Over the past year or so I have really fallen in love with the Four Seasons brand. Opportunities through my blogging and travel writing have allowed me to stay at various Four Seasons around the world, and because of this I have grown a deep affinity with the brand. Its a sort of trust and reassurance that wherever I am in the world, if I am staying in a Four Seasons, it’s most probably going to blow me away.
In a less colloquial sense, I also trust that the resort I am going to is going to wholeheartedly embrace the culture, hospitality and aesthetics of the destination it is in, whilst maintaining a consistent level of world-class service. Fortunately, my stay at the Four Seasons Serengeti only reassured all of these things to me and more. Here are my personal highlights of, quite possibly, Tanzania’s most spectacular luxury safari lodge.
Our journey began at Heathrow where I met my fellow press team to catch a flight to Nairobi, Kenya. Our final destination was as rural as it gets, so getting there wasn’t the most simple of journeys. Our 3 flights went from London to Nairobi, Nairobi to Kilimanjaro and Kilimanjaro to Seronera. With every flight the planes got smaller and smaller until we reached our 12-seater hopper plane to Seronera air strip.
After flying to Nairobi on an A380, the 12-seater hopper plane seemed minimal and there were a couple of nervous flyers in the group. Our lives were in the hands of Jared, the rather dishy pilot who, very fortunately, seemed to have a calming effect on the nervous flyers.
A Tanzanian Welcome
We lived to tell the tale of the hopper plane ride and our Four Seasons experience began as soon as we landed at Seronera airstrip. Two members of staff from the Four Seasons were ready to greet us with a champagne reception to celebrate our arrival.
Champagne, soft drinks and snacks were on offer along with a cold towel to refresh us from the journey. It’s these thoughtful extras that Four Seasons go out of their way to provide that means the hotel experience starts before you even arrive.
After a very warm welcome from the front of house, a refreshing juice and another cold towel, I was personally shown to my room by one of the Four Seasons team. The suite itself was incredibly spacious with its own lounge area, bedroom with four-poster bed, 2 bathrooms, rainforest shower, stand-alone bath tub and a huge dressing room area.
My bag made it to my room even before I did and was sitting the dressing area ready to be unpacked (another impressive touch).
The interiors of the suite had earthy tones, African textures, beautifully handmade features and deep teak wood throughout. The design really embodied the surroundings of the Serengeti and everything from the toiletries to the furniture was chosen because of their exceptional quality.
THAT Watering hole
The real WOW factor of the suite had to be the balcony overlooking a natural watering hole. The watering hole attracts a nearby family of elephants every day meaning up to 15 elephants could be seen drinking from it multiple times a day. Seeing the elephants for the first time was an unforgettably surreal moment because it really put into perspective that as well as being in a luxury resort, I was in the heart of the Serengeti.
From the balcony there were no roads, buildings or signs of human life for as far as the eye could see. The only thing that moved were the animals roaming by and the pesky babboons that enjoyed hanging around on my balcony!
The Pool Area
As well as having a divine plunge pool on my balcony, the communal pool area was at hand for relaxing afternoons in the sun. The perfect time to head down to the pool was around 4pm. By then we had finished our morning game drive, had a late lunch and the sun was a little less strong.
Staff brought round cold towels and refreshing iced drinks and we were in prime elephant-spotting position.
In the evenings the poolside and the connecting seating area became the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine overlooking the spectacular view. Dusk was a magical time in the resort as the skies glowed a warm dusky pink colour. There was a perfect calmness in the air but the background humm from the crickets reminded me that the Serengeti is alive and buzzing 24-hours a day.
A Four Seasons Safari
Our days at the Four Seasons Serengeti were, of course, centered around going on safari in search of animals out in the bush (I wrote a separate blog all about my safari experience here). Our safaris were organised by the resort and we had our Four Seasons branded safari jeep and fantastic guide Priscus, who ensured the Four Seasons level of service stayed consistent even when we were on rural safari.
The Four Seasons jeep was very spacious and really comfortable, essential for full-day game drives. Inside there was even plugs to charge your phone, more refreshments than you could ever need and even Wi-Fi! Everything had been thought of in spectacular detail.
Due to the heat in the Serengeti, safaris start very early which means the breakfasts start even earlier. Despite the incredibly early starts, I made sure I allowed plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast overlooking the pool and watering hole.
Every morning we were greeted with a friendly ‘Jambo!’ and an abundance of energy from the waiters, who couldn’t be happier to serve us and remembered everyones names in the group – a hugely impressive and personal touch.
I struck gold when I discovered the banana pancakes on day 2 which have to be the best pancakes I have ever tasted. Every morning a juice of the day was also offered which was added a homely and healthy element to the breakfasts.
A Glimpse into Maasai Life
Being in the heart of the bush, the Four Seasons is open to the elements and all of the wild animals of the Serengeti. To keep the resort safe everything has been raised onto stilt walkways so guests are never on the ground. The whole resort is also patrolled and protected by local Maasai tribesmen who work within the hotel grounds.
The Maasai are incredibly friendly and are happy to escort guests back to their rooms or around the resort to make them feel safe. I saw a Maasai on my way to the spa and as I was alone he accompanied my the whole way there. Their English is basic but they make you feel very safe and know how to communicate with any animals that may come into proximity of the resort. In short, it’s good to have the Maasai on your side!
One element of the Four Seasons Serengeti that really blew me away was the spa. I got to experience 3 treatments at the spa during my stay which were the Kina massage (Swahili for thorough), the safari-spa express massage (30 minutes back, neck and shoulder) and a 60 minute Africology facial.
The therapists were welcoming, patient and made you feel so comfortable as soon as you arrived. I was offered a lemon and ginger tea on arrival but went for a glass of water infused with cucumber and lemon instead. The sense of calm and serenity in the air hits me as soon as I walked through the doors, and didn’t until long after I had left the spa. After completing a quick health questionnaire I was lead to my private treatment hut.
All the treatment rooms are in stand-alone huts on stilts, which provides total privacy from other guests. A full window wall looks out onto a mountainous Serengeti backdrop that makes you feel a million miles away from real life.
I believe the hallmark of a truly good spa is to feel like your treatments have been personalised to you. My massages were tailored to the pressure I requested and my therapist paid particular attention to problem areas such as the tops of my shoulders. My facial was tailored to my skin type and included an incredible head massage. By the end of my time in the spa I my mind felt relaxed and my body felt soothed.
Whilst my time in Tanzania was brief, it was still enough time to get a taste of East Africa and to experience the magic of Safari. With a spectacular destination spa, homely suites and a stylish pool area, the Four Seasons Serengeti makes it easy to combine the adventure of safari with the relaxation of a luxury resort.
Safari excursions can be included in your stay to ensure that the Four Seasons experience stays with you no matter how far you venture from the resort. Thanks to the Four Seasons I was able to experience the very best of the Serengeti and create memories that will stay with me forever.
What did you think of my safari stay at the Four Seasons Serengeti? Have you stay somewhere similar for a safari or are you thinking of booking a stay here? If you enjoyed this post or have any questions about my stay, please leave me a comment in the box below! x
My stay and itinerary at the Four Seasons Serengeti was provided complimentary as part of a press trip.
The Details: Prices for a four night stay at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti start from 5,840 USD (approx £3740) on a full board basis, inclusive of round trip transfers to Serener Airstrip and daily game drives. www.fourseasons.com/serengeti
Getting There: Kenya Airways operates daily flights from Terminal 4 London-Heathrow to Nairobi with daily connections to Kilimanjaro. Prices for economy return ticket from £759 including taxes.