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“Great Vibe”

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Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort
Ranked #12 of 98 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 July 2014

Our week stay at White Sands was a pleasant one. great vibe, friendly staff (can do with customer service training) Breakfast and dinner was very good. Will I go back? for sure!! Had to go on safari etc.. and could not get to my great love WATER SPORTS I however noticed the new motor sport equipment and want to give it a try next time.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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Thank jjkotze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jean-Claude M, General Manager at Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2014

Dear jjkotze,

Thanks for sharing your memory - it was a pleasure to meet you!
Our new watersports equipment is another reason to come back!
We are currently undergoing a service training program, throughout the hotel, and am sure your return trip will be even better than your first visit - see you soon!

Jean-Claude & Team

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217 - 223 of 371 reviews

Reviewed 11 July 2014

The words “words cannot describe” would normally be an appropriate opener to a review for an experience that cannot be fully conveyed using the conventions of the English language due to its sheer abhorrence and incredulity. In this case, even a turn of phrase as dramatic as that comes so miserably short in conveying the egregiousness of every single square centimeter of the White Sands Beach Resort outside of Dar es Salaam. In short, you really have to see it to believe it, but I would sooner recommend voluntary surgery than even a minute spent within the walls of this beachside ghetto. It is advertised as Tanzania’s “only” four-star beach resort, an epithet proudly emblazoned on every recycled toilet-paper drink coaster found throughout this pathetic leper colony of a resort; I wonder, in what distant, as-of-yet undiscovered galaxy this touristic internment camp qualifies for even a single star. The White Sands is an absolute disgrace, a shameful embarrassment to the global hospitality industry, the tourism sector, and a total degradation of the concept of customer service. If it could be preserved as-is and turned into a simulation center for hotel chain trainees and management on what not to do, it would be worth infinitely more than as a going concern. In the three nights I spent captive in this dungeon of slovenliness, I was subjected to innumerable instances of blatant disrespect, disinterest, and brazen rudeness delivered with a remarkable nonchalance from a staff who might be better suited for a Belorussian prison camp.

Consider our arrival. We were greeted by a woman whose only customer service experience must have come from some kind of a slaughterhouse in which she dealt with chattel. Upon signing the necessary registration papers, I attempted to review the document in detail (fearing I had just agreed to some sort of involuntary organ donation scheme to be performed in my sleep); I’m not sure if I was stupefied or just amused by the tug-of-war that ensued as the maiden started to pull the slip out of my hands and grunt, “For me, not for you!” repeatedly, with a savagely ferocious expression on her face as if I were attempting to steal food from her firstborn. What secrets remained on the form that I had signed I will never know. What followed over the next few days was a series of calamities, blunders, and denigrations that collectively resembled some kind of performance-art circus.

In the evenings, the electricity would occasionally cut out, which was particularly pleasant whilst using the toilet or showering in the Soviet-style bathrooms, which were outfitted with sinks sized for finger monkeys and showers that required a mechanic’s wrench to properly operate. The food, as can be imagined, is best consumed with a light seasoning of Cipro, Levaquin, or any other powerful fluoroquinolone-based anitbioitic capable of destroying every living cell on a plate. And while on the subject of dining, a handy tip for fellow travelers: If you want to get your check after eating, simply stand up and begin to walk out of the restaurant; at some point before you reach your room, someone might find you. Otherwise, you can fester in the patio dining area indefinitely and enjoy the romantic mood lighting consisting of fluorescent, prison-style floodlights, and a large screen that is installed on several concrete blocks re-appropriate from a nearby construction site. All while you are slowly eaten alive by malaria carrying mosquitoes. Speaking of prisons, in most countries they grounds that are better maintained than those of the White Sands resort. Dried out, yellow grass; uprooted mounds of mud surrounding construction areas (why anyone would invest further in this place defeats me); and garbage littered beaches and waters. Don’t try to swim in the ocean here unless you’re a fan of dumpster diving.

At one point during my stay, I attempted to boil some water in the electric kettle provided in the room. Minutes later, the hotel’s fire alarm was set off. Approximately twenty, and then thirty minutes later, two individuals showed up at my room asking if there was an emergency, then explaining that the smoke detectors, which had recently been installed, were situated directly above the kettles and were sensitive to water vapor, apparently. In combination with the numerous emergency gathering point signs situated throughout the resort, I felt incredibly safe, kind of like in a medium-security prison in a third-world country.

Perhaps the worst part of the White Sands is the glacially stiff look on every staff member’s face. That is, if they are awake. One morning, I went to the gym and discovered the attendant soundly asleep (with headphones in place) on a piece of equipment. It wasn’t clear whether he was working or had just spent the night, or whether he had showered in the past week. The gym itself could best be described as some kind of time-capsule-graveyard; replete with rusting Italian fitness equipment from the mid 1990s (To the management, here’s a bit of basic chemistry: open windows + sea air + metal = rust!), I invited myself to manually close every sliding window and turn on the air conditioning units myself. Self-service at a four star resort? Surprisingly, I didn’t have to fry my own eggs at breakfast, though I did have to remind the designated egg frier how to fry them (I will admit, it’s a difficult culinary technique I picked up when I was seven).

