We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Tired and Cramped” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Save
You added Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary to your Saves list
Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Arusha-Moshi Road | Usa River, Arusha P.O.Box 2747, Tanzania   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 36 Hotels in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Wimborne
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Tired and Cramped”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

We recently stayed here after completing our Kilimanjaro climb. We had 3 days here whilst waiting for additional family to join us for safari. We were 3 people, and were assigned a room that clearly was a double, with barely any room to get around the bed or into the bathroom. The room was reasonably clean, but cleaning would of been difficult too. The staff were pleasant, and general appearance of the hotel was tired and very lived in, it really needs to be refurbished. Breakfast was mixed, some days better than others, and dinners much the same. The animals were well cared for and content. In conclusion for a 1 night stay it's good enough, but for longer definitely no.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
intimateplaces, Owner at Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary, responded to this review, July 26, 2011
Thank you for your review of our property.

I hope that you will not mind if I pick up on and respond to a couple of the points which you raise in your review?

Mount Meru Game Lodge was founded in 1959 and, as such, is one of the very early providers of accommodation in the Arusha area. It is quite literally steeped in history and an important part of the experience which we as owners and managers of the property endeavour to provide to our guests is that of what it would have been like to stay in Tanzania in the 1960’s and 1970’s – an era which for many people has very many ‘romantic’ connotations.

Rest assured that the lodge was completely renovated in 2005 and again in 2010 and that it is subject to constant improvements which are intended to enhance the stay of our guests. For example, as I write this response, we are in the process of replacing all of our garden furniture and introducing an all new style which we are excited about and which we believe will serve to make our gardens even more attractive to our guests.

However, a very important consideration for us when carrying out renovations to the lodge is that we always seek to preserve the rich heritage of the property. This together with the extraordinary wildlife and nature to be found within our grounds is what we consider to be a major attraction for those who stay with us.

We understand and fully appreciate the fact that some visitors to Tanzania will prefer to stay in a modern hotel complex situated somewhere in the hustle and bustle that is Arusha. Such properties do exist. We also understand that to such visitors, Mount Meru Game Lodge may appear to be “tired” and “lived in.” Please rest assured that our lodge is far from “tired” and that the “lived in” appearance of our buildings in entirely intentional.

I suspect that a major source of frustration for you – indeed it is the point on which you start your review – is that which concerns the sizes of our rooms. Once again, I would ask you to please rest assured that our rooms are far from being the small.

We know, from many years of experience accommodating guests who climb Mt. Kilimanjaro as well as Mount Meru, that mountain climbers need to carry with them a great deal of additional equipment to include weather proof insulated jackets and trousers, heavy hiking boots, gloves, head gear, hiking sticks, rucksacks, etc. ,etc. All of this is (rather bulky) luggage is in addition to the normal clothing which they carry to wear on Safari as well as on the beaches of Zanzibar afterwards.

I can well understand therefore that with three of you – plus all of your luggage - sharing a room for a total of 3 days, you will have found the space available to you to be cramped and I can but apologise for this. Perhaps the problem lies more with the manner in which the accommodation was booked – as a triple room as opposed to say a twin plus a single room - than with the actual accommodation itself? Before you think that I am criticising your tour operator, allow me also to add that we too should have foreseen the problem and attempted to find a solution to it.

Sincerely, Marc Lawson
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

113 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    31
    56
    17
    7
    2
See reviews for
16
59
7
4
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

This is a truly unique hotel. The service is excellent and the food is wonderful. My room was clean, comfortable and beautifully decorated. It is so nice to watch the animals graze & roam the grounds. Prepare to be awoken early in the morning by the sweetest most mischievous little monkeys running back and fourth across the metal roof of your room. They will make you crazy! It sounds like a hail storm but when you run out to see them your heart will melt. They will arrange themselves in cute little poses atop each other and don't mind having their photo taken.
If you have time, have the hotel organize a Safari expedition for you. It is not to expensive & well worth the price! I was alone & had a private guide take me Through the game reserve & I was allowed to select our route through the park.

