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“Good safari start”

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Lake Duluti Serena Hotel
Ranked #3 of 170 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
Caz, NY
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Good safari start”
Reviewed March 31, 2014

We stayed 3 nights here in early March, 2014. After the LONG trip from the U.S., this was a comfortable oasis in which to adjust to Africa and the 8 hour time change before starting our two week safari. Even in the dark, we could tell that the hotel was lovely and the grounds beautifully landscaped. The bushbaby calling in a tree outside of reception let us know we were someplace strange and exotic, and that there were so many wonders awaiting.

The rooms are arranged in little groups of 5 or 6 and are designed to resemble an African village. Inside they are attractive with a round wall of Windows overlooking the gardens where the writing desk is located. The king sized bed was surrounded by a soft mosquito net, although we never saw a mosquito while we were in Arusha. There was plenty of drawer and closet space and a safe for valuables.

The staff members were all helpful and very friendly. The food was good, but not anything special. There was plenty of it. The salad and dessert tables were extensive (as was the breakfast buffet in the morning). When I discovered that my wine of choice was available only by the bottle and not by the glass, they were kind enough to open a bottle and pour me a glass anyway. Wine was pricey, but a 16 oz. Safari beer was only $3.00 and it was very refreshing after a day of exploring Arusha National Park or Lake Duluti.

All in all, I would say this is a perfect spot to start and end your Kilimanjaro climb or your safari.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank suhoopfan44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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411 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
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English first
Prince George, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
63 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2014

We did an overnight stay at the hotel, as it was the starting base for our Tanzania safari. while we arrived late, the dining room was accommodating, and the food was excellent. With not many people in the hotel, we got in some good visits and jokes with the wait staff. Everyone was very friendly, and ready to share a bit of a laugh.
When we arrived, it was already dark, so we had no idea how beautiful the grounds were. When we awoke, it was to a fabulous view of the lake and grounds full of flowers an lush vegetation. We spent a lot of time wandering the grounds and taking photos. Truly beautiful.
The one downside, was that it felt everyone was looking for a way of helping to empty your wallet. We wanted to go for a walk to the lake, but were told we would need a guide or we would get lost, and the guide would cost us $35.00. We had already spoke to people who had walked around the lake on their own who indicated it was an easy trek, and totally straight forward. When we indicated that we would sooner just go on our own, we were informed that the gate was locked and someone would unlock it for a price. We told them we would not to bother and would just walk the grounds instead. But about half an hour later, we had a guard come hurrying up, saying he had been looking for us everywhere and he was there to take us to the lake. We advised that we had said no we would not go, so did not understand why he had been looking for us. He made it clear that since he was there we should go and even if we did not we should pay him because he had been looking for us. This was a bit frustrating, but once we convinced him we were fine and were not paying him, he left us to our wander. The flowers, plants, banana and other trees, and overall layout is so very beautiful that it was like a visit to paradise. Our hats off to the gardeners. Marvelous job.

Room Tip: the layout is such that all the rooms would have a good view and easy access to all amenities at the...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Marion B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2014

+Very well manicured grounds
+Outstanding service. Esp. the wait staff- always serving with a smile
+Good food

-Terrible room quality
-Noisy fans
-No A/C
-Lumpy pillows

I understand this is Arusha, and the rating is relative to where one is. However, some very basic amenities are missing; place needs a big upgrade and quickly. Not upto the standards of the other Serena hotels that I have stayed at.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ComeFlyWithMe007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sint-Gillis-Waas
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014

Within reach of Kilimanjaro airport (1 h drive) this is the ideal hotel to start and/or end your safari drive in Northern Tanzania. The cottages are clean, spacious and comfortable. Very friendly personnel; they really care about you. The view on lake Duluti is splendid, and a walk of about 2 hours takes you around the whole lake, where you can also observe birds from a canoe. No airco (but that's something we haven't seen around in Northern Tanzania), no refrigerator. The hotel cooperates in several environmental and social programs. This hotel offers an (almost) perfect stay.

Room Tip: All rooms (cottages) are equal; if you don't want to walk a bit request a room near the main bui...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rik D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

we were on a 10 day safari in the Serenghetti. We spent 2nights at this wonderful lodge on the
Selous Game Reserve overlooking the Rufiji river. the lodge was called Mivumo River Lodge.

the river was full of Hippo and Crocoldile.
We went on several flat bottom boats
the manager Ellieta Mbisse and his staff could not have been nicer
we were there with 4 children from 8-11 and all were treated kindly.

my only complaint is the food was not great.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank firefly_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2014

What a wonderful start to our safari. Arriving hot and tired from our flight from London. we arrived at this beautiful English country house hotel with G&T on a lawn that was nestled within rolling hills overlooking a lake. evoking thoughts of an English summers day.
This coupled with the lovely food and service and sweet cottage accommodation. made a perfect place to start our Tanzania adventure.
We are only sorry it was only for one night.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank keith_bidwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 3, 2014

It was a six star experience,the Hotel is tastefully decorated,with beautiful grounds,spotlessly clean rooms, sumptuous meals and a delightful and friendliest staff in the world.The general manager Gerald and his assistant Godwin are personally involved in every aspect of hands on management,absolutely brilliant!!!My family got the best attention and care anyone could wish for and made our holiday truly special.We will certainly recommend the Hotel to friends.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the lake,great view
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank cate702014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake Duluti Serena Hotel

Property: Lake Duluti Serena Hotel
Address: Arusha, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 170 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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