Does the hotel do what it’s supposed to do?
Yes. Planet Lodge is based in Arusha, one of the biggest cities in northern Tanzania. Many travellers pass through Arusha for two reasons: as a base to visit and climb nearby Mt Kilimanjaro or for a stopover on the way to and from the Serengeti.
Planet lodge is a clean, comfortable and relaxing place to stay on your journey to explore the marvels of Tanzania.
How would you rate the experience before you stepped into the room.
The lodge is a little hard to find with no signposting or advertising outside of the main gate but greeting drinks on arrival and friendly reception staff ensure a warm welcome.
Does it cover the basic needs?
Breakfast – a good spread but a little limited
Comfy bed – comfy king size with an elegant mosquito net surrounding it
Decent towels – check
Fridge – no fridge
Good pillows – check
Parking – check
Safe – no safe
Shower with decent water pressure – ok
Wifi – very patchy which is common for northern Tanzania. There is a a desktop PC and printer in reception which has high speed connectivity.
What makes your stay feel special?
Friendly staff, a good pool, guarded gate, comfortable rooms, pretty gardens and on site restaurant make this stay tick all the boxes.
Does the hotel and room make sense?
The room is simple but spacious and comfortable. However, the toilet is awkwardly in arms reach of the shower.
Our room had an outside light outside our main window which mean the room was never quite dark which was a shame as everything else was well set up for a good nights sleep.
The onsite restaurant and room service option means you don’t have to venture out into the streets if not brave enough.
You can also have dinner outside overlooking the gardens.
Our 3 course dinner for $16 was good value for money. The meal featured some outstanding parts such as the peppered steak, the chicken with a mustard sauce and the seasoned vegetables which were brimming with taste. Some of the other elements such as the soup, bread and rice and peas were a little bland and forgettable.
The breakfast buffet had a wide range and featured fresh fruits as well as watermelon and passion fruit juices. The buffet also offered hot options such as bacon, sausage, potatoes, pancakes and some great mushrooms and vegetables along with made to order omelettes. However, we arrived at around 9:30am and the hot food was running low, so get in there early.
Best extras included?
The pool and gardens are worth a visit for some relaxation. The hotel works with local companies to provide tours of local Masai villages and attractions including Arusha national park, trips to Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and airport transfers to and from Arusha and Kilimanjaro airports.
Biggest issue after booking?
The main issue was wifi connectivity, which was a theme throughout our stay in Tanzania and Kenya. The hotel do mitigate this by having servers from multiple providers around the grounds and offering the business desks in reception.
The hotel offers very high customer service and provides good quality for money. We’d recommend using it as a base for exploring the area or for a layover in Arusha when connecting through the Kilimanjaro/Arusha airports when going on Safari.
Overall it is isn’t a destination hotel but provides a professional, very comfortable and stress-free stay on your way to and from Mt Kilimanjaro and your Tanzanian Safari.