It's been a long journey to Africa. You can hardly wait to relax, eat a decent meal, have a shower, and drift to dreams. Well, do we have the perfect answer for you! Arumeru River Lodge is one of the very nicest lodges in Arusha. The excellent accommodations, combined with a near perfect location, makes Arumeru River Lodge our top pick for your first night's welcome to the gracious and beautiful country of Tanzania!
Situated in a serene location well outside the hustle and bustle of Arusha, Arumeru River Lodge affords stunning views of the towering Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance and its smaller cousin Mt. Meru. Best of all, the Lodge is conveniently located halfway between the Kilimanjaro international airport (where you fly into) and the Arusha regional airport (where you start your safari from the next morning). You'll definitely appreciate the easy drive in both cases.
Upon arrival, you will be warmly received by one or both of the two Lodge managers, Monica and Martin, a congenial German couple who take great pride in providing a delightful experience for their guests. An entourage of gracious Tanzanian personnel will also greet you, eager to accommodate you and make you to feel completely at home.
The Lodge is situated on an old coffee plantation. The remnants of fertile coffee fields have been converted to today's lush gardens of the estate. The verdant grounds in front of the property consist of an immaculately manicured lawn adorned by macadamia nut trees, among other flowering fruit trees. Massive aloe Vera plants stud the property and clusters of brilliantly hued flowers embellish the walkways. A healthy abundance of herbs, grown for the kitchen, taint the breeze with spicy fragrance.
Feel free to explore the leafy banana forest tucked behind a turquoise swimming pool; small but charming, this miniature jungle actually provides fresh fruit for breakfast each morning. Be sure to keep an eye out for Max, the resident duiker, who freely wanders the manor. Elegant crown cranes and blushing flamingos preen in the lily ponds nearby, while shy little dik-dik skirt nervously between clusters of shrubs. You might even catch a glimpse of the zebra or wildebeest that inhabit the wild grounds surrounding the estate. The outdoor work shop of a local woodcarver is tucked in a shady nook near the staff quarters; you will likely find him here daily, chipping away on his art to stock the gift shop with original hand-carved figurines of African animals and people.
The common guest areas are some of the most distinctive features of Arumeru River Lodge, and in conjunction with the beautiful grounds, really set a tone for relaxation and comfort. A fully stocked bar offers refreshments as you enter reception, and a blazing fireplace beckons from a sunken lounge just a few meters away. A wide range of board games and books on Africa are available in the lounge for your enjoyment.
The dining room is comprised of a soaring "A" frame ceiling and lofty thatched roof. Ample windows fill the space with an abundance of sunlight during the day, but during the evenings the cozy glow of amber wall lamps provide a warm ambience. Silhouettes of dancing wildebeest flicker on the wall from a lampshade covered with primitive paintings of animals, and a huge wall mural of the celebrated wildebeest crossing the Mara River adds an artistic feel to the inner dining room wall. Fresh roses from the garden adorn each table, and a doting staff attends to your every whim.
Elegant stone walkways link Arumeru's common areas with the private sleeping cottages, accented by quaint little bridges that criss-cross a bubbling stream that winds around the property. Your private sleeping quarters consist of a spacious bedroom and small sitting area, as well as an en suite bathroom.
Dreamy gauze enshrouds a comfortable bed, and antique wall lamps shaped like tiny elephants illuminate the interior of the room with warm ocher light. Earthy tones of amber, cream, mahogany, and muted greens create a soothing ambience. The windows are adorned with charming draperies and matching pillow casements, and tribal artwork garnishes the walls in authentic safari style. Fresh flowers beautify an elegant writing desk set against the opposite wall as the bed. An overhead fan provides a stimulating breeze, and its gentle whir is lulling for sleep. The small sitting nook is well appointed with safari chairs and a small coffee table, and more seating is available outside the front door on a small terrace overlooking the gardens. The bathroom consists of a double vanity with mirror, shower, and flushing toilet. Nightstands on either side of the bed offer a telephone and fresh flowers from the garden.
Arumeru River Lodge offers weary travelers a peaceful retreat in a prime location with excellent food, service, and amenities. Whether your stay here consists of one night, two nights, or more, you will find Arumeru River Lodge offers an excellent introduction to Tanzania and the perfect oasis to recuperate before and after your Tanzanian safari adventures.
