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“every day worst and worst” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel

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Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Ohio Street | P.O. Box 791, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Formerly Moevenpick Royal Palm Hotel Dar es Salaam)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 80 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“every day worst and worst”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2011

I can't understand. We was in Europe the last 2 months. We come back to Zanzibar (our home) the last week and today we come back to Movenpick, for some jobs in Dar and leisure. I repeat thatt I can't understand that's happening in this Hotel. Every day more dirty, the pastries olders and withous take care of service. The breakfast service is terrific. And NOW the SWIMMING POOL, all the tiles green colour, burbles in the water, etc... If this swimming pool is in Europe the Hotel is closed urgently, because it's one dangerous situation for the health. I was in the administration for say it to them, I was talking with one european employer. Arrived the manager, and like he don't know even the regular clients (we are clients from about 6 years, coming more that 50 days year, but he don't know us...!!!), and he believe that we don't know him, escape with the mobile phone, leaving the employer alone in front of the angries clients.....!!!! Movenpick has one very good luck: Very good situation and nice structure, and clients that they are coming for the name of Movenpick and they stay short time, or like us, that we haven`t possibilites for to pay one Kempinsky....!!! Sorry, if I feel me to much emotive, but this swimming pool is one .......

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hpduerr, General Manager at Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel, responded to this review, February 21, 2011
Dear Mr. Juan

Thank you for your review and comments on the swimming pool. We have recently changed the treatment from concentrated tablet chlorine to a salt chlorinator system, which gives a better water quality. Unfortunately, the company providing the daily service made a mistake which unbalanced the water, leading to a greenish water color due to the formation of algae. This was immediately addressed but it takes about 24 hours to eliminate the color. I remember having passed by when you spoke to a member of our management team. Being on a phone call, I did not grasp your conversation or subject and when returning a few minutes later, you had left. Hearing the subject, I went to check the pool and assure the necessary was done there. I later asked the Front Manager to inform you about the situation and measures taken. I regret you encountered this unfortunate occurrence and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Thank you for your understanding.

Kindest regards,

Hans Peter Duerr
General Manager
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377 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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USA
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
122 hotel reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2011

Apparently the tax laws in Tanzania give investors a tax holiday for the first 2 years of ownership, which is the only reason I can think of that Movenpick would have taken over the Royal Palm, which took over the Sheraton without making any fundamental changes or upgrades.

Well, one. The desserts are terrific, full of Swiss chocolate, or at least a Swiss (?) chef who knows how to use chocolate.

The hotel is convenient to the business district, though not to the nice beaches or restaurants. The rooms are visited at least twice every day with cleaning and turn down service. The staff was pleasant; there is a great teakettle in the room; breakfast has a wide choice (though limited fresh fruit) and the bed was comfortable, although I slept poorly because the duvet-or-nothing covering option required the air conditioner to be totally off, so I could sleep uncovered and sweat or on max cool all night, so I could sleep under the duvet and sweat..

Another pet peeve: Like many hotels, the Movenpick has a sign in the bathroom that for ecological reasons only towels left on the floor will be replaced, which is a great idea. So I carefully re-hung all used towels and the bath mat, and of course they were all replaced every day in spite of the alleged policy and in spite of the totally unnecessary waste of energy. We wouldn't think of washing our towels every day at home, for pete's sake!

The outdoor buffet dinners looked good, but at $30/person, more than a week's salary for a local teacher, I objected on principle. Desk staff could come up with no other dining options in the area, though I'm sure there are some that don't require a taxi.

If you're willing to pay European prices for a European branded hotel, the Kempinski looked like a jazzier and more interesting alternative.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hpduerr, General Manager at Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel, responded to this review, February 7, 2011
We have read your review and would like to thank you for your generally positive comments. The hotel owning company (which is not Moevenpick) has renovated of most areas in 2007 and is currently working on a new 5 year rehabilitation plan, although not intending to change the basic African style of the hotel.
As to the AC, the city goes through a difficult power supply situation, with long load shedding and continuous interruption, reducing our cooling capacity during generator operation. We will however install an additional chiller early February 2011, enabling us to have full capacity at all times.
We continuously strive to perfect our product and services and therefore very much appreciate guest feedback; it enables us to initiate corrective action and refocus our training initiatives to eliminate shortcomings detected.
We thank you for taking the time to comment on your stay and hope to have the pleasure to welcome you again when traveling to Dar es Salaam next time.
Sincerely yours
Hans Peter Dürr, General Manager
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Dar es Salaam
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2011

Everything from front office service to the meals was splendid! wonderful ambience, friendly staff, felt right at home.. We will definitely be back soon for an even longer stay!
Mr & Mrs. Haule

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Australia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2010

