Thursday, August 6, 2009

One Night In Heaven

We spent 6 days camping at Kipepeo Beach lodge, in Kipepeo village just 8km south of the centre of Dar Es Salaam. We were waiting on Monikas Malawi visa application, which is a whole other story, but also waiting for Stepan to visit from Dubai. He was on a one-night layover. Apart from the fact that it was great to see him again we were also excited as we were able to stay with him, as his guests, and take advantage of the facilities and the heavenly breakfast buffet at the exclusive Kilimanjaro Kempinski hotel in Dar Es Salaam. The rack rate is around $250 per night, so roughly 25 times our normal budget and somewhere we would never be able to afford to stay ourselves! The hotel is perfectly located on the seafront drive overlooking the harbour.

Not only were we able to use the 'Infinity swimming pool, which is perched on the roof of the reception but we also frequented the 8th floor terrace bar with its fantastic views over Dar.

The rooms are described as "ultra-chic" and "without a doubt the most luxurious in the city with designer bathrooms and modern decor". Apart from the fact that Monika and myself cut our feet on the sharp shower doors (design over safety I suspect) we could not fault them in any way, and if we had then I am sure there would have been a legion of bell-boys at the door within seconds!

Perhaps the most exciting point for me was the big bag of goodies Stepan brought with him for us to feast on. Fresh bread, proper butter, all kinds of cheeses (including ripe and squidgy camembert and brie), olives, pesto, Salt and Vinegar crisps and two bottles of Californian wine as well as a big bag of Swiss chocolates, straight from the Lindt factory in Zurich! This may sound mundane to some of you, who are probably able to construct the same platter by simply walking to your kitchen and opening your fridge, but after 5 months on the road it was like heaven!

The breakfast buffet was no less impressive, it was so big I could not see one end of it from the other! I had a starter of muesli topped with berry smoothie and a juice, followed by a cold plate of smoked fish with capers, olives, pickles and rocket. After a small rest I tackled a mammoth Full English with real HP on the side. Finally, almost bursting, I squeezed in a plate of croissants and donuts, washed down with rich, Tanzanian coffee.

The whole experience was so exciting that we forgot to even take one photo of us all there! But here are some of their official photos:

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