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“2 Days at Crater Lodge”

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andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Kansas City, Kansas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“2 Days at Crater Lodge”
Reviewed 5 December 2011

The accommodations were excellent but the restaurant service was average. The Maître d was a poor communicator and not very attentive. But overall the lodge was quite good. The caldera being a somewhat confined area, I think 2 days was just the right amount of time for us (i.e. wouldn't have stayed longer, as the game drives might begin to get repetitive). The lodge is located at nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, so the walk to the restaurant might seem longer than it really is for older or impaired travelers, depending on which lodge you're in. Due to the altitude, it gets quite cold at night, but the in-room fireplace makes it rather cozy. The restaurants and lodges have great views of the crater (caldera) floor. All in all, it was a bit over priced, but we loved it and I would stay there again.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank NarcoPolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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654 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (128)
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English first
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
148 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2011

On arrival at the lodge, we were greeted with song and dance by the staff!!! What a welcome! Our camp briefing was held in the lounge overlooking the crater. A truly stunning view!

We were here on our first anniversary and am glad we chose Ngorongoro Lodge. The Main building with the dining and lounge area is tastefully done up with superb views of the crater.

The room was done up n typical African decor with a small fireplace, 2 basins, shower and a bathtub overlooking the Crater!!! Even the WC looked over!

The staff is absolutely brilliant and discreet. They went out of their way to make our stay a memorable one.

Our butler, Pascal and housekeeper,Robert went about their duties with a smile. A special mention about Irwin, the chef, who whipped up great solutions to our dietary needs.

Killian, our guide was very knowledgeable about the park and the environs and was a treat to be on safari with.

I would also like to thank Innes and Danel, General Managers for making this all happen!

Thank you for a truly outstanding and memorable anniversary! The rose petal dinner was absolutely charming!

Room Tip: We were in the south camp in room 17. I strongly suggest this one. Not too far from the main area bu...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank gobeyondtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
vancouver, canada
Level Contributor
49 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2011

Needless to say, the Lodge lives up to expectations. We stayed for 2 nights in the Tree Camp. The General Manager, and our super butler, Simon, were both fantastic. The common area was breathtaking spectacular and well designed, I only wish we had more time to enjoy it all.

Seeing the crater in videos & pictures is one thing, but the first time you catch a glimpse of it in person, it just takes your breath away.... we visited in November, which is considered mid-season, but the Crater Floor gets busy. We often saw a dozen or more vehicles piled up in one spot, and there's no off-roading so it helps to have a big telephoto lens to capture good photos on some occasions (my 300mm proved insufficient in a couple of situations). The lunch picnic spot favored by many of the guides looked like a mall parking lot at noon, with 30 or 40 vehicles all parked right next to each other.

Definitely worth seeing, but if you're going on Safari, it helps to balance this out with stays at some low-density conservancies, and private reserves as well.

One important thing to know is that the crater floor is about 45-60 minutes drive away from the lodge, hence most people do a single game drive. If you want to come in & out twice in a single day, it's $200 for your 2nd entry permit. We simply packed a breakfast & lunch, and stayed on the crater floor from about 6AM until 4PM since our stay was so short and we had to leave the next morning.

Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank CanadaMatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2011

I have been to this lodge for one night only and I do recomment it. The rooms are very stylish with a barocco afro style. The bathroom is very nice: when you take your bath, you have a view on the crater and the shower is very good as well. It is a shame the bathtub is not big enough to enable a couple to have a bath together. The atmosphere is very intimate: you can drink a cherry in front of the fire with sweets and a blanket on your knees. Just for the atmosphere : the place is worth going. However, I was not very happy with the food considering the price we have paid. I am aware this lodge is far away from everything but still, the food was very basic for a luxury hotel. And we were not very happy with the way we were received, the welcome was a bit cold and while we were having a nice breakfast in front of the crater, one of the staff member talked to us about the extra we had to pay. Strange and awkward.

Room Tip: Choose the North Camp.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank salama34790
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2011

