Top 10: best luxury hotels & lodges in Tanzania

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (January 22, 2018): top 10 most exclusive hotels in Tanzania.

A journey through Tanzania, Africa’s visual masterpiece, is one of the best trips one can make in a lifetime. It’s a country of astonishing natural splendour, incredible wildlife spotting, powder white beaches, charming ancient towns, and archaeological UNESCO world heritage sites. One of the most dramatic stages for a classic African safari is Tanzania’s Great Migration, where mighty herds of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebras thunder across the Serengeti plains while chasing the rains in a race for life as they are purchased by a large number of predators. But the country offers much more than a Big Five safari experience. Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, rises 5,895 m (19,341 ft) above sea level from its surrounding lush, grassy plains. Its snow-capped peak is a sight to behold and towers over the land. Climbing Kilimanjaro is surprisingly easy and standing on the roof of Africa is a life-changing experience.  Most visitors to Tanzania will end their unforgettable safari and mountain adventure with a serene and relaxing holiday on the sugar white, palm-fringed sands of Zanzibar, the intoxicatingly beautiful and exotic Spice Island. Tanzania also harbours some of the world’s finest and most luxurious hotels & lodges, matching the country’s breathtaking scenery. I hereby present you a top 10 list of my prefered hotels & lodges across Tanzania’s rugged and wild landscapes.

There is more information below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite hotel in Tanzania in the comments section, or take my poll below!

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10. &BEYOND KLEIN’S CAMP

Situated on the only concession that borders on both Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenia’s Masai Mara National Parks, &Beyond Klein’s Camp offers some of the best panoramic views of these two iconic destinations, which also play host to one of the greatest wildlife migrations on earth. In this untamed and rugged landscape, you can enjoy exceptional game viewing, thrilling night game drives, Maasai culture and old-fashioned safari luxury. This private and remote camp offers guests the spirit of wild Africa – wooded hillsides, rolling grasslands and forested river banks, all teeming with the rich wildlife, of this natural sanctuary lie sprawled at your feet. The stone interiors of the guest areas open up to breathtaking panoramas, with open fireplaces to keep the chill away. All ten cottages, including 1 family suite, feature uninterrupted views.


9. PARK HYATT ZANZIBAR

Park Hyatt Zanzibar is the quintessential destination from which to experience the rich culture, heritage and historical significance of Zanzibar’s main city, Stone Town, a designated UNESCO heritage site. Sitting majestically on the beachfront in the heart of Stone Town, the hotel provides the ultimate haven amongst the city’s labyrinth of winding alleys, bustling markets, mosques and famed Zanzibari doors, featuring magnificent ornate wooden carvings. The hotel is housed in two buildings, one of them Mambo Msiige, a typical Zanzibari mansion steeped in history, grace and mystique with a story dating back to the 17th century. From the spacious guest rooms and authentic cuisine to spectacular views from the oceanfront infinity pool, the Park Hyatt Zanzibar offers both discerning business travelers and luxury holiday makers rare, intimate and unforgettable experiences.


8. FOUR SEASONS SAFARI LODGE SERENGETI

Set within Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti is the perfect escape for those looking for a truly magical experience and to get up close and intimate with nature. The design of the property reflects both contemporary African architectural style and its surrounding landscape, with the centerpiece of the lodge being a two-story great house that includes a choice of both indoor and outdoor dining options. Both restaurants as well as the free-form infinity pool all overlook the active watering hole, providing fascinating views of the congregating animals, from elephants and their young to herds of buffalo and troops of baboons. All 77 guest rooms, including 12 suites with plunge pools and 5 free-standing villas with private swimming pools, feature elevated open-air sundecks, which provide views over the Serengeti and a truly intimate wildlife experience to its guests.


7. &BEYOND LAKE MANYARA TREE LODGE

Most people think that the famous tree-climbing lions at Lake Manyara have developed their climbing habit to get away from annoying insects. However, they might just be jealous of the magnificent treehouse suites at &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Cradled in the boughs of an ancient mahogany forest, the lodge blends into the natural beauty of its breathtaking surroundings. Designed to exert minimal impact on the environment, &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge offers an exclusive interpretive safari in a remote, game-rich wilderness. Overlooking a forest boma, or outdoor dining area, lined with traditional dugout canoes, guest areas are characterized by soaring spaces that house local artworks and tactile fabrics. An interactive kitchen allows guests to observe the preparation of delicious dishes while enjoying spectacular forest views.


