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“Farcical stay.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel White Sands, Resort & Conference Centre

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Hotel White Sands, Resort & Conference Centre
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Africana Road | Jangwani Beach, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania   |  
Hotel website
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Ranked #14 of 80 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
264 reviews 264 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 80 cities Reviews in 80 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
“Farcical stay.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

I joined my partner on the first night of his stay at White Sands for a work conference and we were both appalled.

After checking in with a rather surly receptionist, we arrived in our room. It was fine - an ok size with a comfortable bed etc. but nothing special (and it smelled a bit funky, like damp in the air conditioning). We were starving, having not eaten in several hours, so decided to order room service to avoid the blaring music from the live band playing near the restaurant. The room phone didn't work, so we walked back across the resort to the reception to order the food and ask that the phone be fixed. It seemed they really didn't believe the phone was working, but they sent someone anyway who agreed there was a problem and promised to return.

More than an hour later there is no sign of the phone man or the food. Eventually the food turns up and we were nothing short of horrified. We had ordered onion rings which I actually laughed at when I opened - small, soggy and sad looking on the plate, with hardly any batter, and at a quantity that made them cost more than 1000 shillings per ring. Next up was the vegetable burger, which was more of a stew on some bread, spilling down the sides. I'm not sure what it was made of, but they'd massacred it with spice but to no avail, it was still disgusting. The chicken schnitzel sandwich wasn't much better, and was a third of the size of the bun it came in. The chips were under-cooked and soggy, the salad one one plate was just shredded lettuce and on the other one slice of tomato and two sliced of cucumber (all wilted), and the entire lot was cold. Unbelievably, we contemplated eating the mess just because we were so hungy, but in the end couldn't.

With no phone, we had to walk back to reception again to complain, by which time we were furious. The duty manager came to look at the meal (again with a distinct air that he didn't believe us) and agreed that the food wasn't good enough. After disappearing to talk to the chef, he agreed that we didn't have to pay for the food, and instead directed us to the restaurant dinner (which didn't start for another hour and which we'd have to pay for). That dinner was better, the buffet was fine, though the vegetable and lentil curry was very salty.

We were informed that there was a problem with the phone line but nothing else happened...

Breafast the next day was ok, and we were greeted by the chef (who happened to be standing there, it wasn't planned) who again didn't seem to believe our story of the night before until we showed pictures. He apologised and said it would be sorted.

Lunch turned into another joke. I turned up at 12, needing to leave at 1pm (a fact I informed the staff of) to get to the airport. Since lunch didn't start until 12.30, I ordered from the bar menu and went for a salad with a side of chips thinking it would be easy and fast. Despite chasing my food, nothing had arrived by 12.55, at which point I had to leave my partner (who was part way through a work lunch) to cancel my order while I headed to the airport hungry. The hotel did eventually agree that we didn't have to pay for that meal either, but that didn't prevent me from having to gobble snacks on the airplane 3 hours later to make up for my missed meal.

The hotel is miles out from the town centre (or from anything really) so you've not got a choice of where to eat of what to do.

We freely admit that this sort of resort complex really isn't to our taste, and we'd never have chosen to stay there if it were a pleasure trip. But that doesn't excuse the poor service and food, particularly given the price.

As it happens I had cut my stay there short - how glad of that I am now!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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185 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Russian first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

This hotel lacks service. It has awful hospitality and the management are rude and dismissive. We stayed for a wedding and whilst the location is stunning, you find yourself not being able to enjoy it because you spend all your time sorting out the issues with your room. The rooms are not particularly clean and for the entire duration of my stay we had no water or not hot water to shower with. When reported to reception nothing would happen and you would have to follow it up several times before anything was done. Going to the reception was a nuisance because the resort is so big and so a 10-15 minute walk when all you want is a shower is annoying to say the least. Even when the water was 'fixed' it would only last for maybe one person to shower and then the same would happen again. We were told this was because the plumbing was old; however as a paying guest this was not my problem.

