The Manor

The Manor: Our full report

Rooms
20 rooms
Traveller's rating
Excellent (100%) From 4 reviews
Children
Good for children
Open
All year

The Manor is a luxury lodge located on the Shangri-La Coffee Estate; it covers 6km² of the Ngorongoro Highlands, adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Most visitors will probably use this as a place to eat and sleep – whilst driving into the Ngorongoro Crater during the day for their main activity.Built in 2008, in the style of a Cape Dutch homestead, visitors could be forgiven for thinking they are in the South African Cape Winelands rather than Tanzania!

The Manor‘s main areas are inside the beautiful manor house, with traditional gables and wooden sash windows. A high-ceiling central hall, with large double doors at each end, divides the lounge and dining room.

The lounge at The Manor 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 Manor’s 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 tablecloths.

Downstairs is a billiard room, TV/cinema room, as well as a room where wine tastings are offered.

Adjacent to the manor house itself 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. Beside the pool is a spa where the resident therapist offers a selection of massages, manicures and pedicures.

The 20 bedrooms at The Manor are dotted throughout the gardens in ten cottages; two rooms in each cottage. All have views over the surrounding coffee plantation and the rolling green hills of the escarpment beyond. Also decorated in the smart Cape Dutch style, each room has its own private courtyard and deck, a comfortable lounge, a fireplace – that is welcome during the cooler months of the year – and high-quality dark-wood period furniture. The rooms are carpeted and have large king-size or twin dark-wood beds covered in crisp, white linen and rich red bedcovers and cushions.

Each of the spacious and stylish en-suite bathrooms have a freestanding claw-foot bath, open rain shower, twin basins and a separate toilet.

There is also a separate family cottage, known as the Stable Cottage, which has a double bedroom and a twin bedroom downstairs, both en-suite, as well as a separate lounge. Up a wooden staircase, in the roof, 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!

For most people, activities at The Manor focus on visits into Ngorongoro Crater or, possibly, to Lake Manyara National Park – either with your own vehicle and safari guide, or with The Manor’s vehicle and guide. Mountain bikes are also provided for the more energetic who wish to cycle, with a guide, through the surrounding hills and villages. And it is also possible to do a tour of the coffee plantation followed by a coffee tasting.

The Manor has its own stables and they have three horses and a pony for children to ride. Guests are able to go out for a ride through the coffee plantations accompanied by 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. (Note that the Expert Africa team member who visited doesn’t have the expertise to assess the horses, riding equipment or quality of riding instruction here.)

Our view

The Manor is an elegant lodge with friendly staff; it’s a luxurious base from which to explore the Ngorongoro Crater, and possibly Lake Manyara – with one room which is particularly family-friendly. We really liked the Afro-European architecture of The Manor, which is 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 well.

Geographics

Location: Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ideal length of stay: Spend two nights at the Manor to have a full day exploring Ngorongoro Crater and its surrounding conservation area. 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.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

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 to eat. However, we had a look at the 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 ploughman’s platter with a selection of cheeses, cold meats and pickles. There was also a healthier option of homemade muesli, cereals, fruit and various breads.

Lunch was an à la carte menu that changes daily. On our visit the menu offered the following: salad, pasta, a tortilla wrap, a vegetarian dish, beef burger, fish cakes or sirloin steak. Desserts included fresh-fruit salad, or apple-and-banana pie topped with home-made ice cream. Lunch could be served in the dining room, on the outdoor terrace, or beside the pool between 3.00pm and 6.00pm.

The silver service dinner starts at 7.30pm and consists of a choice of three courses with a choice of three starters, three main courses (red/white meat, fish, or a vegetarian option) followed by a choice of three desserts.

Most of the food served at The Manor is grown on the farm and is very fresh.

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.

Further dining info: Yes, there's room service available.

Special interests

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 US$30 per person per hour.

See more ideas for Riding holidays in Tanzania

Children

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.

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.

Infrastructure

Communications: The Manor has good cellphone coverage, but there are no fixed-line phones in the rooms. WiFi 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 a ten-minute drive away in Karatu.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: There are askaris (guards) around The Manor. There is also an electric fence around the property to keep animals out.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers beside all the fireplaces and a fire hose is shared between every two rooms.

Extras

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 usually 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 vVsa at no additional charge. They do not accept Amex cards or travellers' cheques.