The Hotel Mount Meru has a lot going for it in terms of aesthetics. It is not far from Kilimanjaro Airport and it is situated with the volcanic Mount Meru in front, and a peaceful, green, well kept golf course at back. The grounds of Hotel Mount Meru are also very pleasant, well tended and you can relax beside a quite lovely pool that features falling water that makes you want to rest. Neither can one complain at all about the rooms themselves. They are super clean, tastefully decorated and the bed was of perfectly high quality and comfortable. You also have a nice television, flat screen, with a lot of satellite channels that actually work and a small desk if you have to get some work done, a nice comfortable lounge chair with a nice lamp that is perfect if you want to read. Internet works really well in your room and you can get your work done or skype with the internet connection without difficulty unless there is a powerful failure, and even there, you can count on the hotel diesel generator kicking in to resume power. Not only that, but the lobby and lounge are very comfortable and modern and there is a choice of restaurants at the hotel itself. Moreover, the front desk staff and restaurant staff were all very polite and warm and helpful, so no problem there. You have a veranda where you eat breakfast so you can sit under the morning sun while eating, which is a distinct pleasure, particularly in Africa, where you often have lovely birds and flowers to enjoy. So far, so good, and indeed, far above average. Then why did I award only an average grade for this particular hotel? The one and only, but serious, flaw was the food. It was tasty enough and well balanced, and there was a lot of choice too, but there must be a problem with the hygiene or the freezer-to-table chain, or a problem mixing up tap water with the food or something. Something is definitely not right in the hotel kitchen and I’ll tell you how I know that. I am an experienced traveler who rarely ever gets sick because I follow all normal precautions (no uncooked vegetables including salads which are often washed with tap water which in many countries has a high bacteria count inluding E. Coli, fresh meat and chicken that has not been sitting around, no tap water or juices, no milk products, eat only fruit you peel yourself etc.) Despite all these precautions, I found myself feeling progressively worse each of the 5 days I stayed at the hotel. Please note that I ate only at the hotel and not elsewhere. My Swedish colleague experienced exactly the same thing. Had it been a sudden food poisoning from a particular dish that went wrong, we would have probably felt a sharp onset of stomach cramps and then diarrhoea, loss of energy and possibly a very slight fever. Instead, it was a more gradual increase of nausea over several days until the onset of diarrhoea and severe loss of energy etc until remedial action could clear up the problem. This might indicate a gradual accumulation of bacteria in the digestive tract from the hotel food that resulted from a general lack of control in the kitchen over refrigeration and / or introduction of tap water into the cooking and washing procedures, rather than mineral water as normally required by hotels in countries where the tap water cannot be trusted. Now these days, especially for such a nice and beautiful hotel which rightly commands guests to pay a decent amount of money, there really is no excuse for weak kitchen hygiene and bacteria control. It meant that I had to cancel my plans to get to the safari on my free day. I had not eaten anywhere else during my stay in Arusha, so it had to have been the hotel food. I did not notice other reviewers complaining about this aspect of the hotel, so it is quite possible that the hotel was going through a bad spell, or had a bad week. In any event, I hope that the hotel managers in future can secure the food quality properly, because the Hotel Mount Meru from all other points of view is quite worthwhile staying at, and indeed a high quality experience, except for this one serious flaw.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the place where heaven meets earth, where the rhythm of nature pounds to the beat of an African drum, and where life is all about a revival of the senses. Mount Meru Hotel is situated in the tranquil green area of Sekei, Arusha. The ideal location gives you panoramic views of Mount Meru on the one side and the Gymkhana golf course on the other. Whether travelling for business or pleasure, you are invited to take delight in the breath-taking setting, lend your ears to the beautiful sounds of nature meeting civilisation, and touch the heart of Tanzanian highlife and luxury. The city centre and main business area are located nearby and Kilimanjaro international airport is just 50km from the hotel. Services: The Hotel offers a wide variety of business and leisure facilities with wireless internet connection throughout the Hotel. The rooms are an experience of understated African opulence, open space and natural light. The Hotel boasts 4 premier restaurants to tantalize even the most discerning guest’s taste buds. The main restaurant, Meru, offers guests buffet style meals. Fine dining at Duluti is based on a la carte international cuisine combined with local spices, an eclectic blend of tastes and fragrances! Named after Africa’s great lake, Tanganyika Pizza bar is created for you to enjoy a light lunch as you lounge around the pool. The ultimate indulgence at Arabica Coffee Shop is surely their cappuccino. They serve light lunches and a selection of delectable confectionery. You can end your day at the Mawenzi Cigar Bar whilst sampling some of Scotland’s and Cuba’s finest exports. Conference and Banqueting: A wide variety of conveniently sized, air-conditioned business facilities are available. The modern and equipped banquets rooms are perfect venues for meetings, seminars, cocktail parties, dinners and other functions. All conference rooms are fitted with their own sound systems, telephone and wireless connection. Secretarial services, photocopying and fax services are available, as well as spacious areas for breakaway groups. We can also arrange decoration music, lighting and entertainment. Special indoor and outdoor venues are available for high level meetings, cocktail parties and dinners. Mount Meru Hotel won the "Best Luxury Hotel 2011" and Tanzania Info Guide magazine presented this award at the Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair 2011. ... more less
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