Stayed in Aug 2005.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsborough, New Jersey
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2011

Stayed at Mount Meru for 3 nights, before and after a Kilimanjaro climb. Hotel is pretty basic, with a small bar and restaurant area and not much else besides the 'game lodge', so it is not a great place if you have kids, but good if you are looking for somewhere quiet. Most of the animals are free roaming in an open grassy area, but there are some unhappy specimens in some cages. The hotel uses about 10% of its revenue to care for the animals. The first 2 nights we stayed in room 11 which was a smaller room with 2 twin beds, away from the animals. After our climb we stayed in room 5, which was a much nicer and larger room with a king bed. The hotel's back up generator wasn't working when we were there, so the power often went out as part of the Tanzania government's rolling backouts. The kitchen could still cook during the blackouts but you needed a torch to get around the place.

Room Tip: Rooms 1 to 5 have the best views of the wildlife.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
intimateplaces, Owner at Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary, responded to this review, July 26, 2011
Thank you for your review of our property.

I would like, if I may, to clarify the matter regarding our standby generator.

We own and operate a 40 KVA ‘Perkins’ generator – considered to be one of the very best on the market – which is comfortably able to power all of the electrical equipment to be found at the lodge.

Due to the length of some of the power outages which are imposed upon us, we need to switch it off from time to time either for maintenance (which we always try to carry out when we have mains electricity supply), for re-fuelling, or simply in order to allow it time to cool down after many hours of operation. Timings are always carefully chosen in order to ensure a minimum of inconvenience to our guests.

I am aware that we did have a problem a few weeks ago when our generator failed during the course of an evening. This failure was caused by poor quality diesel which we later discovered had been mixed with kerosene by our suppliers and it took us a couple of hours to drain the tank and to refill it with good quality fuel. Alas, these things can happen and are totally beyond our control. Fortunately they are also extremely rare. It sounds very likely that you were one of the guests staying with us on the evening of this particular incident.

With regards to the few animals which are kept in cages, these animals are all that remain from an earlier era when the lodge was home to a much wider range of species of animals to include Lions, Leopards, Elephants, etc. A decision was taken in the early 1970’s that it was not safe to keep predators and people in such close proximity to each other and so the majority of these animals were successfully returned to the wild. Those animals which could not be rehabilitated were allowed to live out the rest of their lives at the lodge (putting down animals is contrary to the philosophy of our sanctuary).

The cages which do remain are intended either for the protection of our guests – as in the case of our crocodile which has been resident at the lodge for close to 40 years – or for the protection of the animals themselves – as in the case of the porcupines which are prolific burrowers and which might otherwise find their way to the main road and be run over by a bus or lorry!

I hope that this response will serve to clarify any possible misunderstandings.

Sincerely, Marc Lawson
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carol Stream, IL
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2011

This was our first lodging after arrival. Lodge is not too far from the airport and it was a great little property. Our room was clean, the staff were very friendly and the breakfast was good. They have kind of a "zoo" there. It is a nice was to introduce yourself to some of the animals. One of the staff members took us around and showed us all the animals, which was very nice.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2011

This place was great. A little more simple than some of the other accomodation we stayed in in Tanzania, but beautifully maintained, a fantastic location, welcoming and friendly staff and the perfect start to our holiday in Tanzania. It really is unbelievable how close you get to the animals here, and without any barriers! The monkeys playing and scampering across the rooves of the accomadation was such a treat. We had a candlelit meal down by the reserve enclosure, just listening to the sounds of nature all around us. The hotel arranged for us to go for a walkaround a local township - DO THIS! We got to meet some locals and talk to them about their lives and see how things really were.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2011

We (family group) landed JRO late in evening on KLM. Went to this wonderful lodge to be warmly greeted by a large number of staff...all friendly and helpful...willing to open kitchen for food if wanted. The next day was Christmas and the lodge and staff was full of the best spirit. Food, excellent, and so nice to see in the afternoon many Arushan families came to lodge to celebrate the holiday afternoon. A special dinner was served that was enjoyed by all.
Throughout the stay all staff were warm and accomodating. Rooms were wonderful (whenever the rooms were re-done, they did a really nice job), builidings and grounds most attractive, and well kept.
The location is convenient to airport, near-by national parks, and good access to farther away Tarangire, Ngorogoro, and Serengeti.
We will stay at lodge again on the next trip to Tanzania's National Parks, parks that should be on everyone's top-5-things-to-do list.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2011

This was our first night in Tanzania. The hotel was totally empty, which probably improved our experience for the one night that we stayed here. After a long flight from Sweden we were driven to this sanctuary straight from the airport

The staff was very warm and welcoming. Beverages good priced and the animals in their garden almost tame, which of course is a contrast to the safari, which was quite nice and relaxing to start out with.

