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“Good stay at the Kigongoni Lodge”
Review of Kigongoni Lodge

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Kigongoni Lodge
Ranked #8 of 41 Hotels in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
SF
Level Contributor
262 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Good stay at the Kigongoni Lodge”
Reviewed January 3, 2008

We spent a night here in December 2007. There must be changes as we found the lodge quite well kept and the staff responsive. We had Christmas dinner here and the food was good and fresh. We met the owners son, who is managing the place and he was on site and available to address questions and make us feel at home. The room was quite large, overlooking MT. Kili during sunset, very clean with a large bathroom with lots of hot water.
Overall the place was nice, food and service good. Would recommend. As I noted, the management is on site so there must be changes from previous reviews.
PS it also serves a good cause so it gave me some personal satisfaction that some of the profits are going to help the community.
Would recommend.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Khaja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
153 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2007

We spent 3 weeks in Tanzania with one week safari, one week Kilimanjaro and one week in Zanzibar...

Kigongoni was our base camp between these 3 activities. So we stayed 3 nights total, one night at a time...

I must say we really enjoyed it... we had absolultly no problem with the service... The waitress we had was actually extremely nice... The food was good but maybe a little overpriced... but the rooms were a very good quality for the price...

The thing that we notice though is that this is a family owned place and you get a very typical tanzanian experience... Hakuna matata style... which might surprise the stressed out north americans we are ;-)

Example: the 2nd and 3rd visit, they gave us a room with 2 single beds although we had asked for one bed, being on our honeymoon... we mentionned it, ready to complain and yell but the whole hakuna matata spirit came up... the lady called the reception and while we were waiting, we started to chat and ended up singing the Jambo song together... then we got another room and the porters just took care of everything... so it is different and kind of drives you crazy at the begining ... but it then slowly infuses your body and disolves the stress ;-)

The terrasse is gorgeous with a magnificient view of Mount Meru... We had a beautiful afternoon having drinks with our travel agent and few friends of hers, on our return from 6 days hike up Kili...

I would certainly go back to Kigongoni ...

  • Liked — The first shower we had back from Kili !!
  • Disliked — nothing that I can remember of
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BlueTrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2007

The rooms (lodges) are great, the pool is good, so is the view and the tropical garden.

The (new) management however doesn't understand how to run a business. The personnel is more concerned with their own affairs than with yours. You feel like you are interrupting their social life when you want to get something to eat. Specially the restaurant service is lousy, although the cook is very good. The African music in the kitchen is louder than the music in the restaurant, service is slow. Many errors made.

The garden people sleep in the chairs of an unused lodge while the management is absent.
Be sure to bring Deet. Muscitos everywhere, night and day.

It sure needs management.

  • Liked — Spacious, nice garden, nice view
  • Disliked — Service
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank TravelingBert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Haven, Connecticut
Level Contributor
28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2007

We booked our stay here through Africa Travel Resource and were looking forward to a relaxing stay after a long few weeks of traveling. The property is very nice and clean, the pool is pretty, the restaurant and bar area also attractive. Unfortunately, that's about as far as it goes. Service is atrocious. Sadly, they don't seem to know how to take care of guests, but the lodge certainly knows how to charge $$ like it does.

A few examples: Dinner on the first night took 2 hours. Not because this was a multi-course, 5-star place, but because there was a 1-hour gap between our appetizer and entree -- with no explanation as to why. The second night, dinner took 35 minutes. The third night, the dinner menu offered only a third of the options they had the previous nights. There were never more than a few occupied tables, either. Service was slapdash and uncaring everywhere on the property, though, not just in the restaurant (which is waaaay overpriced for the quality). Staff members stared at us wherever we went (other guests said the same thing) instead of smiling. Overall, they did not look happy -- and we felt it.

The free Internet is one VERY SLOW computer with a line of people waiting to use it -- don't expect much.

The lodge is under new management -- we were there at the beginning of July and the manager had only been there for 4 days. He didn't ever actually introduce himself as the manager, but we assumed he was the first time he spoke to us. He's friendly and willing to address any issues you might have, but the service issues seem to go pretty deep -- it's almost like no one was trained to do their job. This new manager might have to start from square one.

I'd hold off a few months (from July 2007) before staying here to let management work out these service problems. For the price, it's just not worth it when there are other properties in the area of similar nature.

