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“Magnificant view, excellent service and accomodating staff”
Review of Sea Cliff Hotel

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Sea Cliff Hotel
Ranked #4 of 95 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
Certificate of Excellence
Granite City, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Magnificant view, excellent service and accomodating staff”
Reviewed 10 April 2011

The Indian Ocean overlook from the restaurant and bar is fabulous. Breakfast watching the sun rise with the dows, fishing boats and sailboats is a memorable experience as is the sitting cliff-side when the waves come crashing into it--watch the spray and splashes though if you are adverse to getting a little damp. There is a secluded meeting area just over the main area which is excellent for an after dinner discussion over coffee or other beverages. The pool is very nice and the cliff side location is magnificant. Many of my colleagues and I have stayed here many times over the past ten years and it has become our home away from home in Dar es Salaam.

Room Tip: Request ocean view second or third floor
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  • Stayed February 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank tlayloff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Avoca Beach, Australia
Level Contributor
83 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2011

When is a hotel not a hotel? When you've booked AND PAID FOR a room that isn't available when you arrive.
We've just returned from a month long holiday to Africa. In the time spent there everything went loke clockwork. We found the people very friendly and accommodating and left with fond memories of a wonderful vacation. Except for the Sea Cliff Dar es Salaam.
We travelled to Dar es Salaam from Cape Town and were looking forward to a bit of luxury before heading off on the southern and northern safari routes and based on the reiews the Sea Cliff seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Tanzanian immigration could appear daunting to some people, but if you are patient and retain your sense of humour it is highly entertaining, so we transferred to the Sea Cliff in high spirits, arriving around 8:30pm.
Instead of being greeted by the usual check-in paperwork we were asked to take a seat. Nothing unusual there, it's common practice to be seated while check-in procedures are completed. However, when the usual towel and drink didn't appear I was suspicious. Mt suspicions were confirmed when we were introduced to the manager (Malek - sorry if the spelling is incorrect). He informed us that some people had not checked out and they were in our rooms. Rooms that, as stated, were not only confirmed but also paid for.
The "story" (his word, not mine) was that one of their group had food poisoning (we believe from the hotel) and could not move out. While we're highly sympathetic to anyone who suffers from food poisoning (and we believe that to be true), Malek's demeanour gave him away - he was lying.
I fully expect the hotel's management will respond to this post to rebuke me, but consider this. Check out time is 12:00 and they would have known then that these people weren't chacking out. Despite that they continued to check people in all day until they were full (or were they?) in full knowledge thatpaid guests were due to arrive later. I also find it highly unlikely that they were "completely" full - more likely they didn't want to upgrade us at no cost. In addition they did nothing to remedy the problem prior to our arrival, not even to advise our ground agent.
By the time they tried to find us alternative accommodation (after our arrival) any viable alternative accommodation was unavailable. We eventually found accommodation at a hotel of a far inferior standard and transferred there with OUR ground agent. Not happy.
By all means take your chances with the Sea Cliff. Me? Next time it will be somewhere with staff I can trust.

Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
Helpful?
6 Thank GnAW480
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelSeaCliff, Manager at Sea Cliff Hotel, responded to this review, 7 April 2011
It is always very disappointing to read that a guest has not enjoyed their stay with us. We remember you both very well and must first and foremost apologise for not being able to accommodate you on arrival.

The story from Malek, our Duty Manager, was in fact true and it is very unfortunate that you interpreted his demeanour as otherwise. A guest had contracted severe food poisoning from eating elsewhere in Dar es Salaam and was so ill that we couldn’t move them. We gave them a late check out in the hope that they would recover but they were not feeling any better by the afternoon. We were also fully booked that day but took the decision not to contact you because we nearly always receive late cancellations so genuinely thought we would be able to accommodate you in a different room.

As luck would have it, all of our bookings turned up so we had no other option than to find an alternative hotel for you. We promise that we would have been delighted to give you an upgrade had this been possible and moving you was our last possible recourse.

We found other accommodation nearby on the Peninsula but obviously realised this was not to the same standard as Hotel Sea Cliff. As such, we gave your agent a complimentary night at the hotel so that you could be refunded immediately and compensated in some way.

On behalf of the whole team here at Hotel Sea Cliff, I can only apologise for your experience and hope that you still left Tanzania having had a great holiday.

Michelle, Sales & Marketing Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2011

As I write this review, my memory of how BADLY I was treated is as clear and PAINFUL as if it had all taken place late December 2010. I am the Lead Trainer for a USG funded project located in Washington DC. Our project sends many of our colleagues to this hotel every year from all over the continent of Africa and United States.

