We stayed at the River Lodge for the first 3 days of our honeymoon. After a very hectic few weeks and a long overnight flight, this was the perfect retreat to relax and do nothing. On arrival we were told by the lovely manager, Samira, that we were the only guests and that we were being upgraded to the Wami Suite. The obliging staff took our baggage to the lodge whilst we had a drink and completed the paperwork. Then we were taken to our suite. It had it's own swimming pool overlooking the Wami river but with enough trees around to provide total seclusion and privacy. On the decking area around our pool, there were numerous places to sit/lie and relax with background sounds of birds, monkeys and hippos. There were also two outdoor showers- one at either end of the deck where you could wash using the eco-friendly natural shampoo, conditioner and body wash made by a local women's cooperative. Showering outside was a totally new experience for us and one that we really enjoyed! If it's not your cup of tea there are also two large bathrooms with very big bath tubs and fluffy bathrobes.
We were told that if we liked, they would bring lunch and dinner to our suite so that we could eat it in the dining room there or on the decking by the lit-up pool but we decided to go to the main restaurant where we received ample, delicious food. The chef, Misouli was really friendly and willing to accommodate our tastes by asking us what we would like him to cook. We trusted his judgement though and let him decide and were never once disappointed. After breakfast on the first two mornings, a tour guide and a maasai tribesman took us on a little walking tour along the river where we were able to get a much better view of the hippos and also saw some crocodiles and lots of birds including pelicans, storks and herons.
My advice to other travellers would be to take a decent torch as because it is an eco-friendly resort, it uses a generator to power the lights which comes on at about 6pm and goes off at around10pm leaving you with only a very dim light. As a couple who have never been on this kind of holiday before, we were a bit nervous of all the strange sounds at night and would have been more comfortable with a better light. However, when we mentioned this to Samira, she happily leant us her torch and the following night we slept much better!
All the staff were really friendly and went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed our stay. They even organised a little welcome surprise and the request of my new parents-in-law and we arrived to find champagne and chocolates (which I wouldn't have thought were easy to get hold of in this "middle of nowhere" location!) in our suite along with a lovely letter.
When we left, we were genuinely sad to say goodbye to the staff, especially Samira, who obviously cares a great deal about the resort and her guests. I'm very glad that we decided to stay at the River Lodge. It provided the rest and relaxation we very much needed before we were transferred by boat along the river to Saadani Safari Lodge where we enjoyed a slightly more activity-based holiday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Saadani River Lodge is the epitome of 'luxury, naturally' built for rest and relaxation on the southern shore of the Wami River close to the Saadani National Park. The guest tree houses blend into the natural scenery on their stilts with traditional thatched roofs. The main lounge and dining area is housed under a large thatched sala with great views over the river and surrounds. Suites - The 17 stilted suites are built from Pinewood, Mtondoro hardwood and Teak wood and are covered in traditional thatching. With en suite bathrooms overlooking the river and private balconies, our guests are never far away from nature. Four of the suites also feature air-conditioning. Wami suite - For the ultimate secluded escape, River Lodge's Wami Suite is a private villa with its own infinity pool, two bedrooms and bathrooms, a living room and dining room. Hidden within the lush jungle, this villa is perfect for our guests who wish for ultimate relaxation and an intimate environment. ... more less
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