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“Ruthless owner”

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Mediterraneo Hotel & Restaurant
Ranked #14 of 95 Hotels in Dar es Salaam
Certificate of Excellence
Zürich
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Ruthless owner”
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Let me start off by mentioning that I have been staying at to this hotel at least 4 times per year since 2007. That would more than 20 stays so far. I have also referred countless of people to this hotel. I kept on coming back here because this was the first hotel I stayed at in Dar es Salaam. Over the years it became a familiar place to me. I like the gardens and the staffs is very friendly. The rooms never blew me away, after a couple of stays it just became the place I knew in the city.
During this time I have also come to know who the owner is - he never uttered as much as a “hello” or “welcome back” to me. It did not bother me because I realised that he cannot be friends with everybody that stays here. It was never a reason for me however not to come back here again.
During my last trip (flight) from Europe to Dar es Salaam the owner happened to be on the same flight and in the same class as me. Once more, we did not exchange greetings, which actually made me feel awkward because by the time I realised that he was on the flight, we passed one another a couple of times. I thought it would be silly to greet this late. Even so, I did not think much of it and assumed that he might feel the same.
After my first night and breakfast at the hotel, the visibly shaken and embarrassed hotel staff informed me that the previous night was on the house - but I had to leave the hotel. No one could give me a reason why, except that the owner walked in that morning and instructed them to inform the person, who was on the same flight with him, to leave. To say the least, I was shocked – especially because I have been a loyal guest over a couple of years. I was also angry that he put his staff into such an embarrassing situation. They have always been very friendly and nice to me and they tried their best to ease the situation. It is really sad that he did not have the courage to tell me this in person. Thinking back then - and judging on the way he arranged a whole arrival team/workforce for his pick up at the airport (if I did not know better, I could have been fooled into thinking some kind of local celebrity has landed), an inflated ego is a possible candidate. Notwithstanding, this action was determined and aimed to hurt……for not saying “hello” (which I can also accuse him of btw)??..... This also brings me back to the basic rules of hospitality. In the normal world the staff (or management for that matter) approaches their guests and introduces themselves and not the other way around. I cannot think of any other reason why he did this. As I mentioned before, he never stopped to greet me at the hotel in all the years. All the other people that work there have always greeted me and welcomed me back. I find this behaviour exceptionally unprofessional; one would not expect this from the management/owner of a hotel. I did not disembark the plane in Dar es Salaam with a grudge, thinking that I will stay at another hotel now because I was not greeted or asked if I will be staying there again by the owner of the hotel which I have been supporting so often.
Judging from how ruthless this owner treats his loyal guests, I can only assume how the staffs get treated at this hotel. Even if my assumption is wrong, I got kicked out, irrespective of the fact that I have been a loyal guest for years, for no reason and with no explanation at all. Just like that.
Based on this little incident, I will now also allow myself to highlight what has always bothered me about the hotel:
1. The ocean facing rooms only face the ocean but actually look into the garden. They face the garden on the ocean side of the property. Do not book a garden facing room however - because there is a night club just across the road from the hotel and you may find yourself with a lot of noise at night. It has happened to me in the past but I did not complain back then (luckily I had really good ear plugs with me). Currently the hotel is also constructing a number of new garden facing rooms on the side where this night club/bar is situated and the rooms closest to the night club are no more than 20 m away from it. There is just a hedge and a dirt road between the rooms and the night club.
2. The rooms are rather dark and gloomy with old AC’s. They are very noisy and only function at one level. Unfortunately, most of the year you have to sleep with the AC on because there is no air draught through the rooms.
3. The beds are basic and not the most comfortable: On top of that you only get a sheet as blanket. It would be nice to have a proper duvet.
4. The showers (sometimes toilets) leak and there is hardly any water pressure. I have not seen any improvements in the bathrooms in the last 5 years.
5. The towels are a joke. More sheet than towel. They do not absorb any water at all. They are the worst I have ever seen in any hotel.
6. Wireless is for free but it comes at the speed of the internet anno 1995. It is the slowest wireless I have experienced in Dar es Salaam.
7. The food in the restaurant is good but pricey for DAR standards. Here too, there have been no changes in the menu in the last 5 years. Only the prices changed.
8. The hotel is very isolated and removed from the normal rhythm of Dar es Salaam. It is also far from the city and the traffic going there is always bad. The road leading to the hotel is also in a bad condition, especially after rain.
This unnecessary event also brought something good to light though. Firstly, I will not support (and advise others also) an institution that is run by such ruthless people. It also provided me with the opportunity to explore other options outside my comfort zone. I now discovered that there are numerous other options closer to town on the Peninsula. Here you will also find hotels on the ocean but you can also experience normal DAR life if you have the urge to leave the hotel. If you want to be on the beach outside of the city however, there are better options with better rooms, albeit a bit further out. White Sands for example.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
10 Thank ugu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2013

