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“Mixed experience”

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Southern Sun Dar es Salaam
Ranked #2 of 95 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
Certificate of Excellence
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
239 reviews
158 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
“Mixed experience”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

We stayed here for one night only en route from South Africa to the Selous Game Reserve. The hotel is modern, clean and comfortable. The rooms were adequate, with comfortable beds and hot showers. We had some room service sandwiches, which were fine. Our arrival was dealt with effectively, efficiently and cheerfully.

But - breakfast was very disappointing. As we had to leave at 6.30am, we made an effort to be up at 5.15 in order to have a good breakfast before a morning's travel. We wish we hadn't bothered. The buffet was distinctly lacklustre, the hot plate was not hot enough to keep the food warm - so it was inedible (lukewarm sausage, cold eggs, no bacon at all), and they even managed to bring me a pot of stone cold tea (freshly made, a nice new tea bag in a pot of cold water, not even tea that had been made hot and gone cold). There was minimal choice of fresh fruit or indeed anything else cold. To be fair, the tea was changed when I complained, but the staff must have been aware that we weren't happy (we were the only people in a huge dining room), and did nothing to help. I'm fairly sure we also had to ask for something else to be restocked (something basic like more bread for toast, or fruit juice maybe), which is ridiculous in an empty dining room that early in the morning - there were more staff than guests.

We did complain at reception when we left, and our comments were met sympathetically, but it was all a bit too late then, we felt disgruntled and grumpy from an early start and basically no breakfast. The children were especially annoyed. This fell far short of any other breakfast we had in Africa, including ones in the bush miles from anywhere - and this was in Tanzania's capital city.

To be honest, this was only one morning, and may have been a blip, so we would probably try this hotel again, but would expect more from one of this (supposed) standard - consistent high standards are key and blips on this scale should not happen. Due to our short stay, we didn't have a chance to try the pool or have an evening meal in the restaurant, maybe those things would have helped us feel more positive about the hotel. The staff at reception were charming, more than most of the other places we stayed in Africa!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TalbotTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdamGMSouthernSunDSM, General Manager at Southern Sun Dar es Salaam, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Dear TalbotTravelllers,
Thanks for your thoughtful review. I am devastated that you had such an awful Breakfast Experience! If there is one aspect of a Hotel that in our opinion has to be perfect that is Breakfast, we appreciate how a breakfast literally can make or break ones day. I can only assume that judging by other reviews in Trip that your experience was the exception to the rule. However it does teach us a lesson never to assume that all is going well even and especially early in the morning. I am confident that Ross and Joe who head our Food and Beverage Team will take your comments to heart and never let that happen to our many other guests.
I do hope you will accept our apologies and thanks for giving us the heads up on this

Best Wishes
Adam
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Lusaka, Zambia
Level Contributor
106 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2012

I found something missing at this hotel, it was not the usual southern sun hospitality and a bit pricey too. It kind of reminded me of some other hotel chain, I would suggest a make over, the service was not as expected and rooms very ordinary.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kafula M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdamGMSouthernSunDSM, General Manager at Southern Sun Dar es Salaam, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Dear Kafulam
Thanks for taking the time to post your comments about our Hotel. I am so sorry that you did not find us up to the mark on your stay back in March. I am hoping that your experience was not the norm, but your feedback does serve as a timely reminder to both myself and my team to remain on top of our game all the time and not just some of the time.
Next time you are back in Dar please do get in touch with me, I would be delighted to restore your faith in our Hotel
Best Wishes
Adam
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Udzungwa Mountains
Level Contributor
24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2012

My husband and I spent our wedding anniversary night here and it was lovely. The staff had put extra flowers in the room and even a complimentary bottle of champagne for us - whata nice touch! The room itself was pristine clean (great hot showers) and very comfy - a little small maybe but big enough for us for the night. The restaurant was good - friendly service and good cocktails, and tasty dinner :) Overall a great choice for a Dar city hotel

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank HanWood1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdamGMSouthernSunDSM, General Manager at Southern Sun Dar es Salaam, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Dear Hanwood1
Congrats on your Anniversary, I hope that you both enjoy many more! Thanks also for taking the time to post your review on Trip. I am glad you enjoyed your short stay with us and hope that you wont have to wait for the next anniversary for your return.
Best Wishes
Adam
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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
89 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2012

