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“Wonderful!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dream of Zanzibar

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Dream of Zanzibar
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kiwengwa, Mahonda, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mahonda
England, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Wonderful!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

From the moment you arrive and get out of the taxi and are greeted by a smiling receptionist with a much welcome cold towel, to the moment you leave, this hotel provides outstanding service.
Without exception the staff cannot do enough for you. Always with a smile they appear to love working at this hotel. Wherever we went we were greeted with "jambo!'.
We had just suffered a bereavement and were unsure about going on holiday, but what we found was the perfect environment to rest and relax before and recuperate before coming back to face the funeral. For this we cannot thank the staff enough.
We were very impressed by the variety of food in the various restaurants. We especially loved the African one, but mostly because the lady serving the food, called happiness became one of our favourites!!
The local drinks were fine. I became quite partial to the local gin accompanied by the cakes served in the afternoon at the pool bar.
Sushi served on the beach was divine.
The journey to get there is long, but so worth it!!
One day we left some clothes to be cleaned as my husband was running out of clothes, due to tight weight restrictions on zan air. We followed the instructions for same day cleaning, and still hadn't received it by the time we were dressing for dinner. I called down and it turned out that it had been picked up by the maid too late. When we returned from our meal later that evening there was a knock on our door and all our washing, beautifully wrapped in a basket,topped with a ribbon was delivered by a lovely smiling member of staff. They had actually gone out of their way to get it back to us, no matter what, not sure if they had kept the laundry open, but it was much appreciated.
The BBQ by the pool is a lovely evening, very romantic. Local band were excellent.
The only problem we now have is finding some where else that will ever live up to the customer service at this hotel!!

  • Stayed September 2012, 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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716 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

Our stay in Diamonds dreams of Zanzibar was great, we initially went to another hotel "Sandies Neptune" where we made our reservation but it was terrible from our point of view so the front desk manager asked us if we are willing to move to another 5 stars hotel of the same chain "Plant" and pay a little more, we went then to Diamonds Dream of Zanzibar to check it and we noticed the huge difference in everything, the resort is really huge, amazing nature, white sand beach, big pool with tented chaise longs, clean, rooms and bathrooms are very clean, beds are decorated with flowers and we immediately decided to move. We were welcomed by Rose the front desk manager, a very helpful smiley lady who was such a great help all our stay there. the first night was not what we dreamt it would be though we really liked the hotel, the AC in our room was not working well, they tried to fix it so we can sleep in the same room but it was late so finally "Rose " who woke up specially for us asked us just to sleep that night in a different room so they get enough time to fix it then we move back again in the morning to our room (since we had already emptied our luggage and it was a hassle to totally move to another room specially we have done this to move from the first hotel). We went to sleep in a different room which was the same as ours but with a better AC, i only noticed that the sheets have many strains but still smell clean so i concluded they just didnt have enough time to check it since we moved all a sudden. All this AC issue sounds bad but i just saw how flexible they were in moving us and giving us the keys of 2 rooms that night, and how "Rose" was helpful and she managed the situation with a big smile and helpful attitude. Forgot to mention that there was a big glass of Wine and 2 cans of bear in our mini bar which they offered to renew every day as a compliment but..... we don't drink :) We had the all inclusive package but the food at the main restaurant was not that good with very limited varieties, for dinner there were another 3 restaurants (Italian, Asian, African) that need one night prior reservation, we have tried the Italian one and it was great. They celebrated many birthdays, with a nice cultural dance and African songs (Hakuna Matata :)) Staff is helpful, cheerful, and they greet you all the time though they speak little english. I noticed there was not any kids activities but my little one just loved the pool and the beach, also our room was a little bit far of the main pool and the restaurants and we had to walk a long distance which was a little irritating during the mornings and at noon in the hot weather and with a child. Still our stay was memorable, i would definately repeat it again and try the Asian and African restuarants...

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms have a better view and try to ask for a room close to the main pool and restaurants i...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

We have stayed in a fair few five star resorts around the world and they all tend to follow the same formula. This hotel however has the formula down to perfection. Obviously you are in Zanzibar so the climate is ideal, for a relaxed stay by the pool. The best beaches in Zanzibar are in the north so you are going to have to spend an hour or so from the airport to get there however once there relax!

They have obviously invested in their team from the manager down, who always gives a personal welcome, Shams on front of house is a real find, his job is a tough one but he strikes the perfect balance, attentive when he needs to be with a strong control over all aspects of service, which is excellent, and Daya in the kitchens who is in our opinion one of the best Indian Chiefs this side of the sub continent.

Dreams is all inclusive except for a few exceptions one of which is the sea front restaurant which you should try at least one evening whilst you are there.

As tips for other travelers, the internet in this part of Africa is patchy so be prepared for it to be expensive and with, slow connection speeds. If you are playing it well this should be why you will be in Zanzibar. You are in the third word so expect the occasional power cut. Other than that trust the team at Dream, they have it under control. Their attention to the details is excellent, and the food is very good.

