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“Great Starting Point for a trip to Northern Tanzania”

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Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary
Ranked #5 of 41 Hotels in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
Green Bay, WI
Level Contributor
84 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Great Starting Point for a trip to Northern Tanzania”
Reviewed November 7, 2010

We (my wife and I) stayed two nights at the lodge before beginning our northern Tanzania safari. The lodge is located 20 minutes from the airport and is a good choice for a first night lodging. (We were worried about jet-lag and hence had booked a two night stay)

We arrived late to the lodge (after 10:00 P.M.) and the staff quickly offered to make us supper.

The room was clean, and the shower supplied plenty of hot water. No bugs in the room whatsoever and the bed came complete with mosquito netting.

In the morning, I was very excited to walk out on the front porch and view zebras near the creek. (Note – After the safari the view would not have elicited the same response but it did make the heart beat faster the first morning). The mammals are actually confined to the area but you don’t realize this during your initial viewing.

By late morning we were getting bored and booked a free walking tour offered by the lodge of the Usa River area. On our private tour we saw local women harvesting marigold seeds, monkeys, plantations, an orphanage/school, the local market, and shared our dirt road with herds of goats and cattle. My regret pertaining to the tour is that we did not bring school supplies to donate to the school.

The food was good, and the lodge has a nice sitting area in close proximity to the animal viewing area. Resort staff was pleasant, delivered drinks to the animal viewing area, and were available to answer questions.

We would recommend and personally use the lodge again as a starting point for a trip to northern Tanzania.

Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank DePere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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heathrow
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2010

what a fantastic place arrived very late at night but that was no trouble for the fantastic staff who said they would cook us anything we wanted. we had a lovely time here the food was great the room we had was very nice very clean and very comfortable.the animals at the sanctury were fantastic my friend fed the porcupines which she loved,the owner of the sanctuary took time to speak to us on both the days we were there he was a very interesting and nice chap.would i go back there ? tomorrow if i could. you wont find a nicer place to visit in tanzania

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank oldhag_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2010

We stayed here for 2 nights in June 2010. It was the most amazing place from which to start a safari. We arrived late at night and were greeted by smiling, helpful staff, shown to our rooms and then fed. Not just a cold sandwich either we were taken to the dining room and given the menu. It was the best Pumpkin soup ever!

What a lovely, homely, place - really nice touches like Molton Brown/Taylor of London toiletries and air fresheners in the bathrooms; flowers, torches, candles and matches in the bedroom. Four poster beds with mossie nets and the freshly decorated rooms were an added bonus. We awoke to the noise of monkeys running across the roof and birds causing havoc in the trees overhead - perfect - not to mention the frogs croaking. The electrics went off a couple of times, so did the water when I was smothered in shower-gel, but so what, it didn’t spoil the enjoyment.

We breakfasted al fresco, with views over the lawn down to the water-hole with monkeys, zebra, storks and ostrich wandering about. Marc (the owner) came over for a chat (as he did several times during our stay). I’d have happily stayed here all day but had to go to Arusha National Park.

When we got back we had tea on the terrace, watched the animals and visited the small sanctuary before spending a pleasant evening eating local food then sitting in the lounge drinking and working out what we’d seen during the day. It was like crashing out in a friend’s living room, comfy chairs, nice atmosphere and no pressure.

View the sanctuary in context - the animals have been there for years and are just living out their last days in peace. The chap looking after them is really doing his best and is very proud of his animals - they are probably better looked after than the locals.

We loved this place so much that on our return journey a week later our guide stopped off here en route to the airport. Marc recognised us straight away and came over for a chat. A great deal of effort has gone into sorting this place out. The lovely, spacious, modern lodges just didn’t compare - each to their own - I loved the small, welcoming feel of this place.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TwoLeftFeetLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Limerick
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2010

We only stayed one night in Mt Meru Lodge (thank god). The bed sheets were stinky as was the bathroom and shower. I could not bring myself to have a shower. The room was musty and miserable looking. The buffet breakfast was stale and not at all nice. Just one to avoid.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Shelldoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
93 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2010

Arrived here for one night after our safari in the Ngorogoro and Serengeti but before heading to zanzibar. (Chose it due to proximity of the airport.) The reception area was beautiful as was the lawn where you can view the animals while having a cocktail. After coming from seeing the animals roaming free the sanctuary didn't have quite the allure to us. Our room was definatly in need of a re-vamp. While my husband and I could both see the bones of what once was ag reat getaway its not that now. Our shower was mildewed as were the towels. The dinner and breakfast area were very pretty and the staff was attentive and helpful.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Fabiolaabu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambs
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2010

The Lodge has seen better days. We stayed in Room 1, and the towels were stained and musty, while to room was only adequate.
The public areas (dining room and bar) are positively dirty, with armrests and headrests on sofas and chairs being greasy, stained, and dirty. The floors were dirty - not just dusty, but dirty.
The bar ran out of tonics after one round of G & T.
The waiter (who doubled as barman) stuck his thumb in the soup while serving it.
For a place charging over $230 per night, this is overpriced, shabby, and certainly not the experience we wanted. I cannot recommend the Lodge at all, and would urge other travellers to avoid it.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank TonyBCambs
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, April 26, 2010
Dear Trip Advisor,

In my capacity as owner of Intimate Places Ltd., I would appreciate an opportunity to respond to the points which have been highlighted by Mr. Black in his review of Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary, for the benefit of one and all.