I am never disappointed when staying at this hotel, Adam Fuller and his team do a fantastic job of maintaining exceptional standards of service and some of the best food in town, certainly the best breakfast in town.
The complimentary Wednesday evening cocktail parties are great for meeting the hotel's management team and networking with other business visitors and local business people, a fantastic idea.
I have to rate this Dar's best for the business traveler.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Jonathan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdamGMSouthernSunDSM, General Manager at Southern Sun Dar es Salaam, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Dear CuervoDurban
Thanks once again for your kind comments, and most of all for your loyalty. I am delighted that you enjoy your stays and find our Wednesday Networking partiesc useful. I know Joe our Chef will be happy that he is hitting the hunger spot with our Great Breakfast offering.
Karibu Tena
Adam
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Sydney, NSW
Level Contributor
63 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2012

We chose this hotel based on Tripadvisor recommendations. We were happy that our request via direct hotel internet booking for a quiet room, non smoking room on a higher floor was considered. Room was comfortable and quiet with free wifi! Staff on check in and in the restaurant/bar were keen to please and quick to clean up tables. I have already responded to the hotel's request for feedback and received a reply email thanking me for my thoughts. I always like to stay at a hotel with a pool. The drawback is that the pool area is overlooked by the bar/restaurant area so is felt as if everyone would be looking at you for the main entertainment. The hotel seemed to be accommodating mainly business guests and not so many tourists so the standard of dress was always neat casual or business attire with many surrounding conversations of a business nature.
We did not particularly like the Service Centre for booking ferry tickets as once their initial price was quoted and we'd accepted the $10 commission was added as a done deal. Similarly their taxi prices were considerably higher than hiring one from around the corner. We would stay here again as the hotel's location, without luggage, was within walking distance of leafy streets and the main shopping areas. Breakfast room was pleasant and the choice of food was excellent too. Foreign exchange rate for changing money was not too bad either.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank prpn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdamGMSouthernSunDSM, General Manager at Southern Sun Dar es Salaam, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Dear PRPN,
Thanks for taking the time to review our Hotel here in Dar es Salaam. You are correct that our customers are mostly here on business, though we also have a lot of leasure guests staying with us in transit to and from their ultimate destinations, we think that our location is ideal especially for the Zanzibar ferries and airport. I am sorry you did not find the business centre up to the service standards of the rest of the Hotel. Whilst this is an outsourced service we do understand that the perception is that it is part of our hotel and as such expected to meet our service standards. I will be raising your concerns with the Managment.

Once again thanks for your thoughtful comments

Adam
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Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed October 1, 2012

I spent 3 nights at the Southern Sun in my first visit to Dar. Having travelled to many coutries across several continents and stayed in many top class hotels i was very mindful of where i will be staying. I chose this hotel based on the feedback i read on tripadvisor about the services they provided in Lagos, Niegeria and Dar.I was not dissappointed at all.

On arrival, staff were very helpful and attended to me promptly. Some even went out of their way to help me get a mobile phone i could use for a few hours! Adam, an ebullient gentleman and his staff will come round at break fast to have a chat or help clear the table.

The rooms are very clean and well stocked. The beds and pillows are comfortable. The bar and downstairs restrauant are always buzzing with people. I enjoyed the break fast for it's taste and richness.

I was on the internet the whole time i was in the building. There was power cut once but the auto generator kicked in within 2 secs! The location of the hotel is near all the top banks and embassies. I will come back again!

I will suggest that more Tanzanians should be in senior management.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank akin-toks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdamGMSouthernSunDSM, General Manager at Southern Sun Dar es Salaam, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Dear Akin-toks, Thanks so much for your comprehensive reveiw. I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and do look forward to welcoming you back soon! I noted your comment that we need to employ more Tanzanian Managment, and happy to say that we are totaly on your page, we would only recruit non Tanzanian Nationals after an extensive local search.We do have an active skils transfer scheme in place for our up and coming youngsters. Our exective team is in fact mostly Tanzanian.
Once again thanks for using us and thanks for this post!
Best Wishes
Adam
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london
Level Contributor
571 reviews
83 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 226 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012 via mobile

The hotel itself is a pleasure to stroll into after the heat of the day. The rooms are a bit ordinary, a bit like a Travel Lodge with a wicker chair, but still, it's good enough for some comfort and hot water. Nice breakfast.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank david h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AdamGMSouthernSunDSM, General Manager at Southern Sun Dar es Salaam, responded to this review, October 2, 2012
Dear David H
Thanks for the feedback, we aim to get the basics right all the time such as a great breakfast,friendly staff, internet that works and a shower that is hot and has decent pressure! I know fully how tiring a days business can be here in Dar es Salaam and know how important it is for our business to come 'home' at the end of a hot day.
Hope to see you again soon
Regards
Adam
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Additional Information about Southern Sun Dar es Salaam

Property: 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach 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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