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“nice place to unwind after a long flight”

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Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage
Ranked #3 of 117 Arusha B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
43 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“nice place to unwind after a long flight”
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Stayed here for 2 nights at the beginning of my safari. It's a really cute place situated on a hillside outside of a Arusha. The grounds are well-maintained, rooms are clean and very charmingly furnished. They've done a good job of making sure that every room feels private and has a small porch with a couple of chairs for sitting outside and enjoying the view. There is also a larger veranda with a tiny "library", loungers, etc.. There is also a pool, although I did not use it.

Beds were comfortable; bath facilities clean and good; hair dryer and small mini-bar in the room. Free wifi everywhere on the property (reasonably fast). Good cell reception with 3g.

There's a small restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. I would say the food was pretty decent but not outstanding. The staff are very friendly; breakfast was really good, probably the best meal I had there. Dinner was well-prepared --you can tell they spent a lot of time and care on it-- but the flavoring was sometimes hit-and-miss. My first dinner was really good; the second was a little lackluster. They are very good about serving dinner to late arrivals; if you arrive up to 10 pm you can get a full dinner. If you arrive later you can arrange beforehand to have sandwiches prepared and left in the room.

You can do laundry the same day (about $1-$2 per piece, depending on the garment). Machine wash; back within a few hours.

Things to be aware of:
- Because it's on a hill there are stairs everywhere, so people with mobility issues may have a hard time.
- The "reception" rarely has someone there so it can be hard to find a staff member; once you get hold of them they are always helpful, but it can take a while.
- It's a little under and hour's drive from Kilimanjaro airport; from the time you land at the international airport to the time you arrive at Onsea is probably 1 hour 40 minutes (including immigration and travel time).

Room Tip: Call ahead if you have trouble with stairs.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ana_devel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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291 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014 via mobile

My wife and I spent a night here after a 2 week safari. We had a nice upstairs room with own balcony at a higher level overlooking the town and Mt Meru. Excellwnt, friendly service and great food make this a highly recommended stop.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank BKO57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Medford, Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
50 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Knowing we were going to have two 10+ hr economy flights, we had decided to spend two nights at Machweo to relax and recharge. It was about a 40 minute drive from the airport. By the time we arrived it was almost 9:30pm and we were starving - but I was not sure if they would still be serving dinner, I was hoping they may be able to provide a snack. As they were showing us to our rooms I asked how late they served dinner and her response was "We serve dinner until you are finished." I was thinking, that's a good answer!!

We dropped off our bags, washed our faces and headed up to the open air dining area where all our meals were served.

We were served 3 small plates and a soup and then given a verbal menu to choose a starter and a main course. Lastly, we were served dessert. Everything was quite good, particularly the soup which would be a common theme throughout our stay in Tanzania.
Our rooms were a very nice size with a large 4 poster bed with mosquito netting, two nightstands, a small desk and a little side room with a twin bed which came in handy for placing our luggage.

The bathroom was a good size with lots of counter space and towels.
We had a nice deck area outside of our room and there were some nice views from the property.
The wifi was best in the dining area, but could sometimes get it in our room.

The next morning we went to the breakfast buffet which incl yogurt, cereals, meats, breads, croissants, cheeses and juice. In addition to this there was also a menu where you could order eggs, omelettes, french toast, sausage and bacon.
Everyone we encountered there was extremely nice and helpful.

Since this is the Machweo Spa and Wellness Retreat, I had decided to book us all massage treatments in the afternoon. Now overall the massages were fine, but there were things that were a bit odd or quirky. After the massage they sent us to use the steam and then the sauna. However, they are both located outside of the spa building so you had to walk by the pool and they just give you a towel to wrap around yourself, which was enough to do the job but still felt uncomfortable. Luckily for us no one was hanging around the pool.

Then, when you are all done you just pick up your clothes and go back to the room (in your towel) as there are no showers in the spa area. I do not remember if there were any robes in our rooms or not but if there were they should have asked us to come in those to the spa or provide them at the spa. Anyway, something we all laughed about it dinner.

Despite this I would still recommend coming here before or after safari. Arusha is a busy, loud city and this was a great place to be outside of the city and relax!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank familyof4travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level 6 Contributor
434 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014 via mobile

This is a great place to consolidate after 2 weeks of Safari. The Belgian owner/chef is an excellent Chef and prepares excellent food with the freshest daily produce from the market. It's a wonderful Belgian "kaiseki" gastronomic experience. Great Wi-Fi connection, excellent rooms and service. You can also go for a spa and massage.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank kmquek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2014

We enjoyed this lodge near Arusha. We were greeted with fresh juice and cool towels. Also by the sweet lodge cat, Nala! We were taken to our lovely room that had an awesome balcony overlooking Arusha and the pool. Dinner was lovely in the balcony with an awesome selection of wines. While at dinner, they turned down our bed and left some delicious chocolate and a hand written note from the manager on the bed. This little touch was impressive. All the staff were more then helpful and lovely to chat with. They had a wide range of activities to participate in, I only wish we were there long enough to try some of them out! The box lunch was great with wine even! Overall a lovely stay, I'd recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hookem2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

We stayed at Onsea house for 2 nights after arriving in Arusha after a long trip from Chicago. It was our stopping point before heading off on safari. We had a kind greeting after our evening arrival and were shown to our room in the main building. While the rooms were a bit small, they were very nice, clean and were nicely complimented by the beautiful communal spaces to relax throughout the property. The grounds of the property are really pretty and well kept.
Onsea House is located more in a neighborhood, as opposed to the downtown area. We really liked the location, just noting the difference - we enjoyed a nice walk around the neighborhood in the morning and felt very safe with many locals saying hello. The manager was helpful in arranging massages for us and we spent the afternoon by the pool. The food was delicious at every meal and we especially enjoyed the long dinner. There really isn't much else to do and we were there to relax from our travels, so it was nice to have dinner be the main event for the evening. It was a great stopping point to regroup from travels or safari!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chicago4552
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014 via mobile

We spent one night here at the beginning of our Tanzanian safari. I wished we had at least a second night to enjoy the beautiful gardens/grounds and the warm hospitality of Onsea House. Our room was directly above the dining room area and was more of a penthouse suite than a room. A large bed with mosquito netting, full bathroom and 2 outside decks with views of the valley. We arrived later in the evening but were still treated to a lovely dinner with wine. Our only complaint was that there seemed to be lots of howling dogs in the neighbourhood and during our stay a local cow was giving birth through the night. Poor thing! A warm breakfast in the morning and we were on our way.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank akelsall_11
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

Property: Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage
Address: Baraa Road | Moivaro, Moshono Village, Arusha 1259, Tanzania (Formerly Onsea House & Machweo Retreat)
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre 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 117 B&Bs / Inns in Arusha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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