Arumeru River Lodge, at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru, is ideally located just 20 minutes from Arusha and 35 minutes from Kilimanjaro International Airport. The Lodge makes an excellent place to relax after your late arrival into Kilimanjaro airport, and the perfect place to jumpstart your safari the next morning. Awake to a stunning view of Mt. Kilimanjaro and early morning drive to Arusha airport to take a short flight into the middle of the Serengeti and begin your real adventure.
The beautiful Arumeru River Lodge consists of 20 large, comfortable double/twin chalets with private en suite bathrooms. Each chalet is well appointed with a writing desk, safari chairs, coffee table, nightstands, and a separate sitting nook. The bathroom contains a double vanity with mirror, a spacious shower, and a flushing toilet. The beds are comfortable and draped in mozzie nets. The décor has a definite African flair, including fabric prints and hanging wall art. Each room is decorated with fresh flowers, and a ceiling fan provides a cool breeze in the African night. Furthermore, each room also has an elegant veranda with chairs overlooking the gardens.
The main building at Arumeru River Lodge has extremely unique and open architecture, with reception, lounges, restaurant, fireplace, terrace, all tastefully decorated in African designs. There is a large terrace restaurant with both indoor and outdoor dining, serving exquisite international and African cuisine, a la carte and buffet. A sunken fire pit and ample seating inside the lounge provides a cozy atmosphere in the evenings.
The meticulously manicured grounds at Arumeru River Lodge are quite stunning, and are well accented with a variety of plants, flowers, herbs, and various fruit and nut trees, many of which are used for ultra-fresh cooking in the kitchen. A series of pathways will lead you over streams, across charming bridges, through a small banana forest wherein is tucked a hidden picnic nook, and past some of the resident wildlife. You will likely meet Max, an endearing little duiker who wanders about the property on an endless search for bananas. There is also a lovely pool on the property and a charming gift shop in a new building (built in 2007) separate from the main Lodge.
Food and Drink
There is a large terrace restaurant with both indoor and outdoor dining, serving exquisite international and African cuisine, a la carte and buffet. It is apparent that the staff takes a lot of pride in their food preparation at Arumeru River Lodge!
The proof is "in the pudding" as they say. It's also in the savory cream of vegetable soup, the delicate tilapia in a pepper cream sauce, the delicious mango fruit salad, and the variety of other delicious dishes that are served here! Martin, one of the Lodge managers, is actually a professional chef. Even though that's not his primary job at Arumeru River Lodge, he has a hard time staying out of the kitchen and you might just find one of his signature recipes on the dinner menu in the evening - and yes, in these situations he actually does the cooking himself too!
Breakfast usually consists of a light buffet, including a variety of breads, jams, meats, cereal, milk, and fresh fruit. Eggs paired with sausage or bacon are cooked to order. Coffee and tea are always available.
Lunch is served a la carte or buffet style. Dinner is a la carte, and consists of 3 delicious courses complimented by a bottomless basket of freshly made breads. Many of the herbs and fruits used with meals are taken from the property's own garden; so needless to say, they are very fresh and flavorful.
- Prime location midway between Kilimanjaro International Airport and Arusha's Regional Airport
- Opportunity for spectacular views of Mt. Kilimanjaro
- Full English breakfast is served daily in the restaurant and on the terrace from 6:30-10AM. A continental breakfast can be arranged if you are departing earlier.
- Complimentary coffee and tea are available for our guests in the lounge throughout the day. Freshly backed pastries and cakes are served free of charge between 4-6 pm.
- Cocktail hour at the bar is between 6-7pm, where drinks are served half price
- Dinner is served from 7:30- 9:30 in the main dining room
- Lunch is served between 12-2:30 pm, or boxed meals to go are also available
- Laundry service is available for a fee
- A fully stocked bar in the reception area is quite welcoming
- Entertainment - a selection of popular games are available for guests in the lounge.
- Fully stocked gift shop and boutique, offering unique souvenirs as well as stamps, postcards, clothes, films, books, toiletries, curios
- Shampoos and soap is available in the bathroom
- Internet and faxes are available for a fee
- Phones are available in each room
- Luggage storage is available for those going on safari or tour
- Swimming pool, heated with solar power, complete with dedicated showers and restrooms
- There is a small library and board games in the lounge
- Local tours and shopping excursions are available nearby, including cultural tours, Arusha National Park, and shopping excursions
- Resident artist that daily hand-carves elegant African collectibles out of ebony wood for sale in the gift shop - he works daily you can go see his "shop" outside on the staff grounds