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“Nothing Passionately Swiss about this one!”

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Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel
Ranked #7 of 95 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
Certificate of Excellence
Naij
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Nothing Passionately Swiss about this one!”
Reviewed February 28, 2010

I looked forward to my first trip to Tanzania and placed my bet on the Moevenpick Hotel. I imagined it would be heavenly since the Swiss are known for making fantastic chocolates! Was i wrong! The rooms were outdated and every where seems old. I decided to try and over look the sight of the room and went on to order dinner. The in room dining menu looked extensive so i decided to try the Pasta Cabonara. That was the biggest minstake i made! The pasta was literarily swimming in oil! I have never sighted such Pasta Cabonara in my short travelling life. Late at night one night someone was knocking frantically on my door, i opened and it was room service, i said i hadnt ordered any food only for my colleague to tell me in the morning that he ordered food and the food never came! The breakfast buffet was extensive but unappealing but i found solace with the pancakes and caramel sauce that was very yummy! Overall i was glad on the day i checked out! Looking back there was nothing passionately swiss about the hotel.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yasmina9
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, March 22, 2010
Thank you very much for your comments and please accept our most sincere apologies for the kitchen and service failures described. While constant training and instructions are in place, your feedback is much appreciated and serves to intensify and redirect these activities and to address deficiencies in order to eliminate and prevent such shortcomings in the future.

Hans Peter Duerr, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Roma
1 review
Reviewed February 10, 2010

I went with my wife for a 10 days safari trip and the last day, we check in this hotel, the check in was fast and pleasant. The girl at the reception recomend to us seafood dinner and really was great! it was a huge variety of fresh seafood and prepared just in front of us. We really enjoy the quality of the dinner and the service was very friendly.

It was a memorable night and Great Seafood buffet that we had for a long time!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank galeazzipietro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
Reviewed January 16, 2010

My second stay at this chain, and I was just as pleased the second time around. The staff are very friendly and helpful. They don't try to take advantage of the traveling tourist and they make every effort to make sure you stay safe while out.

Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank SheronB
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, March 3, 2010
Greetings from the Mövenpick Royal Palm Hotel Dar es Salaam. We would like to thank you for reviewing us online and for taking time to post your comments about us. We are always happy to hear and read comments from our esteemed guests and take joy in knowing that our standards of Swiss Hospitality have truly met and satisfied your needs. It is indeed inspiring and motivating for us to get such recognition as we continuously strive to provide “Swiss Hospitality with a Personal Touch”.

Sincerely yours,
Hans Peter Duerr, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2010

Did not have any complaints. Amidst the hustle and bustle of Dar, Movenpick was quietly refreshing and i Would recommend it to anyone traveling to Dar.

Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank PaulE2
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, March 22, 2010
Greetings from the Moevenpick Royal Palm Hotel Dar es Salaam. We would like to thank you for reviewing us online and for taking time to post your comments about us. Guest feedback is truly appreciated from our esteemed guests and we take joy in knowing that our standards of Swiss Hospitality have truly met and satisfied your needs. Thank you for very nice remarks. It is indeed inspiring and motivating for us to get recognition as constantly strive to provide “Swiss Hospitality with a Personal Touch”.

Sincerely yours,
Hans Peter Duerr, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 520 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2010

I booked this hotel under the delusion that a Swiss hotel chain could not go wrong for quality. I was very wrong. Problems-

Hotel is old and run down. Rooms are unattractive, old and smell like mildew.

Bad location- nothing useful or interesting in walking distance.

No clock or alarm in room. Aircon not working. Credit card machine upon checkin not working. Credit card machine upon checkout not working. Long hassle checking in and out.

My company paid an outrageous $180 USD a night here- in a country were people still make about $1 a day. Sickening.

Upon checkout, Movenpick took the liberty to charge me $1 USD for "Habitat For Humanity". I do not recall asking if I could donate- they just decided to charge me for something I did not ask for. In my country this is called STEALING. Staff were evasive and difficult about removing it.

As this was my first trip, I am not an expert on lodging in Dar but Movenpick is surely a loser on multiple fronts- look elsewhere.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CaptainAmerica
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, March 22, 2010
We have read your review and would like to thank you for your comments. The hotel opened in 1996 and was fully renovated in 2007. We regret the interior decorator did not meet your taste. As a business hotel we are located right in the center of the business district. The interactive TV program includes a clock and many other useful features. Unfortunately credit card handling is fully controlled by the banks and beyond our influence. Meantime they have been changed to mobile connections and have become much more reliable. The average earning of the hotel’s employees is at least 10 times your quote. We apologize for the problems you faced with regards to Habitat for Humanity. We work in partnership with them to help people all around the country to get housing, and we are very sorry you were not informed about the donation option, which is a standard procedure and we assure you it has been retrained to prevent this situation from happening again. We appreciate guest feedback which continuously helps our endeavor to perfect our product and services and to offer a high-quality experience to each of our guests.

