Once Arusha’s foremost hotel, the Mt. Meru went into decline in the late 70s and into the 80s before Accor’s Novotel brand took over the management and refurbished the property in the mid to late 80s. The Tanzania Tourist Corporation, to which the Mt. Meru belonged, then changed hands when the government divested from the company, and the hotel has since been lingering along before being closed last year for a major refurbishment and renovations.
While owner representatives announced last week that the hotel will re-open as a 5-star property, such claims have in the past often failed to meet the expected standards, and it will be seen at the time of re-opening if indeed the new owners can live up to this billing.
The Mt. Meru Hotel, when reopening, will offer about 180 rooms and suites and a full-fledged new conference center, trying to rival the Arusha International Conference Centre, which is home at present to the UN’s tribunal on the Rwanda genocide and seat of the East African Community headquarters, which overall is also in need of a major refurbishment and modernization.