and the areas outside the park is a Wildlife Management Area. Another point the reviewer had was regarding the decor, each of the rooms decor is meant to be subdued as the main attraction at BHL is the views and the closeness of the wildlife. We do not need to go overboard on interior decor to make the lodge appealing. On another point the reviewer has mentioned that there is always the feeling of someone watching when walking from rooms to dining area and etc. The lodge is located in an area where there is a lot of resident wildlife, we have elephants wandering through the site as well as resident leopard below room two. It is important to realize that due to the design, with rocky outcrops everywhere it is very very easy to come face to face with some of this wildlife, hence the constant awareness. Thank you for the time to review the lodge, and I am glad you liked your stay there.
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
137 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2012

I delayed writing this review until I had had a chance to communicate with the manager. He was good about hearing my comments, making some explanations and agreeing on some of my concerns. As we had been in touch quite a bit over the previous few months, I didn't want to blindside him on this forum.

As I have titled it, very good with drawbacks. Part of this might be coloured by the fact that I was travelling with a shoulder injury - not comfortable at the best of times on safari, but particularly difficult given that the road into Boundary Hill is terrible. Two hours of purgatory. Granted, I did read how difficult it was during the rainy season, but I obviously underestimated how bad it could be and still call it a road. Good news, is that I am assured that once the rains ease, it will be graded. Some vehicles handle this type of road better than others, and unfortunately, mine was not the better vehicle. Given the time to get there and the road, I cannot recommend it for a one night stay, or even if you plan to spend much time in the local National Parks - unless you intend to go in one gate and out the other at Tarangire.

But the location is wonderful overlooking a valley with buffalo, giraffe and many elephants. There are many birds and one does not have to leave the cottage to enjoy the wildlife. In fact, you can enjoy if from the loo as the wall of the downstairs bathroom is made of glass and screen so there is a loo with a view. Never fear, however. It has all been built to afford ultimate privacy. It is a wonderful location for a honeymoon, or a relaxing getaway for a few days. Or if you intend to do some safari with some days off.

The dining area is nicely laid out. You can dine el fresco with a fire in the fireplace or in little alcoves, just big enough for a two. Again, a view that is distracting to the meal.

Now, the other downsides. this is the only time I left the table hungry. My dinner was poorly cooked and most of it was cold. They substituted beef for a wheat battered fish. The beef would have been very good, but it was so salty it was not edible. I asked for a piece of fish anyway, and it was cold. The green beans were good and hot enough but the potatoes were also cold. There was obviously a problem with the plating of any kind of special diet. My guide's dinner, however, seemed to be well presented as he enjoyed it quite a bit. A taste of his fish told me that there was potential. I should have returned it to the kitchen, but there seemed to be enough challenges that evening. Breakfast was okay, but the omelet was undercooked. Lunch did satisfy, however.

There is no signage - anywhere. The lodge follows the contours of the hill so paths lead in many directions and though I am not usually directionally challenged, I often was mixed up. Thankfully there were several Maasai to steer me in the right direction.

BH is solar lit. There is a nice bedside lamp that gives good light,and the overhead light was fine, but the location of the lights and the switches could be problematic. The stairs to the lower level of the cottage are not even and they turn a bend. The switch to the lower level light is around the bend and more than half way down the stairs. Not so good. My cottage was down several short flights of steep stairs and there was no outside lighting. There had been lanterns converted to power, but they were all broken and had been for some time. There was yet another cabin lower than mine which I was very glad I did not have. After I asked twice for the lights to be repaired (at the time I thought it was just a bulb needed) they put a lantern on my step.

I did not do the night drive, but did enjoy a 2 hour morning walk with a guide and Maasai. They were very attentive and knowledgable. There were elephants in the area and the Maasai got us out of a sticky situation when he realized the elephants had caught onto us. We had to run out of the wind rather quickly. The comment was "elephants are made very big and strong, but with bad eyesight". So if they can't smell you, you are safe. The run was through tall grasses - unfortunately inhabited by ticks, so the two of them, bless them spent time picking off ticks and grass burs so that I could be comfortable.

