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.
- 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