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“Great staff make for a wonderful experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Madrugada Beach Resort

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La Madrugada Beach Resort
2.5 of 5 Resort   |   Makunduchi Beach, Makunduchi, Tanzania (Formerly Zanzibar Azure Beach Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Makunduchi
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great staff make for a wonderful experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

We just completed a most relaxing time at La Madrugada Resort in Makunduchi, Zanzibar. My husband and I had been travelling for 3 months and were looking for a place to take a bit of a break. The previous review, True Paradise, says it all, but I would like to add a few comments.
The staff at La Madrugada make this place a true delight! As they are under new management, you can tell that they have spent a lot of time hiring professional, friendly, trustworthy staff. Sofia our waitress was an absolute sweetie and she was the perfect hostess. Zawadi (with a degree in Travel Tourism) taught me some Swahili and a song I could teach my students back at school -- I was so pleased. Betty at reception was friendly and professional. Hajje taught us more Swahili and always greated us with a huge smile and lovely conversation. The chef provided us with amazing meals and even gave us a seafood dinner on the beach for our last night (he added little food additions that he noted we preferred over our stay). The bartender had a great sense of humour and taught us some local phrases (poa chacheezi cama indizi friti bariti - cooler than a banana in a refrigerator). The owners are a very lovely couple, he Tanzanian and she Finnish, who gave us wonderful service and some very interesting history lessons. I can't say enough about the staff who truly made this experience the most relaxing and special experience!

The facilities are great and the beach is beautiful. The local bicycle path is between the resort and the beach, so you will sometimes see locals carrying biking or the odd cow pass by the resort: it all added to the charm. There are constantly gardeners pruning and raking the sand. You can await fresh flowers on your bed and a turn-down service. Make sure to walk the beach just around sun down because hundreds of mini-crabs go to find food. We loved the board games that they had including ping-pong, pool, air hockey, and some mind games. The security seemed quite good and we never had any issues.

Since it is a recent acquisition for the couple, they are constantly making updates to improve the facilities. Although we were very happy with what they had to offer they said they had more to do. If you choose to go, it could be even better than our experience, though we find that hard to believe. ;)

Room Tip: All rooms face the pool and there are 2 stories. We were on the first story and loved our room.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Oslo, Norway
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I had two amazing weeks at La Madrugada during their re-opening of the hotel. Surely there is no place like this; it’s as close to paradise you can get. I have been travelling a lot around the world, and not often do you find a place like this. From the moment I set my foot at the resort I knew that I had come to the right place. If you are looking for a busy luxurious high-end resort, then move on. But if you are looking for a quiet, friendly, relaxing beach resort with a soul this is the place to be! The white sandy beach is clean, beautiful and quiet without any pushy salesmen. The water is crystal clear, and with a boardwalk out to the coral reefs. The pool area is beautiful offering a peaceful day in the sun. And if you need a refreshment Edwin - the bartender will serve you what you want. The management are very nice, doing everything they can to make sure the guests are happy and enjoying their time at the resort. The chefs are preparing delicious meals; either from the menu or from his amazing buffets. The staff is very friendly and trustworthy. The hotel is placed in Makunduchi, on the south part of the island. If you want to see more of the island Mmbanja is the man to talk to. He arranges tours and activities all around Zanzibar. My favorite was the dolphin safari. We went swimming with wild dolphins, and if you are lucky you might be able to touch one of them. Amazing! I also really enjoyed the spice tour where we got to taste spices and fruit straight from Mother Nature! A trip into Stone Town was also very interesting, getting to see where the slave marked used to be, and wander through the smells and sight of the local markets. I highly recommend this beach resort. It’s a hidden treasure that I almost want to keep as a secret. I am looking forward to come back to La Madrugada.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedfordshire
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2011

This is now known as Zanzibar blue. Quite simply, if you enquire about staying here, and you get a response from Annika, it means she is still there, so book, you won't regret it. All of the staff were very friendly, and the food was great (try the swahili vegetable curry for lunch). This is quite an isolated spot being in the south east of the island, but that is part of the allure, as day trips to stonetown involve driving through the island and seeing more of it.

You will be well looked after by Moody and Robinho, two lovely guys who seem to walk round with smiles on their faces all day. I can't praise the people that work there enough, they really were excellent, and the masai make you feel so safe and relaxed. I also spent some time on the island a week later at another hotel, and this only confirmed to me how great Zanzibar blue was by comparison.

People make holidays, and whilst there are no doubt more luxurious hotels on the island in the resorts in the north, I doubt there are friendlier ones, I wish I had spent my whole two weeks in east Africa here, a great experience.