It was my first time to Tanzania and I was excited to stay at the Sea Cliff Hotel as many of my colleagues raved about the rooms and view. The view from my room was blocked by the straw roof but the room was very nice! What they did NOT warn me about was the management staff. I have never been in a hotel where the General Manager, Day Manager and the Housekeeping Manager were so unprofessional! It is beyond words:

I was excited to go souvenir shopping my first weekend in Tanzania and therefore made a list of all of the trinkets I wanted to buy as well as for whom I wanted to buy them. After writing the list I estimated the cost of these souvenirs based on what my colleagues advised, folded the list in half and placed this amount in Tanzania Shillings in the folded list. The next morning as I was running late I left this list where I placed in the night before -- on my bedside dresser, under the TV remote. Meanwhile, my colleague and his girlfriend were on their way to Zanzibar for the weekend. As they were checking out of the hotel for the weekend they asked if they could place their bags, laptops and other valuables in my room and requested I place their valuables in my safe. As I travel with him quite often I had no problem accommodating this request. I handed him my room key and requested he leave it at the front desk so that I may pick it up after work. After a half day in the office my colleague dropped me off at the hotel and I ran upstairs excited to grab the list and go shopping! Imagine how far my heart dropped when I realized the list was missing, as well as the money. I searched everywhere. Surely, nobody would steal this money, nor could it be mistaken for a "tip" to the cleaning staff as it was folded in a shopping list. After 30 minutes of searching I determined it was indeed gone. I immediately contacted the front desk to make an official complaint. This happened December 10, 2010. The Day Manager, at first, was very apologetic and promised to get to the bottom of the issue. An hour later he, a security guard and the Housekeeping Manager knocked on my door. The Housekeeping Manager did not greet me but instead, literally pushed my door open and walked in my room and appeared to be "searching" for something. When I asked her what she was looking for she without making eye contact and still "searching" asked "Did you give your key to anyone today?" I stated yes I had and explained why. I then pointed out the luggage my colleague and his girlfriend left behind and explained that I put their laptop and other valuables in my safe. When I inquired as to why she was asking me this she THEN looked at me and said "Well how can we be sure your colleagues didn't take the money. We saw them enter your room on two different occasions with the room key you gave them." I was irate! How dare she! I explained to her that 1. The amount of money taken from the room would have a value of less than $25 in USD when converted from Tanzania Shillings and that the valuables my colleague and his girlfriend left IN MY ROOM were worth 40x that as again he left his laptop in my possession and 2. I travel with him all the time so if he had to borrow money, he would have asked with no issue. She was silent for a minute -- the Day Manager nor the security guard came into the room nor did they say anything. As she exited the room she said they would further investigate. A WEEK WENT BY! During this week not ONE manager contacted me with an update. I called the Day Manager several times. He informed me that the General Manager was in the hotel but could only see me between 9 - 11a as she is very busy. I explained to him over and over again that I was hosting a professional training and as the only trainer these were impossible hours! I requested to meet with her during my lunch hour or even early afternoon before she leaves the hotel. These requests were always met with "She can see you at 9am or 10am..." Never once did I meet the elusive General Manager. Never once did the Day Manager apologize for the incident. Never once did the Housekeeping Manager apologize nor provide a "report" of her findings during this "investigation." I left December 17 not only without my money but without so much as an apology for the inconvenience of the entire incident. This is not about the amount of money taken from my room but about the way the management handled the situation. Avoiding a customer that is paying $187/night and staying for two weeks .. a customer that works for a project that provides this hotel with consistent guests all year long .. a customer that hopes that they realize how much future business they lost because they refused to handle the situation in a professional manner.

Also, the ATM in the hotel -- BEWARE! My colleagues and I have experienced money not being dispensed from the hotel BUT it actually being taken from our accounts. You can imagine the amount of trouble we had to go to through to prove to our banks in the US that YES we requested the amount but our cards were returned to us without the funds requested and thus the discrepancy. One colleague of mine kept trying over and over again thinking it was an error that would go away only to find out that this amount was indeed deducted from his account 5x!! Again, the hotel management provided no apology nor did they display any concern for this incident which personally happened to me as well during the same stay.

