Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

Overlooking the magnificent Lake Manyara, this Serena Lodge provides comfortable basic-luxury accommodation. While the package offered by the hotel is not spectacular, the location is. The hotel is rather average, but comfortable.

Accommodation at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

Rooms are housed in two storey ‘rondavels,’ round stone buildings with thatched roofs, each containing 3 or 4 rooms. Rooms on the upper stories boast far superior views. Some rooms feel small in comparison to those at other properties.

All rooms have private verandas with lake views. Standard rooms include telephone and WiFi, mineral water and toiletries, bathrobe and slippers and room service. Hairdryers and safes are available from reception. The hotel suite also features dressing area and a private sitting room with mini bar, a large balcony and a large king-size bed with walk-in mosquito net.

Rooms are reasonably clean and comfortable, though in need of a little updating, baths and blankets may appear slightly worse for wear. While the size of the rooms varies quite widely they are mostly spacious.

Décor is pleasant but a little lacking in personality and slightly dated. The hotel is very comfortable but not as enchanting as some more authentic accommodation in Tanzania can be. Rooms do not feature air-conditioning though much of the time this is not a problem. Lighting is not excellent.

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Food and Drink at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

The hotel offers al fresco dining which many guests prefer. There are also inside bar areas and dining tables.

Breakfast and lunch are from a buffet with English breakfast or continental options on offer. Food is adequate, fresh and filling if a little uninspired. Dinner menus are better. Food is varied and there are normally meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian options available. Food is generally good but rather bland.

More exciting than eating on site are bush meals and BBQ’s that the hotel can arrange. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be eaten in the bush.

The hotel has a good wine list that represents value for money and beers are also reasonably priced. Private sundowners, excursions to picturesque spots for a drink as the sun sets, are highly recommended.

Service at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

While service at the hotel is very diligent it can seem oppressive and overly formal to those used to a more relaxed atmosphere between clients and staff. This is characteristic of the style of service preferred throughout the Serena chain. The majority of the Serena’s clients prefer this careful if overbearing style. Staff are well trained and polite with good English for the region, though some can be pushy or attempt to treat customers as ‘text-book’ cases rather than individuals. This means many staff are unable to improvise in order to meet the needs of small parties or make a visit more special.

The hotel offers valet, laundry, shoe-shine, baby-sitting and medical services. The hotel has an extensive pool and a business centre which is free to use. The hotel can arrange wedding and conference packages.

Things to do at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

There are various game drives around the lake, all of which can be hugely satisfying in terms of wildlife viewing and the environment. Canoeing safaris on the lake can also be arranged and these come highly-recommended. So too do organised boat tours that take in the lake’s wildlife.

The region is well-suited to those who like to keep active. Mountain-biking around the National Park is very popular. The hotel can also organise guided tours around the ravines that surround the lodge.  In addition the hotel hosts bird walks and wildlife talks as well as presentations and lectures on the culture and history of the local tribes.

The Mbu Cultural Tourism Programme offers village walks (with lunch), bicycle tours and boating trips in the region around the lodge and these can be booked through the hotel.

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