This is a tough one to review. On the accomodations and service, this is 6 stars if they would let me give an extra star. But the reason you go to Africa is to see wildlife, and the crater itself was an ok experience (more on that later).
So our Africa trip was a delayed honeymoon, so we did it the lucxury way. Ngorongoro was a late addition to our itinerary because of the photos of the bathroom that my wife saw. Well, the room did not disappoint. We got there, and wow. The place is amazing. A hearth with comfy chairs, a nice king-sized bed, a bathroom with incredible crater views, and a balcony that you just want to sit on for days.
As with all the & Beyond places, the grounds are stunning. The common areas are just well done, and the attention to detail is evident everywhere you turn. Before dinner, they gather you for drinks with other guests. We met the most fantasic people from Portland, Vancouver, and California. The conversations were great, and the wine was pretty good too. The more wine we had, the better the conversations!
One night, they gathered us at the outdoor fireplace. It was a little cold up there, but the atmosphere was great. And the appetizers they were cooking on the fire right there in front of us were great.
The restaurant there was the nicest of the palces we stayed. Upholstered chairs, beautiful tables, and elegant decorations. The service was great again at dinner. The chef came out and met with us and explained the menu. And he nailed all of the courses. One night, there was a birthday, and the entire staff came out and sang and danced. It was really impressive.
Though not the fault of the lodge, the wildlife in the crater was kind of disappointing. There are just too many cars down there, so it feels like a spectacle more than catching wildlife in their natural habitat. Get out in the crater very early in the morning to avoid the crowd. WHen we saw the rhino, there were no fewer than 13 trucks lined up next to us. Kind of a downer on an otherwise perfect trip and a perfect hotel.
Back to the hotel. When we came back from the game drive that day, the hotel knew it was our honeymoon. They had drawn a warm bath, put champagne on ice in the room, and sprinkled rose petals everywhere. Such a nice tough. Again, attention to detail. The service was impeccable.
- 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