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“Breakfast to remember”
Review of Cerza Safari Lodge

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Cerza Safari Lodge
Reviewed 19 September 2013

We stayed for two nights in a newer Zoobservatoire. The kids (5 and 8) loved the place, out chasing wallabies each night, feeding the goats, repeated train rides, watching the monkeys/rhinos from the terrace. The price is a little steep, especially when you have to pay extra to enter, but the single entry covers your whole stay whether it is one day or longer. Receptionist, although English, is not the most welcoming, but is efficient during check-in/out. The weather was hot during our stay which was great for looking round the zoo, but the zoob was a furnace at night. Leaving the windows open made no difference to the heat, although one night we had an invasion of flying ants! In the evening twilight, deer came over for a nosey at the zoobs. The zoob is small with everything you need, but if the weather is OK, you will spend most time at the zoo or on the terrace. For us, the highlight was having breakfast on the terrace in the sunshine with howler monkeys howling followed by intermittent roaring of lions reverberating through the trees and across the valley. Brought a big grin to my face every time. Don't think we will go back, but we had a very enjoyable time, as the kids were happy.

Room Tip: The zoobservatoires are at the front and offer the best views to the rhinos and monkeys below. The y...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank JPH63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 16 of 164 reviews

Reviewed 1 September 2013

Great time staying in Zoo Observatory, overlooking monkey island - an 'Out of Africa' feeling. In the Zoological Parc highly recommend VIP viewing and ' what the animals eat' education session, adored by the kids and adults! Environment lovely and relaxing and all animals well kept. A child's dream holiday stop.

Couple of improvements re lodge would be an adult sized sofa bed vs a doll's house sized one, there is room :) Ordering enough croissants for late arriving guests for breakfast...

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank nikiofpoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2013

We booked a Zoobervatory on a whim as we wanted to visit the zoo on our way through the region and I have to sat that it is one of the best experiences we have ever had despite the €180 per night price (which doesn't include breakfast or park entry!!!).

We have never been woken up by a group of chimps playing in the trees outside our window or a baby rhino calling for its mother! The views out to the park are simply stunning. There are small wallabies freely roaming around the site and we did come face to face with a few whilst unloading the car.

The Zoobservatory itself is a small triangular hut with a sofa bed, kitchenette, shower/WC downstairs and a mezzanine bedroom upstairs accessed via a very narrow wooden ladder. There is a small TV downstairs but why use it when you can sit on the terrace and enjoy nature?

We were told that our accommodation wouldn't be ready until 1600 and after touring the park with a 2 year old who became quite tired we decided to make our way to check in about 1530. We already knew what number accommodation we would be having so unloaded the bags in front of the door and having a quick nose through the window we made our way up to reception at around 1550. We were sternly told that our accommodation wasn't ready despite us knowing full well that it was. So we were made to wait at the desk for 10 minutes and bang on 1600 we were allowed to check in. My only other criticism is the lack of a kettle. But a saucepan on the hob did the job.

There is a restaurant on site that can be used during the evening by residents but as the accommodation is self catering we took a short drive to the village of Cormeilles where there is a Carrefour supermarket and bought some supplies and a bottle of wine for the price on one person at the restaurant.

Apart from the frosty receptionist and lack of kettle I can't find any other fault with this place. It is an adventure for children and adults alike. Will defiantly be visiting again.

Room Tip: Keep the Velux window closed when using the bathroom!
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank brick_driver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2013

I have to say we were VERY surprised at the quality of the accomodation in Cerza Safari Lodge!! We stayed in a zoo observatory looking out on the rhinos and deer. Clearly we were in the brand new section - the lodge has everything you need (incl microwave, good cooking facilities, fab bathroom, new funky decor etc) but its very small. Sofa bed downstairs , double bed upstairs in restricted headroom room with tricky stairs (so prob not for v small children). But the size just adds to the adventure of it all! Had a lovely dinner sitting outside on the little decking - with wallabies coming to say hello (yes wallabies!).
The safari park itself was equally impressive - you walk round although there is a train tour also which is very good. 2 very big walking routes - so many different and unusual animals and the most impressive thing is the size and quality of the enclosures - so much better than normal zoos and other parks we have seen.

REALLY recommend staying here.

