Onsea House was the last stop in our 12-day trip in Serengeti. It was touted (by guests I think) as a luxury lodge in Arusha. Having not seen what the other lodges/hotels were like in the city, we can only judge it on its own merit. Top of the main things going for it was the food! Our package included dinner, and I have to agree that the quality of food is top notch. Head chef Axel, who is also a partner in the lodge, produced excellent food and we enjoyed every morsel of it. We had lunch just before we left, but we had major issues with service. We gave ourselves over an hour to have lunch as we needed to depart at 1.30pm for our flight, but by 1.10pm our orders – a burger and a chicken salad - hadn’t arrived! Though we were almost packed, there were last minute things to throw into the luggage. I was most disappointed, when the chef and joint owner arrived for their lunch at 1pm, they were served first. in the end, we told them we couldn’t wait for the food and went off to our room. But because we had already paid (to save time since the food was so late), they sent it to the room. We only had 10mins to rush through the grub, I wished I had a longer time because the chicken salad was indeed yummy, and so were the fries. I went in to do the last minute packing and when I came out for more fries, they were already cleared. So service needs to be improved!
Two other things we enjoyed at Onsea house – the running hot water from the handheld shower! Glorious upgrade from the bucket showers we had for a week. and a moisturizer which helped our dried sunburnt skins. Oh, and we had a lovely visitor in our room – one of the resident cats who followed me wherever I went.
Other than these things, unfortunately, we weren’t impressed with Onsea House. We had room 1 at the main building. It had a lovely terrace that we shared with room 2, which was occupied by the most sullen family we had ever met throughout the whole safari (everyone we met during the trip were smiling and so friendly). Although the room was spacious and sunny, the furnishings look really worn out and dated. It reminded me of a motel room. The curtains were frayed, while those in the bathroom were yellow with stains. The wardrobe doors couldn’t slide, and though they gave tea bags, there was no kettle or a flask of hot water. We each had one hard lumpy pillow each and one blanket on a soft bed. When I asked for an extra blanket as it was chilly in the night, they didn’t have extras. In the end, the lady gave us the throws that were in the terrace.
We had a quick look at the rooms close to the restaurant and they looked newer and in better shape, so request for those rooms. The owners should spend a bit on upgrading the rooms in the main building. it's such a pity as the grounds of Onsea House is beautiful.
Sadly, it was back to hard reality at Onsea House, after being pampered by managers and staff at the bush camps and lodges in the safari.
- 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