There is no such thing as hotel management at this hotel with the managers fobbing you off like 'its no big deal' so clearly they are aware of the problems but do not care. The food is never replenished at the breakfast buffet and the staff give the impression that they would rather not be there. The only helpful member of staff was the bell boy.

Room Tip: Do not pick the rooms starting with 400 they are awful and never have water and when they do it is f...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

I stayed at White Sands hotel for a few days and had a really poor experience. The hotel needs to fire its managers, as they are not doing their job. On the first night I ordered some food then returned to my room. When I was called to say it was ready I asked that they bring it to my room. After waiting 20 minutes, I walked down to the restaurant (a 30 second walk from my room) to ask that they give it to me directly. The idea of paying a service charge to wait that long for cold food was too much. On the second night, I ordered room service at around 6pm. While waiting for it to arrive, I fell asleep. Upon waking up at 7:30, I realized they had never brought it. When I went to the kitchen, they explained that they had never received the order, despite my having confirmed my room # on the phone. Oddly, this poor service is besides a large number of staff, who prefer to chat rather than serve the customers. The location of the hotel makes it a pain to go to the Peninsula or town - it's expensive and the traffic is brutal. The exchange rate is really bad - 1500 to 1 USD vs. 1580 or 1600 in town - as with their remote location they can get away with it. Finally, when I asked for a second copy of my receipt when leaving they refused to provide one. Oh, and the wireless internet, for which you have to pay extra each day, was just a single bar in my room.

Avoid the hotel if you can.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2012

Though I went on business, and spent little time in the hotel, the overall impression is that it is very good. Not very costly, set on the Indian Ocean with own private beach, it is a good choice for families wanting to relax for a while in a quiet and comfortable setting.

Food is good and they give a good buffet breakfast, which is split in two parts - so go further inside and you'll find more items to choose from apart from the cold items.

Service is efficient and they try their best to help you. My room phone was not working and in a couple of hours it was fixed.

Give it a try - its wroth it. Slightly outside the city, hence its beauty but limitation also.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the ocean and on the top floor. The view is really good from upstairs.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2012

Well! It seems like you either love it or you hate it. I have to say, reading the trip advisor reviews of Whitesands before our visit there, I was quite prepared to bale out and head for the nearest slum dwelling that might offer B & B at even a halfway reasonable standard. My experience during a four day meeting held at the hotel certainly proved my reservations to be totally unfounded. Whilst I generally find Tripadvisor a fantastic resource, I do feel that my experience with this hotel highlights the need to still travel with a bit of an open mind.

As I entered the lobby, I felt the hairs rising on the back of my neck in anticipation of the torrent of abuse that I would receive at reception in response to my polite request to check in. Oh? OK. Thanks very much for the complimentary soft drink and my room key delivered with a pleasant smile and not even the faintest hint of indifference or contempt. Imagine my horror when, on attempting to secure my valuables in the room safe, I found that the battery was flat and the safe would not lock. Surely this spelled several days of intensive negotiation with hotel management and the need to carry my suitcase with me continually in case someone decided to steal my socks. Actually ... no. Some bloke came and fixed it within 15 minutes of my call to reception.

The Whitesands offered us a good value location for a meeting. The restaurant is reasonable and the food not bad and, if I had been on holiday, I would have enjoyed the pool and surroundings. The reef is a bit smelly at low tide but it’s actually quite a natural odour. This is a windward coast so stuff does get washed up on the beach but the hotel obviously tries to manage this. The bathroom in my room was just a little bit on the grimy side but the room itself was very pleasant (30 yards from the Indian Ocean) and the housekeeping and turn down service was excellent. Sure. I have stayed in better places but I have stayed in a lot, lot worse and there is no way that Whitesands is the gulag that some of the reviews here would have you believe.

Room Tip: Most of them seem to face the sea
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arusha, Tanzania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2012

The only reason we booked White Sands is because we were following a diving course at Sea Breeze and I heard the diving center was great. Which was true: a thorough course, professional and fun staff. The hotel however.. (They are next door but not affiliated)

The building and the rooms were once built with ample money and taste, I can not say anything bad about the structure and the rooms itself. The airconditioning did not work however and the tv with satellite had a message popping up on screen every 2 minutes which they could not get rid of.

