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“Boutique Guesthouse - Stunning, unique place with excellent service”

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Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage
Ranked #4 of 111 Arusha B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Boutique Guesthouse - Stunning, unique place with excellent service”
Reviewed December 2, 2011

I came with my french husband during a couple of days for our honeymoon in November 2011. Onsea House also organized our safaris. They really listen to your needs and did a brilliant job. The rooms are spacious, superbly designed, very comfortable and and set on the hillside. It is very clean. The staff are friendly and helpful. The food is very fresh and seasonal. Excellent cuisine and great cook. Also they make refined lunch boxes for your safari trips. If you like fine dining with a romantic view, this is the place. If you like small unique guesthouses with local charm I definitely recommend Onsea House.

There is also a nice lounge, a lovely swimming pool, a game room and a spa that will open next year.
We wish there were more places like that in Africa. It feels like a home.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Laetitia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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288 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 (42)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle
Level Contributor
27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2011

Just off the main road to Arusha, the inn is among local farmlands, and the mooing of a singular cow and the cluck of nearby fowls peppered the day. The inn has two wings, each within its walled & gated area. The upper wing consists of the guest rooms, restaurant and all other amenities. The lower wing has two rooms & a pool. The conversing between the two wings was awkward and poorly managed. I never knew when the gates were locked. I also was not certain if the gates were regularly manned since the staff was usually just around the corner, out of sight, or lingered in the dark. They appeared out of nowhere and I was startled every time when they materialized right behind me. (I plotted my fire escape route just in case I had to climb over the wall.)

Morning call was equally startling: A raspy loud rap on the window set me off my bed in cold sweat and terror. And that seemed to be the way everyone announced their approach to the room: Rapping, rapping on my window pane!

While the room was nice & comfortable. The furnishing could be improved to provide utility space instead of the statures on pedestal, whose prices are listed in the picture book in the common area.

The inn owner was enthusiastic and always ready to please with a promise. Delivery was a matter of delayed timing or failed follow-up. There seemed to be a lack of communication between the owner, who arranged service, and the staff, who delivered the service.

Meals: Onsea boosts its fine continental cuisine. All prepared and plated to western standard. I knew that when I chose the place. Still, surrealism fluttered as I experienced a parade of lamb and lobster, torte and tart, balsamic reduction and crystallized caramel amid the suburban African farmland. The food is good, even excellent, but felt out of place.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lariat3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OnseaHouse, Owner at Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage, responded to this review, December 4, 2011
Dear guest,
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about our property.
We give high importance to the comments given in each review and appreciate any remarks to improve the service and comfort of our guests.
However we would like to clarify some of the impressions you shared in your review:
The lower wing – the Onsea House Guest Cottage – is since September 2011 only booked on specific request of our clients and their agents and offers the most privacy as it is indeed gated and serviced and secured with private staff. The gardeners also take care of the gate during daytime which explains why they are usually just around the corner to help clients with questions or open the gate for them.
Morning calls are given on request of the clients only in order not to disturb guests.
The interior decorations and displayed antiques are getting great reviews. We aim to offer a good balance in between functionality, coziness and esthetics.
We are constantly working to achieve the highest service level and have been replacing some staff recently to further improve services.
For guests who find our recommended fine dining out of place, we offer also some alternatives which include a local food option.
Thank you for having stayed with us. We hope to be welcoming you again in the future.
Best Regards,
The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turnhout, Belgium
1 review
Reviewed November 29, 2011

Hosted by very friendly Belgian people, they just made us feel at home.
After passing the gate, we were welcomed with their enthousiasm and they took care of us during the hole stay.
In a very nice surrounding, you just find the atmosphere you are looking for.
Comfortable rooms, with a spendid view and the possiblity to relax at the swimming pool, it gives the opportunity to relax after a game drive. And this is wat we needed.

The restaurant offered us the possibility to explore meals with local ingredients, which didn't disapoint us, even after a day full of explorations.

