Reviews of Gibb's Farm
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
disappointing given reputation
Not sure why we didn't fly on to be met at Lake Manyara airport so as to minimise road travel.
Accommodation and setting were great. Service was patchy (lack of apparent leadership) Some individual staff were helpful.
Solar hot water didn't work resulting in cold showers. Internet access very poor. Food poorest durng our trip.
We understand there has been a change of ownership and marketing now to American tour groups. During our visit, several tour groups arrived for one day/night. Independent travellers such as ourselves were marginalised. Overall our stay was disappointing given the reputation of Gibb's Farm. With hindsight we think we would have preferred to stay at the Serena Crater lodge
Expert Africa comments
Gibbs Farm responded with the following comments:
There are four issues for this recent complain and I have put our actions/comments for future travellers.
1) Cold Water.
We have discovered the error in the hot water solar settings and corrected them. We apologize for this.
2) Our food quality not up to standard
We are spending more time in the kitchen to ensure our standards do not slip again.
3) Lack of apparent leadership
This comment starts with the check in, Pre-registration and bag system - we have discussed this.
Greeting in the dining rooms, and escorting to Jacaranda or Dining room, starting at the front of the lodge. We will improve this.
4) Independent Traveler needs special attention
It is sometimes true, that tour groups can spoil the atmosphere. This problem will be sorted out in the next few months as we will renovating the main house/main dining room and we will make sure we look after smaller groups just as well.
Once again very sorry about this and we will make sure that this sort of complaint will not happen again in the future.
Gibb's Farm review
More commercial than we wanted. It's definitely more of a touristy place than some of the other places.
I would have rather stayed around the crater rim as we didn't have time to do any of the activities at the Farm. However the rooms are stunning.
Gibb's Farm review
You have to go up a very bumpy track to get to the Farm. Unfortunately didn't have time to explore the farm - it looked very interesting. Quite a long way from the crater.Read more about the whole trip
Luxury rooms but let down by average service
We visited Gibbs Farm 3 years ago and since then it's been refurbished to a very high standard - but we felt it had lost some of it's earlier charm.
The rooms are very luxurious and comfortable but we experienced a number of small but irritaitng service shortfalls where, for example, we didn't receive the drinks we'd ordered and on a couple of occassions had to wait a long time to be served dinner. We did take a guided cycling trip to the local village and town and this was very interesting and well planned out with our guide ensuring that he understood what we wanted from the trip before we started.
Kevin our guide while we were in the North was excellent and was knowledgeable not just on wildlife but also on politics and international affaires - we learnt loads. He went out of his way to ensure we got all the service we wanted
A delightful trip back to bestColonial times.
Delightful farm on small coffee plantation, dating back to First World War. Very well run, with individual lodges (inadequately described as "farmhouses") with "Colonial Style" teak floors, log fires, two double beds, stone bath and showers,etc
Very interesting tour around the coffee manufacturing process, and a lovely sitting area around log fire near there for "sundowners" before dinnner. Food superb, although dining room a bit plain and wished we could have been together with other guests rather than separated by individual tables.
We both had Masai massages which were very good.
Altogether excellent and wished we could have had another day or so here to enjoy the place more (we were out all day on safari).
Exquisite Cottage with mixed review
A very long, dusty and bumpy ride to a post card perfect coffee plantation. A photographers and garderners dream.
Drop dead hands down favorite unique location ever! Cottage comfortable roomy with two double beds, fireplace, indoor and outdoor showers, soaking tub, quality bath products and awsome views from everywhere!
Delicious creative fresh food.
Nice gift shop
We did not utilize any of the spa or farm facilities as were on safari and to the crater during 2 night stay.
Staff were friendly and attentive.
Why one asks would we have a mixed review?
1. A place of this caliber should not be charging a tab for bottled water. Especially after a hike to the "Masai healer" picnic dinner. No beverage was offered without the staff having to constantly ask guests for a room number to charge for all drinks even water. No coffee offered nor served even at a coffee plantation during this dinner! This felt petty and made guests concern themselves with tab charge accuracies instead of relaxing. This dinner was disturbed with charges even for water.
