I'm glad we have many photos because my words can't do the hotel justice. Besides this grand sight, there was an aroma of wood burning in an exotic stove mixed with earthy spices. We noticed this smell came from Boma, the restaurant very near the lobby. The music piped in was filled with African drums and chanting, perfection! I wish all of you now could hear the beautiful sounds that filled that lobby.
This link might work..it's the soundtrack on YouTube.
Throughout the lobby are displays of various crafts and masks. The hallways and small alcoves leading to the rooms also show highlights of similar artwork. One might think they wouldn't
want to "stay in a museum", but great information was passed onto us via these displays.
Some of you may know that most rooms or all were designed to face an animal habitat. Ours overlooked a savanna that was home to zebras, giraffes, water buffalo, and other various animals. Entering the room for the first time was full of excitement. We both knew what we were in for, and couldn't wait to see what stood outside our balcony. Here was our first glimpse.
At that moment we didn't see any animals, but were confident that they would make themselves known.
The rest of the room was a nice surprise as well. The entry was bigger than we had seen at other WDW hotels. That fact probably stems from usually staying at Value resorts.
Finally a double vanity, a couple's dream!! The shower curtain was a fun, colorful touch. The coloring reminded me of the African art that is pictured above.
Our cast discount only allowed us to book a room with a bunk bed in it, so here is Eric being silly. I think if that was not there, the space would've made a little sitting area. That is just a guess.
We also had our own comfortable bed. To "toot our own horns", Eric and I must've had the easiest room to clean. We only had the essentials that we brought with us and I didn't want to leave a daily mess. The surrounding rooms had many people crammed into them with kids. Who knows what the housekeepers dealt with in those rooms?
Our first morning we ate breakfast at the restaurant Boma. It's an all you can eat buffet, with a heavy influence of African flavors. A nice surprise was a delivery of sparkling wine and flutes to our table. The front desk sent this over for our Honeymoon. So nice!
As you see here, Eric and I had a few beverage choices. I think in the end, we were full of more liquids than food. The jungle juice, shady name, was a blend of orange and a mango.....delicious! Eric doesn't normally drink juice, but he was enjoying this.
The food was also delicious, to say the least. For the first time I tried something called Chakalaka. The Chakalaka was a mashed/diced tomato mixed with a little spicy flavor. This side dish, along with a dish called Pap was my breakfast for a few mornings. It was an easy solution for a vegetarian breakfast.
The hotel grounds are so relaxing. The designers really created a place where we could unwind during the day or after visiting a busy theme park. And again, the sounds added so much to the atmosphere.
Outside the main lobby is a fire pit for talk and relaxation. At night there is a storyteller that shares folk stories from his native land. We didn't get a chance to see this because it usually took place while we were at a theme park. It was still nice to lounge there, when the chairs were free. In this photo, I think I'm in a child size chair. I felt massive in it!
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge also has the Vacation Villas called Kidani Village, which we didn't visit. They are Disney's version of a time share resort. They all have kitchenettes and sleep approximately 6 people per room. A drawback is that housekeeping visits less. You'd need to make up your own bed for a few days.
How can I describe this hotel without using the word "relaxing"? I don't think I can. It is gorgeous and needs to be experienced. The unknown of the jungle or savanna brings about a mysterious feeling. What's around the corner or asleep among the trees? The references of safaris from the past even suggest an old Hollywood genre of romance. Even after being back home for almost a month, it is this hotel that we day dream about. But, it was our reality for 9 days.