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View Full Version : Just back from AKL - bumpy start but got it all worked out!


vasoccermom
11-13-2004, 11:41 AM
We just got back from 5 nights at AKL. What a great resort!

Here's my review:
Had a late flight and didn't arrive until 12:30am. No one at valet or bell desk and one poor soul at check in. Unfortunately, he was either new or just in a bad mood because he was not really pleasant and either wasn't able to answer our basic questions (like "can we leave the car right out front while we check in?) and actually made up answers to questions he didn't know the response to. We had booked a savanna view room and I had even called earlier in the day to confirm our late arrival! Well, he sent us to the end of the kudu trail to the very last room which actually faced the back of the resort and not onto the savanna. When we asked him about it, he insisted it was interior facing onto the savanna. He was wrong and was unwilling to change us. Since it was after 1am at this point, and the kids were tired, we went to bed and were able to request a room change early the next day. We were moved to room 4313, midway down the kudu trail on the arusha savanna. Much better! I have to say dealing with this one CM was the only negative of our trip. We loved the new room and the kids loved being able to eat their breakfast while watching the zebras and giraffes having their breakfast! We had a room with a queen and bunks, a fridge and we requested a coffeepot. The room wasn't huge but was certainly adequate considering the small amount of waking hours spent there!

The resort is gorgeous and you could spend days here just doing all the activities provided...folklore, medallion rubbings, tours, talks on Africa, cookie decorating, looking at the animals through night vision goggles...and all the CMs were friendly and gracious. The pool was beautiful, warm and large! I think the kids wore the bottoms off their swimsuits going down that slide!

Although we had a car, we never used it! We never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a bus to a park and only had to wait around 15 minutes for a bus to DTD. The bus drivers were wonderful, often telling stories or playing Disney trivia games while driving to the parks.

We would definitely stay here again!

Please feel free to PM me or ask any questions on this thread! I'd be happy to help.

Look at the restaurant board over the next few days for my dining reviews (including meals both at Boma and Jiko).

Karen

buckeye
11-13-2004, 12:21 PM
Thanks for posting! We are heading to AKL for spring break and can't wait. It's good to hear such positive things about the resort. Did you do any of the activities that you mentioned? We are thinking about doing the Hidden Mickey tour...Any suggestions?

Dana49
11-13-2004, 12:26 PM
Thanks for the great review. We arrive in two weeks and can't wait to experience the AKL.
:D

Jet888
11-13-2004, 12:34 PM
We (me, DD 2 and my mother) did the Hidden Mickey search and loved it. We all got certicates for turning in our clue sheet with the answers. We also did the night vision goggles, that was ok. I think they had 1 or 2 pair of goggles for everyone to share. My DD 12 and her friend did a scavenger hunt or something around the pool and had a good time. My mother enjoyed the stories around the firepit . There's so much to do. It's a beautiful resort. We were in a savannah room with a queen and bunks adjoining my parents room. We actually booked a standard view but were given the savannah. It was beautiful. Also we had a GREAT mousekeeper. She left really cool towel animals everyday and in my parents room she even made towel animals and incorporated their fruit. It was really funny. She also took us into a suite just to show us how beautiful and big it was. She was great, wish I remembered her name.

vasoccermom
11-13-2004, 12:36 PM
Buckeye,
We did most of the activities mentioned and there are so many more as well. There is a daily activity board next to the bell desk which gives you times and locations for each activity. Some are called "bead activities." The child gets a string with a bead when they do their first activity. Then each bead activity they do after that, they get another, different bead to thread onto their string to make a neckace, keychain etc...very cool idea. One day they had to observe the flamingos' habits by the pool, one evening they played a game where they had to wear a card on their back with the name of the animal without knowing who it was, and then had to ask questions to try to determine who their animal was (ie: do I have 2 feet, do I have a horn, do I fly etc...).

They have beautiful brass medallions on the floor of the lobby. They got to take paper and crayons and do rubbings of these.

They got to decorate giraffe cookies at Boma.

Every night from 8-11 you can view the animals with the night vision goggles.

My DD learned all about S. Africa one night from a CM.

There is storytelling by the fire pit but we didn't get to see that.

As I said, you could spend several days just doing the activities at the resort! I wanted to tour the kitchens of Boma and Jiko but never got around to that either! Gives me a reason to come back!

Karen

Ladyhawke10
11-13-2004, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the review!

We've stayed at AKL several times but are going again next year for my son's birthday (its his favorite resort). I think AKL is just incredible :)!

I was thinking of requesting a savannah trail down Kudu trail, too. We've had the arusha rock savannah view down the zebra trail on many trips, and I was thinking of going for a different perspective :).

Otherwise, I was thinking of trying the sunset savannah or uzimi (sp?) savannah...just for a fun change of pace. We have loved all our savannah locations so far.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Tiffany
11-13-2004, 01:01 PM
Glad to here you had a great trip but just so you know the rooms at the End of the Kudu and Zebra trails are savanna views. The savannas run all along the back side of the resort. Glad to here you ended up getting moved to a room that you liked the view better from. We love the AKL and will be back soon.

vasoccermom
11-13-2004, 08:46 PM
Thanks for the info Tiffany.
The CM did insist our original room 4393 was an interior facing savanna room and that I know wasn't the case! There were some very loud Ankole cattle to greet us that first morning but I was glad they were able to accomodate our request to be moved closer in.

Jet 888, we never got any towel animals:( but I had never mentioned it to the kids in the first place and they were just thrilled that the mousekeepers lined their stuffed animals up on the bed and put my DD's stuffed dog on our bed like it was hiding under her nightgown...very cute. They also enjoyed receiving wake up calls in the morning!

Karen

MrsJ Henry
11-13-2004, 09:44 PM
We are on our way to AKL in just over one more day!!:bounce: :Pinkbounc Reading the AKL reviews have been fun and we are getting more and more excited!!!:hyper: :hyper:

vasoccermom
11-14-2004, 01:33 PM
Have a great trip and be sure to post your own report upon your return so we can relive it all again through you!!!

Karen

MrsJ Henry
11-14-2004, 01:41 PM
We'll be sure to do that.!!!!:bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc

hezreck
11-14-2004, 02:50 PM
We will be there in 2 weeks, looks like I should plan a full day just at the resort. So much for my DD to do. Thanks for all the great info!:wave:

vasoccermom
11-14-2004, 10:15 PM
No doubt there will be plenty to keep your dd busy, regardless of her age! The CMs there are great (and I can't get enough of that S. African accent!).

Karen

HughJackman'n'me
11-15-2004, 03:14 PM
...and I can't wait to get there! (I'm still trying to iron out a prob or two re: concierge, but hopefully, it'll be solved REAL soon!)

(BTW ~ Wow, just realized I'm doin' the 'Double-Digit' Dance:bounce: :Pinkbounc !! Yippee!!)

Minybear
11-15-2004, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the trip report. I am glad everything worked out for the room and you got a GREAT CM the next day to help you with it.

We will be there in 3 weeks and cannot wait:bounce: :sunny: :sunny:.

Minybear

robinb
11-15-2004, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by vasoccermom
Had a late flight and didn't arrive until 12:30am.
{snip}
We had booked a savanna view room and I had even called earlier in the day to confirm our late arrival! Well, he sent us to the end of the kudu trail to the very last room which actually faced the back of the resort and not onto the savanna.

We will be arriving sometime around midnight on our first night. Instead of checking into AKL, we're going to ASSp for the night. We're saving $100 and we won't get stuck with a bad room :(. I'm glad things worked out for you. It's a great resort!