I do not want to end this without saying something GOOD about the hotel: the receptionist staff was AMAZING! They were accommodating, professional, tried to assist with the aforementioned situation by constantly calling the Day Manager and telling me of his whereabouts and always had a smile for me when I left in the morning and when I came in from work in the early evening. The location was convenient to my office (but so is Doubletree by Hilton), the view from the main restaurant was pretty amazing and the souvenirs I purchased in the hotel gift shop were very reasonably priced. However, even with all of this to say, not being able to trust the management staff to at least apologize and make a professional ATTEMPT to rectify the situation has put such a bad taste in my mouth that I not only took the time to write the review but have also advised management on my project and in Tanzania to NOT recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Dar es Salaam.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PMKENNEY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tanzania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2011

After researching hotels in Dar es Salaam on Trip Advisor, it was a toss up between Sea Cliff and another comparable one in a nearby location. Sea Cliff won out in part for their good communication in responding to our emails. Silvery and Cecilia were prompt and helpful in providing information about the hotel. We were looking for a nice relaxing place to spend Christmas and New Years.

The whole experience was excellent from start to finish. Our check-in was efficient and professional, being greeted at the front door by a maasai doorman and directed to the reception counter. We were given a beautiful room (227) overlooking the ocean. Not only the room, but the hotel is very clean with tasteful decor. Being Christmas, everywhere was beautifully decorated for the season. The room was lovely, the bed very comfortable, the bathroom was spotless and well stocked with quality linens and toiletries. The showers were wonderful! Guests also received Christmas and New Year's gifts in their rooms.

We spent most of our day by the pool, which is very nice and an adequate size for a good swim. The pool area, overlooks the ocean and catches the sea breeze. Waiters made regular rounds offering guests food and drinks. We were impressed with how consistently clean the poolside washroom/change rooms were kept.

The hotel has two restaurants on the premises and both offer good food. Breakfast was a delicious buffet of almost everything imaginable that one would want. We enjoyed dinner buffets for Christmas and New Years, which were very nice. The staff were very pleasant and helpful.

Adjacent to the hotel is a small plaza with several restaurants, a supermarket, bank and shops. It offered a variety of different venues for meals at reasonable prices.

We were also pleased to see good security around the grounds and the adjacent plaza.

Overall, we were very impressed with Sea Cliff Hotel and their excellent service. We hated to leave and hope to return some time.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank we2sonseekers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Istanbul, Turkey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 December 2010

Great restaurant, very clean, It seemed like there was a casino there but I didnt go in. Seemed a little bit too creepy. Other than that everything else were wonderful. Fascinating ocean view. Not much to else to say.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank proTurk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lymington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
234 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2010

Here again (third time in a week) our room was not ready at 1.45 p.m. and didn't become so until 2.30, but then we were upgraded to their best suite. In 38 degree heat it's still annoying, however. This is really a business rather than a resort hotel and the clientele reflect that. Decent restaurants, not ridiculously expensive. Good pool. Surprisingly good curio and souvenir shop, not outrageously priced, if you don't feel like braving the infamous Dar traffic to visit the markets. Breakfast service very early in the morning is not great, surprisingly as many guests leave early for the airport to miss the rush hour. Rooms are quiet and have great views along the cliff and over the ocean. At these prices I rather objected to having to pay for web access to print out my BA boarding pass.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank forester99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2010

This is a new and improved Sea Cliff. The old hotel burned down and a new one was built. The old hotel had severe problem with mold and mildew. The new complex has upgraded the bed, the rooms, TV, bathroom, etc. and now is comparable to many other first class hotels in Africa. The bed was very comfortable, the TV worked well and the view from the ocean-facing room was fine. The restaurant provided tasty food and cold beer, although there are several other restaurants right outside the gate, so there are plenty of choices. Make sure to try the Chinese restaurant in the shopping complex across the street. The staff who catered to us during the conference were friendly and helpful. The front desk could be more efficient - but they were friendly. I haven't stayed at other Dar hotels in several years so I am not sure how the new Sea Cliff compares, but I would stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Steven Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sea Cliff Hotel

Property: Sea Cliff Hotel
Address: Toure Drive | Msasani Peninsula, Dar es Salaam 3030, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Dar Es Salaam Region > Dar es Salaam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 95 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sea Cliff Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 93
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Sea Cliff Hotel - a stunning 5* hotel jutting out majestically on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean with beautifully manicured gardens. It offers an oasis of calm just 5km from the hustle and bustle Dar es Salaam’s city centre and 22km from the airport, nearby all that the city has to offer. All 93 rooms are beautifully furnished and include seven executive rooms, five executive suites, and a magnificent presidential / honeymoon suite with panoramic views out to sea. All rooms have complimentary WiFi, satellite television, direct dial telephone, mini bar, tea & coffee making facilities, digital safe and bathroom amenities as standard. 24-hour room service, laundry, dry cleaning, airport transfer and babysitting services also available. On site, there is also a fitness centre, outdoor pool with sun terrace, casino, hair & beauty salon, two restaurants, coffee shop, bar, members lounge, full service business centre, conference and banqueting facilities and service with a big smile. ... more   less 
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