Kia Lodge

Kia Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
40 rooms
Traveller's rating
Good (75%) From 12 reviews
Children
Fine for all ages.
Open
All year

Kia Lodge is a simple, country-club-style lodge situated close to the buildings and runway of Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). This is the only accommodation at the airport.

The lodge is set in surprisingly pretty gardens: this is certainly no airport hotel from the usual mould but much more like a local Tanzanian country club. The lobby – a somewhat rough-and-ready yellow atrium – isn't an encouraging introduction, but things improve once you've checked in and start walking through the grounds to your room.

The simply decorated, air-conditioned rooms, in terracotta-painted, thatched cottages (two in each cottage), have polished cement floors, small decorative floor mats, reasonably comfortable beds with mosquito nets, and tiled bathrooms with walk-in showers, flush loos and washbasin, and basic toiletries.

Kia Lodge's common areas include a sizable dining room, and a large, shady outdoor bar area, with music playing. The large, freeform swimming pool is a welcome feature, with its flagstoned pool area looking out towards Kilimanjaro. On a clear day you can have a good view of the mountain from here. Around the pool are a dozen or so recliners, enough sun shades and even working electric sockets to charge your phone or camera.

The hotel has a gift shop, open 07:00–09:00 and 12.30-19:00 and a small jewellery shop specialising in Tanzanite.

When Kia Lodge was taken over by a Dutch couple in 2015, the hotel had a way to go to reach acceptable international standards. Nevertheless, the food, staff and management ethos have been heading in the right direction since then. Although we weren't able to stay on our last visit in February 2018, we were impressed with the staff’s efficiency and the cleanliness and upkeep of the property. Located just a few minutes drive from Kilimanjaro international airport, with free 24 hour airport transfers, this hotel is a pleasantly simple option for an overnight stay before or after a long flight.

Our view

Many guests here will be using a day room before flying out, as we did, but it would be an adequate, if possibly rather inconsistent, place to spend the night if flights or circumstances dictate. During the day or in the evening, there are worse ways to spend a few hours than chilling by the pool or in the garden bar. Considering the lodge’s location close to the airport, it is a relatively peaceful and a nicely landscaped property to relax in, before or after a long flight.

Geographics

Location: Arusha, Tanzania

Ideal length of stay: Day room, or 1 night only.

Directions: Accessed down a 1km gravel road to the east of the main buildings at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Moivaro

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Room Only

Food quality: The salads, chips and cold beers we sampled were excellent. There's a decent bar menu.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15

Drinks included: Drinks are extra, but reasonably priced. Beer is around $3, house wine $4 a glass or $21 a bottle, cocktails around $10, sodas $2 and drinking water $2 a litre.

Further dining info: Room service can be provided at no extra cost.

Children

Attitude towards children: Children are welcome. There is one interconnected room which is a great option for families, and it is also possible to add a third bed in a double room.

Property’s age restrictions: None.

Special activities & services: Babysitting can easily be arranged.

Equipment: They have baby cots but no high chairs.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There are two backup generators. The rooms have power sockets, and there are sockets at the pool area. Drinking water is supplied in plastic bottles (two per guest per day).

Communications: Mobile signal is patchy around the lodge, but usually good at the bar and pool. There are telephones in each room for internal calls. Wifi is available, free of charge.

Water supply: Mains

Water supply notes: Water is piped from the airport.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: There are first aid kits on site and the nearest hospital is in Arusha, around an hour away.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: On site security.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Laundry can be done for around $1–$2 per small load (negotiable). It is machine washed and tumble-dried.

Money: There are digital safes in the rooms.

Accepted payment on location: Major currencies are accepted, as are Visa and Mastercard with a 4% surcharge.

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