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Bilila Lodge Kempinski to open in Serengeti

Kempinski has announced that Bilila Lodge Kempinski will open on 1st June 2009 in the Serengeti National Park, one of Tanzania‘s UNESCO World Heritage sites, claiming a first as the only global hotel chain to have a stake in the lodge market. With just 74 rooms (including two private villas), Bilila Lodge Kempinski perfectly combines the intimacy of a lodge and the facilities expected of a much larger hotel, such as an infinity pool overlooking the grasslands and an Anantara Spa. Due to strict building controls in the National Park, this will be the largest lodge ever built in the Serengeti. As expected of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Lodge has been built in keeping with the landscape. Not only does the arc-shaped building follow the natural contours of the land, but as far as possible only local materials have been used in its construction to ensure that it blends into its surrounds. For example, over a million traditional “chelewa” brooms have been used to create the thatched roof and the stone for the walls was sourced from nearby Mugumu. The interiors also reflect the natural colours of the African landscape, with the work of local artists adding colourful highlights. Public areas include a restaurant with an open kitchen, a lounge, a bar, a wine cellar, an authentic boma (or corral) where guests can enjoy moonlit barbecues, a conference room accommodating up to 80 people, a library, a play room, a fitness centre, an art gallery and a gift shop. All the guest rooms have luxury ensuite bathrooms, multimedia DVD players, over 50 satellite TV and radio channels, coffee/tea making facilities and a teak deck for relaxing while watching game (personal telescope included); suites have their own private plunge pool. Bilila Lodge Kempinski is located in the Central North of the Serengeti National Park, in an untouched part of the Park where the hotel will have its own private game drives. The hotel is a 45-minute drive from the Seronera airstrip, which in turn is a 50-minute flight from Arusha, the nearest international airport, into which KLM currently flies on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Airlines such as SWISS, Emirates, British Airways, South African Airways and Qatar fly into either Nairobi or Dar-es-Salaam, from where connecting flights to Arusha can be picked up. Bilila Lodge Kempinski is a destination in its own right, but can also be twinned with its sister property Zamani Zanzibar Kempinski for an idyllic two-centre holiday, combining the best safari and beach destinations.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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  1. The Bilila Lodge looks grand and the northern sector of the Serengeti is a fantastic part of the park. I loved the Serengeti and the adjacent Ngorongoro crater. The nature in these parks is just phenomenal and the scenery is breathtaking. I was totally captivated! When you’re there, don’t forget to look up at night. The skies there are absolutely mesmerising.

    ps/ KLM flies into the Kilimanjaro airport, near the foot of the mountain, which is about an hour’s drive from Arusha. Arusha has a small airstrip that’s mainly used for regional flights. There are direct flights from Kili to Zanzibar, a perfect spot to chill after the safaris!

  2. Thanks, Keith. All good advice there. I have been to Arusha and used the airport to access the Serengeti and Zanzibar on separate travels by air. We stayed at the Arusha Coffee Lodge which offers beautiful accommodation and is just a stone’s throw from the airport.

  3. Who on earth would want to travel all the way to the Serengeti to watch DVD’s and satellite TV? True luxury would be to escape all of these reminders of modern stressful living.

  4. Agreed. Such a beautiful place does not need DVD’s and satellite TV. Shame on anyone who sits in there room all day doing so !

  5. now this is definitely the way to do safaris! luxury in the bush with a breathtaking view & experience on your doorstop – couldn’t ask for much more!

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