There are comments on here abut the quantity of Italians staying at the Hotel, The hotel is European owned so does use EU power sockets and bills in Euro's, it is also promoted in Europe so you should expect to see European travelers however when we were there there was a fair split of nationalities staying, European, American and Asian.

If you do want to head out of the resort your options are limited but there are things to do. Heading out to sea we took a dow out snorkeling one day, and on another day deep sea fishing. There is also a good Jet Ski place just down the coast. Stone town has its highlights and sunset in the bar at Africa House is one of them if you find yourself conveniently situated.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wembley, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

I thought i was going to have a ball of a time when i booked this resort and destination for my honeymoon. Unfortunately my expectations were not met. The flight from Nairobi was a tiring one, stopping over twice before we reached Zanzibar airport. On arrival, we were told to expect somebody holding a name board and this didn't happen. Panic stricken and frantically trying to make calls, we had to wait about 20 mins, before someone finally came to us. The drive to the resort was an hour which tired us further
.
When we reached the hotel we wanted to just check in immediately and put our feet up. However we had to listen to the manager for about 30 mins with an overstretched welcome, before he finally showed us to our room. When we entered the room, there was no wow factor for me. Although quite spacious i was expecting more, like, some goodies for instance, especially since it was our honeymoon. What we got was a bottle of Sparkling wine which was in the mini bar.

After quickly getting changed, we wanted something to eat and realized that we were not even told which direction the restaurant was. So back we went to the reception and were finally told, something the manager should have pointed out to us earlier on i thought instead of trying to sell us the extra hotel services

As we were going to the dining area is when we came across the Stairway. 55 steps and each stair nearly a foot long. Little did i know then, being at night, how torturous this stair way would be. It led all the residents to the main dining areas, beach and all other facilities. Imagine walking up and down this in the scorching heat. It was not nice and it totally spoiled my holiday.

The next morning at breakfast my coffee had gone cold and i asked for another cup of coffee. The waitress did not understand what i was saying and i took nearly 10 mins before she finally understood and brought me another cup of coffee. It was frustrating at times that some of the staff really did not understand my needs. However having said that some of the staff were very friendly namely Abdullah, Muhidin and Sulieman at the main restaurant.

My husband was craving for a coconut drink and unfortuntatly they never had any until our last day. How in a place where coconuts are ample could they run short.

The other frustration was that the Ac was complicated to use and that there was no pen in the room. Finally I was brought some pencils which i had to make do with to fill in the laundry form and make some pointers for my trip advisor review.

Entertainment was awful. I was expecting beach parties, discos and lots of activities to keep us occupied and happy but there was nothing at all to do. All that there was to do was go to the beach. Eventually my husbands back got burnt with the scorching sun and was sore so going to the beach was out of the question.

Tv was just as boring. No National Geographic or Discovery Channel, just news and foreign channels and a movie channel that repeated the movies. (yea i saw Zookeeper 3 times) and for the internet you have to pay $5 an hour.

The worst part was the lack of detail in the hotel. In the restaurants, the cups were chipped. Our balcony wall was splattered with something disgusting on the wall. And one of the gowns they provided had a big , ugly stain. Not to mention that the curtain hem was full of dirt and was black in colour. Having a shower was also an issue since water leaked out of the shower.

On the positive side i enjoyed the food in the restaurants!!

In conclusion i would not recommend this hotel to honeymooners or adventurous couples. It may be okay for large groups of people who can entertain themselves. The lack of cleanliness and detail and that 55 step stairway, means i will never go back to this so called resort again.

Room Tip: All rooms are situated above that torturous staircase, so no room is good unless you are prepared to...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

We spent two nights at this resort and one of the first things we noticed was how big the place is. it's huge! We were given rooms just near reception, which was good if we needed anything, but it meant that the walk to the restaurants, main pool and beach was long. The steps down to the main area are oddly shaped so it's not a comfortable walk down.

Overall, our impressions were that this is not even close to being a 5 star hotel. For example, the air conditioning in both of the rooms we were initially given didn't work properly. My brother and sister-in-law had to be moved twice for various problems with the rooms they were offered. And the service was incredibly slow, for just about everything. On one of the days we were there, I was ill and needed to stay in the room all day. I asked for some food to be sent to the room, and it took various phone calls and a wait of over an hour and a half before the food arrived. Having said that the staff were always friendly, and wanting to help, so perhaps it's matter of better training/efficiency/understanding of what is expected by guests in a 5 star hotel.

In the main pool, there are tiles missing. This is not an old hotel and for tiles to be missing in the pool already (and also in the shower in the bathrooms in the rooms) is not really acceptable. The quiet pool is lovely, although it has turned my originally turquoise swimsuit a shade of green.

