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Zara Tours - Springlands Hotel Moshi Reviews
Good starting point for Kilimanjaro and/or safaris Nov 14, 2010
If you travel with Zara tours to Kilimanjaro or on safari in Tanzania, they will put you up in Springlands hotel. After driving down an incredably bumpy road you arrive at a big yellow complex where the staff immidiatly come and welcome you and show you where to go.
The staff is amazingly friendly and usually greet you by name. Most people only stay there a day or two before or after going on Kilimanjaro or safaris, but if you have a tour booked with Zara, you can stay a few nights extra, which can be a good idea, as it's nice to have an extra day to get organised before the trip.
The rooms are decent and clean, with a basic standard. I stayed in three different rooms during my time in Tanzania, and none of them had good showers. One room had only cold water, and the others had bad waterpressure. Otherwise, the beds are ok, the rooms have fans and a mosqito net, and shelfs to put your stuff on.
The hotel is pretty not conveniatly located for touring Moshi, and the hotel doesn't recommend that you walk in town by yourself. Of coarse, they want you to book the shuttle and use a guide, or just stay at the hotel and buy stuff from their kiosk, so if you are up to it, just walk in to town on your own.
also, they have some tours on offer, wich I did't take, but others I talked to recommended them.
It's a pretty neat system, you never pay for anything at the hotel, you just sign the bills. Then, when you check out, everything is added up, and you pay at the reception.Food is included in the tour price (unless you are staying extra like I did), so its drinks, internet and rentals that adds up. It is a good idea to bring lots of cash, as they have a 10% (I kid you not!)surcharge for using VISA cards.
The best thing about Springlands is the staff. They are superfriendly and really take care of you. Since I stayed there a bit longer than most, I got to know some of the staff and they are very helpful. I planned and booked my safari on the spot with help from their safari booking person, and got lots of info and helpful tips about my Kilitrip.
Another good thing is that you can rent gear you may lack, both for Kilitrips and safaris, and there is a storage room to leave everything you are not bringing. Also, there is a airport shuttle, internet, tv-room, gym, kiosk, swimmingpool, rental, storage, safe deposit boxes, and bar. And a lovely garden (bring insect repellent).
The food is ok, but it gets dreary after a while. Since most people only stay one or two nights, one doesn't have time to get tired of the food, but it's not a great culinary experience.
This is Zara tours private hotel, so everyone you meet is either going/have been on Kilimanjaro or safari or both. Most seem to be there for Kili. It's kind of nice sittting there discussing the hike with those who had been up there, getting advice and do's and dont's. And giving the same after my own trip up. Especially for me, that was travelling alone it was nice to always have a easy conversation opener.
All in all, Springlands is a good starting point for a trip up Kilimanjaro or a safari. They are super professional and organized, everyone gets on the right transportation in the morning, everyone gets back to the hotel.
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Simple and good enough Feb 28, 2009
Traveling through Africa, you have to abandon all expectations of showers and toilets. They will never live up to American standards. After that, you'll do just fine.
We thought the rooms were clean and comfortable, albeit warm some nights. There are fans but no air conditioning. We were exhausted every night we were there (after climbing Kilimanjaro and then being on safari) and got a decent night's rest. There was so little water pressure though, we never felt clean after showering. I just could not get my hair washed.
The Zara business model is brilliant. You are in hotels that are just far enough from town that you have to buy all your drinks and food from them. (They conveniently offer shuttles into town, which you also pay for.) They do provide plenty, though. The food was okay, but tiring after two weeks of touring with Zara. It's a private hotel for folks on the Zara tour, so you'll be surrounded by other Americans and Europeans who are also climbing Kilimanjaro and/or going on safari.
The staff was always friendly and helpful. The garden setting was gorgeous, with dozens of birds flitting around. Sitting in the garden with a beer, you soon forget about the bad shower.
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