September 1, 2013
Well situated on the rim of the crater, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge has great crater views from the lounge areas as well as many of the guest rooms. However during our stay, views were marred by hazy skies and we were told that the crater can be completely fogged in at times.
Our room, a large 2 bedroom/ 1 bathroom with an extra sleeping area off the main room (sleeping a total of 6 people) had a large living area but no view.
Amenities included a TV and stereo system, a great wifi connection and a wood burning fireplace, which was lit for us while we were at dinner and burned throughout the night. The rooms are spacious, comfortable and decorated in a casual style.
The main lounge area and bar consists of spacious rooms with high ceilings and large picture windows. The dark wood furnishings give the rooms a casual African lodge ambiance. On this particular evening, despite the ample space, the staff roped off half the window seating for a tour group that didn’t arrive until well after dark, more than an hour later. They also cleared another large section of the bar area for the evening’s entertainment. In short, arrive early if you want you want one of the few remaining seats in the lounge.
The entertainment started with a musical group that played a Caribbean beat, but not so loud that you couldn’t continue a conversation, followed by an acrobatic act. By the time the second act had started most of the bar area was filled with guests waiting to go up to dinner.
Dinner is served in the large upstairs dining room. A choice of mains is cooked and served to order, while first course and dessert, an ample selection of both, are self-serve buffet. The quality of the food is typical big hotel fare.
All in all this was my least favorite of the accommodations we chose for this trip. I much prefered the tented camps. That said, it was nice to have a strong internet signal for a night and catch-up with family back home.