I realize that there are not that many good hotel choices in Dar and I guess this is why people put up with The Slipway, which my witty British colleague dubbed “The Slipshod.” Where to begin? I booked transport from the airport to the hotel through The Slipway and upon arrival there was no one there to pick me up. As a woman alone traveling on business arriving in Dar after 9 pm, I was left to improvise my own arrangements at the airport, and no apology or explanation was ever offered by the the hotel. When I finally got to the hotel at about 10, the woman at the reception desk asked that I pay my entire two-week stay in full before I even saw the room. When I said that I travel frequently and that this was highly irregular, she backed down. Nice welcome to Dar from the hotel!
The internet at the Slipway (accessed through an old cable in the room that kept slipping out of my laptop; there is no wireless), which the manager brags is free, only works about half the time (but it’s free!). The mini-fridge in my room stopped working for a few days and I assumed it was broken. When I eventually pulled the fridge away from the wall, I saw that it had been unplugged by the staff during the week. I guess the staff thought I didn’t deserve to have the fridge on, in spite of the fact that I had bottles of water and yogurt in it.
Another morning I awoke to find no running water for showering or brushing my teeth. I called the reception desk several times to ask for a bucket of water for bathing. The staff seemed baffled as to why I would want one and instead finally sent up two 1.5-liter bottles of drinking water sans bucket. Again, no apology or compensation was provided to guests.
At the end of my two-week stay, I went to Zanzibar for four days. Before leaving I booked a room for the last evening I would spend in Dar before my flight out. I was given the same rate that I had paid during my stay. When I came back from Zanzibar, I was informed that the person who booked my room should not have given me the two-week rate and that since I had left the hotel for four days, I would have to pay the same rate as if I had just arrived. When I asked to speak to the manager, he smirked and said rules are rules, no exceptions: I would have to pay the higher rate no matter what his staff told me, and that if I didn’t like it I was free to leave. I explained that I would be coming back to Tanzania for the next four years for a project and it didn’t seem to make good business sense to alienate a customer over a small amount of money. But evidently $15 was worth more to this small-minded manager than admitting his staff had been wrong or being gracious to a guest who had just spent almost $2,000 at his establishment.
I have traveled extensively in Africa on business over the past four years, but the arrogance and high-handedness of “The Slipshod” is truly exceptional. I will not be returning to this hotel and neither will my colleagues.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Slipway is ideally located just 7km from the Dar es Salaam city centre on the posh Msasani peninsula, right on the Indian Ocean overlooking Msasani Bay. It offers best value for money accommodation in this upmarket neighbourhood. The hotel is integrated into the Slipway complex, which provides a wide range of amenities including various dining options and everything a traveler needs. Within its vicinity are a selection of popular shopping, dining and nightlife destinations. ... more less
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