6. AZURA SELOUS

The Selous is Africa’s oldest and biggest game reserve, and one of its last great wilderness areas. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has long been renowned for having more wild dog, elephant, lion, hippo and buffalo than any other game reserve in the World. Azura Selous has a pristine location on the banks of the Great Ruaha river, ensuring game viewing from your bed, deck, and even your outdoor shower. The resort’s 12 spacious designer ‘tented villas’ come with private plunge pools, butler-hosts to look after your every need and fabulous dining in varied locations. The highly trained guides will make your safari at Azura truly special, personalizing a safari itinerary for you that includes extensive game viewing drives in open sided Landrovers, both on and off road, walking adventures, boating, fishing and star-gazing.


5. SINGITA SABORA TENTED CAMP

Singita Sabora Tented Camp is situated in an untouched wilderness area of Grumeti Reserves, spanning over 350,000 acres in northern Tanzania. The intimate 1920s-style explorer’s camp is permeated by a sense of nostalgic adventure. Steeped in character, Singita Sabora Tented Camp surprises guests with an opulence that is delightfully out-of-place with the rugged terrain of the surrounding savannah plains. Here, guests are immersed in the palpable pulse of the wild Serengeti, with the added thrill of knowing there isn’t much separating the comfort inside from the elements and wildlife outside. The 9 en-suite tents are lavishly furnished with a treasure trove of antiques, Zanzibari chests, and Persian rugs, and lead directly onto the plains where day beds are scattered to provide spots for afternoon naps and incredible game-viewing.


4. THE RETREAT SELOUS

The Retreat Selous is a unique all-suite tented lodge, found in the remote far north of the UNESCO protected Selous Game Reserve on the banks of the wide Great Ruaha River. The spaciously set tented suites have been constructed to correspond with the surrounding habitat, whilst guaranteeing privacy and romance. Bespoke furnishings, African antiques, natural materials, and precious stones are carefully blended to create a unique sense of comfort and natural luxury. The atmospheric main house, ‘The Fort’, is based on an ancient military observation point from the First World War and draws upon the influences of the great East African market. The fort has a large infinity pool and its surrounding provide a much favored vantage point from which guests have a 360 degree view of the untouched surrounding wilderness.


3. &BEYOND NGORONGORO CRATER LODGE

With ever-changing views as mists swirl and clouds scurry over the huge wildlife cauldron below, the location of &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is truly breathtaking. Divided into three camps, 30 stilted suites with banana leaf ceilings and grass roofs provide an intimate and exclusive safari experience. Each camp has its own sitting and dining areas, with private butlers who provide warm, personal service. Guests can be forgiven for losing track of which era, or even continent, they are experiencing at the lodge since nowhere else on earth can you wake up among all the trappings of an elegant baroque chateau – brocade sofas, gilt mirrors, beaded chandeliers and panelled walls – and be instantly transported into one of the most famous African landscapes with just one glance out the window of the lodge. In this place of dramatic contrasts, Versailles meets Maasai and anything is possible.


2. SINGITA FARU FARU LODGE

Singita Faru Faru Lodge is set in Grumeti in northern Tanzania, which is part of the Serengeti Mara ecosystem. Built on a gently sloping hill, this riverine lodge, positioned on the renowned migratory route traversed annually by more than 2 million wildebeests, is a place where you can quite literally expect the unexpected. Informal, unconventional and surprising at every turn, Singita Faru Faru Lodge has 7 one-bedroom suites, one family suite as well as one two-bedroom suite with private pool and is a mix of contemporary, organic style and the quirky practicality of a traditional botanist’s camp. With such close proximity to the river and plains, guests have the unique opportunity to experience a very close connection with the wilderness.


1. &BEYOND MNEMBA ISLAND

If you have ever harbored the secret wish of finding yourself the sole inhabitant of a beautiful tropical island, but without the effort of having to lift a finger to fend for yourself, &Beyond Mnemba Island is just the place for you. This romantic, private hideaway is an award-winning barefoot beach paradise just off the northeast coast of Zanzibar, that accommodates a maximum of 20 guests at a time. Guest relax and unwind in the exclusivity of their own stretch of beachfront, where ten beachside bandas peep out onto unblemished sands from the dappled shade of the casuarina pine forest and overlook the Mnemba atoll (a scuba diver’s delight). From snorkeling, swimming, ands kayaking to massages in the beach, to doing nothing at all, &Beyond Mnemba Island has something for everyone.


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