So, let's get one thing straight; this is not a Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons. Then again, you're not paying that kind of money either (unlike many establishments in Dar, which charge Dom Perignon prices and serve Budweiser). If you're in Dar for business and prefer staying near the business district, Southern Sun is hard to beat in terms of location and value for $$. As anyone who has visited Dar recently would tell you, Dar's traffic is some of the worst anywhere, and moving around in a motorized vehicle of a sort incapable of defying gravity is an experience best avoided if at all possible. Thus, a business traveler would probably appreciate the downtown location of Southern Sun better than a leisure traveler lusting for the white sands of Bahari or Kunduchi Beach in the outskirts of Dar. I stayed in this hotel when it was a Holiday Inn way back when it first opened, and then recently (July-August, 2013) for >2 weeks when I was in Dar for business and leisure travel. First of all, I was pleasantly surprised that the hotel facilities had been maintained remarkably well over the years (not a mean feat in Tanzania). To boot, customer service was much improved. The staff in the two main restaurants (less so at the reception desk, I must say) were very friendly and helpful. Aside from the pool, the amenities are rather limited, especially if traveling with little kids (seems more business oriented IMO). The gym is very basic, but sufficient for cardio (not many patrons used the gym while I was there, so not crowded in spite of the cozy size). The breakfast and weekend brunch (included) were quite respectable even though the menu got a little predictable after a few days. I had recurrent issues with my room key not working, but the front desk staff quickly fixed it without much hassle. Overall, I would recommend the Southern Sun for business travelers, but less so for families. Front desk staff could be a little friendlier, but most others went the extra mile to be helpful and friendly.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Nez B - You should get an award for the quality of your reviews! You gave me a good chuckle especially about the traffic!
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Thanks for the honest feedback, its good of you to note that we have improved with age and gotten a little more confident! I have chatted to our Chef and our Regional Chef about the need to make our breakfast offer a little less predictable, I appreciate that for someone who stayed for as long as you did that this can be a concern. As you well know we don't have much more space for leisure facilities but we have tied up with a local Health Spa that offers quite an extensive gym facilities and spa, we also have an arrangement with the golf course next door. We were amiss in not making this clear to you - sorry. I need to investigate the Key Lock programe you had, the lock should not have failed.
Sadly I cant do much about the traffic though!
Once again thanks for the feedback and I hope it wont be another ten years before you return!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.