What we thought was just a stop-by visit to Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge on our way home from TAASA Lodge ended up being the discovery of another Good Hotel®. This lodge, located in the busy city of Arusha, Tanzania, provided a haven to rest, play and dine before the long flights back to the U.S. As we entered the lodge after taking a small plane into Arusha airport, we were greeted by friendly staff, lush gardens and the smells of coffee beans. The beautiful facility boasted coffee-colored buildings, a swimming pool, gorgeous wooden suites and dreamy outdoor dining options.
We sat down and enjoyed family-style meals, from baked bread and hummus to olive tapenade and other appetizers. Our next shared plate was a generous helping for four of meats, vegetables and prepared entrees that had us full to overflowing. The staff was even gracious enough to prepare homemade pizzas for the bros, having the bros fall in love with chicken on their pizza from the delicious way they prepared it.
The lodge is kid-friendly with a large playground in the common space and gave our bros the perfect spot to run around while awaiting transport to the airport. One of the best features of Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge is their shoppes, located on-site for all guests to enjoy. From a Tanzanite experience shop to restaurants, a coffee lodge and a gift shop, there was plenty to do to pass the time for us. And then we discovered something extra special – a shop being run by local Tanzanians with disabilities called Shanga.
Shanga was the idea of a few sitting around the table together during the pandemic as a way to employ locals with disabilities through one common thread: beads. At Shanga, those with disabilities make bracelets, necklaces and several other amazing creations with beads and sell them in the on-site shop. One of the perks of Shanga is the ability to watch and take a free tour of the work they are doing and the employees were so excited to show the bros what they made and how. In addition to bead work, Shanga also offers impressive glassblowing products for sale as well as crocheted blankets, housewares and other Tanzanian treasures.
It was such a precious find in Arusha and we were so blessed by this unexpected discovery of a Good Hotel® ! We purchased a leather bracelet with our favorite African term, “Jambo” and stored the precious memories of our Shanga and lodge visit in our hearts as we made our way back home.