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“the roof terrace alone is worth it”

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Arusha Backpackers Hotel
Ranked #62 of 175 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Reviewed August 20, 2010

Staying in the centre of Arusha has many advantages: Within 200m of the Backpackers you have ATMs, restaurants, shops, a supermarket. Even closer: Within the building there is a helpful safari office and a roof terrace with nice views of the city life and beyond (have a drink there, the food is better elsewhere).
The rooms are small but adequate, shared bathrooms are ok (hot water!) and other travelers were a great source of informtion for safaris.
All in all: Don't go there if looking for luxury accomodation. But if you don't need that: We had a good time there, especially with the other travelers on the rooftop terrace.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DidiJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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100 - 106 of 140 reviews

Reviewed May 1, 2010

I don't entirely agree with the negative reviews below mine.

Arusha is a much more touristy spot than most in Tanzania... it's the hub for most safari companies and trips to Kilimanjaro, so hotels etc are bound to be a bit pricier than you'd like.

My friend and I stayed in a four-bed dorm for $12 per night each. This would/should have been fine, except there were two Danish guys sharing our room and there was only one key to the dorm... we all left at the same time in the morning, they got back later than they'd expected and we had to wait nearly 2 hours to access the room (the receptionist claimed that she couldn't find the staff key to the room).

Upstairs, the restaurant is really really nice. It looks out on to the street, and is a really nice place to sit and read during the day if you have time to kill.

Breakfast, to an extent is included... but the free portion amounts to very little so if you're a breakfast person you'll need to pay more to supplement. Also, the menus are WAAAY overpriced, so consider eating elsewhere! Seriously, almost like European prices!

There are computers and in theory there is internet access but... imagine paying for an hour and only loading up two pages in that time... it was that slow!

The rooms were fine... basic... my friend and I returned after a week-long safari and stayed in a twin room. The a/c worked, but it did seem a little like a prison cell: grey walls, no decorations (there was a chest of drawers though).

A major plus was... HOT SHOWERS, 24/7! Having had a no-frills trip up to that point and returned from a camping safari, the hot shower meant so much to me!

The staff were quite helpful, nothing special but did their jobs.

Also, if you're looking for a safari company, you should consider Kindoroko Tours, whose office is in the reception of the hotel - cheap, reliable and in four days we saw the big 5 - what more can you ask?!?

It's very close to a Lloyd's bank, lots of ATMs, a supermarket... extremely convenient for the Scandinavian Express bus depot and not far from the hospital (I got malaria - ugh).

In short, we met people who paid the same as us at other hotels in Arusha and had far worse experiences... you should consider this place.

Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
Thank jmnire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2009

don't stay at the arusha backpackers. for all the claims that it is clean and cheap there are cleaner and cheaper options in arusha.

as for being remotely comfortable (or adequate) for $25 a night it is neither. we stayed in a bedroom that looked out onto an open corridor (the main corridor on the second floor) which in turn was open to the sounds of a petrol station refuelling and tinkering with buses (usually with their engines running) all night long. added to which they had the decency to turn on a generator around 9 o'clock in the evening to run all night, so if you couldn't sleep you could turn on a light to read.

the room itself was a double bed skirted by one foot of space on one side, the wall on the other, and room to open a door. the sheets were printed with the blazon of a different hotel and were clean in a tired and unshaven way that made them look grubby. the mosquito nets were full of holes (that is holes big enough for mosquitoes to fly through) and the showers were okay, but communal and nothing to write home about.

we barely slept and not for the right reasons.

breakfast was terrible. untoasted bread with crap jam, horrid butter, inedible eggs and lukewarm service.

some of the staff made a decent effort, particularly the manager, and she was happy to put valuables into a safe.

it was not good value, nor worth the money and we didn't sleep well or stay for more than one night.

if you are looking for a good hotel in arusha try the flamingo, it is equally central as the backpackers (ie the same cost in a taxi at night) and costs less than the backpackers does (Tsh 25000 as opposed to nearly Tsh 30000). the rooms are clean with en suite bathrooms. It is quiet (though near a mosque) and the linen is appealingly white. the staff are very friendly and capable and the breakfast is pretty impressive by comparison. you will probably need to book 24 hours or so in advance.

can't recommmend the flamingo over the backpackers enough.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank d4014e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2009

PLUS:
- easy to find and rather safe location
- inhouse restaurant
- cheapest stay in Arusha
- helpful, reliable staff

MINUS:
- socket-outlets don't work in most of the rooms
- bathrooms only clean in the afternoon
- very noisy
- overpriced food (tasted all right)
- really, really samll rooms (so mall you can't even open the door the whole way)

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled solo
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Thank gagalichen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2008

Okay, so imagine you've been caught smuggling contraband into Tanzania. You're thrown into the local prison, which is dirty, overcrowded and full of dangerous criminals. You room is a cell so small that if you were to swing a cat it would get serious brain-damage. Your bed is a rock hard and almost paper-thin mattress with stained sheets and a foam pillow that smells like an incontinent badger has been hibernating in it. The electrics are dodgy and the showers are freezing cold. The warders glare at you menacingly, except when you plea for food and drink, at which point they studiously ignore you.

At night you are kept awake by load noises, which may be the plumbing but may equally be the sound of a fellow prisoner being tortured down in the basement. Eventually you cave in and plead with your captors:
"for pity's sake, please, I can't stay in this prison any more, let me go",
to which your captors truthfully reply:
"hey, at least we didn't put you up at Arusha Backpackers".

AVOID!!!!! (Even if you are a stingy backpacker - spend an extra few dollars and live a little!)

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank travellingwilbury82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2008

Arusha Backpackers is a great central hotel in Arusha. Rooms are small but clean. Some have no external windows but still for the price it's not bad. There are no en-suite bathrooms but the shared bathrooms are cleaned regularly and the showers are generally (but not always!) hot.

There is a restaurant/bar on the top floor with good views over arusha and Mt meru. The food is good but a little overpriced. Breakfast is also included in the price of the room and is pretty good.

The one draw back is that there is sometimes lots of noise. Mainly from the road outisde and the petrol station that is next to the hotel. Also other people staying in the hotel coming back late at night.

Arusha backpackers tends to be filled with young travellers and volunteers working in the area. In the evening you can sit in the bar and listen to one set of volunteers brag about their AMAZING experiences with other volunteers. Apart from that it's a pretty good place to stay, cheap, clean and central!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank Jamani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile
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Stayed: August 2017, traveled with friends
Thank Sanny T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arusha Backpackers Hotel

Address: Sokoine Road, Arusha, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Hotel Style:
Ranked #62 of 175 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Price Range: $14 - $18 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Arusha Backpackers Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 67
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