This relatively new entrant on the scene is one of Arusha’s most mellow properties, and a real foodies’ gem with a Belgian-African twist to the cuisine. Clusters of cottages overlook the pool and valley in the foothills around Mt Meru. The rooms have a homely feel, and are tastefully furnished with antique desks, four-poster beds, and African art. They open out onto their own private terrace to take in the views. Machweo is the more upmarket offering to Onsea House, the neighbouring hotel owned by the same. For East African residents, a double room starts at $195.
Karama is about 4 kilometres from the city centre, and it’s easy to forget you’re in the city as this intriguing hillside lodge. Not one for the less mobile, cabins on stilts are dotted over a steep slope. Each cabin has cleverly-designed bathrooms and showers, tucked into the corners, and a relatively spacious room with veranda (with steep drop, so watch the kids!) overlooking the pool and trees below. The selling point is the main bar and lounge area, a very light and airy place to while away a few hours with a good book. The restaurant downstairs serves up decent food. Double from $116.
This is a good budget option popular with backpackers within walking distance from the city centre. Although everything is pretty closely hemmed in, including the small pool, it’s set in its own leafy gardens, and has a restful feel. Rooms are plain and simple – very big, with wrought-iron beds and bunkbeds, and a small patio space outside. The outdoor restaurant is located next to some of the rooms, so can get pretty noisy if a raucous group on site. The food can be a bit hit and miss. Double from $69.