Stayed at the Movenpick for one night before flying to South Africa very very early the next morning. From the beginning the staff were fantastic. I had booked the hotel from Australia and had arranged via email for them to send a car to collect me from the airport. They responded within an hour assuring me that they could organise transfers. As soon as I got to the hotel I was greeted with fresh mango juice and smiling reception staff. The hotel manager even rang my room to make sure I had gotten in ok. The safari restaurant had a great lunch buffet and the bakers basket had great pastries and coffees. Was temped to get a haircut and massage at the beauty salon but ran out of time. Would definetely stay here again if visiting Dar Es Salaam.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2010

The following is the text of a comment on the hotel I provided to Movenpick after they asked for my feedback following a stay in August. Needless to say I didn't receive a response.

The lobby of the Royal Palm needs a complete re-think as what was once calm and elegant now looks a complete mess. Moving the coffee bar from the corridor by the restaurant into the lobby is a huge mistake in my view. It looks disorganised and the large chiller unit plonked close to the main entrance seems very downmarket for a 5 star hotel. The terrace at the rear of the hotel was also a mess. I appreciate that it was Ramadan and therefore busy but the whole atmosphere of that area, which I once looked forward to visiting, has again gone very down market: scuffy, poorly cleaned and generally not somewhere I'd want to meet colleagues or relax.

My main complaint is that even though I'd booked an early arrival - my flight arrived in Dar at 7.00am - I had to wait over an hour before a room was ready. I wouldn't have minded so much if I'd been told quickly about the problem but it took 2 or 3 enquiries and about 20 minutes before someone took me to the business centre to continue waiting. Eventually someone took me to the room where we asked the cleaners how much longer they would be. As I say, if someone had explained the situation when I arrived I would have been much less annoyed about and stressed by this and it really was the last thing I needed after a 15 hour journey to Dar.

They gym was also a big disappointment. Some of the equipment is very old and poorly serviced. The rowing machines in particular were unusable and in very poor condition. Again, not what I would expect from a five star hotel.

Lastly, you have some very good facilities at the hotel - including thesSpa on the first floor - but they are poorly advertised and I had to find them for myself. Why not advertise them on the TV or, discreetly, in other ways.

Overall I gained a very poor impression of what was once Dar es Salaam's premier hotel. I stayed with one of your competitors later during my visit and virtually every aspect (including their newly equipped gym) was a great improvement on the Royal Palm at a considerably lower cost.

I hope that you are able to reverse the decline before it's too late.

I hope this is helpful.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2010

We stayed here for one night as we were flying through Dar es Salaam on our way back from Zanzibar. It is not convenient for the airport, does not have any good views and is not the quality that you would expect from an international hotel brand.
We were leaving very early in the morning so wanted a good early night's sleep and to simply relax in a hotel that we could rely on. This didn't happen. We tried to settle the bill the night before and so pay for the dinner we had in our room (none of the restaurants in the hotel were up to scratch). Paying in cash in US dollars you would have thought they would have change in US dollars (particularly as there is an in-house forex bureau). But the receptionist asked me if I would be happy to wait until 10pm for some change. I said I was getting up at 2am so keen to get it sooner. Anyway, nothing happened until 10pm when the hotel room phone rang with the receptionist saying that he had not managed to get the change, but the chap in the morning would have it. At 2 in the morning the chap had some in US dollars and some in Tanzanian shillings - useless as this was our last couple of hours in Tanzania!! It was also fairly small amounts of money but the principal of the matter wound me up!
Also, the rooms are grubby, with stains on the carpets and the sealant going black round the bath. We moved room once and this still was not adequate but as we were tired and wanted to sleep we did not want to keep moving room all night.
Not a great place to spend the last night of your honeymoon!!
The food in the room was a good standard and the porters were good. That's it.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2010

Meeting up with friends to celebrate a birthday, we spent a few days here before heading out on safari. It really is an excellent hotel which makes an impression the moment you arive in the enormous and beautifully furnished foyer. Breakfasts and dinners were excellent and the poolside service was faultless.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel

Address: Ohio Street | P.O. Box 791, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Formerly Moevenpick Royal Palm Hotel Dar es Salaam)
Location: Tanzania > Dar Es Salaam Region > Dar es Salaam
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#9 Business Hotel in Dar es Salaam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 230
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An oasis of luxury at the very heart of Dar es Salaam, the elegant and cosmopolitan Dar esSalaam Serena enjoys an exceptionally high-profile clientele and regularly plays host to bothregional and international events. Stylish yet relaxed, the hotel is one of the capital city’smost popular rendezvous and makes the ideal venue for both corporate and social events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
mövenpick Dar Es Salaam
Dar Es Salaam mövenpick

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