Meliá Hotels International has announced the addition of a new hotel in the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania, a special conservation area in which tourism is only possible if its ensures the utmost respect for the natural environment and local communities. The hotel has been a fixture in the nature reserve for some time, but will reopen in 2023 after a major renovation to adapt it to the needs of modern travellers, but without damaging the personality and authenticity of the hotel and its total integration with its natural environment, one of the characteristics of Meliá Collection hotels.
After the renovation, the Ngorongoro Lodge will provide 52 rooms with views of the crater (24 of them suites), and will also offer 2 restaurants, a small barbecue restaurant, a pool and a spa.
Luxury and sustainability Together with the hotel owner, Albwardy Investments, with which Meliá operates other exceptional hotels in several destinations around the world, the company has designed a renovation project that pays special attention to protecting the natural environment, including the indigenous flora and fauna, waste management and energy efficiency.
The hotel will generate a large part of its energy through solar panels and will minimise electricity needs through the use of the traditional local fans that are more efficient than air-conditioning. It will also produce its own water for human consumption through a bottling plant that will process local water and avoid the use of plastics and transportation. From the social point of view, the hotel will aim to integrate and promote Masai heritage and culture from within the lodge, offering jobs to the local Masai tribespeople and using indigenous decorations in the hotel made by local craftsmen and companies, with products which can also be sold to customers to generate an extra benefit for the community. There are also plans to form partnerships with philanthropic projects similar to those at the Meliá Serengeti Lodge or Gran Meliá Arusha, such as the Dada Project or Sanaa, which support local women entrepreneurs and the most disadvantaged, as well as the NGO Born to Learn, based in Moshi, which runs a school and clinic for local children and their families.
As a whole, the Hotel Sustainability Programme will be aligned with the corporate values of Meliá Hotels International and will be offered to travellers with an interest in this part of the world as a fundamental attribute and key selling point. International recognition
The hotel is part of a select collection of lodges in the so-called “crater highlands” area in the Arusha region in northern Tanzania, 180 km from the city of Arusha with access to Kilimanjaro Airport (220 kms) and Lake Manyara, (41 kms). The Ngorongoro Crater is also known as “the Garden of Eden” due to its stunning biodiversity, with more than 20,000 herbivorous mammals and the largest concentration of major predators on earth, all of which play a fundamental role in maintaining the ecological balance, in addition to the incredible views over the 600-metre deep crater.
The establishment completes a portfolio of exclusive hotels operated by Meliá in Tanzania that 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 which was already chosen as “ Best Initiative in Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility by the Worldwide Hospitality Awards, the Meliá Serengeti Lodge, named best Luxury Bush Lodge in East Africa, and the Gran Meliá Arusha, as best Luxury Business Hotel in Tanzania.