We arrived into Dar es Salaam at 2:30a and after a 36 hours of travel (Los Angeles – Chicago – Frankfurt – Istanbul – Dar es Salaam) I was ready to get to sleep. The Hyatt Regency Dar Es Salaam, also known as The Kilimanjaro, is centrally located in Dar Es Salaam just a short distance from main ferry port.
Sleep was deferred, a bit, by the camera incident, but by 3:30a we were finally relaxed. Of course 3:30a in Tazania (GMT+3) is 4:30p in Los Angeles and 7:30p in New York. That meant another hour of work after a flight without internet. But finally by 4:30a I turned in.
Hyatt Regency Dar Es Salaam Guest Room
Considering what we would see of the city later that day, the hotel was very nice. The room was clean, well-arranged, and though a bit dated really not in need of any rehab. The two twin beds were pushed together which I always find somewhat amusing: why not just use a single bed if you are going to do that?
The room had a couch/chaise lounge running along with window and a large writing desk with two universal plugs.
The mini-bar was well-stocked and complimentary water, tea, and coffee were available.
The bathroom was exposed with transparent windows, although there were blinds that could be lowered for privacy. The bathroom layout included a large soaking tub, separate shower, and single sink. The water closet was also separate.
We slept for about five hours, awaking to bright sunshine streaming into the room. It was going to be a very hot and muggy day!
Hyatt Regency Dar Es Salaam Regency Club
Down the hall from our room was the Regency Club, which featured a continental breakfast spread. We opted to take our breakfast in the lobby instead, but cereals, breads, fresh juices, fruit and coffee were available.
After breakfast, light snacks like nuts, cookies and dried fruit along with beverages are available all day long. There are evening Hors d’oeuvres as well, which we missed.
Hyatt Regency Dar Es Salaam Dining
We ate in breakfast in The Palm, the hotel’s main restaurant and open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Service was buffet style and quite expansive compared to the lounge.
Breakfast was very good. Wherever I am in the world I tend to eat the same things for breakfast and the omelet and bircher muesli did not disappoint. The coffee did disappoint, but I have yet to find any decent coffee in Africa south of Morocco.
Service was very good – rather than have one waiter or waitress, it seemed to be a team effort and each interaction was friendly. The dining room was frigidly cold (though I concede the absolute necessity of around-the-clock a/c in that humid climate).
Other restaurants in the hotel include:
- Oriental which focuses, not surpassingly, on Asian cuisine
- Flame Tree Lounge, which is a bar that serves coffee and light meals too
- Citrus, the poolside bar
- Level 8, the rooftop bar
- Rogue, the hotel’s night club
Hyatt Regency Dar Es Salaam Fitness and Pool
The hotel has a great fitness center and pool, though I did not use either facility.
A spa as well:
I had another camera incident on the way out. While taking some pictures of the lobby, a security guard ran over and demanded to know what I was doing. I explained that I was writing a review of the hotel and he did not buy it. He turned to a man in a t-shirt and jeans in the lobby…who turned out to be the General Manager preparing to take a group of his co-workers to do community service.
The GM, Karl Marshall, introduced himself and told me that I was welcome to take pictures as long as there were not guests or employees in them. He also told me about the incredible work that Hyatt does on behalf of the community, both in terms of monetary donations and volunteer work.
Mr. Marshall asked how long we were staying and I told him we would be departing shortly for the ferry port. He offered us a ride in one of the hotel cars, which was a very gracious and unexpected gesture. At the same time, he asked one of his colleagues at the front desk to arrange ferry tickets for us, which were added to the room bill.
I was only at the hotel for 12 hours, which was a shame. Maybe you’ll be in a situation like mine one day and find yourself in Dar Es Salaam for a night at the end or beginning of your trip. It’s not a cheap hotel (~$250/night) but for the amenities and comfort we enjoyed, the price was worth it.