We were fortunate to spend four nights here after a hard week’s work in rural Tanzania. After a long, unbroken six-hour drive on bumpy roads, arriving in the air-conditioned, cool reception and greeted by a friendly member of staff with the offer of cool drinks was heaven.
We were shown to our room and were amazed by the spacious and well-appointed space. It was blissfully cool, with a sofa and a desk as well as a large bed and a bathtub discretely separated from the bedroom by a wooden screen – providing a sense of luxury. There was a separate shower and toilet and more toiletries and toilet paper than we had seen for some time! It was a perfect place to recuperate and recover from the rigours of working in one of the poorest districts in the country and an uncomfortably long, bouncy, jarring journey.
After a welcome warm shower, the Barazza bar offered exactly the right choice of local and international dishes to tempt the palates of both my jaded husband and myself: his cheese and tomato toasted sandwich was exactly what the doctor order, while my sweetcorn and vegetable curry, served with poppadum and naan bread and a delightful array of chutneys and sambols, definitely satisfied my desire for something spicy.
Things only got better. After a good night’s sleep, a leisurely breakfast in the Kivulini restaurant was a gastronomic experience. Choices ranged from cereals and yoghurt, fresh fruit, freshly baked sourdough bread rolls and pastries, through to cheeses, salami, ham, smoked salmon and hard boiled eggs, through to cooked breakfast European style (sausages, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans and eggs cooked to order) to freshly cooked pancakes and a range of curries, rice and accompaniments. Tea, coffee and a delightful array of fresh juices made every breakfast a delight and a meal to be remembered.
The Barazza Bar also provided a welcoming place to work during the day, with an ample supply of soft drinks, teas or coffees to keep us going. Towards the end of the afternoon, a swim in the pool, followed by a glass of wine on the terrace was the perfect way to bring the day to a close and herald in the evening.
Staff were unfailingly friendly and helpful, answering our questions and accommodating our various requests for this and that. An efficient laundry service meant that we had over-packed by a considerable amount – each day our laundry was returned, clean and ironed in a basket ….
All this is accompanied by an efficient business centre (even on a public holiday) helpful and efficient reception staff who are always willing to give advice or arrange taxis, and a real personal touch – everyone really seemed to care about how we were, what we needed, whether we were happy with everything. It was lovely to have conversations with several of the staff, who seemed genuinely interested in us, as we were in them.
A nice touch was the manager’s drinks party on the terrace – a good opportunity to meet other guests, as well as the staff and discover so many return visitors who are very loyal to the hotel.
We returned for our last night before leaving Tanzania. Our room was smaller, but the service, cleanliness, amenities and welcome were just as we remembered.
There is no question that we would like to stay here again – and hope we will have the opportunity to do so.
- 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