Machweo

Reviews of Machweo

Good(85%) From 13 travellers
Excellent
5
Good
7
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 13 of our travellers who have visited Machweo, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Dr & Mrs S from Oregon
Arrived on: 2-Jul-2019 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Poor
Poor
Location:
Average
Average
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Poor
Poor
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Terrible
Terrible

Machweo review

This is a place with great ambiance and views of the mountains but unfortunately, is located in a noisy niche of a rural, Islamic cultural, neighborhood of impoverished lots, with farm animals and dogs. It is about 1 hour hair raising drive from Kili airport and 30 minutes from the Arusha airport. Driving there from Kilimanjaro (Kili) airport at night is like a game of "chicken" and "demolition derby". Nobody turn on their car lights and the street lamps either don't work or come on. The two lane highway is crowed with pedestrians and trucks, cars and buses trying to pass one another...in the dark. We sat in the back and put our seat belts on.

We arrived at about 8 and after getting settled went to dinner straight away. We ordered at the same time we got a couple of beers. The service was glacially slow! 55 minutes until the main course arrived. In truth, the restaurant was pretty full. We complained and were told to come earlier the next night. OK, so off to bed we went. We left the window open as it was warm but had lots of trouble with falling asleep because of the dogs barking and the farm animals joining the chorus. This went on and off all night. Closing the window was useless as they were very thin and the animals close by. At about 5 am the call to prayer was broadcast over the loud speakers from a mosque located close to the hotel. About 15 minutes after that another call to prayer, or something or other, occurred and this one lasted a very long time. This was not the normal length that one normally hears in other parts of the world from Istanbul to Tashkent, from even the largest of mosques, including the Blue Mosque with 6 minarets. This was downright disturbing of the peace and intolerable to even open minded folks who would have otherwise been mildly irritated but not disgusted with the normal short call to prayer waking them up once and then again just when they fall asleep again. After the second long call to .... we were up for good and very hopping mad over the event.

We headed off to the Arusha National Park for a game drive. The driver was on time and ready for us. We requested an earlier start i.e. 8 am as they originally wanted us to go at 9 am. Most game drives start at 6:30 am so you can see our concern. Things started out "slowly" but got progressively better as the drive continued. All in all, a good day.

But then there was dinner, again. We showed up at the bar for a couple of beers and the guy there had heard about our complaints of slow service the night before and offered us two drinks "free of charge". We still ordered two beers that were probably included free anyway, just so you know we are not opportunists. We were in the dinning area at 6 pm and were actually the 3rd couple there. No matter, the service was just as painfully slow as the night before when we were there at 8 pm and the place was packed. Nothing changed. I was upset enough I went to the desk and told the man I was now not very happy regarding these events and the slow service...again. He told me the owner was actually here having dinner and he could arrange a meeting, to which I readily agreed.

Mr. Axel Janssens, the owner (his card says "chef" ??) came over to our table and we talked about the issues mentioned above. He was a class act, so it seemed. No excuses, no BS, just facts and information. Regarding the slow service: He has had these complaints before and said he would pass them on to the kitchen. OK, but we won't be back to check it out. He explained that he had to make the road ( its pretty long) from the highway to the hotel. He has complained about the call to prayer and said that the Imam wants a "house" to keep him "quiet". He stated he has lost significant business with a company that was split into two, one of which is Expert Africa and the the other is ???? (sorry I forgot the name). It is from the ???? company that he has lost 803 rooms a year in booking because guests have complained of the noise. If all this is true, we really feel sorry for the guy. He will go out of business because of the noise. The kitchen problems are "his" to fix. The junk yard dogs and farm animals (mostly chickens) is another problem just like the mosque. To be complete, the 2nd night was just as bad.

However, I recorded the call to prayer in the morning. It was at least 12 minutes long and I had switched off the recording but turned it back on when the Imam continued. This is a legal issue for Axel but in the meantime not the fault of the guests. We have that recording if you want it for legal evidence or if Axel does. He can also make one for himself if so inclined, just start recording at the early am wake up with the call to prayer. Considering the fact that there are plenty of Christians living in town, this is a mess for the Tanzania courts to fix. In the meantime, don't send guests to this hotel. To be complete, we were in room one. The toilette in the bathroom is not on the same level as the sink, neither is the shower. They are both 1/2 story down a twisty flight of stairs that is difficult to navigate at 2 am for a potty call. 'nuf said! Look elsewhere for a hotel.

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Expert Africa comments

We were very sorry to hear that these travelers didn’t enjoy their stay at Machweo. We discussed these points with Axel, the owner of Machweo, and he assured us that he has taken on board their comments about the slow restaurant service with improvements to be made for future travelers. With regards to the noise from the mosque, Axle tells us they are in negotiations with the Imam that are going well. They have already adjusted the position of the speakers, so the noise is directed in a different direction which is a big help, with further changes expected.

With regards to the conversation about losing business to a company that Expert Africa is linked to was miscommunicated. We have been operating as an African specialist tour operator since the early 90s, and have never been part of a larger company offering similar safari products.

Mr A. from new york
Arrived on: 7-Feb-2019 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Good
Good

Machweo review

Decent property, great food

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Mrs P.S. from Baldock
Arrived on: 14-Sep-2018 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good

lovely place to relax before going to camps.

Nice rooms and lovely restaurant area.

Pool area quite small but adequate for short stay.

Woken by very loud call to prayer from nearby mosque which could be an issue if you were staying for several nights.

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Tim from USA
Arrived on: 18-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good

Excellent stopover from the airport

Rooms were extremely nice, great shower and bed.

The view was great.

The food and service was top notch.

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Ashkan S from USA
Arrived on: 23-Sep-2017 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great stay

Great stay.

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Mr F from Edina
Arrived on: 13-Aug-2017 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good

Machweo review

good place for a brief overnight stay...

We had dinner on the veranda which was very nice, good setting. very friendly service...

Excellent breakfast, especially the huge selection different honeys for breakfast was a hit...

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Martina from Austria
Arrived on: 17-Jul-2017 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent

Back to Civilization

Machweo was only the base for our homeward journey (we left there at two a.m. !)

The diner, however, was very nice and our wakeup-call at night on time !

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Mr A from California
Arrived on: 27-Mar-2017 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Machweo review

We were there only a single night and it was generally good. We had an excellent meal and a well earned massage.

The accommodation served its purpose while we waited to fly to Nairobi but there is probably no reason to stay longer than one night.

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EBL from Brookline
Arrived on: 11-Feb-2017 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good

Machweo overnight

We emerged from Arusha airport late at night after a long day of travel and were driven about 45 minutes to Machweo lodge. It's always hard to get your bearings in the dark, but the staff was welcoming and our "cottage" was comfortable although without air conditioning, which is rarely needed (except that night!).

In the morning we could see the beautiful grounds and surroundings - unfortunately we were off on safari that day and so unable to enjoy them. Breakfast was delicious on the deck with a view of the mountains and the sounds of village life below.

Pleasant and would recommend as a stopover while in Arusha.

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Mr & Mrs C from Berwick
Arrived on: 1-Feb-2017 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Good food at Machweo

We spent two nights at Machweo. It was a handy starting point as about a hour from Kilimanjaro airport and just outside Arusha. The food was excellent at every meal and, although not far from the main road, the rooms quiet and clean.

Recommend visiting the Cultural Heritage Centre just on the other side of Arusha, which also boats a fabulous modern gallery displaying African art and sculpture and a craft centre. On leaving we had a small problem over a $60 charge for the taxi to the Cultural Centre. We pointed out that it stated it was free in the guest information folder. We hope that has now been made clear!

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