Zawadi House, Arusha
This delightful Spanish tile-roofed hotel set back from the main road with paved pathways through manicured lawns shaded by tall trees opened in November 2011 and has already become our favourite mid-range accommodation option.
The owners are a Tanzanian family of executives and philanthropists who enjoy a great deal of international travel and have evidently aimed to incorporate smart features from many hotels worldwide into their own creation. There are several superior and unique features at Zawadi not generally seen in Tanzania.
Rooms at Zawadi House
The hotel has over a dozen rooms, with sprung mattresses and cotton bed-linen and large mosquito nets drape the windows. There are power-sockets for recharging electronic devices and hair dryers are available from reception, for which there are telephones to order room service. Each air-conditioned room has a safe, tea & coffee making facilities, key-card entry, television with 12 channels including CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera news, free Wi-Fi and LAN connections. A desktop computer is also available for those not bringing their laptops but needing to stay abreast of emails before and after their climb.
Bathrooms at Zawadi House
The hot water comes from one large pressurised tank, giving excellent pressure in the large well-appointed and tiled showers that are supplied with plenty of towels. Uniquely, all plumbing materials, and indeed the expertise involved with installing the system, comes from southern Africa and is of clearly superior quality to that available in Tanzania.
An elegant 20-seater air-conditioned second-floor restaurant serves a variety of western dishes, and meals can also be enjoyed al fresco, dining under avocado trees.
Facilities at Zawadi House
This quiet and calm retreat is interspersed with shaded grassy courtyards framing tinkling fountains. The small but well-equipped bar has a large television with news, sports, music, radio channels and tasteful leather furniture. The automatic generator powers up within one minute of a power cut. The neighbourhood is very quiet, and the 24/7 security is coordinated with a nearby apartment facility. The road connecting Zawadi House with the main road 400 metres away is perfectly safe during daylight, but an escort or transportation is recommended after dusk.
All in all, when compared with other options within a similar price bracket, we feel that the customised attention one enjoys, the general superiority of the cuisine, and the refreshingly attentive attitude of the staff are such that Zawadi probably represents the best value for money of all mid-range hotels in Arusha, provided one has no plans to lounge around the non-existent pool. (Note however, that we find that few climbers seem to find time to swim while in Arusha even when staying at hotels with pools).
Perhaps another point of interest to TK climbers is that Zawadi House served as Team Kilimanjaro’s headquarters for some three years, prior to renovation and development as a hotel.