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“Not a great start to our vacation”

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Rivertrees Country Inn
Ranked #2 of 43 Hotels in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 November 2013

We spent 3 nights at Rivertrees following our long journey from the USA, with the idea of relaxing and acclimatizing to the time change. The welcome was brief and not very informative, but check in process was fine, and we were shown to our room. We enjoyed a “down day” – exploring the hotel grounds, during which time we happened to bump into the manager who told us there would be an artisan market and then a birthday celebration for the owner the next day – and we were invited to the party buffet in the evening instead of the regular dinner (which we had pre-paid). The next morning we had arranged to visit Arusha National Park, and come back to the hotel to relax for the afternoon. We were surprised at what we found when we got back to the hotel – a local artisans market is one thing, but bouncy castles and loud music was not what we had expected at our quiet retreat. No siesta for us. As the previous reviewer stated, things got worse during the evening when the owner’s birthday party got underway. There was confusion as to meal arrangements. The owner had invited us to enjoy the party buffet, but we were served a set dinner – the buffet was actually not available until almost 10:00. Nobody seemed to know what was happening, including the manageress, who seemed surprised that we were eating our dinner. Returning to our room, no turn down service was provided, and the disco music was loud and continuous, even with closed windows and earplugs. This went on until 1:00am, when I got dressed and went to complain. The bar staff were responsive and after a few minutes the music stopped. I got the impression it would have continued for some while. While I understand that this was a special occasion, it did demonstrate to me a total disregard for the guests, out of touch management, and poor service. This is particularly ironic since the hotel website promotes its peace and tranquility, stating: “The inn offers tranquility enhanced with contemporary conveniences, ideal for rejuvenation following stressful overseas travel”. It seems strange to me that only after the event would they realize that blasting disco music at 1:00am might disturb the peace and tranquility of the guests! We checked out the next day after about 4 hours sleep, carrying our own bags to reception since the requested assistance didn’t arrive. To add insult to injury, we were charged for the two glasses of wine that we each had at the birthday party that we were invited to!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Janet C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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309 - 315 of 478 reviews

Reviewed 14 November 2013

We arrived at this inn late one evening after 20 hour flight from US. The check inn process took way too long but once we got to our room, we found it clean and comfortable. The bed has netting so insects were not a problem and the bathroom and shower were certainly adequate for a relaxing night and morning before heading out on safari. The inn is in a beautiful setting and the rooms and bathroom are kind of cool in a rustic way. There is just not much to do and the service is not superior so this is not a place I would stay for very long but it was a very good place to crash for one night.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank world_citizen61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2013

Our room was so dark you could rarely see where everything was. We were never properly shown the facilities, such as they were. On the first day we had a power cut, just our lodge, and no hot water at all.

The food was very poor although the staff did try and be helpful.

By far the worst was the Saturday when they had some sort of market where the locals turned up to buy home made produce from the food stalls and use the guests swimming pool. This along with the bouncy castle and the blaring music was bad enough, but in the evening the owner celebrated her birthday by inviting 60 or so guests, and giving up any effort at looking after the paying guests. Dinner was leftovers from the lunchtime market and the disco went on at top volume until 1.00am. Our room hadn't been turned down and we had no fresh towels. The next morning the management had disappeared leaving one poor soul to fend off the criticism.

We were glad to leave.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank markettraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RivertreesGM, General Manager at Rivertrees Country Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 17 November 2013

Dear Markettraveller

Thank you for your candid commentary. We are continually striving to improve on standards and services at Rivertrees Country Inn as our aim is to always exceed our guest’s expectations and ensure a memorable stay in Tanzania. Obviously we fell well short of the mark on this occasion and for this we must truly apologise. We now realize that hosting the “River Fair” and Birthday Party was perhaps ill advised given that we had guests in-house. Prior to the events, we honestly did not anticipate that our guests would be inconvenienced and we now realise that hosting events of this nature are not compatible with the lodge at a time when there are guests in house. We will certainly ensure that there is not a re-occurrence of the same in the future.

Once again, I would like to say that we appreciate your feedback and trust that you will be able to visit us and Tanzania again at some stage in the future to truly experience the tranquil and relaxing environment that Rivertrees normally affords.