Room Tip: Zoo observatoire is good for families but prob not v small children
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Maria I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2013

I offered my boyfriend a two day stay at the safari lodge for his birthday. We stay at a Zoobservatory. It's a kind of tiny hut with a kitchenette, small bathroom with shower, a small bedroom upstairs with steep and narrow stairs plus a terrace with splendid view on the land where animals such as rinoceros, wallabies, siamangs and deers run free or practically free. There are goats, pigs and pelicans in the back garden as well. I've visited many zoo's in my life but this one was definitely the largest and the most green and natural place for the animals. There are bungalows for larger families or yourtes. The Zoobservatory I would only advice for skinny and/or small people. There is no shower gel nor a hair dryer available, so bring your own. If you cannot stand the heat, may I note there is no fan nor airconditioning in these huts so it can get pretty warm in the bedroom upstairs. In the bungalows there seems to be climate control. The breakfast is terribly simple (bread, cornflakes, jam, coffee) and costs 7€ so up to you to see whether it's worth it. I would just buy things from the supermarket and eat it in my lodge.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Cats9000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2013

The reviews here were very good but I couldn't get enough information from the Cerza website to book without first calling to confirm some things.
A British woman on the phone was very supportive and told me that the stairs were gated, a cot could be provided, high-chair, etc, so everything le need for a toddler-proof two nights in the park.
The lodges looked nice on the website and were sold as eco lodges.

Misleading to say the least.
The lodges were old, not ready on arrival, wet floors, no insulation, air-conditioning/heating unit needed to run all night to stay warm enough (in June!).
There was no stair gate or cot. I went back to reception to ask for these and the British woman there said that they were not requested. I told her that they were booked on phone when I spoke with her a month earlier. She claimed there are two British woman there so it must have been the other one. The cot was delivered quite fast when requested and a stair gate turned up a few hours later and was installed (and broken) by the maintenance man. We told home to leave it how it was because we just wanted our privacy and to go to the zoo.

We arrived on a Sunday and had nothing for the breakfast the following day. We asked the lady at check-in if there was something available, a shop nearby, etc. She said she could arrange a bread for us, two croissants, etc and we paid for these. The next morning, I went to collect them and they had just been given to someone else. The young guy ran off after that other guest to get them back. While he was gone I noticed people eating a buffet breakfast in the adjacent room. I asked about it. No, that had to be booked yesterday. But the woman we asked about breakfast told us nothing of it! What the...?

The kitchen in the lodges has no cupboard doors so toddlers can pull everything out and go wild with the pans. The plates and stuff are in a cupboard under the TV also at kid height. We blocked that with a suitcase.
The bathroom is very substandard and results in a wet floor throughout after a shower. There is a towel drier but it doesn't do much and doesn't make sense in an Eco lodge. We left thinking the Eco in the description was short for economy not ecology.

Overall, the price was far too high for what you get. The only appealing part of staying here was the Wallabies.

We wont be back and all of my friends who I raved on about this place to before I went, I take it all back. Don't go. I'm sorry that I told you about it before I actually went.

Three stars because it is still acceptable if you want this sort of holiday. I reserve two stars for really bad and 1 star for terrible.

Room Tip: The lodges are without doubt the best they have but even these don't meet the standards of many...
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank NamparaCove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2013

We stayed here for two nights, great welcome and had a great view over looking the monkeys. Was lovely sitting on the balcony at night watching the animals wandering around. Then in the morning how the rhino just wanders out for the day. Lovely please to visit and even nicer if you get the chance to stay.

Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Karen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cerza Safari Lodge

Address: Pas de rue | Manoir du Saint Laurent, 14100 Hermival-les-Vaux, France
Region: France > Normandy > Basse-Normandie > Calvados > Hermival-les-Vaux
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Hermival-les-Vaux
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in a Zoological park close to nature and all the wildlife. The Cerza Zoological Park proposes a variety of accomodation for those who wish to relax, away from city noise, hustle and bustle. The close proximity with the fauna and flora creates a sense of wellbeing and a new-found serenity. The domain with its limited capacity, increases the feeling of being "alone in the world" with nature being the only companion.According to budget and choice of adventure : 26 equipped lodges (4-6 people), 6 zoobservatorys (2-4 people) and during the summer months 6 Normandy Yurt(2-5 people) are available for rental. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cerza Safari Lodge Normandy, France

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