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Hotel South Beach Resort Dar Es Salaam
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Reviews (88)
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Reviewed 22 August 2012

Our family visited for one night in July 2012.

The food was hit or miss - some really good, some really not.

The rooms were small, but that didn't matter so much. The problem was that there was no electricity at night and the staff never turned on the generator, so that the air conditioning wouldn't work and it became unbearably hot with no A/C. The worst thing for our family is that there are NO MOSQUITO NETS, which we have never experienced in 5 years of traveling in East Africa. The bathroom also had a funny smell.

The pool is really nice and the beach is also very nice with not too many hawkers or rocks or seaweed (although staff could do more to clean up the bottle tops, plastic, trash, etc from the beach right in front of the hotel). But there is no shade provided on the beach.

The playground is pretty dangerous for little kids.

The staff was very attentive and friendly.

I think for a younger, local crowd it would be a fun place to party. But for an expat family, it was not a great fit.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2012

I cannot believe the other reviews about this hotel. I live in Ugandan and am not high maintenance, but this hotel is not 3.5 stars in any world. This hotel was significantly cheaper than others in the area--now I know why. I arrived on a Sunday night amidst a huge party with a few hundred people, loud music and people drinking & dancing. The party was over at 8pm and everyone left--literally only 2 people were actually staying at the hotel. So it's a weekend party scene for locals. The hotel is very remote--they charge $50 to get there from Dar and it takes about 1 hour. (Verse $30 charged by another hotel to pick me up.) Once there, you are kind of stuck. There were no taxis, other activities, etc. I definitely felt a little trapped. I got half board and the food was just OK--not worth the prices but the only place to eat--so you don't really have an option. Everything costs extra--swimming in the pool, extra drinking water, drinks, etc. The room was OK, but the bathroom was gross. (See posted photos.) The water was always a yellow color. The power went out repeatedly and was out for up to a few hours at a time. I ended up leaving early because I wanted more out of my vacation--and they do not refund any cancellation at all. Once you arrive, you pay the full price. So you may try to avoid 100% pre-pay.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled solo
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4  Thank smartytee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2012

Management and staff alike are very accommodating, nothing was too much trouble. Good food, good music, good views, what more do you need!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank James C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2012

Central Dar es Salaam, in my admittedly brief experience, is huge, overcrowded, dirty, run-down, chaotic and full of (mostly) petty villains. So faced with the need to spend an additional night in transit, we opted more or less at random for somewhere just out of town on a beach, in the hope that it might be a tad more serene. South Beach Resort is one of a series of apparently similar resorts that stretch for about 2 km along an appalling goat track on the other side of the mangroves from the main road. Be warned: although it's only 17 km from the airport, the standard taxi fare is $US50 each way for two, and because of the need to cross the harbour on a vehicular ferry, it can reportedly take anything up to 3 hours to cover the distance when the queues are bad. So it's not really worth visiting unless you have at least a couple of days to spare.

Once there, it's the usual mixture of good and not so good. On the plus side, the main accommodation is a well-constructed motel-type building with big rooms, balconies and ocean views (take a top-floor room if you get a choice), a good reasonably priced restaurant that opens until 11 at night, a very well-stocked bar and a clean pool with adjacent spa (though only one jet was sort-of working when we were there). Staff are really friendly and do their best to keep you happy, subject to the usual constraints like credit-card machines that don't always work. The beach is really nice except that you need to wade out at least 100 metres before you get enough depth to swim properly, scenery is as picturesque as you could wish for (dhows and outrigger canoes gliding past, fishing boats hauled up on the beach, a little wooded cay just offshore), and the sunrises are specky.

Two big minuses. First, you haven't really got away from the villains, as evidenced by the huge number of security guards on the staff and the high wall that surrounds the resort. The beach in front of the resorts seems safe enough (at least in daytime) and relatively free of touts, but the morning we left, I was told that a couple of tourists had just been beaten up and robbed on the beach in broad daylight only about 300 metres south; I gather you're OK if you walk to the north. Second, the whole place seems to be pitched at the European/UK conference and package tour market, on the general model of Butlin's and the Costa Brava. It claims to be able to hold a maximum of 3500 visitors, and takes in paying day guests as well, so would doubtless get very crowded in the high season; noisy too, to judge from the huge bank of speakers pointing in the general direction of the rooms and the emphasis in their publicity on all-night beach parties. Minor irritations: the hot water wasn't (pretty normal in Africa), and it seemed to be impossible to get real coffee with our breakfast.

If you're under 30 and like the hard-drinking, hard-dancing, hard-whatever-else style of holiday, this could be just what you're looking for. If you're a bit older and looking for a quiet romantic getaway, I suspect you might do better either going out of season or looking at other options.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Doug F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2012

i stayed here with my familly for three nights, and the service is simply the best, securityn is exceptional aqnd the beach is magnifique,there is offers every wednesday, where you can stay on exacutive apartment for the price of normal romm, but you should ask, they dont normally say this to new costumers.

Room Tip: the first class apartrment,is simply excellent, others on summer the are too hot
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank Jamalbristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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