It’s far from the Kilimanjaro airport to the nearest game reserve, hence this lodge is a perfect haven for a one night stop on the way to the Savannah.

They didn’t seem to have a power generator on the premises, so as the electricity went out (which happens a lot in Africa) it was completely dark until morning, and this happened at 8:30 pm, so don’t expect to have clear vision whilst brushing your teeth. Also expect to be woken up by monkeys jumping on the roof.

The breakfast was lovely set on the porch right outside our room, which might not always be applicable since we were the only guests on the premises.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
intimateplaces, Owner at Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary, responded to this review, January 21, 2011
Thank you very much for taking the trouble to review your stay at Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary.

I would like, if I may, to correct a mistaken impression which you have of the lodge which is that we do indeed have a standby generator - precisely because of the power problems which we experience as you correctly point out in your review.

During the course of your stay however, we unfortunately were supplied with diesel fuel which had been diluted using kerosene and which caused the generator to fail. As with power cuts, these things do also happen in our part of the world although not very often thank goodness!

The problem was quickly identified and rectified, but unfortunately not before your departure from the lodge. I would like therefore to apologise to you personally for any inconvenience caused

Sincerely, Marc Lawson
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary

Address: Arusha-Moshi Road | Usa River, Arusha P.O.Box 2747, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 36 Hotels in Arusha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary is located within 33 acres of mature, well manicured gardens bounded on one side by the tranquil waters of the Usa River and on the other by the private Sanctuary where our wildlife and birdlife reside. This wildlife and birdlife provide many of our guests with their first exciting game viewing experience. The Mount Meru Game Sanctuary was established in 1960 and over the course of the last half a century and more has received rescued animals from the wild. Normally either injured or orphaned, the sanctuary's first priority is always to rehabilitate these animals and to return them to their natural habitat. In cases where this is not possible, they are released into the sanctuary grounds where, joined by an enormous variety of birdlife, they are able to enjoy the unique freedom offered by our very safe environment. By choosing to stay with us, our guests play a very important role in helping these animals since the activities of the sanctuary are financed entirely by the lodge. Mount Meru Game Lodge is extremely fortunate to receive daily visits from troops of Black & White Colobus Monkeys. The lodge has a total of 15 double or twin en-suite bedrooms and 2 suites. The design and character of the rooms are as individualistic as the Lodge itself. The 'Mount Kilimanjaro' and 'Mount Meru' suites are located in their own private garden overlooking the game sanctuary. Each has an open plan lounge and bedroom area as well as a private garden gazebo where you can sit, relax and soak up the unique atmosphere of the Lodge. Each suite also has its own fireplace which can be used on chilly evenings and the Mount Meru Suite has an adjoining room making it ideal for families with children. The main building of the lodge consists of a reception area, lounge and bar. The lounge, with its enormous picture windows and comfortable furniture, provides for relaxation in intimate surroundings. The bar is well stocked with a wide selection of spirits, beers and minerals which are complemented by a carefully selected collection of wines. To the front of the main building is a terrace which is shaded by enormous old Mango trees and which enjoys magnificent views over mature, carefully tended gardens to the Sanctuary beyond. In the grounds of the lodge can be found an 'outdoor dining room' which consists of a garden, a covered patio and a small open plan kitchen where meals are prepared. The garden with its camp fire allows our guests to dine under the African star-lit sky whilst listening to the exotic night sounds. FREE WiFi is available to all visitors in the Lodges' public areas. Throughout its long history, the lodge & sanctuary have been a popular stop over for many VIP's and Government visitors. Various Presidents of African countries, celebrities, entrepreneurs and members of European Royal families have stayed with us. The management and staff of Intimate Places therefore look forward to welcoming you to Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary in a time-honoured tradition. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com, Hotels.com and Despegar.com so you can book your Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary Hotel Arusha
Mount Meru Game Lodge And Sanctuary
Mount Meru Game Arusha

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.