Hotel Check: Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, The Kilimanjaro

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania BACKGROUND: Hyatt Regency is Hyatt’s flagship hotel brand of premium hotels for business and leisure travellers around the world. Opened as the first five-star hotel in 1965, the Hyatt Regency in Dar es Salaam has been well established as the best hotel for connecting with heads of state, influential business people and celebrities. Although Dodoma is the official capital of Tanzania, Dar is the commercial and economic hub, with the busiest port in East Africa. WHERE IS IT?  On Kivukoni Front, with views of the harbour and Indian Ocean, the hotel is in the heart of the CBD. Within easy walking distance are major historical sites including the Azania Front Lutheran Church (1898), St. Joseph’s Cathedral (1897), the Askari Monument and National Museum. Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre is nearby and Julius Nyerere International Airport is 12 kilometres away, which takes 25 to 90 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions at the time of day you travel. The road is good, but traffic lights are erratic. The ferry terminal is 500 metres away and is worth a visit for the local colour. ROOM FACILITIES: 180 guestrooms, including 132 deluxe rooms, 30 executive rooms and 18 suites, each with spectacular views of the city or the sea. All deluxe amenities you would expect from a top five-star hotel are here, with comfortable King bed, quality white linen, well-lit desk space, plugs for using and recharging electrical equipment and wide-screen TV. I liked the roomy bathroom with separate toilet, outsized bath and rain shower; partitioned from the bedroom by a glass wall, so I could enjoy the view, with blinds when privacy is needed. A generous fruit bowl added to my feeling of being welcomed. RESTAURANTS & BARS: Ideal for Islamic patrons, restaurants provide a special traditional Iftar menu, prepared by the Arabic chef, during the holy month of Ramadan. The Palm Restaurant, open all day, serves Swahili and international cuisine in immaculate themed dinner buffets, in a formal atmosphere, except for Sunday brunch when Tanzanite Band plays appealing local and international music. Oriental Restaurant offers arguably the top fine dining in Dar, with eclectic South East Asian gourmet fare, including fresh fish, lobster, sushi, sashimi and dim sum. The impressive wine list includes several top South African wines. Resident DJ spins music for dancing at trendy Rouge Nightclub from 21h00 till late, where ladies may visit for free and are given a complimentary drink. There is o cover charge for residents. Don’t miss a visit to Level 8, Dar es Salaam’s only rooftop bar, where you can gaze at the sea and cityscapes while sipping a cocktail or drink of your choice, while nibbling on hot cashew nuts. Expect live jazz music on Friday nights. Sunset here was one of the highlights of my trip and I felt expansive in the balmy tropical bliss, before I had even received my glass of Sauvignon Blanc. BUSINESS & MEETING FACILITIES: Wi-fi throughout the hotel is fast. The Two large and five smaller boardrooms are fitted with contemporary audiovisual equipment. Both the Kibo Ballroom, with capacity for up to 400 guests, and the Zanzibar room, which can accommodate 266, can be partitioned into separate areas. LEISURE FACILITIES: The outdoors infinity swimming pool is long enough for some effective training. In Anantara Spa, treatments are given in six private rooms, one is a double suite and another a Thai massage space. As several of the therapists are from Asia, a signature massage here is outstanding. Separate saunas for men and women, steam rooms and a gym/fitness centre are available. VERDICT: Currently ranked first for hotels in Dar es Salaam on TripAdvisor, I had a truly five-star experience here, with professional, personalised service. It’s proximity to the international airport, ICC, important cultural and historical sites, placement right on the waterfront with spectacular views, plus fast and reliable wi-fi, makes it an ideal hotel for a business trip and holiday thereafter. Gillian McLaren CONTACT Address: 24 Kivukoni Rd, Dar es Salaam T: +255 764 701 234 E: W:
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