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“NOT value for money”
Review of Springlands Hotel

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Springlands Hotel
Ranked #7 of 17 Hotels in Moshi
Reviewed 5 January 2013

Just returned from a holiday in Tanzania. Safari and Kilimanjaro climb were both booked with Zara tours so became well acquainted with Springlands Hotel. Read a lot of reviews from 2009/2010. Things have changed. Also appears some reviews have been written by inexperienced travellers. Luggage storage should be expected - not exceptional service.

My companions and I CANNOT recommend Springlands Hotel as value for money. Yes, the people are friendly and helpful - there are LOTS of them hovering around the dining area waiting to whisk away your plate before you've finished chewing the last bite of your meal. Apart from feeling a bit smothered by all the staff at mealtimes, they were very pleasant. However, friendly staff does not mean good service and value for money.

The rooms can, at best, be described as basic and outdated - not what I would expect for ~US$78 in a developing African country. Regarding room size, they appear to put guests in certain rooms depending on your next activity. For example, on our second stay, we had just returned from safari and were preparing to leave for Kili the next day so they put us in a massive room. Presumably, this is to allow us plenty of space to organise our kit. This would have been a very useful room if it wasn't for the numerous mosquitoes and the massive gaping holes in the mosquito net which did not even come close to fitting over the bed. ??? When they were not able to provide us with a can of bug spray (was a helpful service they offered at Highview Hotel), we had no choice but to ask for another room. We were then given the tiniest room you have ever seen. All that aside, the rooms are ok - nothing more. We never had a problem with cleanliness but we did have mixed success with fans. A couple times we had a small air con unit which helped but there are only 2 sockets in the room which means you really only have one for your use and it is not very accessible as it is hidden behind the bed head/mosquito net.

Food - every meal is a buffet and is available for a certain period; 1.5-2 hours. One night we turned up for dinner an hour into service and both salads and dessert were gone. Nothing was replenished. We did not think too much of it as we were not expecting to have to pay for it. Accommodation the night before and after our climb were provided so we assumed that dinner would also be provided. Never assume - they stiffed us for $10 each! We argued the point with management but that's a different story.

A side note - not only is dinner not worth $10/person but the meals are largely 'safe western cuisine'. When I travel, a huge part of that experience has to be eating what the locals eat. You're eating what they eat because what they eat is what they grow in the area. I could never get my head around tourists in Tanzania gorging themselves on waffles and cornflakes for breakfast. By the way - Springlands no longer offers fresh milk. It is powdered all the way, although if you go on safari and stay at Highview - they had fresh milk.

The hotel is out of town a bit which was not a big deal for us. They do have a shuttle bus but that costs $1/person/each way and the 'schedule' cannot always be relied on. Approx 5 minutes of the journey is on a VERY bad VERY bumpy dirt road. With all the Safari 4WDs, buses for climbers, buses for airport transfers, shuttle buses for town, Springlands hotel is a very busy place on a daily basis. All this traffic is only aggravating the road conditions. As a service to their immediate community (which appears to be among the poorest around) why do they not fix the road they use so much and destroy in the process? Their hotels proudly display media articles of the company's charitable efforts. But what about on the other side of the fortress, where there are no photographers and journalists?

The real sting in our stay was that we did not feel we received value for money. We felt like we were being ripped off left, right, and, centre. The rooms were overpriced, the meals were overpriced. Postcards from the shop are really bad and sold at $1 each. International postage stamps are also sold at $1 each which are twice the price of their face value! You have to buy bottled water to drink which is overpriced - you can get it cheaper in town. Bottles of local beer are $3 - twice what you pay in town.

Many places in Tanzania allow you to pay in either US$ or shillings. Always ask both prices and ask what conversion rate they are using. If you pay in $ but don't have the exact amount you will get stiffed on the change - they will usually give it to you in shillings with the inferior exchange rate.

Unfortunately, I do not know if our experience at Springlands Hotel is typical of Tanzania or isolated to Zara Tours - so I cannot say you are better off going somewhere else. It wasn't all doom and gloom but it certainly left us with a bitter taste in our mouths. We did raise all these points with management and it wasn't until our last night that they gave us a free dinner. (Perhaps it was noticed that the night before we went into town for a meal instead of 'enjoying' their overpriced buffet.) Regardless, there was not much else he could do to make amends. The problem is with Zara Tours and their pricing policy. I am surprised there has not been much of this mentioned in other reviews.

I referred earlier to experiencing Highview Hotel, safari, and Kilimanjaro. I must stress that this review is only applicable to our experience at Springlands as a hotel.

Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
2  Thank J C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zainab A, Owner at Springlands Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2013

Hi,
We sincerely appreciate the comment you posted on the Trip Advisor website, Springlands hotel page. We have noted your concern on the prices of rooms,meals and drinks and we will work it out with the management to see if we can review the rates.
As for the road, please note that its under the government planning and the government does not allow private investors to construct the roads. We have engaged in talks with the local government and hopefully will get the road paved by the end of this year.
The hotels location was strategically chosen as so far it helped bring electricity and water to the local community. Majority of the porters come from the neighboring villages and ZARA has supported them by having a charitable organization called Mount Kilimanjaro porters Society which helps the porters financially and materially. We also support the Kilimanjaro Orphanage center which has 74 orphans, ZARA is also paying school fees for a number of the orphans that are already in Primary and Secondary Schools.
We apologize if you felt ripped off. We have noted all your concerns and will work on them.

