What a delightful and unexpected lounge in Arusha. Arusha, of course, is Tanzania’s third-largest city, in the shadows of Mt. Meru. Most travelers will fly into and out of JRO, Kilimanjaro’s airport, which is a good hour’s drive from the city. The discerning few, however, will fly out of the dusty little airport that’s located in Arusha city. And for them, we’ve written this Pole-Pole Lounge review – Arusha (ARK).

Our Trip – Pole-Pole Lounge review Arusha (ARK)

The flight from ARK – ZNZ.

This flight was a domestic-ish hop from Arusha to Zanzibar. While the airport isn’t huge, leaving from Arusha city is a great way to get to the airport fast. Even budgeting your lounge visit, you don’t need to arrive much more than 45 minutes before departure.

The Facts – Pole-Pole Lounge review Arusha (ARK)

This is not a lounge you can access with Priority Pass or even with cash. You either need to be on a tour with Asilia, or you need to just walk in and smile. While this isn’t an official public lounge, the staff, especially Ms. Elizabeth, are so wonderful and welcoming that they’ll invite any and all to come and have a cup of coffee – gratuit – in their beautiful little lounge. Its a great opportunity to have a chat, study the map, and stay far from the maddening crowd before you fly.

The lounge is located at the entrance to the airport, to the right. You can’t miss it. This is before final security and ticketing, though you can easily go and check in and then come back to visit them once you have your boarding pass.

The Space – Pole-Pole Lounge review Arusha (ARK)

The lounge is a small, tasteful room with lots of earth tones and wood paneling. There are several tables to sit at, as well as a bar counter where you can chat with the staff.

Pole-Pole Lounge review Arusha (ARK)
The seating area

The place is very comfortable, and has plenty of Asilia swag. We picked up a nice tumbler.

The drinks

The only drink we know is on offer is coffee, though what you get will depend on how much you charm the staff. If you need real supplies, there is a restaurant in the airport just around the corner.

The internet


The restrooms

Just the regular airport ones.

Final Thoughts

What a delightful little space! We didn’t get to stay long, but the Pole-Pole lounge was by Ausilia offered far more than we deserved, given the price we paid! In terms of small “lounges” the only other thing that can compete are the lounges we found in across the islands of St. Vincent.