We really enjoyed our stay in this location and came back with wonderful memories.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank JMD_q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolognetta, Italy
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2011

Recently, I also visited this guesthouse which is somewhat out of town and a little isolated. Having seen the high ratings, my girlfriend and I decided to visit and were not very impressed by the service.
The menu to my mind is very limited and whilst the food is of a reasonable standard, one feels that they should recieve better service after paying the prices which seem vastly over inflated. Strangley enough, we were also served by a waiter in jeans which didn't seem to fit with the ethos of the place.
In the end we checked out and went to another nearby lodge which we found to be far more charming, less pretentious and offer far better value for money.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Dan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OnseaHouse, Owner at Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage, responded to this review, November 29, 2011
1. being just outside town is perceived by most of our clients as one of our advantages as Arusha centre is very crowded and our area is very lush and green
2. our kitchen cooks with the freshest ingredients so choice is indeed limited but we can cater any dietary requirement or special request, all freshly made
3. we never ever had a waiter serving food in jeans
4. we never ever had clients checking out to stay in another lodge
5. we did not have an Italian couple staying with us in September 2011
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turnhout, Belgium
1 review
Reviewed November 28, 2011

We recently were 'at home' again in 'Onsea House' and appreciated the wonderful 'upgrading' of the premises with the adding of the 'Machweo' facilities, including a beautiful garden, second swimming pool and wellness area. The 'cuisine' of chef Axel, accompanied by an outstanding wine assortment, remains stylish and generous. Most remarkable for this part of Tanzania. A real 'must' for friends of good life.

Room Tip: ask for the new Machweo Rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Dirk R G J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2011

This hotel under Belgian management is located somewhat of the main road between Arusha and Moshi. Upon entrance one is pleasantly surprised by the appealing surroundings. The place looks classy, though hardly inviting. However, the perception of quality is not maintained by the management. In spite of high dollar-rates, there is no dollar worthy service. The menu in the restaurant is very limited, and once the foods is presented - which takes a while - it is presented to you by a waiter in jeans. However, the views from the restaurant are nice and there is a small pool, the size of a hippo. Considering the high rates, we found this hotel overrated and would not recommend it. There a plenty other quality options in Arusha to choose from.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Ruben R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OnseaHouse, Owner at Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage, responded to this review, November 29, 2011
1. Onsea House is located less than 10 minutes from Arusha centre so we are just outside Arusha rather than between Arusha and Moshi, which is almost 1 hour drive.
2. Our well trained staff gets constant positive feedback from clients as you can read in former reviews.
3. Our daily changing menu offers the choice of both starters and mains and our restaurant can cater any dietary requirement or special request.
4. All our waiters are wearing a uniform consisting of black pants and white polo shirts. Never ever a client has been served by a waiter in jeans.
5. Our facilities offer 2 seperate swimming pools. One pool measures 12,5 m length and the other pool measures 10 meter length. It looks like this review is based on the picture of our intimate jacuzzi, featuring a hippo sculpture.
6. We are sorry to read that no mentioning is made of all our new facilities, which have received since the opening in September 2011 over 10 only very positive reviews.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2011

Had the pleasure to spend a night @ Onsea. Bit unexpected due to travel delay, however next time I visit Tanzania I 100% sure this accommodation is part of any climbing or safari trip. Run by a Belgium couple, friendly and professional service and great food! Thanks again.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Matthijs1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage

Property: Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage
Address: Baraa Road | Moivaro, Moshono Village, Arusha 1259, Tanzania (Formerly Onsea House & Machweo Retreat)
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 111 B&Bs / Inns in Arusha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage is voted the best luxury bed and breakfast in Arusha and recommended by several experts as only boutique hotel and hip hideaway in the Arusha/Kilimanjaro region. Enjoy greater comfort and better food than any other guesthouse or restaurant, with more personalized service than in a hotel and more privacy than a lodge resort. Onsea House can be your home base for safaris across northern Tanzania. Machweo Wellness Retreat & Fine Dining offers the guests since September 2011 in total 9 extra spacious rooms, a second swimming pool with sauna and steam bath and a beautiful patio terrace to enjoy a tasty lunch or a candlelight dinner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage Hotel Arusha
Onsea House Country Inn And Guest Cottage
Country Inn Arusha
Arusha Country Inn

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