Regards,

Zainab Ansell.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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308 - 314 of 511 reviews

Reviewed 26 December 2012

I'm confused about previous reviews scoffing at Springlands hotel catering to Kili trekkers. That's 90% of Moshi's tourism. There's not much else there. While you may need to travel there for work or other leisurely activities, but hotels in Moshi make money off trekkers. And Springlands does a good job of it. If you are going up Kilimanjaro, they have a rental shop and a number of services to help store your stuff (luggage and valuables) while you climb. Their buffet meals are good, the pool is a nice perk, and the beer garden is a fantastic place to hang-out and meet others. It's nothing fancy, and I think they have the world's hardest pillows, but I was fine there.

Room Tip: Ask for a fan or AC in your room. A fan is really all you need, but I was unaware they offered them...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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Thank ChicagoOrange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2012

I struggle with this review : this is not strictly a hotel. It is an accommodation, owned by the Zara folks who organise these Kilimanjaro expeditions, and the safari's... As such, it is a functional piece of stay - a roof over the head, warm showers, buffet dinners..

Don't expect airconditioning, or all the fans / power points to work, and don't expect fantastic cuisines... It's all absolutely just nice to get going before & after, while everything caters to the trekkers - rental gear, guide briefings, safety deposits, etc.

Staff were all quite nice, and most aim to please, even though sometimes they don't seem to know how to.. :) Most impressive is the lady who started Zara - just reading about her history, to see her making her rounds, and to know how dedicated she is to her team & to the unfortunate people in her country, is simply inspiring.

Will i come back here? Yes, if i ever decide to trek to Kilimanjaro again. Otherwise, I should be quite mad to do so.. :)

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Rj-spark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2012 via mobile

I stayed there before and after my Kilimanjaro climb. The rooms are large, simple and with no frills. The beds a clean an comfy. There is hot water, Internet room, and a restaurant with decent food.
The service is amazing and everyone is cheerful.
I recommend it as a place to rest and put your head down in a comfy bed.
The location, however, doesn't appear to be central. To get to the place you have to go through a long dirt road. But no big deal really.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank livehappy01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2012

As everyone staying at the hotel, we were Zara Tour guests. We arrived the first night after traveling from the US for a single night before leaving to climb Kilimanjaro. The room was small and rather dated but clean(isn) and fine for what it was. You will not be staying at Springslands if you are not on a Zara Tour. After 6 days on the mountain, were returned to a wonderful room that was dry, clean, spacious, and had hot running water. Interestingly enough, it was the same room... A week on the mountain changes your view of things considerably. What makes Springslands a nice hotel is the staff. Everyone is very friendly, able to help with just about anything (arranging laundry, day trips, drinks by the pool, etc.). Overall, the hotel is fine. Rather dirty by that is relative in a place that has a dry and wet season.
Laundry takes more time that they say so be prepared. It will not be ready at 2 in the afternoon but more likely the following morning at the earliest. They wash things by hand and air dry them. There are no laundry facilities for you to do your own laundry. It is also VERY expensive relative to where you are. We paid $76 USD for our climbing clothes to be washed. A sum that was more than if we paid to have them laundered in the states.
The hotel itself feel very safe. Safe deposit boxes are available for $1 USD/day as well as free luggage storage. 500 ml local beers are $3 USD and lots of water is available.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the road as the are cleaner and quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank BTDavey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2012

Their card machine wouldn't work to settle my bill when i was checking out. So i called my bank and the transaction wasn't reaching them. I told them i could settle my bill in GBP rather than USD which they refused even though it was their bank card that wasn't working. Eventually they agree to accept GBP but they say my $270 bill is £220 in pounds, the real rate is £175. All while this is going on the girl is seemingly very frustrated at me for this and complaining to her coworkers.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank TravellerName
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2012

The hotel itself was very nice but there are a couple of things you need to consider.

We had booked for 2 nights prior to our climb and 1 night after. When we arrived at the airport we were told that there had been some trouble with the rooms which was being dealt with so we had to stay at a more central hotel for the night before being transferred. As we discovered afterwards the only trouble was that the hotel had let out a number of rooms to government bureaucrats who obviously took precedence over tourists.

When we got to the hotel it was far better than the one we had been in previously, howver it was some way out of town. The hotel has a shuttle which should run every 30 mins to drop off and pick up in town. This ran very haphazardly so you should understand that you may well have to walk back or wait an extensive amount of time for your return journey.

Staff were very polite and attentive, however everything is done to "Tanzanian time" so don't expect prompt service or you will be disappointed. The hotel, whilst being a haven of tranquility itself, is in a very poor area and has a large wall and metal gates to keep out the locals. If you do go out, although friendly, the locals do pester you and this can become timresome.

The hotel was very clean and we had no problems with our rooms. The food was of a good standard but you do tend to pay top price for using, what appears to be, the best hotel in the area.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank mickeybUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Springlands Hotel

Address: Pembo Road | Pasua Area, Moshi, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Kilimanjaro Region > Moshi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 17 Hotels in Moshi
Price Range: £45 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Springlands Hotel, located on the Southern slopes of Kilimanjaro near Moshi in Tanzania, is the ideal base for mountain walking trips and safaris to Kilimanjaro and all Northern Tanzanian National Parks. Our hotel offers excellent value and high quality at competitive rates. It has a large swimming pool, an airy dining area set in pleasant gardens, and indoor and outdoor bars. The rooms have spacious en-suite facilities with showers, mosquito netting, and fans. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Springlands Hotel Moshi, Tanzania - Kilimanjaro

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