I brought a group here after we had done a 2 week mission trip in the Dodoma area of Tanzania... this is my second stay here the first time was five years ago for two nights and this time it was only one night.... BUT because our flight back to Chicago was a later one we stayed till after dinner.... the place is an oasis WONDERFUL... the food was great the rooms were fantastic... every time I come to Tanzania we come for either a day or two or like three years ago I brought a group for lunch.... you can not beat the Mediterraneo....... Dave

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank magic1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2013

Dar Es Salaam is pretty laid back place to start with, everyone seems to be very chilled. The Mediterraneo is no different, check in and out are a little slow although super friendly, but considering the location you just don't seem to mind at all.

It's out of the way, other side of Dar from the airport so the drive can take hours but I wouldn't stay anywhere else. The hotel is right on the beach, although the breakfast might not be the greatest in the world, an excellent espresso alongside the beach is good enough for me. I have started having all my meetings at the hotel so no need to travel apart from the airport trip.

The restaurant is also really good, fresh fish flame grilled - just superb and service is really efficient. The Wi-Fi is challenging at times but that's the only minor issue.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2013

Honestly, Mediterraneo is one of the nicest places I have ever stayed at in Africa. Although I usually don't make the effort to write a review on Tripadvisor (shame on me!), I feel this time I really owe it to the people who did everything to make my stay no less than perfect.

First of all, Mediterraneo is a truly idyllic place, situated right outside of busy Dar Es Salaam. The pool, the bar, restaurant and breakfast area have a georgeous view on the ocean, opening the door to complete relaxedness the monent you enter. The soft ocean breeze makes the temperature very bearable (plus keeps the mosquitos away) and the very discrete but exquisite (beware connaisseurs!) music playlist makes you immediately dream away.

Mediterraneo is such a welcome change from the Hiltons, Sheratons, Best Westerns etc that (let's admit it) all look the same and are consistently overpriced. The place is owned by Italians and the famous Italian 'buon gusto' (exquisite taste) is something you find back in all areas:

The rooms are gorgeous, with a nice patio to relax outside, a beautiful wrought iron canopy bed and the rooms are decorated with style and very clean.

The hotel personnel is professional (remembering your name!), very kind and extremely helpful. The hotel manager, Eileen, is a very charming lady and makes every effort to make your stay perfect, the ideal hostess.

The restaurant offers the best food I have ever eaten in Africa. The cuisine is Italian with some (middle) Eastern and local dishes and is truly exceptional in quality. You'll eat better here than in some of the best restaurants in Italy! I made friends with one of the Masai waiters, Boniface, who excels in sincere kindness and excellent customer service.

They even have a sushi bar at Mediterraneo and the (very original!) sushi dessert (banana + nutella) is simply to die for. Only improvement point: the sushi is not cheap, maybe a bit overpriced even.

A second possible remark: its location. Mediterraneo is located outside town (residential & embassy area), which is both an advantage (very quiet) as a disadvantage (you'll spend time in traffic jam to get in town). But if you do like me and use that time to read the newspaper and catch up on e-mail it's time well spent and a small price to pay for all that Mediterraneo has to offer.

