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“Simply Amazing”

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andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
193 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 465 helpful votes
“Simply Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2009

This has to be the most unique places you can ever stay in luxury – a tree house. The Ritz meets Swiss Family Robinson. Well loved everything from the outdoor shower to baboons on our deck.

However, this place might not be for everyone. Remember that you are staying in a tree. There will be spider webs in your room and ants on your floor. At night, you are not allowed to walk to your tree house by yourself, you have a masai warrior escort you.

The staff was amazingly friendly and helpful. The food was amazing – it’s a set menu so you have to have the mentality of “you get what you get so don’t through a fit.” Don’t get me wrong – it’s all 5-star cuisine.

Each morning your wake-up call is your individual butler waking you up by bringing coffee (or tea or hot chocolate or whatever you like) with biscuits to your tree house. Then you go for breakfast – which is a combination buffet and a cook that will whip something up for you.

Like all &Beyond lodgings, it’s big bucks but it’s also a once in a lifetime experience.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ToonTowner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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188 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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English first
usa
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2009

what they have done for where this is is really unbelievable. incredible attention to detail, the food is wonderful as are the guides. we had Abdalla as our guide, and he knew more about wildlife than any of the &beyond guides, hands down.

my only beef with this lodge was the location, its in a fairly remote part of the park, which is great, but there is nothing dynamic about its locale, by that I mean there are no views of the lake, cliffs, etc. you are in a flat part of the jungle.

now, for the positives. the decor is to die for, what it lacks in natural scenery at the lodge, it makes up for with killer design. we loved our bed, the bathroom with the standalone tub. showering outside, etc.

they have a bit of an ant problem, those small ants that like water, but really, the photos on the website do not tell any lies, the place is amazing.

oh, one more thing, the pool needs to be redone, nothing special about the pool here.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bdoggiedog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pleasanton, CA (Bay Area)
Level Contributor
51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2009

The customer service here was the best we have experienced anywhere in the world. Period.

The tree lodge is a beautiful place. Back in the bush, it is actually a good mix of rustic and luxury. Generators bring you power at night, but you don't feel like you are in a hotel. You can hear animals outside (and at night, they are all over your cabana). But you are inside, on a comfortable king size bed, with a nice mosquito net, and all the niceties of traveling in a high-class place. What a combination!

The rooms are tasetfully decorated. The bathroom is amazing. A couple of baths in that tub were just great after long game drives. The outdoor shower is neat, though the bees at our room made it a little scary. But overall, the rooms were just amazing.

The grounds are tremendous. You are back in the bush, so you take these dirt paths to get to the common areas. The common areas are spectacular though. The dining areas for lunch and breakfast are well-done, quite luxurious. But at night, they put you in the kraal (kind of a corral with lanterns hung everywhere). It was so beautiful.

Now where this place was a total hit for us was the service. It is all about one word: details. When you come in for dinner, they seat you in the lounge and bring you cocktails (these slushy gina nd vodka things were some of the best mixed drinks I have had anywhere). Then the manager, Asheri, strolls up and chatted with us. We talked with him for at least an hour - talk about charm. It was great. There was such personal ownership of our stay that we felt quite touched, honestly.

Dinners were always quite good, and if you go on a game drive, they will pack a picnic for you. The picnic food was hit and miss, but it was always done with class (just not all quite that tasty).

To top it all off, we had misplaced some of our stuff when we were there, and Asheri was such a gentleman when dealing with us. Friendly, concerned, empathetic. Honestly, it made the trip to know that the people there were so great.

We highly recommend Lake Manyara Tree Lodge.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BurgerMonster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2009

This was by far our favorite lodge. The staff at Lake Manyara are very special people and we will never forget them. The treehouses are just magical...we had No 5 which was right out in the bush with elephants passing by on a regular basis.
Dinner was outside under the stars with a large open fire and the food was delicious.
Our game drives were great with the ultimate sighting of the Tree Climbing Lion on our final day. Sundowners by the Lake shore just one of the many special experiences.
It would be impossible to better this place...Thank you Manyara Tree Lodge.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chefsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level Contributor
72 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2009

All the rave reviews are right on. Everything about this place was outstanding. Isolated individual rooms made you feel you were alone in the jungle. The food was as good as a five star restaurant. It's at the remote end of the park, so you rarely see a car on safari that far from the entrance. We stayed in 5 luxury tent camps in Kenya and Tanzania, and the only one that could compare with this for luxury in a remote wilderness area was Governor's Il Moran in Mara.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sjw125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
27 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2009

I agree with all the other rave reviews of this place. It's totally worth every penny. Take the plunge! You'll never regret it. And I must say, it's my favorite so far of all the CC Africa Lodges. We stayed at the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge as part of a weeklong safari package tour where we stayed Under Canvas in Tanzania. It was remarkably nicer than what we imagined! The staff greeted us with song and dance which was absolutely wonderful! Loved it! Best part is the pre-dinner snacks on the lodge terrace...you'll stuff yourself silly with dried figs, scrumptious cheeses, and exotic nuts, plus the best wine ever. Just remember to leave enough room for dinner. Drive to and from the lodge and airport is about 3 hours of great safari where we saw just about everything you can imagine in large numbers (giraffe, hippo, elephant, lion, zebra, buffalo, boar, various deer, boar, birds, etc.) And they serve high tea on safari! The views are spectacular. Treetop rooms are SPECTACULAR! Go see for yourself! This will not be the last CC Africa safari we do! Next onto Ngorongoro Lodge! A+++++++

  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ctripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
53 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2008

We booked our Safari of Tanzania through &Beyond (formerly CC Africa) and Lake Manyara was our first stop after one night in Arusha. We stayed 3 nights (which is ideal).

