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“great hotel in a spectacular location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lake Duluti Serena Hotel

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Lake Duluti Serena Hotel
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   P.O. Box 2551, Arusha, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 79 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Santa Cruz, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“great hotel in a spectacular location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

I will start with a general overview of the Serena Hotels in Tanzania and at the end provide specific comments about the hotel under consideration. We stayed in 9 hotels in Tanzania, 6 of them were Serena hotels. While there were differences in the Serena Hotels, their similarities were more notable than their differences. All of the Serena hotels were in extremely beautiful and quiet settings. All of the hotels had large rooms. Showers were hot (almost scalding) with plenty of water. Except for Mbuzi Mawe (a tented camp) all of the hotels had very distinctive architecture. All of the hotels had a high level of service as would be expected where labor is cheap.

So that you will have correct expectations, these hotels would not be considered to be 5 star hotels in the US. Only Serena Zanzibar had air-conditioning (the others did not need it), none had a bathtub, only a couple had televisions (not missed) and the wireless was often sketchy.

While on safari, you will be eating at the hotel where you stay. The type of offering (either a menu with a modest set of choices or a buffet) appears to be dependent on the number of people staying at the hotel. When there are many people at the hotel, a buffet with a large selection is offered. I would rate the breakfasts as excellent (meaning that at home, I would consider going out for breakfast at one of these hotels). The dinners were in general very good (meaning that I found enough food to like and on a trip I am satisfied to get such meals, but anyone able to afford a safari would probably not choose to go to a similar quality restaurant in their own city). The boxed lunches were good enough. I note that the meat was generally quite tough. The hotels in Zanzibar have better food. The Zanzibar Serena also has an al a Carte menu (and several times we found this to be superior to the fixed menu). I do not know whether the other Serena hotels have this option, but you might consider asking if they have al a carte when you are tired of the other offerings.

We stayed at the Serena Mountain Village, Arusha for three nights. This hotel is much more convenient than hotels in Arusha town for coming and going to Kilimanjaro airport, the Tengeru cultural tour, and Arusha National Park. The hotel has beautiful landscaping. The wireless did not work in the rooms, and the door key was hard to use. There is no swimming pool. These were minor inconveniences I would definitely come back. Is a beautiful hotel in a beautiful and quiet location.

Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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178 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

Every hotel we stayed in Tanzania was a Serena Hotel. We started with this one. Unfortunately we were spoiled with this one. The others were never as nice.
As part of a Safari package this was an amazing start. The people at the lodge were friendly and eager to help. We enjoyed our optional morning breakfast outdoors. Beautiful surroundings and tranquil. Would have loved to have stayed longer.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

Stayed at this Serena property, along with several others, on a recent trip. The grounds were beautiful with lots of plants to photograph. The food was similar to all the other Serena properties, ok, but nothing special. The room was a very nice size with a nice view of the lake. However, the beds were super hard. I like a firm mattress but this was like sleeping on a board (Room 20). The room was very clean. There was a ceiling fan, but it was too noisy to run during the night. The gift shop had a nice variety but the prices here were the highest of all the Serena properties I stayed at. As an example, the Kazuri bead necklaces that sold for approximately $24 at the factory in Nairobi, were over $100 at this lodge. Yikes. Staff pleasant.

Room Tip: If you want really hard, twins bed, pick room 20.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewisburg, TN
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

Great place to rest after a long day on the plains. The hotel offers an excellent variety of amenities to meet all cultures that may venture to this location. Electrical service is adequate at all of their hotel facilities. Staff was friendly and helpful at all locations. Food and bottled water was plentiful. Looks and cleanliness was evident at all locations. We were able to engage people from all around the world. Rooms were clean and the staff immediately responded to any needs. Loved the stay, but (TIA) "This is Africa!" Be flexible and enjoy yourself.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

Having previously been on Safari in Kenya I was expecting the "Hotels" in Tanzania to be of the same basic variety and was pleasantly surprised at all the Serena hotels. This one was situated on Lake Duluti and had a great hike around the lake, even got some awful local beer, lol. The room was spacious and clean, bed comfortable and the main lodge only a hundred feet away. Can't comment on the food as this was the only hotel with an actual town or city nearby some of us used the opportunity to go into Arusha, hit the ATM and find a local dining hall (can't really call them restaurants, lol) But the staff at the hotel was attentive and got us a cab for the night who stuck to us like glue, all in all a lovely surprise.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Nairobi
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

Stayed one night, after road trip from Kenya and half day safari around Arusha NP. Quiet place, good rooms, good setting. Inside we were really struck by bathroom quality. Unusual for this kind of properties.

Staff is genuinely friendly, whoever you ask for assistance, will make sure you receive it.

The lodge looks out on the small lake, without direct access to it, but it can be arranged for you at request.

Food is - as bland as in any other Serena properties we stayed at (total four, including one in Kenya).

Cannot comment on the rate, we paid for the entire package, but from this site it appears rates are crazy - like all the other rates during high season in Tanzania...

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Wales
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2012

We stayed here for one night before heading out on safari. The grounds are beautiful, humming birds feeding on the flowers. Rooms were scattered through the grounds in hut style, with fantastic views over the lake. It was one of the only rooms on this safari that had coffee making facilities. Food was excellent. It was a perfect place to relax after a long journey. If anybody wants to know more about this Safari / hotels i will be happy to answer your questions.

Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Additional Information about Lake Duluti Serena Hotel

Address: P.O. Box 2551, Arusha, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 79 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Lake Duluti Serena Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set at the heart of a traditional coffee estate in the majestic environs of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, the exquisitely appointed Mountain Village Lodge offers heady views over verdant tropical forests, cool mountain walks, a wonderful array of wildlife, roaring fires and superlative cuisine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Serena Mountain Village Hotel Arusha

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