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Onsea House

When To Visit Arusha:
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"I've used Onsea House for years with consistently good reviews from clients. A great option for well-priced Arusha accommodation."


Onsea House is privately owned and operated by the Belgian Janssens-Onsea family. Their members include Axel Janssens, one of Tanzania’s best chefs! Very comfortable and surprisingly good value for money, Onsea is sister property to nearby Machweo Wellness Retreat and Fine Dining. Various rates apply, so please contact a member of YZ to discuss which would be best for you.


The hotel can be accessed via road transfer from Arusha Airport, a journey of just over 16 kilometres. It’s also about 45 minutes’ drive from Kilimanjaro. Having negotiated Onsea’s steep driveway, guests find themselves in a peaceful patch well away from the hustle and bustle of Arusha! The house is set in beautiful gardens, and there are lovely views.


Guest accommodation consists of two cottage rooms, two country inn rooms, and one family suite. All options are very pleasantly decorated. The cottage rooms occupy a timber, stone, and thatch building – it’s on a lower level from the property’s main house yet it still has lovely views. A flight of steps leads up to the front door, which opens into an entrance hall. From here, guests access the cottage’s lounge/diner and kitchen, and the two bedrooms are found on either side of the communal space. Each has a double bed with mosquito netting, bedside tables and lighting, a very elegant writing desk and chair, a separate seating area, and double doors out onto a private balcony. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, washbasin, shower, and bath. Complimentary toiletries are supplied, and other amenities include a safe, a mini-bar, and a hairdryer. An extra bed can be added to each room, so when both rooms are booked together the cottage is a great option for a group of friends or family members. The country inn rooms, in Onsea’s main house, are similarly well appointed. They interconnect to provide group accommodation, and they share a spacious terrace. And the family suite is made up of two double rooms and one twin room, linked via a private lounge. This category also comes with a private garden and relaxation area, complete with garden bathtub! It’s a fabulous option for families seeking a home away from home.

Onsea House’s communal spaces have a homely atmosphere too – and guests also have access to the facilities at Machweo Wellness Retreat and Fine Dining , run by the Janssens-Onseas. On arrival here, guests enter at the ground floor, which contains one of the house’s two bars. A good selection of alcoholic and soft drinks is available, and you can perch on a bar stool or sit back in a comfy sofa! There’s a range of reading material too, as well as a pool table. Upstairs, there’s the second bar, which merges with the property’s lounge. The theme here is flowers, with plenty of plant life adorning the tables and a few art prints to admire on the walls. The space flows out onto Onsea’s terrace, where you’ll find chic tables and chairs set up for dining. Food and drink here really deserves a special mention – Chef Axel Janssens has worked in a number of Michelin-starred restaurants and he excels in creating consistently tasty Belgian/French fare! Guests tuck in to continental buffet breakfasts, delicious light lunches, bistro-style snacks, and sumptuous three-course dinners enhanced by well-chosen wines. We think everyone travelling to Arusha should experience Axel’s cooking. If you feel your waist starting to spread, you can easily work off some calories in Onsea’s swimming pool!


Many of our clients opt to stay at Onsea for a stopover, either before or after a safari in Tanzania. It’s pretty much ideal for refreshing before taking a long flight or for getting over your jetlag. However, if you decide to spend a little longer in Arusha, the hotel offers an exhilarating variety of activities:

  • Daytrips are available to some of the country’s finest safari areas, such as the national parks of Arusha, Lake Manyara, Serengeti, and Tarangire, in addition to the Ngorongoro Crater.
  • You can also visit lakes Duluti, Eyasi, and Natron, and the Monduli Mountains.
  • Hiking and climbing is offered too, as a short excursion from Onsea or a more ambitious trek up the mounts of Meru, Kilimanjaro, and Ol Doinyo Legai.
  • The region also offers golf, as well as watersports, tennis, horse riding, and mountain biking.
  • Keen birders can take their binocs to Mount Meru or Lake Duluti and spot hundreds of feathery friends!
  • Anyone interested in culture will relish walks in the company of the local people, to learn about their ways of life.
  • And tours of Arusha can be arranged, involving the city’s famous attractions – the clock tower, the National Natural History Museum, the Maasai Market, and the Cultural Heritage Centre, to name just a few.


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