Arusha Coffee Lodge: Our full report
Set just outside of Arusha, close to the city's small domestic airport and just off the main road to Lake ...... Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, Arusha Coffee Lodge, is a convenient overnight stop at the start or end of your safari. The lodge sits on part of a 40 hectare (100-acre) coffee plantation, in open manicured gardens.
Arusha Coffee Lodge (the urban sibling of Migration Camp and Tarangire Treetops). It's interesting to scrutinise the coffee plants themselves, shaded under Granville palm trees behind the main buildings. The thin flesh of the red coffee berry encases the pale coffee bean, which has to be fermented and roasted to make it palatable.
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 brick and 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 (the '3° South' Bar/Bistro, with its outside deck and indoor lounge), 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.
At the back of the Coffee Lodge on the left is a large open lawn and tranquil garden, dotted with wooden tables and chairs, and beautifully maintained. Each table has a broad 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 nice, 10-metre oval swimming pool (1.25m-1.4m deep, no lifeguard) is tucked among 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 lodge has a small, but immaculate treatment area for massages, with Africology products for body treatments and Pevonia products for facial treatments. There's a spa at the back.
Walk across the manicured garden and into the coffee plantation, where paths lead through the coffee bushes to the 12 suites and the 18 standard rooms, which are lovely red-brick buildings with terracotta-coloured tin roofs. Dating from the 1980s, they are built after 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.
Due to its popularity, there are plans to expand the lodge with additional standard rooms over the next couple of years. We hope that it will continue to retain its personal touches.
Arusha Coffee Lodge has the ever-popular garden for lunch time (very decent, healthy food), and indoor dining in the lounge and bar area. When we were last here we found the food to be diverse and appetizing, and the place was brimming with people, including several larger tour groups. 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, while 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.
Don’t miss the 'Soko Gift Shop' which sells including art works, fabric, shoes, bags and jewellery. The prices are reasonable and the selection is good. 'Kahawa Coffee Shop' does sit-down coffees, take-outs, and beans and ground coffee sales. Both shops are part of a little retail development called Trader's Walk which includes an outlet of the tanzanite specialist shop 'The Tanzanite Experience' and the major charity workshop operation 'Shanga' ('beads' in Swahili) which supports 47 disabled artisanal workers who fashion their products here and receive the benefits when they're sold in the neighbouring retail store and showroom.
Arusha Coffee Lodge is a popular hang-out with locals and expats and it has a welcoming and relaxed feel, even through it was quite crowded with lunch time groups when we last visited. The rooms are very comfortable, immaculately clean and finished to a high standard. The food is good and plentiful, and even if you're not staying the night, it's easy to while away a few hours here.
- Arusha, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- The Arusha Coffee Lodge is a good base for one night at the start or end of your safari.
- Arusha Coffee Lodge is on the western outskirts of Arusha, only about a 5-minute drive from Arusha Airport. It is around a 90-minute drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport depending on traffic
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Half Board
- Food quality
- When we were last at the Arusha Coffee Lodge in March 2018, 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 an à la carte 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 lasagne, burgers and chips, sandwiches, grilled chicken and pizzas. We helped ourselves from a very tasty and wide-ranging buffet that included lots of vegetarian options and local dishes as well as familiar items.
Dinner is a more formal 3-course set menu served in doors in the dining room.
- Arusha Coffee Lodge is the place for a luxurious stay in Arusha, perfect for an overnight stop at the beginning or end of your safari. With sumptuous four-poster beds draped in Egyptian cotton, open fireplaces and private verandas, it provides an exceptional level of comfort.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome at Arusha Coffee Lodge.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions at Arusha Coffee Lodge.
- Special activities & services
- Arusha Coffee Lodge has an outdoor play area with swings and a wooden climbing frame. They can also offer babysitting services, though guests should be aware that this will be from their house keeping team and not necessarily someone with a professional qualification.
- High chairs, baby cots.
- Generally recommended for children
- 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 notes
- There is automatic generator standby and backup.
- There is mobile phone reception around the lodge and Wi-Fi is available throughout, including in all the guest rooms and suites.
- TV & radio
- There is no TV in the standard rooms, only in the suites, but TV is always available somewhere in the public areas for major sporting events.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Purified well water is used. Guests drink bottled mineral water, of which unlimited supplies are provided.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- It is only a short drive from Arusha Coffee Lodge to Arusha's clinics and hospitals.
- 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 every room and throughout the public areas. Fire-training and first-aid training are done twice a year by the same compliance company that checks eco-compliance.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- The laundry is an extra charge and will usually be returned the same day. Guests decide on whether it should be hand or machine washed and dried in a tumble drier or out in the sun.
- Arusha Coffee Lodge offers a foreign exchange service.
- Accepted payment on location
- You can settle your bill using Tanzanian shillings or major currencies in cash.
Visa, Mastercard and Amex are also accepted.
Room types at Arusha Coffee Lodge
TThe chalets at Arusha Coffee Lodge are little plantation-style cottages. The outside walls of these are made from stone and wood, the roofs are red iron roofs and at the front is a wide wooden deck with a table and chairs.
From the outside the rooms at Arusha Coffee Lodge look quite modest – but on the inside they are spacious and very comfortable. Dark wooden floors and wood and red-brick walls make the room a little dark, but cosy at the same time – a bit like a luxurious log cabin.
The Coffee Lodge's chalets are split-level. On the top level, you will find the large bed draped in mosquito netting; on the lower level is a small lounge area, with a cushioned wicker sofa and coffee table. For cooler evenings you can also request for your log fire to be lit.
Next to the sofa is a tea and coffee station to which guests can help themselves, and also a safe, mini-bar fridge and a phone. The phone does have an outside line, though it is relatively costly to use and any calls made will be charged to your tab. The mini bar is also an additional cost.
At Arusha Coffee Lodge there are fans in every room – though you will only really need this from December through to March, when Arusha becomes quite hot and humid.
The ensuite bathrooms are very spacious and clean. Each has a sink set into a wide wooden surface top, a bath, a flush-toilet and a shower. The walls and floor of the bathroom are tiled with grey marled tiles. There are also bathrobes, slippers and a hairdryer, as well as plenty of space to hang clothes.
Other lodges in Arusha
Alternative places to stay in this same area.