With your permission, I shall do so in point form for ease of reference:

1. Whilst I am unable to comment on the “unpleasant staining” to towels – I certainly hope that this was not the case – I would like to comment on the matter of towels in general as follows:

a) There was a great deal of demand placed on our stock of towels in February 2010. This was caused in part by virtue of the fact that the lodge was extremely busy throughout the month. But it was also caused as a result of the fact that a delivery of a towel order for our luxury mobile camping operation was delayed by the supplier thereby necessitating that we take some towels out of circulation at the lodge for a few days.
b) This would not in itself have presented a problem since we carry large stocks of towels for the lodge in order to cater for both day rooms as well as overnight stays. However February, which is normally a very dry month, was uncharacteristically wet this year and since we dry all of our linen in the sun and fresh air (electric dryers are very environmentally unfriendly) it is conceivable that during the few days in question, towels were put back into service before they were completely dry. This could definitely have accounted for the “musty” smell reported. If this was indeed the case then I can but apologise for any inconvenience may have been caused to our guests.

2. The reception, bar and lounge of the lodge are very “open plan” in design. Whilst this is lovely on sunny days (by far the majority of the time I might add), these areas can get very dirty very quickly on rainy days. Guests who come in and out of the rain usually bring debris from the garden under their shoes and drip water from their umbrellas. Even the mats which we place at our entrances have very little impact on the problem. During the day, it is usually very easy to clean around our guests. During the evening however, when all of our guests are in-house, this exercise becomes much more difficult for reasons which can well be understood. To complicate matters even further, it is very difficult to move furniture around at night when we are busy in order to have a through clean before morning since some of our bedrooms are close by the main building of the lodge and we would not wish to disturb our guests sleep by creating a lot of noise. So, if a guest arrives at the lodge in the evening and departs early the following morning (as was the case with Mr. Black), and if we are experiencing uncharacteristically heavy rainfall as was the case in February, then I can perfectly understand that our public areas would appear to be dirtier than we would like them to be.

3. Our Storekeeper is a very good man who has worked for us and been a strong member of our “team” for close to 6 years. Whilst he is very successful at ensuring that we hardly ever run out of anything, he too can find himself at the mercy of our suppliers from time to time. We do hold large stocks of crates of the faster moving beverages, but when the lodge is full - as was the case in February - and our supplier (the only one in Arusha!) fails to load a particular drink on his lorry then it can happen that stocks either run low or even run out altogether. Rest assured that correctional measures are taken at the earliest possible opportunity on those extremely rare occasions when such a situation arises.

4. Our staff are by far the most important asset which our company has and I would go so far as to say that we are extremely proud of each and every one of them. In a small lodge such as ours, it is not unusual to find a barman assisting with food service when all of our guests are having dinner and in fact he is well trained to do so. Suffice it to say that I don’t believe that he stuck his thumb in piping hot soup intentionally and I hope that, if he did so, he would have immediately offered to replace the soup with another. I for one would have insisted upon it under similar circumstances…

Finally, I hope that you will allow me to conclude this response by saying that it is customary in the hotel business for guest rooms to receive a complete makeover every few years. We are delighted to be able to inform you that a new program of refurbishment of guest rooms at Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary has been underway since the 1st April.

Our interior designer has come up with a new theme for our rooms. Called “Earth Tones,” it will use a combination of “sand,” “earth” and “red ochre” colours which will appear in our new curtains, curtain tie backs and beddings (to include mosquito nets), etc.

Ochres are among the earliest pigments used by mankind and are derived from naturally tinted clay containing mineral oxides. The addition of this particular colour is intended to “stimulate” the visual senses of our guests.

This refurbishment will be completed by the 15th June 2010 and we trust that our guests will enjoy using our new look rooms as much as we are enjoying creating them!

Yours faithfully,

Marc Lawson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2009

We arrived here as the first night of a safari tour – we had just finished a camping safari in Botswana, so we were not accustomed to luxury. What a welcome surprise this was! A beautiful lodge style hotel with a fantastic game reserve in site of the lawns, where we had a tea served. It definitely whet our appetite for the animal sightings to come.

The room itself was very comfortable – again, after camping it for 10 days a 4 post king-sized bed was very welcome. The dinner served in the garden under the stars next to a roaring bonfire was delightful, despite the usual African over-catering yet impersonal service.

The only downside was the ‘petting zoo’ attached to the hotel – a crocodile, porcupines, a monkey, clipped eagle etc in cages for our viewing pleasure. It was a sad sight really – not what we thought would occur in Africa but perhaps we were being overly previous.

All up a lovely place.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Plife30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary

Property: 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 41 Hotels in Arusha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary 3*
Number of rooms: 15
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 features 15 guestrooms, including 2 suites, which seamlessly blend understated elegance with contemporary style. Our two suites lie generously situated in the garden overlooking the sanctuary. Each with a cozy bedroom and open living area, complete with fireplace. Both rooms offer a private garden gazebo where one can blissfully relax and soak up an atmosphere of well being. 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 covered makuti restaurant located in our mature a gardens. 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. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mount Meru Game Lodge And Sanctuary
Mount Meru Game Lodge & Sanctuary Hotel Arusha
Mount Meru Game Arusha

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