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“Mixed but generally disappointing experience”

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Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City Centre
Ranked #25 of 98 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
Reviewed March 8, 2013

The Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam is well located in central Dar Es Salaam (viz. in the middle of traffic jams) and conveniently within walking distance to the Zanzibar ferry terminal. The building itself is relatively new and appears well enough appointed from the outside. That is where the international standards stop though.

My first issue with the property was their failure to provide a pre-arranged and re-confirmed airport pickup service. As a result, my girlfriend, on her first visit to Tanzania and arriving separately to me due to my flight being rescheduled, was left to fend for herself amid the melee of airport taxis. To cap it off, when she called to ask the hotel about the status of the pickup, she was told that there was no record of her booking a vehicle and that she should find a taxi herself. This was despite an email confirmation that was copied to (and confirmed as read by) the General Manager personally. She came to no harm in the end, but I was livid at their flippant disregard for providing services that they had already confirmed to provide.

My second issue with the property was with their bathroom fittings. On our first night there, we were in an older standard room and the bathroom fittings were simply not of international standard. I understand that the bathrooms are under renovation, so I will cut them some slack on that front. On our second night there on our way back from Zanzibar, we were upgraded to an Executive Room due to my Priority Club status. The bathroom fittings here were much nicer in appearance, but the sloppy housekeeping and maintenance was in evidence. There was only a quarter roll of toilet paper provided, with no spare roll as is customary in hotel rooms. Additionally, the shower head snapped off and fell to the ground as I was taking a shower. It appeared to be some cheap plastic head that couldn't handle the water pressure. Very poor experience. We also had an electricity failure that left the entire property in darkness for almost 40 minutes - I would expect that a branded hotel in Africa has multiple redundant systems in place to deal with undoubtedly frequent power cuts.

There are other small things that stand out about the sloppy service at the hotel. For example, at breakfast the tea/coffee was served, but our table was missing a sugar bowl. The server failed to bring us any despite being requested and we had to flag down another server who eventually assisted us. Our requested refills did not arrive for 15 minutes ("yes sir, it is coming soon") at which point we just gave up and left. On multiple occasions, I had to wait at the reception desk to ask a question while the staff seemingly busied themselves in paperwork/computers rather than deal with me. The bell captain/porter desk was routinely unmanned and you had to actually walk up to it and poke around for someone to come scurrying out of the shadows to deal with you. Even the security guard/doorman that was supposed to be manning the driveway was rarely at his post, preferring instead to hang out in the air-conditioned lobby unless a manager was around.

On the positive side though, the staff who did interact with us were almost universally friendly and helpful once they actually gave us their attention. Complimentary wireless internet access runs throughout the property and is decently fast by African standards. The food at the restaurants (we ate both downstairs and at the rooftop restaurant) is also good.

Overall however, this was a generally poor experience, and the property needs a serious shakeup to maintain the Holiday Inn brand standard.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SeanMendis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eclipse22, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City Centre, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2013

Dear Mr. Mendis,

Thank you for your review, we sincerely regret that on this occasion we were unable to fulfil your expectations of the Holiday Inn Dar es Salaam. Please rest assured that we are reviewing our sub-contracting arrangement with the hotel shuttle service regarding the airport pick-up which was missed, we agree coompletly that this is unacceptable. When people arrive in an unknown country, that always want the piece of mind that they will be safely and securly met at the airport, which is why we provide this service.

We thank you for your positive comments regarding the food quality, and the friendliness of the entire team. Your comments regarding Housekeeping and Maintenance issues in your standard room have been noted, and these are being addressed to ensure other guests do not experience similar issues.

Should you be visiting Dar es Salaam again in the near future please contact me directly, and we will ensure that your next stay is trouble free.

Best regards
Paul Ferguson
General Manager

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Reviewed March 2, 2013

In the heart of a buzzing city centre, lies this hotel and though it is pleasant enough, it's definitely not one to go to for leisure. The whole set up of the hotel is for a business venue. The rooms were nice enough but, glad I only spent one night here. However, the rooftop bar with shisha is a nice touch.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Sarah I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eclipse22, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City Centre, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2013

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your positive comments, the Holiday Inn Dar es Salaam is very well located for business in the city. Our central location places business travellers within easy reach of all significant Embassies, NGO's, Banks and Corporate Head Quarters.

Our Al Dar rooftop venue is the home of Sheesha in the city, and togeather with the live big screen sports, live music nights and fantastic food, the Al Dar is the premier rooftop venue in the city.

