(eTN) – President Kikwete opened the Mt. Meru Hotel last weekend during a grand ceremony witnessed by owners, management, staff, the invited tourism fraternity, the business community, and members of the diplomatic corps from Arusha and beyond. The hotel was closed for several years, following a change of ownership, to allow for a whopping US$24 million expansion, modernization, and complete refurbishment of the once very popular hotel, which has housed many prominent visitors in past years. The Mt. Meru now features, according to the report from Arusha, 178 rooms and suites, including a Presidential Suite, and a range of restaurants, bars, meeting facilities, and leisure options through the pool an health club.
While undoubtedly facing a stiffer competition within the Arusha municipality, the location of the Mt. Meru, adjoining the golf course on one side and the main highway between Arusha to the international airport and Moshi on the other, and the vicinity to the International Conference Centre, which is only a short drive away, will undoubtedly assist the hotel to recapture its former market share, and overall growing business and safari traffic will also cushion the impact of a “new” hotel to all the others, which over the years have sprung up or existing ones which have refurbished and renovated to stay on top of the game.
Fireworks illuminated the sky over Arusha for nearly 15 minutes in the evening, celebrating the re-opening of what used to be a landmark hotel and the hopes to return to that status once its claims to be a five-star hotel have been proven correct and accepted by patrons.