If the costs of bottled water is of concern for management a charge should have been included in the per person initial charge. This cheapened the beautiful atmosphere!
2. We stayed for 2 nights and have no idea who is the manager. We had a few simple questions along with our guide Jackson such as could we get coffee early, could we get a simple breakfast early, when to pick up a packed lunch? Each question directed to staff members resulted in mass confusion! Each staff needed to consult other staff in front of us resulting in very loud demonstrutive Swahili frustrating even our guide in confusion.
All 3 of us have been in management.
Each staff member was nice and doing their personal best to be most helpful. This staff appeared frustrated by a lack of leadership.
This appeared to us to be a MANAGEMENT problem.
Our concern: WE LOVED THIS PLACE.
In this competitive market many diserning guests will choose another easier to get to competive accomodation unless management makes some tweeks to give this fantastic place the caliber of service it deserves.
Gibb's Farm review
Gibb's is an outstanding site and all my experience with them is positive. My onlt regret is that we could have stayed on there longer, but of course that was my decision.Read more about the whole trip
Gibb's Farm review
Absolutley brilliant! Fabolous rooms, great food and very good service. Mains electricity helps as lighting is available all the time.
At dinner they ask you if you would like them to light a fire in your room and you come back to lovely log fire.
Early morning tea/coffee ( their own beans ) are brought to your door at a time of your choosing.
A tour of the farm is good fun.
Gibb's Farm review
The rooms were just fabulous and the staff very friendly. Unfortunately our diet wasn't catered for despite speaking to the Manager and reiterating our requests on check in.
A great place from which to explore the Ngorgoro Crater
Gibb's Farm needs a manager!
Wonderful location. Superb gardens and chalets. Service appalling. We arrived mid-morning and asked for tea and coffee. We were directed to the awaiting flasks. The coffee was cold, there was no tea or water in a big tea pot, and no milk in the jug! After much tooing and frowing another large tea pot was produced. Except that when i looked in the pot there was no tea in it. Just hot water. When asked for tea they referred us to basket of tea bags which were all herbal! Just wanted ordinary black tea. Coffee eventually came and it was awful. And this on a coffee farm! I left in frustration after 20 minutes. Teresa waited longer before getting her tea which she said very poor.
There were 7 for dinner that night. The bread was stale. The main course was fish or vegeterian. Not much choice for me who is not keen on either. Well at least i could have the vegetables. But i didnt....beans, carrots and something else was hard and inedible. Your guide states ".....and the home-style cooking with organic produce grown on the farm is excellent". Are you joking? Also it was like a fast food restaurant. No sooner were we finished with one course when everything was snatched away and the next course presented. No time to linger and chat between courses.
After our experience with these two recommended places i was so annoyed that i was on the verge of e-mailing you to give you notification that we would be looking for a rebate. A very disappointing start to an expensive trip. We made our complaints to our guide who passed them on to one of the people who now run this place.
On the second night there were 27 for dinner. Food and service was better. One of the owners checked with quite a number of tables how things were. Did not approach us! Nobody seems to take responsibility. Either they are not trained or very badly trained as to what is important for European visitors. Many running about looking busy. Great for welcoming but what good is that if service is so poor.
Expert Africa comments
We are very sorry that these travellers did not enjoy their stay at Gibbs Farm – things were clearly wrong there.
We immediately sent these comments to the general manager, Dale Jensen, who had recently become aware of issues at the lodge – and told us that he was already taking steps to sort them out.
Latest news (Nov ’08) is that the managers in charge when these travellers visited have now departed and Dale (who was instrumental in reinventing Gibb’s as a very personal, high-quality lodge) has stepped in to take charge whilst they appoint new managers.
We are cheered by this swift response, and Dale’s immediate action; it is indicative of how seriously he takes any issues. We are confident that, with him and new managers in charge, the high levels of service and food that we’re used to at Gibbs should return swiftly.