Bilila Lodge Kempinski

  • Sankha Guha

Big and bold like its surroundings, the 74-room Bilila Lodge Kempinski is one of just five non-tented lodges in Tanzania’s 5,700-square-mile Serengeti National Park. The $50 million property, which opened in July, includes all the requisite amenities of a five-star resort—infinity pools, sun decks, a wine cellar, a spa—plus such over-the-top features as a multistory presidential suite with a private gym, a swimming pool, and terraces with sweeping views of the "endless plain" (the meaning of the Masai word from which "Serengeti" is derived).

The decadent ambience at Bilila Lodge insulates guests somewhat from the experience of nature in the raw, a fact that may not appeal to safari diehards. However, following the disruption caused by two years of construction, the Bilila site is being recolonized by wildlife. The elephants have returned, and few of life’s moments can match watching these colossal pachyderms from the safety and comfort of your colossal terrace. Bilila Lodge Kempinski, 800.426.3135, www.kempinski-bililalodge.com

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