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“great place, amazing food”

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Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage
Ranked #3 of 126 Arusha B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 23, 2012

We stayed here 2 nights before and 2 nights after our safari to the Serengeti.
After the long flight it is always nice to be welcomed with great food and a fantastic room.
This place is heaven on earth. We had the opportunity to visit the local school (Baraa Primary School ,meet the local people and even visit a banana beer brewery.This was the real Tanzania.
Thanks to Dirk and Axel you feel like home.
The new Machweo extension brings this place to real 5 star hotel level.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank WimTAartselaar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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156 - 162 of 297 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2012

A lot of people stay here for one night on the front-end or the tail-end of their safari/kili climb, but I must implore you all to stay here for more than just one night. I purposely booked Onsea full-board with the wine add-on for 3 nights to end my two week Tanzania adventure (which included a Kili climb and camping safari). Onsea was to be a "treat" to myself after living in tents and taking bucket showers for two weeks. I was not disappointed. I was given one of the newer Machweo bungalows (#7) and it was beautiful (albeit a little noisy during the day given some maintenance that was occurring on the property). But the real treat here is the food and wine. Chef Axel was extremely entertaining and has trained his staff to treat guests as if they were dining in his own home. If you order the wine package with your meals, order your glass of wine before you make your lunch/dinner selection so you'll have the opportunity to slow the pace of the meal down a bit and enjoy the vino. I booked a massage which was average at best and probably wouldn't recommend it. However, everything else about Onsea was amazing from the owners, the staff, the food, the wine, the room and the view of Mt. Mehru. Axel is a whiskey lover so bring a couple bottles and you'll make a friend for life. Thanks Onsea for the great ending to my vacation!

Room Tip: For privacy, book one of the Onsea rooms near the Onsea pool. It will be a longer walk to dinner, b...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank VivaPamplona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

We only stayed here one night before heading out on our Tanzanian safari adventure, but it was quite the way to start off. We arrived late and hope to get a sandwich before we headed off to bed. What we got instead was one of the best meals we had on the entire trip. The chef wowed us with every course. We were leaving very early the next morning and the staff offered to open the kitchen early so that we can get breakfast before we left for the Arusha airport.

We stayed in one of the recently renovated cottages and could not have asked for more. There was a sitting area inside as well as outside and the dining area was close by over looking the pool and part of the town.

The service was top notch on every level and we would suggest staying here to anyone who is in Arusha.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jasbap8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2012

This small hotel has recently been very tastefully extended, with a new restaurant, pool, rooms and also little cottages. This was just an overnight stay for us but it was so comfortable that we wished we were staying for longer.

The food in the restaurant was the best we had in Tanzania (including 5 star hotels) and the service was excellent. I loved the little buckets of hot coals they hung on stands next to the tables at night to keep you warm if you wanted to eat outside!

All food and wines with the meals is included in the price making it very good value.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Diana014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Since the moment we stepped into this little magical hotel we knew everything was going to be great.
The staff was friendly enough to meke you feel at home, the facilities were perfect and the location was wonderful.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank inakibg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

Our family (daughters 18 and 22 years) had the pleasure of dining at Machweo the night prior to beginning our climb up Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route. We were excited and nervous about our pending adventure. Machweo was the perfect setting to settle those emotions. Dining on the outside deck overlooking the pool with Mount Meru off in the distance, we enjoyed the moments as they unfolded. The service was excellent. The decor was 'outdoor elegant'. The pairing of wine with each course was tasteful. The choices for the main courses were broad enough to appeal to all. Chef Axel, came to each table to ensure customer satisfaction. As the evening ended, the moments added up to wonderful memories. This is truly a five star dining experience.
Peter and Anne

Room Tip: I would truly love to stay next time-but we consider ourselves fortunate that we were able to experi...
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Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
Thank ANNE W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2012

We spent the first night of our Tanzanian safari in this lovely hotel. My room was large, clean and nicely decorated. The unit was built almost like a duplex with a sitting area between two rooms. This would have been really nice for couples traveling together or famalies. The bathroom was spacious but the water pressure a bit spotty. But so what, this is Africa not the suburban US.

Here is the real treat, the dinner. We had a lovely dining experience out on the patio watching the sunset and the lights come on in the homes on the surrounding hillsides. The food was very nicely presented, very well cooked and a very inventive menu. Just an absolute surprise in the middle of Tanzania.

The co-owner is a Belgian named Axel. He sat down with us at dinner and told his life story. It turns out his fate was decided by his cousin’s choice in women. Allow me to explain. Axel and Derek co-own Onsea. Axel owned a Michelin starred restaurant in Belgium and was feeling a bit burnt out. He told his father this who shared it with his brother/Dierk’s father/Axel’s uncle who then passed it along to Dierk. Now, Dierk was married to a lawyer (questionable move) who worked in The Hague prosecuting Serbian war criminals. She then had an opportunity to prosecute criminals over the Rwandan genocide in Arusha, Tanzania so off she and Dierk went. Dierk was trying to figure out what to do with his time when he heard of Axel’s dilemma. So he decided to open a hotel and have Axel run the restaurant. Axel said yes, sold his Belgian restaurant and here we were learning this over a fantastic dinner of lobster, sea bass and lamb in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. We also got a great understanding of how hard this really was for Axel. His biggest problem was help. Your average Tanzanian does not grasp the concept of fine dining per Axel. Food is very basic and utilitarian. Dining consists of shoveling the food in your pie hole with your fingers, drinking from your one cup which you own all your life and getting on to the next thing. There is no talking, just eating. Therefore, Axel has to retrain his staff about food. This seems to be his biggest and only problem in life, so I think he has it pretty good. So does he. I loved this place but we had to leave the next morning at 6:30 for a flight to our safari camp. In another life I will get to spend more time at Onsea House.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank david b
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

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 #3 of 126 B&Bs / Inns in Arusha
Price Range: $291 - $328 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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