Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
Halifax, Nova Scotia
October 11, 2009
From journal Tanzania Safaris to the Magic of Zanzibar
by Dr. Mitch
Agoura Hills, California
September 18, 2005
Located on top of a high knoll overlooking the Serengetti in area called Saronera. The rooms are designed to look like Rondovals. Each Rondoval is two guest rooms. Surprisingly, the rooms themselves are very plain. Really just four walls. Heavy, dark wood furniture: desk, chairs, and armoir. The bathroom is very ordinary. There is hot water and electricity. One of the few lodges to have a fan (floor fan). For some reason the room we occupied was much warmer than the warm outside air so we really did need that fan!
The rooms have a small balcony with nicely carved African designs in the posts. A great view of the sunset on the Serengetti. There are no fences I could detect, only armed guards night and day. So those strange sounds at night might be something to be concerned about. Anyways, we were advised not to leave the room without an escort. There is a small gift shop but not well stocked. The rondoval designs carry through to the lounge and restaurant which are semi open to the outside air and surrounded by circular covered verandas. Very Hemingwayish. There is a very active bar. Upstairs, in an open loft, is a TV and internet ready computer but neither were working when we were there. Restaurant is very beautiful. Very tall, carved, dark wood columns of African designs. Many spears decorate the interior. Romantic atmosphere. There is a pool with a beautiful overlook of the Serengetti and great sunsets. Problem is that despite the warm days, the pool is incredibly cold! Next to the pool a small band attempted to play native songs but was not very good.
There are limited paths around the property but, again, not advisable to stroll without an armed escort. There was a patio overlook near the pool with a permanently affixed Swarovski binocular. The porters were nice, the reception staff was luke warm. The staff of the bar pushy to sell drinks. The restaurant staff was unpleasant. After the staff sang Happy Birthday to a Chinese guest, we watched one of the waiters calmly but commandingly extort a tip from him for each of the 20 staff members who sang the song! The food looked good but we noticed that they put away uneaten food and took the same trays out the next day. This lodge was no where near as nice as the many we stayed in to date. It makes a great first impression but after a thorough exploration of the property and few hours to soak it in, it is really very ordinary. All in all, I really think one should reconsider this lodge and consider one of the luxury tented camps instead. It is also way out of the mainstream game driving tracks. Conde Nast placed this one on their Gold List as a top hotel. I think otherwise!
My ratings (1-10, 10 best):
From journal My Journey into East Africa
February 21, 2005
The main lodge and dining room offered a wide range of services. Meals were served buffet-style and a full bar was open to guests. The dining hall is open-air, and from our table we could see tiny dik-diks move in between the trees. The lodge also had a very nice swimming pool. Guests were warned about an intelligent cape buffalo that had learned to turn on the tap by the pool to drink, so after dark, the pool was off-limits. One night there were cape buffalo and impala in the trees under our balcony.
From journal African Safari--Kenya and Tanzania