Located in Eastern Africa, Tanzania is best known for its safari experiences, trekking Mount Kilimanjaro, and the relaxing beaches of Zanzibar. Arusha is the most popular place to base in between these expeditions. It’s where I was based for all of my adventures throughout the 2.5 months I explored Tanzania. This guide will show you the 15 best hotels and lodges in Arusha and my full explanation of why Arusha is the best place to stay in Tanzania as a base between your expeditions, safaris, and treks.
At the bottom of this blog post, I have added an entire segment about Arusha and why it is the best place to stay including the restaurants, wifi, cafes to work in, and transport in the area. So that should help you decide why this is a good spot to base while in Tanzania.
QUICK PICKS: MY THREE FAVORITE HOTELS IN ARUSHA
ARUSHA HOTELS COMPARISON TABLE
|6 BEST LUXURY HOTELS & LODGES|
|Gran Melia Arusha||$306|
|Mount Meru Hotel||$198|
|Kibo Palace Hotel||$215|
|Four Points by Sheraton Arusha||$260|
|Arusha Coffee Lodge||$287|
|Fun Retreat Resort||$122|
|5 BEST CHEAP HOTELS & LODGES|
|Tulia Boutique Hotel & Spa||$83|
|Green Mountain Hotel||$52|
|Boulevard Inn Mt. Meru||$64|
|4 BEST HOSTELS|
|White House Tanzania||$24|
WHERE TO STAY IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA: 15 BEST HOTELS & LODGES
I’ve created this blog for you to help you find the best accommodation to stay in Arusha, Tanzania. When it comes to accommodation options, there are a lot to choose from in Arusha. Therefore, I’ve narrowed it down to a few of my personal picks. In this article, I’ve handpicked 15 best hotels and lodges – 6 best luxury hotels and lodges, 5 best cheap hotels and lodges, and 4 best hostels in Arusha.
6 Best Luxury Hotels and Lodges in Arusha
GRAN MELIA ARUSHA
Gran Melia Arusha (Luxury): Wake up in a spacious room and a stunning view of the city and the mountains of Arusha. Gran Melia Arusha is by far the most popular 5-star hotel in Arusha. Featuring huge, lavish rooms and suites, this hotel is the epitome of luxury.
Like any other 5-star hotel, Gran Melia Arusha has a grand entrance, state-of-the-art fitness center, large conference centers, fantastic mountain views, numerous and massive pools, private balconies, a pool bar, and a world-class restaurant serving the most palatable cuisines. The hotel is a gateway to Tanzania’s northern safari circuit. It is set near the golf course and surrounded by stunning gardens. This is my favorite pick among the best luxury hotels in Arusha.
MOUNT MERU HOTEL
Mount Meru Hotel (Fantastic location/view): Mount Meru Hotel is a 4-star hotel in the heart of Arusha making it perfect for shopping, cultural city tours, and day trips. It offers a wide range of rooms and suites fitted with everything you need including large comfy beds and furniture depending on the room size.
Room options include standard or double, executive and family, and suites options – junior family, executive, and presidential. All rooms feature a flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, safe, coffee/tea-making facilities, and more. Some rooms have floor-to-ceiling glass windows that give you a breathtaking full view of the garden and Mount Meru. Other amenities include an outdoor pool, a bar, a shared lounge, a tour desk, and meeting facilities. There is also a well-manicured golf course nearby which makes this one of the best places to stay for Arusha business travelers.
KIBO PALACE HOTEL
Kibo Palace Hotel: (I stayed here for three nights before my Mount Kilimanjaro trek) Another contemporary luxury hotel that may suit your taste is Kibo Palace Hotel. Although it’s a little bit away from the town center and about 45-minute drive from the airport, this 4-star hotel is perfect for families, couples, and business travelers.
It features 77 rooms including 10 suites, with in-room amenities such as TV, air-conditioning, Wi-fi, safe, and a coffee//tea maker. The Presidential suite boasts a small kitchen, dining area, sitting and work area, a clean bathroom with a bathtub and jacuzzi, and many more. Other facilities include a fitness center, conference facilities, a business center, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and two bars.
FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON ARUSHA
Four Points by Sheraton Arusha: If you want to be in the center of the action, then stay at this iconic 4-star accommodation formerly known as Arusha Hotel. Four Points by Sheraton is a fabulous hotel boasting minimalist luxury rooms fitted with a flat-screen TV, air-conditioning, ensuite bathroom, and free Wi-Fi.
The highlight of this hotel is its convenient location because it is close to everything. Another highlight here is the cozy terrace overlooking the well-manicured garden where guests can eat their breakfast with a view. The hotel also has a modern fitness center, an outdoor pool, a bar, a restaurant, conference rooms, and a spacious lobby with lots of sitting areas. Undoubtedly, this hotel is one of the best accommodations in Arusha.
ARUSHA COFFEE LODGE
Arusha Coffee Lodge (Cozy Ambiance): Featuring 30 plantation houses and 12 plantation suites, Arusha Coffee Lodge is one of the best 5-star hotels run by Elewana in Arusha. It is conveniently located near the airport and on the fertile grounds of a coffee plantation. Being located on the boundary of the town, you still get a rural feel to your stay.
Rooms are built with red bricks and offer a cabin-like character that provides a cozy ambiance to guests. The hotel’s in-room amenities include a spacious ensuite bathroom, Wi-Fi, comfy beds, a coffee machine, and more. The lodge has a central fireplace, four restaurants, a bar, a spa, an outdoor pool, and an enormous garden. Guests can join in a coffee tour. If you have enough budget, I highly recommend staying at this 5-star lodge.
FUN RETREAT RESORT
Fun Retreat Resort (Family-pick): Feeling fancy and you want to get that grand luxury retreat but you don’t want to miss the fun, then stay at Fun Retreat Resort in Arusha. This five-star hotel does not only give you a luxury stay but also a fun and adventurous one. It boasts water sports facilities, a sun terrace, game rooms, and a massive outdoor pool.
It offers a wide range of rooms including a family suite with a balcony. There is also a campsite where guests can stay in a tent with a public bathroom and toilet. The Salt & Pepper Multi-cuisine restaurant offers lavish and delectable food and drinks. You’ll also find the largest sports bar in Arusha here called 360 degrees Sports Bar serving various types of fancy drinks. If you are a coffee lover, there is a terrace coffee bar that gives you the most delicious coffee and a breathtaking view of Mt Meru.
Best Cheap Hotels in Arusha
TULIA BOUTIQUE HOTEL & SPA
Tulia Boutique Hotel & Spa: This chic, cheap boutique hotel and spa is situated in an excellent location – not far away from the airport yet it is just walking distance to the town center. Tulia Boutique Hotel & Spa offers a wide range of rooms such as standard, deluxe, suite, premier, twin, and triple rooms. It also has a broad range of facilities as well as spa therapy to make each guest’s stay even more pleasant.
Each room comes with a flat-screen TV, air-conditioning, a fridge, a kettle, a good shower, and a hairdryer. There is an outdoor pool, a bar, a restaurant, and free private parking on-site. Plus, a delicious continental breakfast is included in the price. If you are looking for a relaxing boutique place to stay, Tulia Boutique Hotel & Spa is just right for you!
Outpost Lodge (Budget-friendly): Nestled in a lush suburb, Outpost Lodge offers budget-saving rooms for backpackers and families. There are plenty of rooms to choose from – dorm-style, double, and single rooms. Each room has a comfy bed, a safe, and a sitting facility.
There is a small outdoor swimming pool, on-site restaurant, secure parking, luggage storage, laundry service, and free Wi-Fi. The breakfast in the hotel is delicious. The staff goes above and beyond to make each guest’s stay unforgettable and enjoyable. Overall, it’s a nice little hotel for a short stay.
GREEN MOUNTAIN HOTEL
Green Mountain Hotel (Budget Family-pick): If you are traveling on a budget, you might want to stay at this hotel. Green Mountain Hotel offers an outdoor pool and a restaurant. This hotel houses a wide range of rooms including a standard double room, executive, deluxe double, deluxe twin, deluxe triple, and suites.
