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“Safari on high heels”

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Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage
Ranked #3 of 126 Arusha B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 August 2014

Wonderful 1-week stay in Onsea House Arusha.

The high points:
- beautiful venue and garden (very charming colonial style bed and bath room)
- healthy and delicious lunches and dinners on the terrace with a stunning view (vegetarian and even raw food on the menu, and some classics (erwtensoep)
- my first safari (including many elephants)
- very friendly host and personnel

  • Stayed: May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Mejjacobs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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85 - 91 of 297 reviews

Reviewed 25 August 2014

Our group stayed here enroute from Selous to Serengeti and it was a nice overnight stop. Convenient location to the Arusha airport and the staff along with the dogs and cats were all very welcoming. One of the cats found my room quite comfortable which was very sweet.

The rooms varied in size and location - some of our party were down the hill and outside the locked gate. I was located next to the reception area - very quiet as there were no arrivals after our arrival. My room was clean although a bit cobwebby and the bathroom a bit dated. There were doors leading to the reception and the room next door so i'm assuming both rooms could have been opened up / adjoined to create a family suite. The bathroom had all the amenities - liquid soap, shampoo and lotion although the dispensers were all glued down to the shelves and i could not actually reach them from the shower so had to step out of the shower to use any soap. No other alternative was given (ie. bar soap) The shower had low pressure although warm. The flowers in the room were a nice touch although dried and could have used a refresh. The turndown included a nice note and small piece of chocolate.

The property itself looked quite incredible and i wish we had stayed to enjoy the amenities however our flight left quite early the next day. We did enjoy a late night dinner which was excellent although very pricey for the neighbourhood (prix fix for $65USD including wine which included salad, soup, main and dessert) Breakfast was a buffet of cold cuts, cheeses, cereals and a hot egg dish made to your preference. Coffee, tea and juices were included.

The property is located in a neighbourrhood and is gated. It is quite hilly so note this if you have accessibility issues. There is a spa, large pool, large restaurant with a view and the rooms appear to be terraced along a hill.

A great location for in between safari travels while in Tanzania.

Room Tip: We did not book direct so i'm unsure how to ask for a room preference however i would warn that...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank wunderous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2014

We wanted to spend the nights before and after our Kilimanjaro hike at this Inn but they were totally booked for the night prior. The Inn has a spectacular view. We were impressed from the moment we stepped into the lobby and they handed us fresh fruit juice. It is very luxurious. It was nice to clean up and relax in this place after our hike. We ate dinner in the restaurant and everything we ate was delicious. The service at this inn was great. We wished we had more time so that we could have booked some spa services!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Jstarr926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

My husband and I spent one evening in Arusha at Onsea in between 2 safari itineraries and it was a great place to stay, unwind and relax. We enjoyed a cocktail by the pool and a wonderful outdoor dinner onsite at Machweo. While most of Arusha was in the darkness that night, Onsea was operating at full steam under generator power and we were lucky enough to experience a fabulous meal from on high. Onsea is situated in a lovely spot and offers guests a very tranquil setting. Our room was extremely comfortable and we enjoyed a fantastic night’s sleep. Potentially our breakfast could have been better coordinated. We mentioned to reception that we were leaving at 6:30am for an airport pickup and assured we could eat breakfast at 6am. Things weren't exactly in full swing at that hour and although we saw breakfast boxes prepared for other guests, this wasn't an option given to us. This was just a minor detail during an otherwise delightful stay. A few cups of delicious coffee and some toast and we were on the go!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Adria L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ana_devel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2014

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
Thank BKO57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
Thank familyof4travels
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

Address: Baraa Road | Moivaro, Moshono Village, Arusha 1259, Tanzania (Formerly Onsea House & Machweo Retreat)
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
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 126 B&Bs / Inns in Arusha
Price Range: £221 - £249 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 And Guest Cottage
Onsea House Country Inn & Guest Cottage Hotel Arusha
Country Inn Arusha
Arusha Country Inn

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