Onsea House & Machweo Retreat

near Arusha, Tanzania

Two fabulously friendly retreats sharing a restaurant with top gourmet cuisine, just a short drive from Arusha

East of Arusha, a line of hills covered in lush, subtropical vegetation run up towards the towering cone of Mount Meru. Onsea House, and its sister property Machweo Retreat, perch on the first of these green ridges, with soaring views out to the town and to the distant flank of the Rift Valley: sunsets seen from here are simply phenomenal. Dirk and Axel Janssens, 2 polyglot cousins from Belgium, founded Onsea House in 2006 and added Machweo Retreat 6 years later. Their brief was to create a boutique hotel providing top-notch accommodation and first-class food. They've succeeded brilliantly on both counts.

Onsea House bills itself as a 'home from home', and from the moment that you're greeted by Axel's easy smile it feels good to be here. The relaxed mood flows throughout: deeply cushioned sofas, bright Tinga Tinga artwork, angular lamps and light slanting in from high, valley-facing windows impart a feel that's bright and uplifting. Bedrooms have the same cared-for feel and spread across the original house and Machweo (meaning sunset), where the restaurant's gourmet cuisine further gilds this remarkable African lily.

Guest Ratings

Room:
80%
Food:
80%
Service:
60%
Value:
50%
Overall:
68%

Onsea House & Machweo Retreat: View all reviews


signature

Reviewed by Guy Hunter Watts

Highs

  • You won't find better food in Arusha: Onsea's restaurant continues to be the favoured venue of the local intelligentsia
  • This is a perfect place to chill before or after a safari or gruelling Kilimanjaro ascent
  • The subtropical garden's exotic plants, trees and bushes are home to myriad avian and insect life
  • The dining terrace and alfresco sitting area, with long views out across the valley, is a great place to be at any time of night or day
  • The lodge is set on a hillside peppered with small-holdings: you get to see plenty of ethnic colour by simply stepping outside the front gate

Lows

  • You should expect to hear galagos (night apes) in the small hours
  • The 2 garden cottage rooms at Onsea House (Zebra and Rhino) are accessed by exiting through a locked gate, crossing a dirt road, then passing through a second locked gate: all a bit of a to-do
  • Machweo Retreat was built after our visit so we can't personally vouch for it, but reports suggest it only enhances the hotel

Very tranquil and very classy...        

Lonely PlanetOnsea House & Machweo Retreat:  Read more press reviews
Save to favouritesPrintMailOnsea House & Machweo RetreatEast of Arusha, a line of hills covered in lush, subtropical vegetation run up towards the towering cone of Mount Meru. Onsea House, and its sister property Machweo Retreat, perch on the first of these green ridges, with soaring views out to the town and to the distant flank of the Rift Valley: sunsets seen from here are simply phenomenal. Dirk and Axel Janssens, 2 polyglot cousins from Belgium, founded Onsea House in 2006 and added Machweo Retreat 6 years later. Their brief was to create a boutique hotel providing top-notch accommodation and first-class food. They've succeeded brilliantly on both counts. Onsea House bills itself as a 'home from home', and from the moment that you're greeted by Axel's easy smile it feels good to be here. The relaxed mood flows throughout: deeply cushioned sofas, bright Tinga Tinga artwork, angular lamps and light slanting in from high, valley-facing windows impart a feel that's bright and uplifting. [r:TA015:Bedrooms] have the same cared-for feel and spread across the original house and Machweo (meaning sunset), where the restaurant's gourmet cuisine further gilds this remarkable African lily.

Book this hotelfrom 250USD

Special offer

i-escape gift

a free welcome drink

Do you need help?

Many questions are already answered in our FAQs, otherwise, email us at: help@i-escape.com