The Protea Hotel Dar es Salaam Courtyard is your colonial-style haven in present time. Built since the late 1940s (1949 to be exact), the hotel takes pride of its intricate rich wooden carved furniture and architecture, it’s courteous staffs, and an outdoor pool surrounded by natural plants grown in Dar es Salaam. Truly it felt like a wonderful hideaway for me – that from outdoor to indoor, I felt the natural vibe of the African continent.
It has been a bucket list of mine to revisit Dar es Salaam so, I made it a reality this month. As Jonathan had to further beautify the interior of Empress, I and my good friend Arione, went on a relaxing trip to Eastern Africa. Since my curiosity was aroused at the mention of the Protea Courtyard in Dar es Salaam, I’ve planned it ever since to stay in the hotel if I did revisit Dar es Salaam city again.
Before I got there though, I felt the odds going against me for some reason. First, we missed our flight. Next, we booked another flight and arrived in Nairobi. However, we were stopped and not allowed to check-in so we had to take another flight and pay for some cash for it too.
However, being the persistent one who loves challenges, I just had to see it.
After arriving and paying for the US$50 for the airport visa arrival at the Julius Nyerere Airport in Dar es Salaam at 1:30, to say that I was tired was an understatement. I was exhausted. But it was partly my fault for missing my flight. Moving on, we tried booking for an Uber to pick us up at the airport to the Protea Hotel. However, an Uber is not allowed to get inside the airport. The reason for this is only the taxis in the “taxi queue” are authorized by the city to send new arrivals to their destinations.
We rode the taxi and in less than 40 minutes, we finally arrived at the hotel by 2 a.m. We only paid US$20 for it. When I stepped out of the cab, I was speechless. I froze on the spot upon looking at the hotel. No sugarcoat there, because it was definitely stunning. The hotel’s entrance looked like that of a fairytale. The entire setting showed how nature and something modern such as a building would make a good combination.
AT THE TOWN
During our stay, we met an OFW who was kind enough to show us around the town. We opted for an Uber since it is popular in Dar es Salaam, except for the airport. We only paid about 5000 – 10000 Tanzanian Shillings ( 2-5 USD) Although the city’s shopping centers and supermarkets were small, all of them were proud to feature their best local products to tourists!
It was there at the city center where we bought our tickets to Zanzibar.
African-Mecca travelers will love the cultural vibe that this hotel brings. Built in old-world South African style since 1949, it’s a must-book hotel for backpackers and tourists that love a taste of Dar es Salaam history.
As the Protea sits near the heart of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, it is also more than a mile away from the keys to the history of this beautiful city – National Museum of Tanzania and Askari Monument. Other than that, there are also other establishments that speak of this place’s history for you to discover and be amazed just as we did!
Warm up to the natural setting of the hotel’s accommodation as each of the 53 rooms promise a view of the relaxing pool surrounded by beautiful trees. Every room was made up to look vintage and rare as the building had also been considered as an old listed hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In spite of this fact, it still hasn’t lost its glow as the staffs and loyal customers continue to give importance to this nature-slash-historical themed hotel.
Arriving at the hotel by 2 am, the evening shift manager took me and Arione to a room which didn’t really give us enough space to unpack a bit to start work. Part of it was our fault though since we didn’t really specify a big room with separate beds.
Anyways, we both realized that in the morning that we really needed to upgrade the room. We wanted a bigger room. And much to my surprise, the room was incredibly affordable by the way, large, and mesmerizing.
In case any case you want to book the hotel via Trip Advisor, here are the rooms which you will want to check into:
Superior – Air-conditioned, non-smoking room comprising of either a queen-sized or two twin-sized beds. Perfect for two backpackers: a couple or two friends. It has an accessible roll-in shower for your use. You can tell the manager specifically on the type of room you want, but if you want it larger then inform them, fully detailed, as they aim to give their customers the best hotel experience in Dar es Salaam. A desk and an electrical outlet are also available for very hard-working guests who would like to work during their vacation.
Deluxe Room – This is a luxurious room that has its own living area: a plush sofa and a tv. A working desk is also available for guests who want to bring their work with them. A magnificently designed lamp to brighten the room, and a large bathroom can be used to your advantage! Made of one queen-sized bed fit for couples on their vacay An electric safe to store away your valuables is also in the room. A complimentary breakfast is also offered in this package.
Each room had furniture made from rich wood. We looked up and researched these rooms ourselves through Trip Advisor. The superior double room that we spent a few nights in, however, wasn’t enlisted, but we felt like royalty in that room. It had a king-sized bed, its own lounge with a comfortable sofa to chill out, TV, and a big bathroom.
Being offered in most of the rooms are:
– Desk table
– Electrical outlet
– Free WiFi and Free Parking
– Complimentary breakfast
– Tea and coffee makers
– Rich wooden carved chairs, table, and bed.
and a whole lot more which you can check out by visiting their website.
Visit their receptionist/concierge to inquire and set a schedule for the airport shuttle.
