I chose the Arusha Safari Lodge when planning a week with my husband in Tanzania in mid-October based the reviews I saw on TripAdvisor and, as usual, I was not disappointed. Even though we arrived several hours later than scheduled, due to our flight being diverted to Mombasa, we were greeted with cool drinks and friendly smiles by the staff and the owner, Alex. A lovely welcome. The stress of the long trip just melted away. We were shown to our spacious and clean cottage, which had a large bedroom/living area, as well as a large bathroom with shower and bathtub. There was a fireplace, plus lots of shelving and plenty of room for suitcases. There was a ceiling fan, but it did get quite hot at nighttime. By the morning, though, it was cool and pleasant. The comfy, four-poster bed came with mosquito netting. Another nice touch was that there were fresh flowers (from the many gorgeous flowering trees on the property) decorating our pillows and placed in other parts of our room. Our cottage also had a couple of chairs and a little table on the porch, which we used often to read, write in our journals and listen to and watch the many birds. We had chosen the option with three meals a day provided and were very glad we did. The dining room and open-air lunch area are lovely. The dining room is in the main house, which also has a nice (if dimly lit) lounge with a fireplace and a selection of books,magazines and games. The tables are candle-lit and the french doors are left open onto the terrace, where there is a chiminea. The choices for the four-course dinner are presented to each diner on little scrolls, which is a thoughtful detail. The food was consistently delicious, varied, and nicely presented. The vegetables/herbs served at mealtimes come from a huge garden behind the main house.
After dinner, and sometimes before, it was fun to sit by the fire in the chiminea on the patio, chatting with other guests and enjoying drinks. Richard also brought us small snacks to have with our pre-dinner drinks (e.g. nuts, popcorn). I cannot say enough about how friendly and sweet the staff are. In our week there, we got to know Richard, Consolata and Lydia very well and they helped us learn some Swahili. Alex, the chef and owner, was also very kind, helpful and attentive. When we discovered that my husband had forgotten his swimsuit, Alex took us along when he went to town for groceries so we could look for one there. Speaking of swimming, the pool area is well looked after, with numerous chaises longues, equipped with towels, fans and hats! It was so relaxing to lounge by the pool, which is surrounded by gorgeous palms and, yes, flowering trees. The flowering trees were a highlight of the property for me; I recognized hibiscus and bougainvillea, I think, but there were many others. The polo club mentioned on the lodge website I had seen is no longer in use and has basically fallen into disrepair, as have the stables and some of the former staff quarters. This happened before Alex and Rebecca began managing the property. The unused buildings are still fun to explore and photograph, and are not in view of the cottages and the beautiful main house so do not detract from the loveliness of the lodge. If I'm not mistaken, the plan is to eventually renovate and repair those buildings to become part of the lodge. What else....oh, on a clear day you can see Kilimanjaro from the patio! So, as you can tell, we had an excellent, relaxing week at the Arusha Safari Lodge and we heartily recommend it. We'd love to return there some day.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.