We flew from the US directly to Kilimanjaro airport (via Amsterdam), which is only a 30 minute drive to Arusha and a quick flight via Regional Air to Lake Manyara. (See my review on The Arusha Coffee Lodge).

What I love about &Beyond/CC Africa is their attention to detail. You certainly pay for it, but at no point in our 2 1/2 week trip, was a detail missed.

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is located in Lake Manyara National Park and is the ONLY lodge/Camp in the park. There are 10 stilted tree houses and they are nestled in the thick "bush".

The drive from the airport is long and bumpy. It took over 2 hours, but we had our first game drive on the way to the lodge, which was nice.

This is a very special place and is worth the visit. In fact, in hindsight, we are glad we started at Lake Manyara. The intimacy of the lodge and National Park, and the excellent bird watching and night game viewing, are a plus.

In Tanzania, Lake Manyara is the ONLY National Park that allows night game drives. They are testing the program. We paid $85/per person extra for the night game drive but it was well worth it. We saw many nocturnal animals including hippos, hyenna, a genet (cat), porcupines, and a rare sighting of an aardwolf.

The bird watching is excellent with over 400 species. No other area of Tanzaia comes close. We didn't have an appreciation for birds when we arrived, but after our fist day, we started ticking them off our bird checklist. It became a facination by the end of our trip to see how many species we could spot.

The lodge is wonderful and the rooms, complete with outdoor shower, do not disappoint. We went at the beginning of summer and it was hot and humid. We live in Houston and think it is similar to Houston in the summer, so be prepared. (There is no air conditioning at the lodge).

Also, the tsetse flies are bad and they bite - ouch! And, the mosquitos are bad everywhere. Bring plenty of bug spray with a mimimum of 30% deet for the best protection.

There is a pool by the lodge, but it was not working during our stay. Don't go to sun tan as it is in the "bush" and there are bugs.

&Beyond/CC Africa has the BEST vehicles for morning and afternoon game drives. The open-air Land Rovers are awesome and allow for excellent viewing and comfort. The other tour companies squeeze guests into a pop-up VW-type vans which is not ideal.

Our Ranger/Guide, George, was exceptional and has the excitement of a child with every spot of an animal. In fact, he spotted a monitor lizard in a tree...how did he do that? He is amazing!

What we quickly learned as our Safari continued is that not all Rangers/Guides are created equal. It takes a real observant person and excellent "spotter" to see and find the hiding animals.

The reception/main lodge area is amazing. It is literally a tree house and the meals are served overlooking the "bush".

A quick word about the food - EXCELLENT! The chef prepares fresh culinary delights daily. They also do a wonderful job of accommodating special requests and dietary requirements.

The evening dinners were held in the outdoor boma with lanterns and torches (outdoor area simulated to look like the Masai tribe bomas, the pen where they keep their cattle). Very romantic!

After sunset, you will be escorted to your room by a local Masai "warrior". Since there are no fences and wild animals all over, they take every precaution to keep you safe.

As a plus, each room has a safe, blow dryer, separate tub, outdoor shower, dual sinks, flashlight, Raid bug killer, converter to charge your electronics and a cooler with your favorite beverages (a nice touch). They turn off the generator each night at midnight (until 5am) so make sure to charge your electronics before midnight.

If you are a light sleeper, you may want to bring ear plugs. The nocturnal animals come to life and some can be very noisy. The bush baby (like a squirrel) was our favorite but WOW, they can make noise.

Overall, the staff and rooms are great and the game viewing above average. We did not spot any lions but there are few in Lake Manyara at the moment. If you go to any of the other &Beyond/CC Africa camps, you will get plently of cat viewings. (see Klein's Camp review for the BEST up-close game viewing in Tanzania).

One final note about tipping. Bring plenty of low denomination US Dollars ($20, $10, $5, $1) for tipping at each camp/location. We tipped the Chef, Butler, and Ranger and put a tip in the general staff tip box.

At our various camps, we did not tip all Rangers, Butlers, Chef's the same. It depended on the property and their level of service/
expertise.

The laundry service was a real benefit. Pack light, you don't need a lot of clothes. All &Beyond/CC Africa camps do your laundry. Note: At most camps, the laundry dries in the sun. If there is no sun, clothes may be damp.

Your luggage (per person) cannot weigh more than 33 pounds/15 kilograms and must be in a duffle/soft bag. This is due to the flight requirements of the "puddle jumper" planes from camp to camp.

If you want to see more photos or need additional information, feel free to contact me at ccgabor@comcast.net.

Enjoy your trip! It was the trip of a lifetime.

PS - This is a GREAT place for a honeymoon (if you like adventure).

  • Liked — It's the only property in the Lake Manyara Nat'l Park - only 10 rooms - Intimate!
  • Disliked — Bees in the outdoor shower (tying to get water)
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank CathrynG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

Property: andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
Address: Lake Manyara, Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Lake Manyara National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Lake Manyara National Park
Hotel Class:5 star — andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only one in Lake Manyara National Park, andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is renowned for its romantic stilted treehouse suites that are shaded by a mahogany forest. After an exhilarating game drive, guests stop for sundowners on the lakeshore below the Great Rift Valley wall. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lake Manyara Tree Hotel Lake Manyara National Park

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