Teetering on the edge of Africa's most famous caldera, Ngorongoro features stone-and-thatch suites that were conceived by architect Silvio Rech and designer Chris Browne to evoke the mud huts of a traditional Maasai village. Unique is a Versailles-like interior (think chandeliers and freestanding porcelain baths), which eschews the camplike theme of typical safari lodges. Out in the wild, pot lions, elephants, and other Big Fivers abound during the lodge's daily game-viewing drives across the crater's 12-mile-wide floor. The ideal place to stay if you want a front-row seat to one of the most wildlife-dense regions in Africa.

More information: $1,000 a night, including meals and excursions; Year-round [ngorongorocrater.com].