Each room is fitted with air-conditioning, flat-screen TV, ensuite bathroom, free Wi-Fi, wardrobe, and more except that executive and suites have a minibar. There is outdoor swimming with plenty of space and sun loungers for guests to chill and relax. I highly recommend this hotel especially if you are traveling with children.
BOULEVARD INN MT. MERU
Boulevard Inn Mt. Meru (Great Location): This affordable 4-star hotel is situated in a prime location, perfectly set at the foot of Mt. Meru. It is not far away from the town center and it is very accessible. The rooms are well-decorated and immaculately clean with amenities such as cabled flat-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, a comfortable bed, air-conditioning, and a decent shower.
The property has two restaurants but if you are a beer lover, you will definitely love “The Beer Garden” as it is a gastro-pub-like style. The hotel offers other services such as car rentals, airport shuttles, a 24-hour front desk, and a spacious car park.
4 Best Hostels in Arusha
WHITE HOUSE TANZANIA
White House Tanzania: The White House Tanzania is a fantastic hostel in Arusha if you are traveling in a light wallet. For $24 a night, you can grab a private double room plus a free buffet breakfast included in the accommodation price.
The hostel offers various room options such as deluxe double rooms, 6-bed mixed dormitory rooms, and 4-bed mixed dormitory rooms. Bathrooms are clean and beds are comfortable. There is also a lounging area inside and in the garden where guests can relax and chill after a long day of excursions. It is situated in a good location. I highly recommend staying at White House Tanzania.
Wakawaka Hostel (Cozy Atmosphere): (I stayed here on and off for 1.5 months in between treks) Fabulously located in the heart of Arusha, Wakawaka Hostel is your home away from home. A short walk to my favorite cafe, Kitamu, and nearby the clocktower and all the cafes and restaurants.
Featuring a restaurant, a bar, a shared lounge area, a kitchen, free private parking, and a bar, this hostel has almost everything you could possibly need. The atmosphere is cozy, relaxing, and has a friendly vibe. The hostel staff/hosts are very helpful and accommodating.
They are willing to help you with tours and every assistance you need. The food is great and delicious. Each room is well lit and spacious with a good shower and Wi-Fi. Guests can also enjoy the hostel’s evening entertainment and can play games such as billiards, etc.
Siret Hostel (Great Location): Let your adventures begin at this budget accommodation in Arusha! Not only this hostel gives you inexpensive rooms but also it’s very handy when it comes to its location – very quiet and with local shops and restaurants nearby.
The hostel is clean and has a lot of space. Each room has a shared bathroom and a wardrobe. It features a shared lounge, complimentary private parking, terrace, beautiful garden, shared kitchen, and a tour desk for guests who want to explore Arusha’s gem. There are other guest services such as luggage storage, free Wi-Fi, currency exchange, and room service. Not to mention a free healthy continental breakfast is included in your stay.
Swahili Backpackers (Backpackers pick): If you are looking for accommodation that offers more bang for your back in Arusha, Swahili Backpackers got your back. Room options include single, double, or twin rooms, and 6-bed mixed dormitory rooms – all are fitted with closets for your stuff and others have wooden furniture.
The house has a clean and vibrant shared lounge area and mini kitchen making it perfect to relax and make friends with other travelers. The host is very accommodating and friendly. Not only that, guests can play billiards and enjoy evening entertainment, a free delicious breakfast, car rental service, and take advantage of the 24-hour front desks service. You’ll also find a bar, a garden with hammocks, and a playground. This is by far the best hostels in Arusha.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the best places to stay in Arusha, Tanzania.
WHY ARUSHA IS THE BEST PLACE TO STAY IN TANZANIA
It’s a good base and has lots of cafes, restaurants, and stores within walking distance. We even used the dentist and massage centers while in Arusha between treks. I would just take my hiking bag and leave my luggage then come back after every expedition. Here are a few tips about basing in Arusha.
