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“This has got to be the best business hotel in Dar es Salaam!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Sun Dar es Salaam

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Southern Sun Dar es Salaam
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Garden Avenue | PO Box 80022, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Formerly Holiday Inn)   |  
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Kids eat and stay free
Ranked #4 of 74 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
Cape Town
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“This has got to be the best business hotel in Dar es Salaam!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2009

My colleague and I have recently spent a few days at the Southern Sun in Dar. Whilst this was our first time at this particular hotel, it was our 4th time in Dar. Normally we book our hotels on the basis of their location and star rating. I have no problem paying for 5 star accommodation, but when doing so I expect 5 star service. So, having previously paid for the only (so called) 5 star accommodation on offer in the area, and having left that accommodation somewhat disappointed, we decided to book into the Southern Sun (our choice being based on the location of the hotel).

You need helpful people when you're abroad. Rarely do you meet them. We were made to forget this fact during our stay at the Southern Sun. From the porters to the general manager we were met only with a genuine friendliness and willingness, not only to accommodate us in the hotel, but ensure that our stay in Dar was the best it possibly could be!

The Southern Sun is, now, definitely our home from home in Dar es Salaam.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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362 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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London
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2009

Arrived on a late flight from Europe and was booked into the Southern Sun by a travel agent specialising in trips to and around Eastern Africa. Very happy with their choice, the hotel is just comfortable enough and the staff in the restaurant are very friendly, so that we felt immediately welcome to this part of the world (karibu!). It's possible to change money at reception, and the rates weren't bad either. Only hitches were that the hotel were supposed to arrange a pick-up from the airport which did not happen, no did we receive an explanation, let alone apology. (We took a taxi for which the hotel agreed to pay.) And there was some confusion on the point whether our room had been paid for by the travel agent or not...
But overall it good place to spend the night when in transit through Dar.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Auckland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2009

Stayed here for 2 nights before and after a long safari.
The food was OK, the beer was cold and the staff friendly.
The rooms were clean and big enough - not outstanding by US or European standards but for Africa pretty good.

The business centre was good - expensive internet access but compared with the rest of Tanzania it was at least reliable (but not fast).

  • Liked — Air conditioning, cold beer, comfy bed
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2008
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

We had a night here at the end of our trip before flying back to the UK. We were very pleased that our travel agent had booked us here - the room was a good size (not big but room to move), with a comfortable bed with great pillows (and a pillow menu) and crisp white sheets. Bathroom had a bath (a bit short) and separate shower (large) with good toiletries.

The hotel has a nice small pool area and is in a safe and quiet part of town. We ate at the hotel restaurant as we could not be bothered to go out - we were very pleased - nice wine list at reasonable price. If you like curry we had one of the best potato/lentil/coconut curries we have ever had (and we eat curry a lot).

Staff and porters were very helpful.

All in all a comfortable stay and much better than just a transit hotel - we enjoyed our stay and left refreshed.

  • Liked — Great food and comfortable bed
  • Disliked — Breakfast didnt open till 7am so we had to have room service which was OK
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2008

No problems at all with this hotel. We arrived late but managed to get some dinner and cold beer and were whisked away again in the morning. The room was perfectly decent by anyone's standards but nothing to write home about.

  • Liked — Convenient and practical
  • Disliked — My tuna steak was too thick!
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thousand Oaks, California
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2008

Good hotel, great staff. Nice room on par with any 3-4 star in the US. Very nice grounds in a quite area. Hotel food was good. 2 restourants. I only ate lunch and breakfast so not sure how good the diner would be. But there was one major problem, and that was that there was no hot water. That was a real issue since it meant a cold shower in the morning! Still, given that the price was reasonable and the room was nice I would come back.

  • Liked — Room is up to American standards
  • Disliked — Cold water
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2008

I have stayed at this hotel 5 times now. My room is booked by the Bank of Tanzania, so I have little choice, however it is not a problem. There are two hotels I prefer in Dar, and both are more expensive.
On the up side the Southern Sun (ex. holiday Inn) has high quality rooms with excellent bathrooms containing both a bath and walk-in shower. The beds are kings-size and the TV and A/C both work. Wireless Internet is free, though there is a daily code you must request.
Breakfast is as good as any in Dar; excellent.
The staff are friendly and very helpful, and the gym is good, though a bit equipment light.
The bar is a Dar hot-spot, frequented by all sorts of fun characters (including a few hookers, who are not a problem, being quite polite and unintrusive). Actually, one trip I was insomniac due to the anti-malaria pills and sat in the bar until it closed and a few of the hookers (after a half-hearted attempt to drum up trade) came and advised me on how to get to sleep with ideas like eating 4 whole bananas and then a hot bath, and a few less wholesome ideas. It was fun and not offensive, but I got the impression that they would have been kicked out if I had lookd annoyed. Prices are reasonable; for food and drink, not the hookers. Those I don't know about.
Food-wise the menu is OK, but gets a bit wearing after a couple of weeks. The restaurant menu *is* the room service menu, so there is no need to eat downstairs unless you enjoy the hubbub. Be warned, though, that room service is slow and your food will often arrive warm, rather than hot.
The pool is fine for someone like me, who just wants to cool down and exercise a bit, but it is very close to the bar and women may feel a bit intimidated by the dozens of men sitting around drinking while they sunbathe. (Actually the sunbathing window is very small as the pool is in shade for most of the day.)
On balance I would say that it is a good business hotel, but a bit sad as a holiday hotel.

Stayed July 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Southern Sun Dar es Salaam

Address: 1 Garden Avenue | PO Box 80022, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Formerly Holiday Inn)
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Dar Es Salaam Region > Dar es Salaam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#2 Family Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#2 Luxury Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#3 Business Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#5 Romantic Hotel in Dar es Salaam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Sun Dar es Salaam 4*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Southern Sun Dar-Es-Salaam offers the best of all worlds with excellent facilities and within walking distance of the city centre. It is situated in a quiet part of town, close to the sea, next door to the Botanical Gardens and numerous diplomatic missions. The Hotel was recently awarded Silver status by the Heritage Environmental rating program in recognition of our commitment to reducing the Hotels environmental impact. A free Wi-Fi service is offered throughout the building. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Sun Dar Es Salaam Hotel Dar Es Salaam
Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam

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