My husband and I along with our mothers stayed here in January 2016. For starters it is not easy to get to. It is about a 20 minute drive from the main road on dirt/ mud roads that go up and down steep hills and are almost certainly impossible to get through when it rains a lot. The lodge itself is comfortable with a nice fire pit and a comfortable and pretty restaurant.
The rooms would be the biggest complaint. Our mothers' tent had several holes that needed patching. The steps up the rooms were very steep for my husband and I's tent and I was grateful it was not my mother's. The bathroom, toilet, shower has not door, tent, curtain or anything to separate it from the rest of the tent which would have been nice. Finally the drainage for the shower was flawed and water got all of the wooden bathroom floor. There were some positives. Each room has a beautiful spacious porch with wooden patio furniture and with a beautiful view. We saw elephants from the porch the evening we arrived.
The staff were all very nice and attentive!!
It was a long drive to the lodge after a full day in the crater, but well worth it. Small enough to be relaxing, but large enough to have presence.
The tents were amazing. You're in the middle of the forest and in the midst of nature. We caught a glimpse of a herd of elephants crossing along the hillside. The landscape is soothing and the air fresh and clean.
I'm picky about my coffee, but I can truly say that the coffee on this coffee estate (you drive through it on your way in/out) was the best I've ever had. The staff will jump on a bike and bring you as much as you'd like to take back with you. If you're buying coffee in Tanzania, this is the best deal you'll ever get.
The tents were huge, with a stove (that you can ask to be lit if it's cold) and the washrooms comfortable and well designed. Sitting around the big thatch (and earlier that evening near the fire pit) make for a perfect evening.
Ask for a room in one of the taller tents that are on higher stilts- you'll have an unobstructed view of the hills...
Look out for the nuns farming along the drive into the estate. The agricultural fields make for great photography.
Don't be put off by the long and bumpy drive to get to this lodge, because once there it is a really charming place to stay. The rooms are spacious, the bedding doonas fluffy and the views over the forest superb. The complimentary room gifts were a lovely touch and the hot water is hot! The staff are friendly and lit our bedroom fire urn to combat the chilly evenings. The food is great (they catered to our vegetarian needs well) and the dining room has a fantastic ambience due to the central fireplace and the use of hurricane lamps to light the room. The curio shop also contains some great buys. Overall this was the best accomodation in our safari.
Overall the hotel is pretty good but our agency sold it to us as an upgrade. In the end we didn't think it was worth the extra money as the service was comparable to the other lodges we stayed at.
The track to the hotel is long and very bumpy but is pretty scenic and crosses coffee fields.
The room was really nicely decorated with a cute little fireplace which we used as the night was a little chilly. Very romantic. The shower was a little basic but OK. There was a deck in front of our room but unfortunately no view (unlike what the agency sold us).
The restaurant area is lit by storm lamps which makes it a little dark but give it a real camp atmosphere. We enjoyed the fireplace there. Dinner was good. Breakfast wasn't as good as at other lodges (no buffet, small portions served at the table).