We stayed here for a total of 3 nights, 2 nights before our safari and one night after. It was a nice place to end up after a long journey as the swimming pool and garden setting are quite pleasant. The restaurant is also very good and serves up fresh and healthy cuisine. However, I agree with some of the other reviewers in that this place is not a very good value for the cost. It is not a total miss of a spot to stay, it's just that it's decidedly very average in terms of accommodation. We stayed in one of the bungalows which are scattered about in very nice grounds, which is one of the "pros" of this place. The bungalows are pretty dark and the bathrooms are a bit dreary, although we had consistent hot water which is nice for this part of Tanzania as it does get cool at night.
The place is set within the city itself, which is nice as it is easy to explore Arusha and get out and get a feel for the community. We walked into town one day and had a lovely time exploring the bustling markets. However, it seems at night that this can be a drawback. I have stayed in a lot of noisy places and done much international travel, but this neighborhood has got to be one of the noisiest I have ever stayed in. he first night was a Saturday night and there is a discotecque nearby that kept us up until morning (music stopped at sunrise). The dog to person ratio is incredibly high in this particular neighborhood and the second night we were there they howled all night. I could hear the cacophony through my earplugs. Combined with the dogs there was a church next door that was chanting and marching around the neighborhood all night started at midnight and went until sunrise. The chanting wasn't so bad really, but every now and again someone got "saved" and would start screaming.
I did expect some noise especially while traveling in Africa. This just seemed a bit extreme. The third night, I was so tired from climbing Oldoinyo Lengai that I managed to sleep through it all, but talked to a number of bleary eyed travelers the next morning who were up all night with the howling dogs again. Definitely be prepared for this, and bring industrial strength earplugs!
On another negative note, I had a small amount of cash and $200 worth of traveler's cheques pilfered from my room during the day when we were out walking in Arusha. It seems one of the staff is possibly in the mood of taking just enough so you don't quite know it's missing, and not enough to make a big stink of it. I talked to the front desk who let me call to report the traveler's cheques missing, but they questioned me as if there was no way it could've happened in that hotel. I am certain it did since I had counted everything right before leaving on our walk. I chose not to make a big deal of it since it was a small amount, but retrospectively I wished I had pursued talking to someone else as well. Fortunately the checks will be replaced but please be careful with leaving belongings in the rooms. A bad idea anywhere, but there were no safes in the rooms and I did not want to carry all of my traveler's cheques around with me in town.
In summary: a little overpriced, bring earplugs, watch your stuff, but a nice setting and with a good restaurant and the swimming pool is a plus.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A cozy place with a friendly staff. Lovely garden. Great food. Perfect before and after your safari or Kili climb. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- l`Oasis Lodge And Annexe Hotel Arusha