We accept we are not a Leisure destination, however we are ideally located for a one night stopover with the Zanzibar Ferry service on our doorstep. Next time you are in Dar es Salaam, please enquire at our Reception Desk, we can recommend a host of available leisure activites for guests on a short stay.

Best regards
Paul Ferguson
General Manager

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Reviewed February 21, 2013

the ladies at reception are quite insensitive, wasted over 6 hours trying to get help for my internet data cable which was not working.
Have an early lunch seminars held here mean food runs out!
Finally the IT manage fixed the same in 5 minutes! Great work SIr.

Room Tip: get the executive wing if you can
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank seme l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eclipse22, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City Centre, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2013

Dear Seme,

Thank you for your recent review of the Holiday Inn Dar es Salaam, we appreciate you taking the time to post your comments on the hotel.

We are delighted our IT Manager was able to solve your problems so speedily, and we apologise that our Reception Team were unable to complete the same.

Best regards
Paul Ferguson
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Sadly this hotel does not resonate with what one should expect of the brand Holiday Inn. Check in took almost two hours. The reception is crowded and stifling.

Rooms are OK - not very good but habitable. Staff fairly ok. Nice bar at the roof top (but the washrooms were under renovation while there which meant taking the lift down to the room).

Location is central enough for business.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Djinn3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eclipse22, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City Centre, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2013

Dear Djinn3

We sincere apologise that your room was not ready for you on arrival, please rest assured that we have addressed this issue and on your next visit you will notice a difference within our front office team.

We glad you enjoyed the visit to the Al Dar rooftop, the new restrooms and the Panoramic Conference suites should be finished within the next few weeks. The new Panoramic Conference rooms will be able to accommodate upto 120 people in each room, with unique views of the Dar es Salaam city centre.

Please let me know when you are next visiting the city, and we will provide you with a complimentary upgrade to one of our terrific Executive Floor rooms as a gesture of apology for the delay experienced on this visit.

Best regards
Paul Ferguson
General Manager

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Reviewed February 13, 2013

will give it a 1.7

check-in was OK but rooms and common areas just look filthy

the bathrooms were a disaster, incredibly poor workmanship, they looked like hell

just expect much better from an international chain

Room Tip: go to a different hotel
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Sam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eclipse22, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City Centre, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2013

Dear Sam S,

Thank you for your review of our hotel, please rest assured that we are working to resolve the issues you highlighted. We are currently in the process of refurbishing our bathrooms, and trust that on your next visit to Dar es Salaam you will visit our hotel again. Please contact me directly, when you are next coming to Dar es Salaam, and I will ensure you stay is to your satisfaction.

Best regards
Paul Ferguson
General Manager
gm@holidayinn.co.tz

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Reviewed February 8, 2013

We stayed here one night in January, and another in February this year. The first visit was ok, though the check in was very slow. On the second visit there was no hot water, and just before we checked out the water went off completely. I also had a bad experience with the food; I suspect the tuna was somehow contaminated, as I had a severe allergic reaction to it. I did not get chance to complain at the time, as we had to leave very early.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank chapyBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eclipse22, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City Centre, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2013

Dear ChappyBritsol

Thank you for your review of our hotel, unfortunately we had a boiler failure during your visit last week. The problem was resolved within six hours of the fault first occuring, and we now have a fail safe system in place to prevent this type of issue reoccuring.

Our sincere apologies for your expereince with the Tuna Steak, had this been brought to our attention when it occured we could have sent a sample for further analysis. Our fresh fish supplier delivers on a daily basis, and we have verified that the Tuna was delivered on the actual day you consumed it. Of late we have been receiving exteremly positive reviews for our food, and please rest assured that you report incident was the first time anything like this has been brought to our attention.

I trust that you enjoyed your Tanzanian adventures, and on your next visit to Dar es Salaam I would like to invite you to be our guest for a meal at the hotel again.

Best regards
Paul Ferguson
General Manager

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Reviewed February 7, 2013

Well everything about the Hotel is very Good. Nice Cosy Rooms right in middle of town though can be a bit noisy outside due to heavy traffic but never mind for such a comfortable stay. Stayed in this hotel for 5 nights and wish i could have stayed more, nice breakfast in the morning with plenty of choices,nice and friendly staff and many more things to cherish. For business travelers a nice place to stay since everything is nearby. Will surely come again to stay in this place.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank ruks r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City Centre

Address: 5 Upanga Road | Azikiwe St / Upanga Rd Junction City Center, Dar es Salaam 3222, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Dar Es Salaam Region > Dar es Salaam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Dar es Salaam
Price Range: $84 - $155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City Centre 3.5*
Number of rooms: 124
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Dar Es Salaam City Centre Hotel Dar Es Salaam

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