They boast that they have a good family policy and children's rates: Small children are free and there is a babysitter service. The children did not get an extra bed, not even a cod or sofa. There were no extra pillows, sheets or towels for them. The babysitter was just a maid whose shift was over, she negociated her price with us (luckily we speak kiswahili) and did not have any training, sat next to the pool but could not swim and so on.

I had booked half board but they did not bother to tell me when they sent the invoice that there was no such formula, we ended up with BB without knowing it and paying for every extra meal. They should communicate about the meal plans better and for BB I found the room too expensive. The reception kept asking me if I had paid while I had sent them a copy of the payment a week before arrival, it was quite annoying.

The attached park water world is a disgrace. It constantly had signs up that said "closed for cleaning" but the staff was sleeping on the sun beds. When it was open, half of the slides and pools were not open and incredibly filthy. On Saturdays it was packed, dirty and not well supervised. Better go to Kunduchi 'wet and wild' if it is that kind of fun you(r kids) are looking for.

The food was nice but the service in the restaurant terrible. The coffee was cold, or not even there, tables were set with incomplete sets cutlery, breakfast went slow when you came after 8 because the staf was making their own sandwiches at the buffet.. There was clearly no training of staff beforehand and no supervision.

The beach in front of the hotel was not nice. They tried to keep it clean but it was useless. The presence of a pool was a relief but the water should have been less dirty. A daytrip to Mbuya island lifted my spirits immensely. Short ferry-trip from the hotel and beautiful get-a-way.

But if you do go diving: Sea Breeze Diving Center is great and there are many other hotels around.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
New Delhi, India
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
179 helpful votes 179 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

Excellent location, good property, average food and service. We were prepared for the worst after seeing the reviews. However it seems the management too have seen reviews so it was better than expected. Beach is 50 steps from the room, good pool, good grass and beach side sitting arrangements. Staff back up is poor. Most of them do not understand english and are therefore underconfident and appear incompetent. Breakfast has limited choice. Dinner was bad so we ate only one day of the five there. Gym is shut in the morning as staff comes from elsewhere. PADI centre around the corner is one of the best I have seen with competent staff ( It is not part of the hotel but connected ). Snorkeling to nearby island is great too with good variety of fishes and corals.
No bathtub and low pressure in shower. AC is uncontrollable. Its either hot or freezing.
Tea and coffee in room is great as you can sit in the balcony and enjoy the sea view.
Wifi is extremely slow and frustrating ( by the time you enter your flight details, the page logs you out due to inactivity !!! ha ha ha , not funny for some )

Room Tip: Take a room in the 22x category. Even ones are ground floor and odd ones are 1st floor. Stay close t...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hotel White Sands, Resort & Conference Centre

Address: Africana Road | Jangwani Beach, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Dar Es Salaam Region > Dar es Salaam
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#5 Romantic Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#7 Business Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#9 Luxury Hotel in Dar es Salaam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel White Sands, Resort & Conference Centre 4*
Number of rooms: 146
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The real gem of the East Coast of Africa! The White Sands Beach Resort is situated on an idyllic stretch of private beach front, just 25kms North of Dar es Salaam city centre, making it the gateway to a unique East African experience!Immerse yourself in the welcoming culture of Africa whilst you enjoy sincere, heartfelt GUEST service. The seaside accommodation comprises of 118 spacious, well appointed, standard rooms and 28 studio, one or two bedroomed apartments.Satisfy your palate with sumptuous fare from one of our restaurants, quench your thirst with an ice cold drink on the deck of the Pweza Jetty overlooking the warm Indian Ocean, unwind with a relaxing treatment from our White Sands Spa, take a boat trip to one of the nearby uninhabited islands, be adventurous and experience the beauty of the underwater world with a Scuba course from our PADI Dive Centre, have a work-out in our Gym or simply relax at the swimming pool or on the beach. Whether on Holiday, Business or Conferencing, the White Sands Hotel & Beach Resort is proud to provide our GUESTS with everything that they need and more! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Sands Hotel And Dar Es Salaam

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