Yours sincerely
Michelle Audie-Cowan

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Reviewed 2 November 2013

On our stopover for one night from Kenya before heading out to Tarangire we were welcomed and shown properly to our room. After an unsuccessful attempt to log on to wifi (way too slow and kept logging out) which we were told was available in the restaurant area we went back to our room to find out we had no water. The staff did not attend to moving us until we pushed the restaurant staff. Second room...... Still no water. My husband had to get dressed and walk up to try and find someone. Seems they had just forgotten to turn on their end of the tap. No gratis drink or anything. Also they say they spray the rooms but there were at least a dozen live mozzies in the bathroom so it didn't work too well. Went for a walk along the river which was nice if you can avoid the angry monkeys throwing seeds at you from the treetops and all the mozzies. Pizza was really nice. Breakfast needed more than one cook during the busy time. Great granola. I'm guessing this is one of the better places in the area as it seemed to be a one nighter for everyone heading off on safari after arriving from Kilimanjaro airport. It was just ok. Don't expect 5 stars.

Stayed: October 2013
Thank Carole H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

Stayed here for two nights while going from one safari to another. Nice staff good but not great food (I'd go for the pizza's). The room is a little bit bare but overall nice, safe and clean. Good place to relax before or after a safari. Grounds are very nice but not a whole lot to do around here mainly a good stopover spot.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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Thank JaK_travels7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

After flying from Australia we were very tired when we arrived for our 2 night stay on Oct 3rd&4th.
Our room was very clean, lots of hot water and a comfy bed.
Food was excellent, loved our oven cooked pizzas.
Staff were very friendly, however their understanding of english was not great (maybe it was our aussie accents ?).
We spent a day at Arusha National park which was excellent.
We would stay again.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank DavidCarman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2013

What a gorgeous place, but one that is going through some serious employee problems. We spent two nights and most of 3 days here trying to adjust to the time change before heading out to safaris. The grounds and the rooms are very nice, well maintained and clean. The staff, however, are very problematic. They were nice and polite and ... well, not into service. If you needed things like salt or butter or even utensils or coffee, you could ask 3 or 4 times and whatever it was that was needed, could be obtained by getting up and going to the kitchen and getting it yourself. Our last morning there, no one had bothered to clean off the tables. When it came time to leave, no one told us our ride was there or helped us out with our bags. The food and breads were very pretty, but flavorless. The pizzas that others had raved about prior to our visit were, likewise flavorless. Someone had recommended asking for a cabin by the river, which we did, but our requests were, thankfully, ignored. When we walked by the river there were tons of mosquitoes. I'm so glad our cabin was back from the river. So, in conclusion, of the 7 places we stayed in Tanzania, this was among the most beautiful, but the service left so much to desire. I hope their management figures out how to remedy this very serious problem. At any rate, I won't be coming back.

Room Tip: Avoid the cabins on the river - and don't believe the staff when they tell you they don't ha...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank NursefromPittsburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RivertreesGM, Manager at Rivertrees Country Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2013

Dear Nurse from Pittsburgh
Thank you for your candid comments, we at Rivertrees always strive to exceed our guest expectations, however on this occasion we have fallen short of your service expectation levels and for this I must apologise. However, please note that various training programs have been put in place to address the issues that you have raised.
I really am sorry that you were troubled by mosquitoes on your river walk – we do aim to take care of our beautiful natural environment and thus we refrain from utilizing harmful chemicals along the river.
Our rooms however do have mosquito screens on all the windows, coupled with huge mosquito nets that elegantly drape our beds. As an added measure all our rooms have insect repellent for your personal use.
Aside from the service issues you experienced I trust you had a rewarding African experience during your time in Tanzania.
Happy future travels and should you return to Tanzania we would be happy to welcome you back!
Best regards
Michelle Audie-Cowan

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Additional Information about Rivertrees Country Inn

Address: Near USA-River Village, Arusha, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Arusha
#4 Business Hotel in Arusha
Price Range: £149 - £223 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Once an old coffee estate, Rivertrees is now a charming country inn nestled in abundant foliage with the Usa River flowing by. Set in the foothills of Mt Meru, conveniently close to Kilimanjaro International Airport and a short drive to Arusha, its location proffers a wealth of natural wonders to explore. Comprising the original Farm House, an elegant River House, luxurious River Cottages and several beautifully appointed Garden Rooms, it also serves delicious garden-fresh cuisine in its stunningly set restaurant. The swimming pool and spa are tailored for relaxation, and friendly personalised service ensures a memorable stay, whether for a one-night stopover or much longer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rivertrees Country Hotel Arusha
Arusha Country Inn

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