I stayed here for a week on a business trip but would definetely come back with my wife for a romantic getaway.

People say the devil is in the detail. Well, detail is something they completely master at Mediterraneo. In combination with the very reasonable prices of the hotel and restaurant, this makes Mediterraneo the best place to stay in Dar Es Salaam for me.

I will be back for sure; Asante Sana!

Room Tip: If you take a sea view room there will be less mosquitos in the evening !
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ThomasWorldTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
27 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2013 via mobile

We thoroughly enjoyed our short stay here with spacious rooms, decent bathrooms and good food. Overlooking the Indian Ocean an watching the crabs at night, this was a nice way to forget the eat race that is Dar. It is very quiet and away from main roads. The gardens and beach make for a lovely ambiance. Staff are friendly but you do need to make sure you carefully explain what you want and ensure your booking is set in stone! Email would be best.

Overall I strongly recommend Meddeterano for short or longer stays in Dar.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stacey81HongKong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2013

This place is quite unique and very different from the enclosed boxes most other hotels are in Dar which is very appealing but has so much potential to do much better. It has an open, out door feel to it with a lovely restaurant overlooking the ocean. Having said that it lacks a warmth and feeling of really being welcomed. Most staff were very friendly but breakfast staff not - they were all talking so loudly with themselves so much so I could not enjoy the peace of the morning. I walked out from the breakfast area being the only one in there right past one of the waiters and not a 'good bye' just silence. Indeed whilst the receptionist was very friendly there was a manageress also in the reception with me who smiled but did not say hello or offer any form of welcome. Indeed it was me who had to greet her. I find it odd that people in the hospitality industry cannot get the basics right with a simple 'hello how are you'. What the place needs is a host with a personality to float around and chat to guests and make all feel welcome - I think that would make a big difference, I have stayed in much larger hotels in Dar and elsewhere where the manager does walk around and talk with guests and this is an important part of the hospitality.

The rooms are ok - but need maintenance - they are not well finished and actually not particularly clean either. My Zanzibar bed (room 11) needs to be bolted together, and the bedside lamp flickered on and off as the wiring was faulty at the socket. There are not enough sockets for lap tops - charging phones etc.

A few small details would help in the room - for example a shelf in the shower, and at least one comfy seat in the room - all the chairs in the room were up right and not comfortable at all. In fact this could be said of the seating in general through out the hotel and restaurant. The chairs in part of the restaurant are made of thick dhow wood which looks good and funky but practically they are most cumbersome and very uncomfortable.

I think if they could make more of an effort with customer care it would make a big difference.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Florian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 July 2013

This was my second time at the Mediterraneo, and it is certainly one of my all time favorite hotels. Great location, great relaxing atmosphere throughout and friendly staff.
A real downer this time was the "monthly party" - all the comfy chairs by the beach were gone, the lounge area turned into a nightclub plus dance floor. There were only a couple of pool chairs left, so that by afternoon, there was no place to even sit down anywhere. But the biggest annoyance was that the music was so loud that the whole room was shaking until 2.30am. No sleep for us or our children.
So, yes, call me a party pooper, but unless you like being up until the morning hours, avoid the hotel for that night. I will always want to come back, but next time I'll ask upfront.

Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Andre T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mediterraneo Hotel & Restaurant

Property: Mediterraneo Hotel & Restaurant
Address: Tuari Road Kawe Beach, Dar es Salaam 36110, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Dar Es Salaam Region > Dar es Salaam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Dar es Salaam
#11 Business Hotel in Dar es Salaam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Mediterraneo Hotel & Restaurant 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mediterraneo Hotel and Restaurant is a unique resort style hotel located by the Indian Ocean in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Situated close to the commercial centre of Dar es Salaam with attractive gardens overlooking the Indian Ocean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mediterraneo Hotel And Restaurant
Mediterraneo Hotel Dar Es Salaam

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