In case you want to distract yourself from the misery surrounding you (something I love to do on vacation, just not at the site of the vacation), you can enjoy the hotel’s internet connection. The WiFi access at the hotel should come with a warning label for anyone who has a heart condition, or a brain that works properly. First, you request an access code, which is stored on sheets of paper printed out daily by the in-house “IT specialist” and placed into a manila folder kept behind the reception desk. The receptionist then removes a sheet and uses scissors to cut out individual squares of codes, which are handed to you. Each code has a limited degree of bandwidth assigned to it (normally enough for 10 webpages, 2 YouTube videos, or half of a Skype Call, whatever that is), and an expiration date. You can call again to get another one, although at the White Sands, there is no guarantee that someone will answer the phone. You can ring again, and again, and again, and someone might pick up the phone, then set it down on the counter, leaving you on the other end to overhear their conversation for ten to fifteen minutes (that way, you can’t call them back and bother them).

The hotel seems to have taken the classic customer-service platitude printed on millions of grocery bags “We [Heart] our Customers” and changed it to “We Hate our Customers.” With a passionate vengeance. If you have anyone you particularly despite, recommend this hotel to them. Tell them to stay a week or more. I honestly couldn’t think of a worse punishment than arriving on the shores of the Grey Sands after traveling half way around the world.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
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7  Thank xps900
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jean-Claude M, General Manager at Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2014

Dear xps900,

Thank you for staying with us! As discussed telephonically, the valid points will be addressed accordingly. The Team look forward to hosting you again!

Best regards

Jean-Claude & Team

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Reviewed 19 June 2014

Great Stay! We landed really early in the morning from South Africa and without delay or shuttle was there to pick us up straight at the main door!

Staff were great, and we were lucky enough to get one of the best rooms at the resort. If you can choose, ask for the rooms to the right of the reception and on the top floor.

We only stayed at the hotel for about 1.5 days until going through to Zanzibar but was a pleasant stay.

Room Tip: If you can choose, ask for the rooms to the right of the reception and on the top floor.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank MarcelMatodes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carmen T, Manager at Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2014

Dear MarcelMatodes,

We would like to express our sincere Thanks for providing feedback on your recent stay with us.

We are very proud of our Team and the true, friendly, Tanzanian hospitality that they offer.

It was a pleasure hosting you as a valued Guest, although only a quick stop before your trip to Zanzibar and we hope that next time you will stay a little longer.

Best Regards
Carmen

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Reviewed 15 June 2014

Lovely hotel and serene environment by the beach. Spent a day by the beach with friends. Free wifi available. Customer service needs to be improved upon. Honesty is wanting- Our over bill was inflated by 50% of what we had taken and on cross checking the amount was not tallying. The waiter was later to apologize for this.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank dohryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carmen T, Manager at Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2014

Dear Dohryn,

Thank You for taking the time to provide us with feedback on your experience at the Hotel White Sands, Resort & Conference Centre.

We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed the serenity of our facilities as many of our valued Guests do. We are very proud of our Hotel.

We do, however, apologize sincerely for the error concerning your bill and have addressed this with the relevant staff. Service excellence is our main priority and therefore take our Guest's concerns very seriously.

Thank You again and we hope to welcome you back soon.

Best Regards
Carmen

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Reviewed 30 May 2014

I spent a few months working in Dar and we put our visitors there. We also used the conference rooms for training. I also used to go there to relax at weekends because the beach is great there. It's probably one of the top few hotels there with a decent beach. The food and service is great in the restaurants, the location wonderful, nice pool and gardens and great views of Mbudya Island (you can get there by boat from the hotel beach). All in all a great place to be!!

Room Tip: Get one near the main building overlooking the sea, otherwise it's a bit of a walk to the recept...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank Jeremy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carmen T, Manager at Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2014

Dear Jeremy P,

We appreciate your feedback on your Hotel White Sands experience and thank you for not only taking the time to write a review but also for bringing your Guests to stay with us.

Our Team will be so pleased to hear your positive comments as this motivates us to continue striving towards service excellence.

We hope to welcome you back again soon.

Kind Regards
Carmen

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Reviewed 22 May 2014

Been to this hotel many times in the past few years and enjoying to experience their improving services ever since. Friendly staff and well informative reception. Spacious and clean rooms. The restaurants have excellent ocean & beach view which adds up to the great meals. Wide range of buffet lunch was nice and the restaurant manager was very helpful to arrange to meet some of our dietary requirements, Nice big swimming pool. few but good options for water sports and a great experience of the mbudya island just a few minutes boat ride from the hotel.

Will definitely recommend this hotel to everyone.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Thank Fal-The-Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carmen T, Manager at Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2014

Dear FB-The Traveler,

Thank You so much for taking the time to write such positive feedback about your experience with us.

We take great pride in our Hotel and every effort is made to continuously improve our standards, facilities and service.

We are so pleased you enjoyed the Mbudya Island experience, which is a favorite among many of our Guests. It is unfortunate though that you were not here to experience the arrival of our new boat, jetskis and paraseiling this month, but hopefully, you will return to us and can then enjoy the addtional watersports now on offer.

We do hope to welcome you back again.

Kind Regards
Carmen

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Reviewed 19 May 2014

Good sized well-equipped rooms. Fridge, desk, hair dryer and tea/coffee making facilities. Free wifi. The staff are very friendly and helpful and we ate well in the restaurant. Ideal situation right on the beach and also has a pool. There are boat trips to the islands and facilities for children. Pleasant, well-kept grounds and pool area. Looking forward to our return trip at the end of our trip.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank greenerfingers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carmen T, Manager at Hotel White Sands - The Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2014

Dear greenerfingers,

We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and please accept our sincere Thanks for taking the time to provide us with your feedback.

We too look forward to your return as a valued Guest and wish you safe travels.

Kind Regards
Carmen

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Region: Tanzania > Dar Es Salaam Region > Dar es Salaam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £92 - £241 (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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