What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
An 'On Top of the World' experience
What a way to finish our safari. Sopa Lodge situated on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater was a sight to behold when we finally reached the summit of the crater. Our tour organiser, Soul of Tanzania, had certainly left the best to last and we were blown away by the beauty of both the accommodation and the views into the Ngorongoro Crater. The reception, bar and dining area were outstanding, as was our accommodation in Room 48, with its wonderful views of the crater. A magical experience and a wonderful way to conclude our safari.
Came in shoulder season when it should be dry. However it has rained through from October, very unusual. The crater was very wet which meant some of the roads were not accessible. In other areas it was very difficult to access the lodges but this lodge did not have that problem as it is drained well by the height above sea level. The lodge has a stunning view into the crater and I spent a long time looking at the view. Staff very friendly and the food was good. Would love to visit again.
Sunrise...Sunset...and Chef Joyce's AMAZING Maasai Lamb Broth
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge was the final stopover of our official safari program before returning to Arusha. We had just completed our day of doing the crater floor game drive with Unlimited Expeditions...Soul of Tanzania. We were welcomed right away with a beverage and escorted into the lobby for check-in. Of the 6 places we stayed on our trip, Sopa felt more like a large resort compared to the smaller lodges and camps we had visited. The lobby view of the pool and crater floor below was amazing. We had requested to be given #58 on our preference sheet with SOT, and we were very pleased to have that request conveyed by SOT and honored by NSL. As we stood at the check-in desk, we thought it was really cleaver the way the room key boxes on the wall were set up exactly as the lodge grounds are arranged. We made the short walk to our room where we were given the tour just about an hour before the sun was preparing to set. OUR ACCOMMODATIONS: Room #58 was in a great location! It was nestled in along the hillside with the perfect view into the crater below. Each room had a nicely landscaped front patio area. The room was large with 2 queen sized beds. The layout is unique; having a somewhat oblong shape. There was an entryway with the closet, refrigerator, umbrella stand, and safe. In the main part of the room there was a desk/vanity with large mirror and chair and luggage benches. There was a sunken seating area with a huge panoramic floor-to-ceiling window providing a perfect viewing area of the crater. It had heavy UV blocking curtains so you could close off that area if you wanted to darken your room, or to use as a heat barrier to keep your room from being too warm from sun. The bathroom was a very large room of its own, with a spacious walk-in shower. Some of the windows in the room and bathroom were operational so you could get a breeze if you wanted. Another nice touch was that at nightly turn down, they placed hot water bottles in between the sheets to warm up your bed for you. THE LODGE: The grounds were very well manicured. The views from all over the property looked out over the crater; giving excellent opportunities to view the rising and setting of the sun and moon. Blue monkeys played in the trees and a variety of birds were also present. The pool area had several lounge chairs and pool towels were available as well. We took a quick dip; although the water wasn't exactly the warmest...but of course the elevation and time of year will dictate that for any given visit. Inside the main building there was a very large bar area to one side, and a dining room to the other. There is also a very nice sized gift shop. Several conversation areas were available as well... to include an outdoor designated smoking area (which, surprisingly, for once we noticed others actually honored limiting their smoking to just that area.) In the main lobby area, there was an afternoon snack table set up and they also had some sunset entertainment planned. We really enjoyed watching the Maasai dancing over sundowners. And, of course it goes without saying that you can get amazing sunset photos here! There is an escort to and from the main lodge area and your room after dark. THE FOOD: Dinner was quite busy but we were seated right away. You are given a preassigned table based on your room number and that is your table for the duration of your stay. Our meals were set up as a well provisioned buffet with lots of great options to choose from. There is a menu posted out in the lobby detailing the buffet selections on offer so you can know ahead of time what you might want to eat. Two things that stood out to us were the Maasai Lamb Broth and the Iced Cashew Cream Parfait!! The Maasai Lamb Broth was so good that I asked if I would be able to get the recipe. Chef Joyce was almost in tears when I told her how wonderful it was! She was very touched to know we wanted the recipe. She and Chef Martin got it all sorted for us very quickly... and we hope she ended up getting that Employee of the Month award that we all joked about! TIPPING: We feel we should mention this one area so that others don't make the same mistake that we did... At all other places we stayed during our 13-day safari program, there was a tip box in the lobby that was set up for all tips to be shared amongst the entire staff equally. And, the expectation was that this was done at the end of each stay. We always made a point to leave a well-earned and greatly deserved tip at each location. We appreciate all that goes into making our trip so wonderful and we believe in tipping appropriately for a job well done. We left a tip in the box at NSL just as we had at every other location. We were disappointed to discover AFTER our stay that our guide had accidentally forgotten to inform us that things are done a bit differently here, and that the waitstaff and bellmen were tipped as each service was performed. (Which is what we would customarily do here in The States.) In hindsight, we realized that the service vibe WAS a bit different; but since it wasn't called to our attention ahead of time, we failed to recognize our staff with individual tips at the time of service. We truly felt awful about this...and our guide was very apologetic to us for letting that slip his mind as well. We would never want the staff to feel we thought we were entitled to or unappreciative of their efforts. And to make things worse, I cannot even name the 2 people that really went above and beyond for us here in my review. (I wanna say Nathaniel and Sami?) We feel we really failed them in the recognition department. FINAL THOUGHTS: We enjoyed the breathtaking views from NSL and would likely return here on a return trip to the area. It is a larger complex than the other places we stayed; so, I would say it could probably be quite busy during peak times, but for this trip we had a comfortable stay.
Large rooms, more like suites
Unique lodge and the largest we stayed out of the four lodges on our safari. No WiFi in rooms, only in public areas. We entered our room into a large entryway with closet and refrigerator and safe. Large bedroom, bathroom, and sitting room/sunroom overlooking the crater. Would have been nice to have had more time there to enjoy. The staff escorts guests to and from rooms in the dark. Not good for mobility impaired. I am still upset that I did not purchase the Tanzanite necklas I liked in the giftshop because when we got to Arusha I purchased one I don't like as well. Excellent restaurant with stunning views. Impressive entrance and public areas. Meeting rooms and nice and comfortable.
They charge for water at dinner
The hotel is ok, the view is amazing and the access to Ngorongoro crater is fast which is very convenient. I just cannot believe they charge the water at dinner and they do not even let you know. Big minus points due to that
© TripAdvisor 2020
These reviews are the subjective opinions of individual travellers and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.