An indication of my affection for Holiday inn Dar es Salaam City Centre can be gleaned from the fact that I lived here from September to December.
For a start, the Hotel is strategically located close to the core of Dar es Salaam’s business district.
Many key government offices, ministries and the major banks are all within easy walking distance, and you’ll tumble over the street traders in some places.
Mind you, you have to be alert when walking the streets of “Posta”—as this central district is called—because the traffic comes at you from all angles; particularly at the many 5–way intersections dotted throughout the original heart of “Dar”.
It’s advisable to get a pocket street plan (obtainable from the hotel), as, with the sun often directly overhead, losing one’s bearings is all too easy.
Should you fail to take careful note of landmarks at each of these “mini-roundabouts”, within no time you may be wondering which street it was that brought you there.
The hotel itself is relatively new; it’s only been open a couple of years. There are still some teething problems, but the management—headed by the very experienced and helpful Peggy—are slowly but surely getting on top of them.
There are 10 Floors of accommodation, the top two consisting of ‘Executive Rooms’ and a couple of ‘Suites’, one of which sports two rooms and two bathrooms (the larger fitted with a Jacuzzi bath).
The rooms on other Floors are just as well equipped, but guests taking them don’t benefit from the inclusive extras afforded to those in ‘Executive Rooms’.
The extras include access to the Executive Lounge on the 10th Floor. This large, well furnished space permits qualified guests to take breakfast there instead of having to descend to the restaurant on the Ground Floor.
You can, moreover, “chill out” at any time between 7 am and 10 pm and enjoy the included soft drinks, tea, coffee, and snacks provided throughout the day.
In addition, the Lounge has two desktop PCs with Internet access and fast printers; very useful for dashing off a hardcopy letter in a hurry.
Talking Internet, this has to be one of the prime strengths of this hotel for the serious business traveler (WiFi and cable).
There’s a fibre optic feed right up to the hotel itself. Other facilities available to all include an intriguing, semi al fresco Rooftop Bar, the Al Dar, above which is a substantial helipad.
Don’t look out across the city if you hear the sound of helicopter nearby, look up. It’ll be the developers’ chopper touching down to pay a literally flying visit.
There’s another drinks bar on the 1st Floor; this also boasts a coffee bar, small business centre (where good document scanning can be obtained), some shops and a handy, secure ATM.
On the 2nd Floor you’ll find the well equipped gym with all the usual torture machines; this too thrown in with ‘Executive Room’ occupancy. There’s even a small swimming pool on the 3rd Floor Sundeck.
Parking is somewhat limited, but if your car’s small enough and you time it right you may be able to use the underground garage, accessed either by driving down the security guarded ramp or by pressing “B” in the guests’ lifts – there are two, extending from “B” to “R”, the Al Dar Rooftop Bar.
All in all, this hotel can offer a lot of advantages to both business travelers and tourists.
If, however, you’re looking for expansive gardens and pools, you’ll have to pay a lot more, and could find yourself a long way out of town – and that’ll soon add up in taxi fares etc.
For those accustomed to city life, however, the Holiday Inn City Centre has a lot to offer. Your stay will qualify for ICHG’s Priority Club Awards.