Thanks to Annika and her team.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2011

This resort is now known as Zanzibar blue, it is quite remote but that is part of the charm , there are no beach boys as on other parts of the island , so no hassle on the beach , just very friendly locals going about their work, at low tide we watched the locals picking seaweed or fishing for octopus , they all wave to you and are really approachable, at high tide the beach is great and totally safe. The resort itself is brilliant 2 pools to choose from and a well laid out resort, the staff are all really great and just want to make sure that you enjoy yourself . it is a quiet resort with games in the bar and on the beach and some entertainment laid on. We went in september which is their low season the weather was great and the resort was quiet , only my wife and myself for the first 2 days ,but despite this the resort was still fully staffed so we were spoilt, we were staying for 2 weeks as we wanted a total chill holiday, on the sunday a french couple arrived with a young girl , and on the monday a young english couple arrived , both couples stayed for 5 days then we were on our own again for 2 days , then a swedish couple arrived, all these people were really nice people , and we all commented on how chilled and relaxed we felt after our time at the resort, the food at the resort was very good, and the trips arranged by Annika were really good value and totally flexible , you just tell the driver what you want to do. Annika is one of the owners and she was always there , she is really fantastic and all she wants is for you to enjoy yourselves, she made our holiday special , she is very caring and let a group of young english medical students who work in Makunduchi clinic use the hotel facilities during te day free of charge.
To summarise people make holidays Annika made ours as did the hotel staff, the other guests and the medical students , the resort is great and this made for a totally relaxing holiday, we will be back.

Room Tip: we stayed in 308 bottom floor closest to beach
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Finland
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2011

We had a great week (after Kili hike) at Zanzibar Blue Resort (earlier called La Madrugada). It is located about 1 hour and half away from the Stone Town/airport (quite far away), in a remote beach (closest other hotels and restaurants are about 10km away).

In front of the hotel, there is ca. 1km "deep" reef area with load of eels, small fishes and other sealife (remember to take with you some shoes as there are loads of sea urchins). Great place to do snorkling.

The beach was also great for running and locals were friendly (you get around 5km run on the beach).

The hotel is nice, cosy and has relaxed feeling. The new Swedish manager took great care of us and the employees were friendly and helpfull. They even took us on local football match where our cook was playing - quite an experience. Having a Masai game on the beach with our "hotel guards" was great fun.

We did several activities: Spice tour -definately worthwile, Mnemba - good on diving, average/bad on snorkling, Stone Town - definately worth two visits. In overall, outside beach there is not that much to do in Zanzibar - so take it easy !

And then in Finnish...ehdottoamasti suosittelen jos haluat rauhallisen rantaloman mukavassa hotellissa ja hyvän palvelun.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tanzania
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

This is a place for the people who want to feel silentes and relaxation. We stayed there for 4 days and felt rested and happy. The manager of the place - Annika did her best to make feel us comfortable. Personal staff are really kind and helpful and ready to do anything you ask for with smile and "Asante" :). Place is nice and clean. Food is small portions but extrimly good compare to other places in zanzibar. The time we arrived in the hotel manager inform us we are only guests on such huge place and can do anything we want there. We were a little bit worried if food will be good, attention to our needs will be taking. But everything went so perfectly, you even wont expected it. Im really glad to stay there and definetly will come back again. the only thing, you cant swim there with low tided, but there is 2 huge and clean swimming pools (for kids and adults).

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2011

...because the hotel has a new Swedish owner - Annika, since December! With a four year old girl -freaking out ten times per day, we felt uncomfortable at the silent, calm hotel. It got better when there came more children. The staff was very nice and probably all from the near village- Makunduchi. They all danced with us in the new years eave. Liked that!! The masai guys were very nice and helpful. A small "house" reef was good to see some fish, a bit closer than the longer trips to the north. Many other trips were arranged. Free test dive in the swimming pool. There were two swimmingpools and a good infant pool. Good to have as the tide was very high and low... No other lunch possibilities close to the hotel. The food varied a lot in taste and quality but mostly good.
The rooms were ok but hot in the nights with a fun in the roof and noisy cicadas..

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about La Madrugada Beach Resort

Also Known As:
La Madrugada Beach Resort Zanzibar/Makunduchi
Address: Makunduchi Beach, Makunduchi, Tanzania (Formerly Zanzibar Azure Beach Resort)
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Makunduchi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Makunduchi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — La Madrugada Beach Resort 2.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the South East corner of Zanzibar, Makunduchi is a heavenly Coral village with the whitest of white beaches that goes down in the gentlest slopes into an amazing tourqouise ocean and an azure skyline. Zanzibar Azure is an exotic 37 Chalet Resort that brings out the romance in you! A must see paradise for lovers! ... more   less 
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