  • Liked — The room was spacious and very pretty
  • Disliked — Horrible service
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank msp132
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2007

I was in Arusha for 3.5 weeks but only stayed at this Lodge for a few days. The view is spectacular and you get to get away from the dusty main road. It's on top of the hill with coffee plantation below and flower farm. You could also see Mount Meru from there.

The pool is my favorite spot. The compound of my entire stay is close enough with daladala ride from there that I get to spend some afternoons by Kigongoni pool with a book and a glass of to-die-for mango juice. You must not miss this amazing drink!!! And while enjoying this, I was entertained by plenty of monkeys swinging from tree to tree or playing hide and seek under the outdoor dining tables. I got to see the youngsters being fed by the mothers too.

The room is clean and spacious and most units have great view from the private balcony. It's great to sit outside in the morning to breathe some fresh air.

I love breakfast here. Fruit juices are fresh squeezed and fried plaintain in the morning might sound artery-clogging, but they were marvelous!! My sunny side up was done in perfection every time and the sausage was tasty. The restaurant caters great dinners too. My favorite is the goat dish, with refreshing salad on the side and grilled plaintain served with spicy chutney.

Mosquitoes could be monstrous at night, but it's everywhere in Tanzania, not just at the lodge. So just FYI to be ready to fight your battle.... :P

The only thing is you need to reconfirm the rate/deal you got if you contacted the property directly. Apparently they don't offer standard rates to everybody and you need to know what you're being offered. But it's small enough to dent my entire pleasant experience here. Kigongoni is my first choice if I go back to Arusha. The rate is reasonable too, especially if you share a room with someone.

  • Liked — Pool and mango juice with great view
  • Disliked — The receptionist and check-in staff could be improved, not bad though...
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yuliana_Candra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, UK
1 review
Reviewed July 23, 2007

Kigongoni lodge is a beautiful place with wonderful ,comfortable and clean bungalows with spacious bathrooms and private gardens or balconies. Unfotunately the management was very poor which somewhat spoilt our stay. We booked by telephone but when we arrived were quoted a much higher price and were told there was no record of our booking and could only stay one night, not the two nights we'd booked (although later they apparently had cancellations and we stayed 2). The manager was reluctant to apologise or accept any responsibility.

The food was good on the first night with lots of choice, but on the 2nd night there was a very restricted menu. To make matters worse my mother became ill with a stomach bug (we'd only eaten at the hotel for 2 days although of course we can't be certain their food was the cause.)

  • Liked — Fantastic rooms, great views, quiet, good local staff
  • Disliked — Managment
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Africa07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
56 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2007

This is a beautiful lodge about 10 minutes outside of Arusha built on an old coffee plantation with each room a private spacious bungalow. The rooms are decorated with amazing emphasis on design and color and the grounds are well maintained with great views of the neighboring country side. There's beautiful lights and decorations all over the property and even cute monkeys living in the trees above the bungalows.

We had a pleasant stay BUT for some reason when we checked into our bungalow, the room had not been properly cleaned with no towels in the bathroom and USED SHEETS on the bed! Someone had actually bothered to make the bed in a haphazard way with sheets that were left over from the previous guest. ALso when we let the reception staff know about this, they gave us towels and new sheets, but never cleaned the bathroom or floors.

This being Africa, I'm not surprised that the room wasn't spotless, but if a lodge charges western rates for accomodation (we paid $115/pp half board), the lodge needs to adhere to western standards of cleanliness.

I'm really not sure what happend at the lodge that day, but judging from the large cleaning staff that went into the bungalow when we checked in, I think it must have been some kind of aberration. It did however take away from the pleasure of staying at such a nice lodge.

  • Stayed December 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank katgut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kigongoni Lodge

Property: Kigongoni Lodge
Address: P.O. Box 11952, Arusha, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Arusha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Kigongoni Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just 11km outside Arusha and 40min drive from KIA. On an old coffee plantation, are 19 spacious cottages each with an own balcony/terrace and fireplace. Splendid views on Mnt Meru and Mnt Kilimanjaro. Perfect place to relax before/after a safari and Kilimanjaro climb. With an a la carte restaurant, diverse choice of wines, free WiFi, tranquil swimming pool, lush gardens and a lot of activities in the neighbourhood. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kigongoni Hotel Arusha

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