Suite of the Week: Presidential Villa at the Four Seasons Safari Lodge

Lion King for a day. 
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Lion King for a day. 

Where is it? Smack in the center of the best nature preserve in eastern Africa, Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Seclusion is the name of the (wild) game: The nearest airport is in Arusha (a 45-minute Land Rover ride away) and unless you live in Dar Es Salaam, you won’t be catching a direct flight.

The Hotel: The Safari Lodge is the Four Seasons’ first resort in sub-Saharan Africa. Though Hemingway, in Green Hills of Africa, wrote about the hardships of safari “making it real,” the grounds of the Four Seasons Safari Lodge have lions, elephants and zebras as real as any he encountered, and the luxurious accommodations and viewing platforms allow you to ogle a lion without risk of it spilling your daiquiri. The décor is contemporary but makes use of local patterns and materials, and the lodge boasts a full spa and restaurant. Unlike any other Four Seasons, though, the Safari Lodge boasts a full complement of African safaris and tours, from peaceful Masai-guided morning hikes to an air-balloon game tour.  

The Suite: The Presidential Villa is as grand as its name suggests, with two opulent rooms, a gorgeous mahogany study and a private pool overlooking the park. The villa is open and airy, and most exterior walls are glass, so that even midway through a deep soak in the tub or lounging on one of the gauzy, canopied king beds, you have a good chance of locking eyes with one of the Big Five: the African Lion, African Elephant, African Leopard, Cape Buffalo or Black Rhinoceros.

The Selling Point: Sitting in your private infinity pool as several elephants and a leopard graze and sip at their adjacent, private watering hole.

By the Numbers: 2,600 square feet, accommodations for six, three full bathrooms, two showers (one indoor, one among the kudzu), a private pool plus fulfillment of one life-long dream.  

Photos by Four Seasons