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“Much better than expected”

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Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort
Ranked #12 of 97 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
Certificate of Excellence
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
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1  Thank DodoCreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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2  Thank Sofie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Arun P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2012

Very spacious compound, clean. The chalets are functional and lack atmosphere, but they are clean and ok. However, for the high rates per night, you could expect a bit more. The pool area is quite decent and you can have a nice swim there. On Weekends and holidays, this is a popular destination for upper class Tanzanians and Diplomatic Staff. The poolbar offers low-quality food. The beach is spoiled by breakwater. Water quality seemed to be not so good, but this is not really a surprise as the harbor is not so far away and the seabed is not sandy. The staff is not really friendly and service-oriented. The receptionists turned out to be exceptionally arrogant and unhelpful, e.g. concerning late check-out and changing rooms due to apparent past cigarette smoke in the rooms. Having visited Kunduchi Beach Resort, which is just 15 Dollars more per Night, we would go there next time and skip Whte Sands.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bernard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2012

This could actually be a nice hotel - the location is spectacular and the rooms are fine, but the service and the food are hopeless.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank The G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2012

This hotel has a lovely location on the sea with very good facilities for conferences and short vacations. However, the service is the worst I have experienced at any similar facility. While staff are basically friendly, most are either incompetent or do not care about serving the guests. We stayed at this resort for a five day conference and for two days of vacation afterwards. On the first day, I reported that the phone in our room did not work. On every subsequent day, I made the same request for a repair. Although I was assured that it would be fixed immediately (sometimes by the same person three days in a row), the phone was never fixed. The restaurant service was extremely slow even for the simplest of dishes; a wait of an hour after ordering was quite common without any explanation or apology. One order was replaced with another without any explanation or even telling me; only after pointing this out was it admitted that the dish ordered was not available. My wife contracted food poisoning probably from the pumpkin soup.

The beach looks nice but the caretakers bury the seaweed daily under the sand; the resultant decomposition produces an awful odour.
Check out was complicated with extra charges imposed beyond what was agreed; discussion led to some adjustment but not the agreed upon rate. I do not recommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade and bargain on the price; get it in writing from the manager with his signature.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled on business
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3  Thank Claude C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2012

I was braced for the worst after reading the reviews for this hotel but it really turned out to not be so bad. Sure the beach has some trash on it but that is not the fault of the hotel as there is a lot that washes in from the ocean since it is close to Dar. The staff did go out every day to clean the beach. Service at the restaurant can be excruciatingly slow. The solution to that is to only eat from the buffet which was good but lacked any fresh seafood. I was there for a conference and those facilities were pretty good. The ac was strong but the thermostat did not work so we had to keep turning it on and off to maintain a good temperature. The location is on the outskirts of Dar so you have to allow at least an hour and a half to get to the airport.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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3  Thank dumb_screen_name
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort

Address: Africana Road | Jangwani Beach, Dar es Salaam 3030, Tanzania
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 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:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#5 Business Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#10 Luxury Hotel in Dar es Salaam
Price Range: $114 - $173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort 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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