Accommodation: I’ve stayed in a fancy hotel provided by our tour operator and cheap hostels. A hostel can be as low as $10 a night per person including breakfast and the fancy hotels can get up to $200 per night with a swimming pool and luxury facilities. After staying at Outpost Lodge, Kibo Palace, and the Whitehouse Tanzania I found my favorite chill spot at Wakawaka House. It’s is super chill, has a decent breakfast (included) of fruit, coffee, eggs, and toast, and is great for me at $22 a night for a private room with a private bathroom ($11 per person). It’s an 800m walk to Kitamu Cafe where I do my work on the laptop so life is simple, cheap, safe, and for me, that’s a very great combo at a basic price.
Restaurants: There are lots on offer in Arusha from traditional barbecue to Ethiopian to Greek or Chinese. I’ve tried George’s Tavern (Greek), Chinese Whispers, Kitamu Cafe, Uzunguni, and an Ethiopian Restaurant among others. There is pretty much something for everyone. A local-style meal of chapati, grilled fish, and vegetables can go for $5 USD while a foreign restaurant like Greek can be closer to $10 or $15 for a full meal and sides. Lots of street vendors are selling food also and you can eat very cheaply if you stay away from the major sit-down restaurants. So far, I haven’t had a bad meal and have enjoyed the moderately spicy food that has a hint of Indian to many of the dishes.
Getting around: Tuk-tuks, motorbikes, taxis, and the always-crammed vans are the main ways to get around town. However, I’ve been walking almost everywhere as the main points of interest are all within a few kilometers. A tuk-tuk ride for 1-2 kilometers can cost as little as $1.
Safety: I’ve been told by a few locals not to walk at night but so far I’ve only had had friendly interactions both at night and when solo. Knowing how to say hello and how are you is usually enough to keep you safe if you are on the main streets. It’s been quite a friendly atmosphere throughout Arusha and only the tour operators tend to hassle you a bit but never in an unsafe manner, just a very persistent approach to selling a tour.
WiFi: Not great. There are lots of cafes and hotels that claim to have WiFi and they do. Does it work? Barely. I gave up after a couple of weeks on WiFi and bought a sim card. 30Gb costs $21 USD and that’s all I use now. If you just want Facebook you can probably use the local WiFi but for a digital nomad or anyone who needs to do something with a greater need for a strong connection just buy a sim card. The 4G has been working very well and I’ve been blogging, uploading big files to WordPress, uploading YouTube videos, and so forth. So in that sense, Arusha is actually not a bad spot for digital nomads because the data is cheap and works but the WiFi is not reliable. I’ve been working at Kitamu Cafe, which has lots of power outlets and good food. Combine that with my huge data allowance and I’m all set to get a lot of work done.
I hope this was a helpful guide about where to stay in Arusha and you feel you have enough information now to make some decisions about your accommodation and using Arusha as your home base.
WHICH COMPANY DID I DO ALL OF MY TREKS, SAFARI AND TOURS WITH?
I did almost every single one of my treks, tours, safaris, and transfers with Altezza Travel. The guides and drivers were always on time, the guides were well trained, they had high-quality gear, and offer a wide range of tours, treks, and activities. If you book any safari, tour, or trek with Altezza Travel and use my code JACKSON5, they will give you a 5% discount on the entire tour price. That offer is even for Mount Kilimanjaro so you could save a couple hundred on your tour if you book with Altezza Travel using the code JACKSON5.
MORE OF MY TOP TANZANIA BLOG POSTS
For the mountain lovers: TANZANIA HIKING GUIDE: 14 BEST HIKES IN THE MOUNTAINS OF TANZANIA
The top waterfalls: 12 AWESOME WATERFALLS IN TANZANIA
Trekking Kili the adventurous way: CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO: THE WESTERN BREACH ROUTE
Tanzania’s second highest peak: MOUNT MERU CLIMB IN TANZANIA
Best place to base in Tanzania: WHERE TO STAY IN ARUSHA: 15 BEST HOTELS & LODGES
What to do in Tanzania: 25 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN TANZANIA
My favorite solo adventure: USAMBARA MOUNTAINS: HIKING ALONE FROM LUSHOTO TO MTAE