Meliá Hotels International has announced the addition of Ngorongoro Lodge, a Meliá Collection Hotel in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, a rare conservation area where tourism must ensure the utmost respect for the natural environment and local communities. Launching in early 2023, this forthcoming hotel will become the brand’s ninth in the portfolio and a significant step forward for the group’s sustainability campaign.
Ngorongoro Lodge has been a feature of the nature reserve for some time but will reopen after a major renovation, which has adapted to the needs of discerning, eco-conscious travellers, yet without damaging its authenticity and integration with its surrounding environment. The hotel will feature 28 rooms and 24 spacious suites with views of the crater, accompanied by two restaurants, a barbecue area, a pool and a spa.
Together with the hotel owner, Albwardy Investments, with which Meliá operates other exceptional global hotels, this renovation project has been designed to pay special attention to protecting the natural environment, including the indigenous flora and fauna, energy efficiency and waste management. The hotel will generate a significant part of its own electricity, solar energy drinking water onsite through various mediums; solar panels, using traditional local fans instead of air-conditioning, and a bottling plant which processes local water and avoids plastics and transportation.
From a socially conscious standpoint, the hotel aims to integrate and promote Maasai heritage and culture from within the lodge, in offering jobs to the local Maasai tribespeople and featuring indigenous decorations throughout the hotel made by local craftsmen and artisans, and creating products which can be sold to generate additional community profits. There are also plans to form partnerships with philanthropic projects similar to those at the Meliá Serengeti Lodge, another Meliá Collection hotel or Gran Meliá Arusha, such as the Dada Project or Sanaa, which support local female entrepreneurs and the disadvantaged, as well as Moshi-based NGO Born to Learn, which runs a school and clinic for local children and their families.
Ngorongoro Lodge is part of a select collection of lodges in the so-called “crater highlands” area in the Arusha region of northern Tanzania, 180km from the city of Arusha with access to Kilimanjaro Airport (220km) and Lake Manyara, (41km). Known as “the Garden of Eden” due to its stunning biodiversity, the Ngorongoro Crater boasts more than 20,000 herbivorous mammals and has the world’s largest concentration of major predators, all of which play a pivotal role in maintaining the ecological balance, in addition to the incredible views over the 600m deep crater.
This launch will complete Meliá’s safari circuit and portfolio of exclusive hotels in Tanzania which have already obtained important international recognition, such as: the Meliá Zanzibar acknowledged as “Best All-Inclusive Resort” in East Africa by the World Luxury Awards, and named “Best Initiative in Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility” by the Worldwide Hospitality Awards; Meliá Serengeti Lodge named “Best Luxury Bush Lodge in East Africa”; and Gran Meliá Arusha as “Best Luxury Business Hotel” in Tanzania.
The Meliá Collection launched in December 2021 to bring together some of the most unique and boutique hotels in the group’s portfolio, all with a distinctive personality due to their iconic location or the traditions and history they represent. This recent collection of hotels has been a significant milestone in Meliá’s differentiation strategy and its commitment to superior-quality tourism whilst enhancing genuine discovery of destinations.