Sincerely yours,

Hans Peter Dürr, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
travellingwilbury66
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2009

Really good location near the centre of Dar, useful if you have business or shopping to do in and around the City Centre. Not so good if you want to go out in the evenings, as most of the good bars, restaurants and nightclubs are up on the Msasani peninsula. There are some good restaurants in the hotel though (and billicanas club is great at weekends and only a short Taxi ride away.)
There's a gym and a coffee shop, and nice gardens out the back of the hotel. We stayed up on the club floor with a 'butler service' (a nice guy in the club lounge who serves you drinks on request).
Overall would recommend for a splurge, can be good value if they have a special offer on. Only complaint is that the swimming pool could be a lot bigger/deeper.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travellingwilbury66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2009

The Mövenpick here in Dar is located right in the heart of the city, which means that while local facilities are within easy reach, the surroudings aren't as tranquil as one might expect. That said, the hotel does have a very pleasant pool area adjacent to some well-tended gardens, so there is some outside space in which to relax. This is important as one can sometimes feel a bit 'cooped up' in rooms where it is impossible to open the windows, (presumably because of the mosquitos, and to aid the temperamental aircon!)

The 'standard' rooms in this hotel are generously-sized, with either twin beds, or a king. I had to switch rooms from the one I was originally allocated, which had twin beds, and was glad when my new room had a king as the twin beds looked very narrow! All the furnishings are in solid, dark brown wood which can make the room feel a little gloomy, even with the curtains open, (a feeling exacerbated in the evening, even with all the lights on!) There is plenty of storage space with a large wardrobe, which houses the in-room safe and smaller shelves, and further space within a low-slung unit on which you can set your luggage. The minibar in the room is rather antiquated but at least is of the 'mini fridge' variety, which means it can be emptied of the overpriced goodies stocked by the hotel and replaced with your own, (a 350ml bottle of Coke will cost you 4,500 Tshs from the minibar, but pop into the local supermarket and two litres cost 3,000). Handy if you're staying for any length of time. One of the bottles of tonic water in my minibar has been opened and half-consumed...I hope I don't face a 'heated debate' over any charges at check-out!
The room features a perfectly acceptable working desk, which isn't huge - if you had your laptop out along with paperwork, it might be a bit of a struggle - and this is where you'll find your internet connection, (US$10 for 24h continuous use, or US$20 for 24h periodic use), and kettle with tea and coffee facilities. Technology-wise, there's also the ubiquitous LG large flatscreen TV and a bedside telephone, which I experienced some difficulty with, (message retrieval, in particular!)

The exterior design of the hotel might lead you to believe the rooms feature balconies - they don't, it's just a vaguely attractive but somewhat pointless concrete 'shell' which encases the inner of the building. Looking out from the windows - which would have really benefited from being bigger - I can't help thinking that there were originally going to be balconies but someone decided against them as a bit of an afterthought! Still, do try and get a garden view, as the vista is far more attractive than the busy junction on the other side of the property.

The only real problems I have experienced while at the hotel are the kind which one comes to expect from hotels in this part of the world...last night in my room I had the rather unpleasant experience of squashing a cockroach underfoot in the dark, (nice!), and today have seen two more running around the bathroom...upon reporting this issue to the front desk, I received an apology and a reassurance that housekeeping would be up to do something, (I'm envisaging a myriad of sprays and lethal concoctions!) - as yet, I've not had a vist from anyone. There is a rather unpleasant smell in the corridor - what I have elsewhere heard described as 'dirty mop' odour - which makes me think some areas could do with a good 'deep clean'.

The staff at the hotel have always been universally charming and pleasant, with lots of smiles and warmth, which is most appreciated. While things might not be actioned as quickly as you might be used to, they generally do get done, (not very 'Swiss' at all but probably as close as you're going to get in Tanzania!)

My accommodations are paid for by my company, but from chatting to other guests and taking a quick peek at the hotel's website, the Mövenpick does seem quite an expensive option. I have a feeling you might well be able to get more for your money elsewhere in Dar, so would recommend some price comparisons before making any firm bookings!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alec P
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

Property: 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:
Business Center with Internet Access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#10 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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