We stayed in Serena hotels, a very respectable chain, while in Tanzania. To their credit, because they were overbooked when we got to the Ngorongoro Crater, they put us up in the Crater Lodge.
Well, this place made my demanding wife giddy like a schoolgirl she was so pleased with everything. We travel to deluxe hotels but do not really frequent the truly luxury hotels. Well this one, in the Tanzanian context, is truly a luxury hotel.
It starts with a warm reception by the hotel management, introduction to your ... butler and porter and brief visit to the main lodge where the chandeliered dining room and wood panelled study bring you back 100 years to a British gentlemen's club with its leather sofas. They then accompany you to your hut. The huts are in good taste in a rustic, African décor, almost Hobbit like. Once you step into the room, it is like entering a new universe. Between the huge bed and gigantic cloth head board, wood panelling, fireplace, two vanities, clawed bath and 3 dozen roses over the bath, rain shower, extensive toiletries and oils, complimentary chocolates, peanut brittle and sherry, what more can you ask for?
This is one of the few places with a bath so I ran myself a bath and soaked for a while with my glass of sherry.
We then napped briefly and made our way to the dining room before dark set in. It was beginning to seriously cool off but the dining room had 6 fireplaces blazing around the eight or so tables. The service and meal were excellent. Moyo, our waiter/butler, was always there filling our glasses and our every desire. I actually asked him to stop serving me wine. My son and I had steak and it was tender and tasty, done medium exactly as we requested. My wife and daughter's meal were equally good. After a great dessert, a scotch and great tea, we retreated to our room under armed escort in the dark. Once again, upon entering the room, the atmosphere was impressive. The chandelier was turned on, the drapes were closed and the fireplace was lit. I wallowed in the leather sofa with a very small glass of sherry.
We later settled into bed and the electric blanket was already turned on on my wife's side. The comfortable bed took us right through the night.
The next morning, a gentle wake-up call started the day. Breakfast was served at our table with additional buffet items like fruit, nuts and jam.
Before checking, I inquired about the charges for wine and laundry that our kids had submitted only to learn that these were all included in the room fare. Thank you very much, Mr Serena.
The only things I could possibly have against the Crater lodge is that the low lighting around the sink made shaving a little difficult and the toilet did not flush perfectly the first time. Before writing this review, I had a look at the ratings unfavorable to this hotel. All I have to say is that is that anyone who would put this property down has to be highly critical or be lacking a little perspective on the real world out there.
This is a spectacular resort operating in a very demanding setting. They even cater to children by offering some play archery game.
Appreciate the good and stop looking at the nail sticking out of the woodwork. This is a wonderful place to stay.
- 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