Nature-Friendly Courtyard Pool. The pool is basically surrounded by nature. The natural scent of the plants, the green environment, and the natural aura will give you a more rejuvenating vacation. It has a number loungers by the sides where you can lie down and relax. Although some of the staff might give you strange awkward looks, they are just concerned in case their guests want something, of course!
Stay Fit During Your Stay! For most of us, we make “being on a vacation” an excuse to not doing what our body needs daily which is exercise. But if you want to lay off the unwanted layers that would add onto your size, then stay fit through the hotel’s fitness center. With state-of-the-art equipment that would move you to push your limits during your break. Biking/hiking trails are also nearby!
Near Dar es Salaam’s Heart. It sits in less than two miles away from the center of Tanzania where you can visit local shopping centers that sell original Tanzanian brands which are best for you to bring home as souvenirs!
You can’t call yourself a traveler unless you’ve discovered every feature that a country has to offer – one of which of course, is FOOD. Food is both a need and a want for every human being. May it be a part of history or something which a country or place is popular for, people would still flock to that place out of curiosity to get themselves a taste of one. But staying at the Protea Courtyard and eating at their complimentary breakfast buffet – let’s just say I definitely wanted to stay longer and go back the next time I visit Dar es Salaam. Food is life.
RESTAURANT. The hotel’s restaurant basically serves meals from breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy various dishes within the restaurant and eat as gratifyingly as you may. The complimentary breakfast buffet is available from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. They serve cold meat, continental food, cheese, croissant, yogurt, and a whole lot more. My favorite English breakfast meals like sausages, slices of bacon, and baked beans are also present. The traditional Tanzanian food: Chapatis/Roti/Flatbread with Non-bread curries are yours to enjoy during this festive meal.
JAHAZHI MINIBAR. If you want to cool your mind off things a bit, visit the hotel’s bar and have the bartender mix the perfect beverage for the night. Some of the guests also visit the bar, so it’s also the best area to socialize with fellow hotel guests.
OPEN HOUSE. The hotel’s coffee shop is open 24 hours daily and serves light fare only. So, fellow coffee lovers, grab a cup anytime!
However, if you don’t feel like going down to have your meal, call in and get it delivered via the available 24-hour room service!
Aside from discovering Tanzania’s mesmerizing history from the nearby National Museum of Tanzania and Askari Monument, there are lots of other things you can do. We’ve narrowed down the nearby places which are your go-to places once you get to the hotel.
Serengeti National Park – Seek new pastures and witness the life of wild animals like you’ve seen them on Discovery Channel or Animal Planet – in person! From lions, zebras, and more watch as the circle of life unfold before your eyes through this National Park.
Las Vegas Casino – Try your luck in this Vegas-styled casino in Dar es Salaam, less than a km away from the Protea Hotel. Have yourself treated like a king by the staffs who give you a very warm welcome! Steam off your problems here and I bet you will.
Ngorongoro Crater – The diamond within Ngorongoro is where a deep volcanic crater lies untouched by a flood. This natural venue is the largest intact caldera. The Ngorongoro conservation area is one of the most reserved lands in the whole of Dar es Salaam. You can stay in luxury lodges but most importantly, meet the Maasai – the people who have been tending this majestic wonder ever since.
Dar-es-Salaam Gymkhana Club – Less than a mile away from the Protea Hotel is the Dar-es-Salaam Gymkhana Club. Perfect for golf enthusiasts. It has a bar and lounge including a kid’s area and has been operating since 1916.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Protea Hotel Dar es Salaam Courtyard
1. How much does accommodation cost at Protea Courtyard Dar es Salaam?
It starts around $150 USD per night, depending on the type of accommodation you want. You may check the latest room rates through the hotel’s website or online booking websites like Expedia, Tripadvisor, Hotelscombined, Agoda, and Booking.com.
2. What is the check-in time and check-out time?
Check-in time is 2 PM, check-out time is at 12 NN.
3. Are children allowed?
Of course! Children ages 12 and below can stay with their parents FOR FREE!
4. Can you smoke here?
Either at the garden or the designated smoking room near the coffee shop
5. Are pets allowed?
NO pets allowed, unfortunately. However, service animals are exempted to this rule!
6. What amenities do they have?
Check the amenities portion of this article or click, here!
7. Are there available promos to save money?
Yes so catch those promos now and check the hotel’s website!
8. What are the closest landmarks to Protea Courtyard Dar es Salaam?
The Serengeti National Park is the closest landmark. Also, the Ngorongoro crater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is nearby!
9. Are popular attractions nearby?
The nearest would be the Palm Beach, about 10 minutes of walking. The Coco Beach is bigger compared to Palm Beach and it will be a little bit up more north, estimated 7-10 minutes of driving.
10. What is the nearest airport?
The nearest airport would be the Julius Nyerere International Airport, about 40 minutes of driving. Flight destinations are mostly to nearby African cities but some flights go to Amsterdam, Zürich, and Dubai.
Note: I stayed as a guest in Protea Dar es Salaam Courtyard. However, all opinions are based on my personal experience.
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