The Manor is a luxury base from which to explore the Ngorongoro Crater.
The Manor: Our full report
The Manor is a luxury lodge located in the Ngorongoro highlands just outside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Located on the 1,500 acre, Shangri-La Coffee Estate, it was built in 2008 in the style of a Cape Dutch homestead, - some visitors may be forgiven for thinking they are in the Cape Winelands!
The main areas at The Manor are located within the main manor house, a beautiful building with traditional gables and wooden sash windows. A voluminous, high-ceilinged central hall, with large double doors at each end, divides the lounge and dining rooms. This has rich carpets on polished dark wood floors and a few comfortable sofas.
To the one side of the central hall is the lounge, which is dotted with dark-wood furniture, Persian rugs, sumptuous leather and fabric sofas, and huge fresh flower arrangements. There is a large fireplace and even a grand piano in the corner. A small bar with leather high stools sits to one side of the lounge. Outside the lounge is a large patio with tables and chairs under shady umbrellas where guests can sit and enjoy a drink with views over the gardens.
On the other side of the central hall is the dining area, which is simply but stylishly decorated with pale gold high-backed upholstered chairs, and tables covered in white linen table cloths. Smart silver service dining is offered here in the evenings. Lunch is a less formal affair - served in the dining room, on the outdoor terrace or beside the pool.
Downstairs is a billiard room, TV/cinema room as well as a room where wine-tasting is offered.
Adjacent to the manor house is a swimming pool in a walled garden with a few sunloungers and umbrellas. There is a covered area here where guests can enjoy lunch and also some sofas for relaxing in. Beside the pool is a spa with a massage bed. The resident therapist offers a selection of massages, manicures and pedicures here.
The 20 bedrooms at The Manor are dotted throughout the gardens in 10 cottages; two rooms occupy one cottage. All of the rooms have views over the surrounding coffee plantation and the rolling green hills of the escarpment beyond, and are a continuation of the smart Cape Dutch style. Each room has its own private courtyard and deck, a comfortable lounge, fireplace that is welcome during the cooler months of the year, and high quality dark wood period furniture.
The bedroom is carpeted and each has large kingsized, or twin dark wood beds with crisp white linen and rich red bedcovers and cushions.
The en-suite bathrooms have a freestanding claw foot bath, open rain shower, twin basins and a separate toilet. The bathrooms are quite spacious and stylish though still in keeping with traditional look of the lodge.
There is also a separate family cottage, known as the Stable Cottage, which has a double bedroom and a twin bedroom downstairs, each en-suite, as well as a separate lounge. Up a wooden staircase, in the roof space, is a child-friendly area with a spacious carpeted twin-bedded room with skylights. Opposite the bedroom is a children’s playroom with a TV, games, a sofa and cushions on the floor. There is even a children’s bathroom with kiddie-sized toilet, basin and low shower – a very thoughtful touch!
Activities at The Manor focus on visits into the Ngorongoro Crater or Lake Manyara National Park, either with your own vehicle and guide or with The Manor’s vehicle and guide.
The Manor has its own stables and they have three horses as well as a pony for children to ride. Guests are able to go out for a ride through the coffee plantations with an instructor. It is also possible to combine a horse ride with a picnic lunch – which is served to you in the grounds of The Manor. During the day the horses are released into a paddock when they are not out riding.
Mountain bikes are also provided for the more energetic who wish to cycle, with a guide, through the surrounding hills and villages.
It is also possible to do a tour of the coffee plantation followed by coffee tasting.
Our viewThe Manor is an elegant lodge with friendly and welcoming staff. We really liked the Afro-European architecture of The Manor, which is quite unlike any of the other plantation-style lodges in Tanzania. The mix of natural tones, classic furniture, polished wooden floors and traditional architecture results in a smart colonial style that works really well. This makes The Manor a luxury, yet family-friendly base from which to explore Lake Manyara National Park as well as the Ngorongoro Crater.
Ideal length of stay: Spend two nights at the Manor to have a full day to explore the Ngorongoro Crater, or longer if you also wish to include the Lake Manyara National Park and the surrounding areas. The Manor is a sister lodge to Tarangire Treetops and Migration Camp, it is of a similar high quality with great food and service, and makes a great combination with Tarangire National Park and the Serengeti.
Directions: The Manor is 40 minutes by road from Manyara airstrip, 2 hours and 45 minutes by road from Arusha and about 40 minutes from the Crater rim.
Owner: Property Chain - Elewana
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: When we last visited The Manor in July 2013, we did not stay for any meals, however we had a look at the various menus for the day and this is what guests would have had for their meals.
A special breakfast menu included pancakes, toasted brioche, a selection of omelettes, a full English breakfast with all the trimmings, French toast or a ploughmans platter with a selection of cheeses, cold meats and pickles. There is also a healthier option of homemade muesli, cereals, fruit and various breads.
Lunch is a la carte with a menu that differs daily. On our recent visit the menu had a large selection to choose from - salads, pasta, a tortilla wrap, a vegetarian dish, beef burger, fish cakes or sirloin steak. Deserts are also on the menu and included fresh fruit salad or apple and banana pie topped with home-made ice cream.
Between lunch and dinner guests can help themselves to high tea with cakes, scones and cream. This is usually available from around 3 – 6pm.
The silver service dinner starts at 7:30pm and consists of three course. Three starters, three main courses (usually a choice or red meat, white meat or fish and a vegetarian option. This is then followed by a choice of three deserts.
Most of the food served at The Manor is grown on the farm and so is as fresh as it can be.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are usually included, except for cellar wines and Champagne.
Riding holidays: The Manor has its own stables with three resident horses as well as a pony for children to ride. Rides are normally done through the coffee plantation surrounding The Manor. The cost for this (July 2013) is U$30 per person per hour.See more ideas for Riding holidays in Tanzania
Attitude towards children: The Manor happily welcomes children of all ages.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions
Special activities & services: The Manor can arrange child minding with their house keeping staff, though parents should be aware that the staff have no formal training in child care.
Equipment: Cots and high chairs are provided
Generally recommended for children: The Manor is ideal for families. There is an electric fence around the property to protect guests from game, and there is a lot here to occupy children, from the swimming pool to pony riding and even croquet.
Notes: The Manor has some larger rooms with a lower veranda, which is great for small families with younger children. Larger families with older children may prefer the family cottage which has three bedrooms.
Communications: The Manor has good cell phone coverage but there are no phones in rooms. Wi-Fi is available in the main area and guests can use the office laptop for free.
TV & radio: The Manor has a small cinema with a TV.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The managers at The Manor are first aid trained, and there is a doctor and clinic only 10 minutes away in Karatu.
Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk
Security measures: There are Askaris (guards) around The Manor. There is also an electric fence around the property to protect from animals
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers at all the fireplaces and a fire hose is shared between every two rooms.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Laundry is included at The Manor, and if given to the staff in the morning it is returned the same day. Clothes are machine washed.
Money: It is possible to exchange small amounts of currency and an exchange rate is received from their head office in Arusha when required.
Accepted payment on location: The Manor will accept cash in British pounds, Euros, US dollars and Tanzanian shillings. They will also accept Mastercard and visa at no additional charge. They do not accept Amex cards or Travellers' cheques.