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“Nice Grounds and the room was ok.”

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Ilboru Safari Lodge
Ranked #4 of 156 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
Ballarat
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Nice Grounds and the room was ok.”
Reviewed February 27, 2012

Was very disappointed with this place. Seem to have one poor maid trying to get to all the rooms. Missed the hospitality that was shown at all other midrange lodges. No shampoos. Rooms were not ready on time, we didn't arrived till 3pm and still had to wait for our room. Towels didn't arrive till about 6pm. Then they were quite thread bare. Bed comfy enough. Was sick from the food the next day, so guess that didn't help. My Son couldn't wait to get away from the place. And everyone just didn't have that friendliness we found at other lodges though the rooms themselves and grounds were lovely. I would never stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank rodgerssri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
50 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2012

As your car leaves the main road in Arusha, and heads to the safari lodge, you may feel your heart race a little biut wondering just where in the heck you are going? The road is barely a road, and you are definitely in the middle of local culture, which is fascinating, but maybe not your first choice of where to spend the night. Then the gates open and you turn into Ilboru Safari lodge, a lovely hotel, and an oasis in the middle of the Arusha madness. Now if you've come to Africa and are looking for the Mariott or the Hilton, this is not it. It is not ritzy or lavish- but it is charming and most importantly Authentic. The staff is charming, the grounds are manicured, there is a nice pool, and the rooms are in quaint bungalows. Yes they are very basic, but we actually liked them very much. The bathrooms are workable, and again not fancy.

The food was excellent! But, stick to the local swahili dishes- which is what you should be doing anyhow right? Don't come all the way to Africa and order a pizza or cheeseburger. Try the local food and you will be rewarded with something delicious- and if you don't like it you will go home with a story to tell about the time you tried swahili food. That is the way to travel!

We met the owner who was dutch and very pleasant- and he honestly cares very much what guests think of his hotel. The place has a great energy and is a great introduction to your safari.

I don't know about you but I am a very "middle of the road traveler" and I think there are lots like me- meaning I don't want to be someplace "local" meaning, unsafe, dirty, falling apart like a hostel in a horror movie- but I also hate the "Sheraton Africa" mentality just as much- I will gladly give up little bottles of shampoo and a forceful shower for the chance to feel like I am meeting real local people and getting an Authentic experience. If you are this kind of traveler, and don't mind putting up with minor Inconveniences - you will be rewarded with the best feeling of all- feeling like you are in Africa!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank JoeTeeVee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
2 reviews
Reviewed January 12, 2012

Rooms were small and simple. Major draw back, no screens. We were eaten alive even with bed nets, bug spray and windows closed. Many of the rooms have glass louver windows. Ours did not close all the way. Maid service needs more supervision. They forgot top sheet both times we stayed before and after our safari. Had to ask for towels, soap, shampoo. Room was not ready and cleaned up on time. Food was good, service abit slow. It was obvious some of the Staff did not speak English well enough so we had trouble communicating. Pool was huge and excellent. A nice place to relax after many days on safari. Gift shops also nice variety.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank NyNoname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

We stayed at this lodge before and after our trek up Mt Kilimanjaro. Going through the town of Arusha to get to this place, it seems like an oasis in the middle of nowhere. The pool is lovely, and the restaurant is great, with chef, Art cooking up a storm everyday.

The rooms themselves are nice enough, however don't feel clean, so it's hard to relax. Also, the saff while friendly, don't give a lot of privacy - they are constantly around your room, yelling etc, which is also off-putting.

While we were there, we also experienced power outages, which can't be helped, but they weren't really prepared for it, and because we were trying to prepare for the biggest hike we have ever done, being able to cross check our gear was quite important.

Overall, if you are staying in Arusha, if you like lodges over hotels, this is definitely the way to go, but keep in mind it is quite basic.

Room Tip: Try and get a room that doesn't back into the fence boundary - we had two rooms at this lodge, a...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Switzerland
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2011

We had to stay her for a total of five nights as unfortunately it was included in the safari and Kilimanjaro trips we had booked (and it wasn't worth moving for the night in between the trips so we paid separately for that). For the price we paid (GBP 100 for twin room) it is bad value, but there is a serious lack of accommodation suitable for group bookings in Arusha which means that this place gets a lot of business without really deserving it. Reception service is very flaky and we ended up with a bunch of other people's clothes in our laundry. The rooms are fairly basic and hot water is limited (it was supposed to be switched on to heat up prior to our arrival but we "arrived" three times and it was never switched on). Out of the three rooms we stayed in, the hut in the main grounds was the best maintained. In the second room, (a newer hut across the lane) we had a very hard bed, the shower was a tiny trickle so we had to sit on the floor and wash under a tap, we could hear people talking all night and there was a bright light shining through the window that we couldn't block out. The third room was in the main building and was OK but the sink taps were hanging off. Breakfast was neither good nor terrible. A la carte food was OK- the cheeseburger was actually very good but stay away from the Dutch croquettes (deep-fried grey glue!). Unfortunately Ilboru Safari Lodge is at the end of a rough, dark dirt road so there's no way you can get anywhere else to eat. If you are travelling independently I would recommend the African Tulip (closer to town) which is of a much higher standard and has a much better restaurant, but if you are booking through an organised trip, unfortunately you'll probably end up at Ilboru.

Room Tip: Huts in the main grounds or rooms in the main building are the best. Avoid the new huts across the l...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank chloeioana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2011

My friends and I stayed here for two nights in mid December, in-between arriving into the country and heading out to go trekking.
The bedrooms are clean but basic. All the beds have mosquito nets and the en-suite bathrooms are fine. Don't expect luxury.
The breakfast was OK and buffet style, where you can eat as much as you like. The evening meal menu was surprisingly varied and much better. Between the six of us we all had something different and all the evening meals were good.
The swimming pool and surrounding area is relaxing and you have no idea that you are so close to the bustling Arusha town centre. A genuine oasis.
The Dutch owner Adj/Adge is the real bonus to staying here. He is very friendly and helpful and you feel he could solve most problems, if you had any.
All in all a good place to spend a night or two and I'd gladly return on a similar trip.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank PaulsGlobalOdyssey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2011

We started and ended our safari at this lodge. The owner is a Dutch chef and is a great guy. He talks with customers, and often you'll see him meandering about in his kitchen apron. The grounds are beautiful and many people took advantage of the olympic size pool. The rooms were nice and the staff was always pleasant.

Room Tip: Check the bathrooms carefully, but that goes for every hotel.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Briaken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ilboru Safari Lodge

Property: Ilboru Safari Lodge
Address: P.O. Box 8012, Arusha, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 156 Specialty Lodging in Arusha
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Ilboru Safari Hotel Arusha

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