I have to say I absolutely loved this place. The location, view, atmosphere, charm, and everything else about our 'room' was out of this world and a unique and unforgettable experience. The food was also fantastic when taking the remote African location into consideration. Not every food option was our favourite, but overall food experience was excellent - the breakfasts and picnic lunches were the best (although the dinner was a bit limited according to our tastes). In fact, one particular picnic lunch has remained etched in my memory because it was so good. However! we had very bad luck with service. In fact, the service we experienced did not even measure up to an average-cost place. Ok, so the idea that when we arrived we had no hot water, power or phone connection is acceptable to a point because we knew where we were, and to expect technical things to always work properly in the heart of Tanzania is unreasonable. This in itself, did not bother us. But the staff did not make up for it whatsoever. We spent our entire stay there with NO phone connection, and a phone is critical in a place like this. We were basically trapped in our room once darkness fell because we couldn't call for a guard, and as for having a butler, he was useless to us because we couldn't call him for anything and he never once made an effort to check on us to see if we were even ok, and they all knew we had no phone service the whole time! The manager even came to check out our problem on the first night and assured us that everything would be taken care of, but the next day was the same. Again, the lack of a working phone was not our beef; the lack of concern/consideration/service on behalf of the couple of key staff members who were supposed to be looking after us is what we were thoroughly disappointed in. From the other reviews, it seems that service isn't necessarily an issue at Crater Lodge, -perhaps we were just unlucky and had been there under the care of under-trained or just plain not helpful/nice/good quality people on duty when we were there.. And I know that what we experienced wasn't the regular level of service in TZ because my mom has been to several less expensive accommodations in TZ and Kenya, and as well, we stayed at the Serengeti Bushtops right after the Crater Lodge, and the service and personalities of the Tanzanian people there and in general are excellent and very friendly. The service at the Bushtops was top rate, and so I see no reason or excuse why Crater Lodge shouldn't be the same or even better.

Room Tip: Being close to the main lodge/dining room is a big help in case of problems such as what I experienc...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Arabiandweller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
56 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2011

If you'd like to experience being surrounded by rococo gilt and mirrors as part of your Tanzanian safari, do visit this lodge. The over-the-top decor bombards your senses bringing you back with a start from the natural life that goes on in the crater below. Yes, the Lodge is situated perfectly on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater in order to view this incredible geological formation but so are several other hotels further along the road. Apart from a family of zebras who roam around the property and a few others who visit at night, sitting at 2000 feet above the valley floor, you cannot actually see any animals until you descend into the crater. Did we see any animals or birds that we didn't see at other camps? No--you're really going to see the crater.
On the other hand, the staff were most welcoming, professional and accommodating so we certainly enjoyed our visit overall. However, there are undoubtedly less expensive and more suitably built lodges in this area.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank 154943Nancy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East coast
Level Contributor
234 reviews
177 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 273 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2011

We stayed 2 nights at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, with the day in between spent in the crater. The lodge was interesting to look at, with all the chimmeys, and the view from the room was entrancing. The room was very large, with one room being the bedroom / sitting room, and the bathroom being almost equally large, with a standalone bathtub, two sinks, and an open air [no walls] shower in between. The toilet was in a separate room, with it's own window of the view. Our butler, Saibul, was very helpful, and delivered champagne along with roses to our room.

You need to be escorted to and from your room after dark, as wild animals may be outside. The main lodge was very ornate, and was where we ate our meals. I thought the food was good, but my companion thought it wasn't so good. We drank rum and cokes. The rum was black label Captain Morgan, which we learned made a very fizzy rum and coke, but was really not a problem. (We thought the drink had been shaken, until we learned otherwise).

Since Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is at an elevation of about 7500 feet, we found that the fireplace in the room was not sufficient to heat both rooms. There was an electric blanket on the bed, so sleeping was not a problem, but my companion thought the (bath)room was too cold to use the drawn bath (with flower petals) the second night.

The lodge also has only fireplaces for heat, so we went to dinner early the second night, to be sure we had a table in front of a fireplace. And after dinner, while walking back to our room, we admired all the stars that were out, but didn't linger to view them longer, as it was too cold for our thin clothes to just stand around.

The wildlife in the crater was great, and we greatly enjoyed our game drive with our Abercrombie & Kent driver. He had recommended going into the crater at 6 AM, with a picnic breakfast. We descended through fog and darkness [glad he was driving!], until we got to the crater floor, where we were below the clouds, and daylight was breaking through. We saw many animals, including a black rhino, and many times enjoyed just sitting and watching how the animals behaved. Since we had started early, traffic with the other vehicles was not a problem (or even noticable). Our breakfast was spent at a pond where about 14 hippos were present, and wildebeest were filing by. A little yellow weaver bird was most interested in our breakfast.

At our final dinner at the lodge, the staff went around to all the tables singing African songs and playing instruments, which made for a lively dinner. We enjoyed it.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Hedo-goer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Property: andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Address: Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Class:5 star — andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Steeped in romance, each stilted, handcrafted banana thatch suite at andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is adorned with graceful antiques and unforgettable opulence. Ensuite bathrooms, with a centrepiece of fresh roses, feature huge showers and chandelier-lit bathtubs, while floor-to-ceiling windows ensure breathtaking views from all around. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ngorongoro Crater Hotel Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Hotel Ngorongoro Crater

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