The Arusha Coffee Lodge is well situated for a night before or after your safari...
Arusha Coffee Lodge: Our full report
Arusha Coffee Lodge is the urban sibling of Migration Camp and Tarangire Treetops. Set just outside of Arusha, a little off the main road to Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, Arusha Coffee Lodge is a convenient and comfortable over night stop at the start or end of your safari.
Arusha Coffee Lodge sits on part of a vast coffee plantation, in open manicured gardens. The central areas at Arusha Coffee Lodge are housed in a large red-brick building, where the bar, lounge and dining area feature terracotta tiles, bare red brick, white-washed walls and raw wood. The result is stylish and reminiscent of a colonial plantation house.
Beyond the reception desk, where the concierge is on hand to help with enquiries, is Arusha Coffee Lodge's bar, a bright but cosy room with rich amber-coloured wooden floors and one wall made up largely of french windows. Leather directors' chairs are set around dark wooden tables and a leather sofa sits by an open fire.
In the dining room at the Coffee Lodge, where there is also an open fire, tables and chairs are set out on the red-tiled floors, wrought-iron chandeliers hang from the ceiling and there is also an open fire. The adjacent lounge – the two rooms are partially divided by high open doorways – is quite a bit darker than the other rooms, but is comfortable and cool. Dark wooden furniture, large sumptuous sofas and leather armchairs make this an inviting place to relax. In the evenings when the fire is lit it is a cosy place to sit and enjoy an after dinner drink.
A set of wooden stairs takes you above the Coffee Lodge's lounge to a small wooden deck and additional lounging area. Here you will find a sofa and a pair of armchairs set around a coffee table.
At the back of the Coffee Lodge is a large open lawn and tranquil garden, dotted with wooden tables and chairs, and beautifully maintained. Each table has a broad white sunshade, making this a great place to sit for lunch. No doubt it is this that helps to make Arusha Coffee Lodge a popular lunch time spot for both locals and expats.
Arusha Coffee Lodge's oval-shaped swimming pool is tucked in amongst tropical bushes and so feels almost hidden away from the main garden. There are a number of sun loungers lined up on the patio and there is also some shade provided by umbrellas. The pool area doesn't have vast amount of space – but it is fine for a cooling dip and an afternoon of sunbathing.
The curio shop is well stocked with a variety of items including art, materials, shoes, bags and jewellery. The prices are reasonable and the selection is good - though for a wider selection you could try one of the larger shops along the main road.
Walk across the manicured garden and into the coffee plantation, where paths lead through the coffee bushes to the chalets, which are lovely red-brick buildings with terracotta-coloured tin roofs. They are built in the style of old plantation houses and have lots of character.
Once inside, these split-level rooms are spacious and very comfortable. They are furnished with a sumptuous double bed, a small lounge area and an en-suite bathroom. There is even a fire place which can be lit on cool nights.
Arusha Coffee Lodge has the ever-popular garden for lunch time, and a indoor dining in the lounge and bar area. When we were last here we found the food to be perfectly adequate, though rather greasy and salty, and altogether a little uninspiring. That said, the pleasantness of the garden more than makes up for this and it remains a popular spot to have lunch. The home-grown coffee is also worth stopping here for.
Most people stay at Arusha Coffee Lodge for just one night, using it is as a convenient stop at the start or end of their safari. It would be unusual for us to suggest a stop here of more than one night.
However, if you stay for longer then the Coffee Lodge can arrange activities for you, whist you are here. There are options to take a taxi to some of the nearby curio emporiums, though more intrepid travellers might like to haggle for goods in the Maasai market in Arusha town. The Coffee Lodge can also arrange for you to visit a local village with a guide. Or you can simply lounge around the lovely swimming pool if you need some time for sheer relaxation.
Our viewArusha Coffee Lodge is a popular hang-out with locals and expats and it has a welcoming and relaxed feel. It is easy to while away a few hours here and makes for a very convenient over night stop.
Ideal length of stay: The Aruska Coffee Lodge is a good base for one night at the start or end of your safari.
Directions: Arusha Coffee Lodge is on the outskirts of Arusha, only about a 5-minute drive from Arusha Airport. It is around a 90-minute drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: When we were last at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, we stopped for lunch but didn't have a chance to sample the other meals they offer. Though we did have a really good chat with the manager who explained what guests can expect.
The breakfast is a buffet of fresh fruit, cereals, juices, fresh bread and pastries as well as juice tea and coffee. You can also order a full cooked breakfast which would usually include eggs of your choice, bacon, sausages, toast, tomatoes, mushrooms and maybe even hash browns.
Lunch is usually served in Arusha Coffee Lodge's lovely gardens. There is a large à la carte menu to choose from which includes a variety of international dishes such as lasagna, burgers and chips, sandwiches, grilled chicken and pizzas. When we were last at the Coffee Lodge we found the food to be rather greasy and salty. Considering it is frequently visited by expats and locals as a favourite place for lunch – we expected it to be better.
Dinner is a more formal 3-course set menu served in doors in the dining room.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included, you can expect to pay around $1 for a soft drinks and $2 for a beer.
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Arusha Coffee Lodge.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Arusha Coffee Lodge has a special play area for children, a swimming pool and wide open lawns. It is a great spot for kids.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is mobile phone reception around the lodge and internet is available in the conference centre.
TV & radio: There is no TV or radio at Arusha Coffee Lodge.
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: It is only a short drive from Arusha Coffee Lodge to Arusha where there are doctors and a hospital.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Arusha Coffee Lodge has a secure gate at the front of the lodge, and security on site throughout the day and night.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in the rooms and main areas at the Coffee Lodge.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: The laundry is an extra charge and will usually be returned the same day.
Money: Arusha Coffee Lodge cannot offer any currency exchange.