On Top of the World at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

1-1-hotel with elephant

When you want to get close to the big game and extreme nature, while still living in the lap of luxury, look no further than and Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Set along the rim of one of the most famous wildlife parks in the world, and Beyond Safaris spared no expense in creating the ultimate luxury safari experience.

The original hotel dates back to the 1930s but in 1997 &Beyond rebuilt it to reflect the best of African architecture and European luxuries. Fusing simplicity of the Maasai mud-and-stick manyatta homestead with colonial design, the hotel has unique tribal flair and grace like no other.

The hotel interiors is where the European tradition of safari shines through. Sumptuous leather wing back chairs, velvet sofas, and trays of crystal barware make guests appreciate the finer things after a day in the bush.

We were escorted to our luxury suite by our personal butler (yes, you read that correctly), and our jaws dropped to the floor. It was exquisite with all the thoughtful little touches making us feel like the most honored guests–a handwritten welcome note with roses by the bed, a box of chocolate truffles, and champagne on ice.

We arrived to the hotel after lunch so the manager thoughtfully arranged for room service on our private porch.  Better than any viewpoint on the park roads, our room took in vistas of the crater for as far as the eye could see, with forests spilling down, the open grassland below, soda ash lakes dotting the floor.

But the thing that put our stay in the suite and the level of hospitality over the top was this romantic bath. We walked in after a hot day on safari to find a path of rose petals leading to a bubbling claw-foot tub. We put our champagne to good use during our soak then wrapped ourselves up in our terrycloth robes to revel in our slice of heaven.

The dining experience at the hotel was out-of-this world.  Serving continental cuisine with an African twist, each course left us completely content but in anticipation for the meals to come. By day, light flooded in with unobstructed views to the crater and by night the chandeliers and candlelight made the whole room sparkle.

After dinner we would retreat to our en-suite fireplace. As a part of the turn-down, the fire was lit and the decanter of sherry and an assortment of artisanal chocolates placed front and center. What could be a better nightcap?

Descending into the crater for our last morning of game drives, there was a magical mist enveloping the park. The umbrella acacias, moss, lichen, and orchids that cover the slopes would peek out behind the blanket of fog, making us appreciate every glimpse into this exotic world. Between the beauty of the lodge, the impeccable service, and the otherworldly landscape and wildlife, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge brought us that much closer to heaven.

Much love from the Ngorongoro Crater,
Anne & Mike

Note: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge invited us to to be their guest; however, all opinions are our own.

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