So, bottom line, this is a great place if you do not have any physical restrictions, poor balance or chronic back problems. It has lots of potential and meets their desire to be eco friendly and keep a low profile, but know what you are getting into - then enjoy. If it wasn't for the road, I would give the location a 5.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Quiltingmamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
56 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2012

Loved the charming rooms built into the hill. With a lower level for the bathroom. We had one of the rooms with the bathtub on the big balcony which was so adorable. The rooms are so spacious. We absolutely loved our time here and would highly recommend it! The views are spectacular. The walking safari and night drive was good but didn't see many animals.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ccandyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castlemaine, Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 27, 2012

We stayed at this lodge with our family for two nights in April and couldn't have been happier.
The views are fantastic, as are the rooms. The staff really catered for our children taking them on walks and making bows and arrows. We did a night drive here and couldn't have been happier although we didnt see too many animals. I did post a longer review of our trip organised by eastco on the forum so if you need more info especially about the camp in teh Serenegti please read that. All in all the ldoge was out of this world. We are widely travelled and have stayed a pretty classy places but Bpundary Hill beats the lot.

Room Tip: All rooms have views so you don't need to be choosy. Our family room was excellent, if you have...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank francisherbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2012

This was a highlight of our honeymoon. The place is built into rock on a hill, with paths that intertwine through the rock, and down ledges. One wall of our room was a rock wall, which was beautiful. Another wall was windows that opened onto a deck that overlooked a valley where we could see elephants and hear animals. This room felt totally secluded: we couldn't see any other rooms from our room: just the valley. Many details in the room were great: decorations, curtains, etc. The people were also very friendly, and the walking and night tours were lots of fun. And educational. Would definitely go back.

Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank jackimovic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baku, Azerbaijan
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2012

We stayed two nights at Boundary Hill Lodge on the recommendation of a number of friends, and we only wish we could have stayed longer. The views from our room and bathroom out over the grasslands and hills were spectacular; and the star-filled night sky from the balcony was equally amazing. I was in the loo when I spotted a giraffe in the distance. The variety of birds make for a real symphony in the morning and evening hours. The food is good, and the staff is lovely and very helpful. We took a walk one afternoon around the hills with one of the Maasai and learned about the local plants and small creatures. We spent a full day exploring Tarangire National Park, one of the most beautiful parks I have seen. The green landscape is varied and interesting in of itself, but the stars were the elephants of which we saw hundreds. It was mating season and the bulls were feisty. Most of the many herds we saw had young ranging from about 1 1/2 months to 2 years old, along with adolescents as well. The herds clustered down the long stretch of the Tarangire River, up over the hills, and out onto the grasslands. Because our guide (Bonny) from Boundary Hill Lodge was so knowledgable, we were able to avoid the safari vehicles coming from the opposite direction - thus allowing us to have quiet, long viewing opportunities among the elephants and giraffes. My one bit of advice to travelers is to arrive in the daylight hours. If you are flying into KIA, spend the night in Arusha then enjoy the adventure of the bumpy ride out to the lodge during the day. It is fun, and the pleasure of a shower looking out over the plains and a cold beer is all the more appreciated.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank OregonianinPatan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
87 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2012

We stayed at the Boundary Hill Lodge because I wanted to include a night drive in our itinerary and our safari operator suggested we stay here. It was my husband's favorite place to stay based on the room we got and the incredible view. It was fun looking out to see what we could see from our balcony.

Because we were the only guests, we got, what I assume, is a deluxe room - very large with wall to ceiling windows - even for the toilet - and an outdoor shower and working bathtub.

The staff were very accommodating and walked with us with flashlights whenever we went to dinner. The night drive was fun but not good for seeing many animals. The jeep was so old I was afraid it was going to die when we were out.

I don't know what we paid for Boundary Hill since it was part of our overall Safari but the room was uncomfortably hot for me because of the large windows and we were afraid to open the doors to the balcony because of the mosquitos.

The food was good and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. It was like our own private villa in Africa. I felt sorry for the staff because I'm sure there are days when no one stays and that would certainly put a damper on your tips.

I probably would not stay here again, but it was a fun experience. It's a long way from Tarangire National Park so I would only go there if you were keen on a night drive. I think they also conduct walks but we didn't do that.

Room Tip: Ask for the room with outdoor bathtub.
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Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank sea-lon-sf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Boundary Hill Lodge

Property: Boundary Hill Lodge
Address: | Sakina, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Tarangire National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Tarangire National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Literally perched on the edge of Tarangire National Park, among trees and rock outcrops, the lodge is nestled into the cliffs and huge granite slabs. Built of natural materials, predominantly local stone, wood and burnt brick, Boundary Hill Lodge offers outstanding views over the Silale and Gosuwa swamps, where elephant and buffalo graze among the acacia and baobab trees beneath the vastness of Africa's sky. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boundary Hill Hotel Tarangire National Park

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