As per previous reviews, there are a noticeable amount of Italian guests, and a lot of the staff seem to speak Italian better than Swahili or English. Not a problem, as such, just a bit odd given that it's Zanzibar. Added to this, if you need to use phone chargers etc, the sockets in the rooms do not match Tanzanian or British requirements, so you'll have to ask for an adaptor from reception (which will eventually arrive, at which point you'll be asked for a deposit).

One of the best parts of the stay was the food. It was excellent, and there was a huge variety for every meal. I had emailed the hotel before our visit to make sure there was vegetarian food for some of our party. The chef came to find us at our first lunch to make sure we had enough variety. He really looked after us, and his food really is superb. But the all inclusive alcohol is another story - it's pretty grim! Yet again, not 5 star quality at all. The fruit mojitos were delicious, but the rest of the cocktails that we tried (and to be fair we didn't try that many) were not good. The inclusive wine is okay, but quite acidic.

We enjoyed our stay on the whole, and we would probably recommend the hotel, but I think we would be more likely to look for alternatives for our next trip to Zanzibar, especially at that price.

Room Tip: Try and get one closer to the stairs leading down to the main areas. We had rooms in Block B13 whic...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

Jambo!

We stayed 7 nights, after having spent 3 days in Matemwe at Kasha Boutique Hotel (which was TOTALLY AMAZING btw).

Overall a good experience, with the hotel and surroundings being exactly as the photos from the website - very beautiful. A couple of annoying mistakes, but all in all very nice. As many already have stated, nearly all other guests were Italian. It was a bit annoying that the staff (and locals for that matter!) primarily spoke Italian and that the whole place felt inspired by Italy - we were looking for Zanzibar, not Italy.

RECEPTION: We were welcomed by friendly staff, got a welcome drink and cold towel, and check-in was fairly quick and easy.

INTERNET: Charging for wi-fi is ridiculous. Think it was EUR 5 per hour.

ROOMS: We were given the wrong room at first (had booked junior suite with jacuzzi), and had to wait 2 hours for them to prepare the right one. We got the included sparkling wine in our room (honeymoon package) when we finally got the right one. Also had problems with air con going off at night (due to power outs?), and loads of mosquitos but staff sprayed the room once a day which helped. Jacuzzi was fantastic. Room was in general well maintained and clean, but bathroom was a bit smelly (tap water in Zanzibar doesn't smell very nice) and as there was air above and below the closed door a couple of spiders and other insects were spotted now and then. All in all, it was an OK room but not 5 star which we had expected. Good TV and channels. Wife complained about a rock hard bed, I didn't think about it.

One odd thing was that we were woken up by the doorbell at 4 am, and someone stepped in! I screamed "HELLO?!" from bed (obviously a bit frightened / angry) and got a quiet "sorry" and the person left. We asked for, but never got, an explanation. Even if they thought the room was empty, isn't it quite odd that they do housekeeping in the middle of the night?

FOOD: Food is half the experience for my wife and I when on holiday, and was the biggest disappointment, especially the lunches. Meat from the barbecue could be great one day, and like rubber the next (sometimes almost completely raw too). Both lunch and dinner in the main restaurants were fairly boring and didn't taste much - even the local dishes. I ended up eating pasta for lunch every day - which is not the food I thought I would end up eating on Spice Island. Breakfast was good - try the pancakes and egg-station. One of the nights they had a band playing during dinner which was nice.

Our stomachs started to protest on day 2, which obviously did not help our overall impression and most likely affected our appetite and what we thought of the food - so please keep this in mind. We were semi-sick the entire rest of the stay (6 days), which was a shame. We tried the other three restaurants and they were better than the main one. Found the Italian one quite boring but food was good, the African one was nice but buffet style isn't very exotic, and the Asian was decent, probably the best out of the three (but this is the one which made us ill). Service overall (serving wine, coffee etc) was great and attentive. We had a romantic dinner at the beach for EUR 29 pp, which was really nice. The starter was some seafood cocktail which we couldn't eat (raw fish that tasted too much fish, if you see what I mean) - but the prawns and crab from the barbecue were great. They only offered this one of the nights in the week, unfortunately. Since we were so disappointed with the lunches, we strolled along the beach and found a very cozy and nice restaurant called Waikiki. They had both local and western food, and dishes were about $8 - and you could sit and eat in a boat that was connected to the restaurant on the beach.

ENTERTAINMENT: The Italian singer performed nearly every night, singing old ballads in English with an extremely heavy Italian accent (no, it didn't feel exotic, it felt cheap). We laughed a lot at his pronunciation. The other nights with African dancers and other entertainment was nice but we didn't really attend. Bar at night was nice and relaxing, nice that they offered shishas.

BAR / DRINKS: We enjoyed the service and thought the drink list was good. The cocktails were what you could expect from an all-inclusive resort, nothing more nothing less. They only had one wine of each colour, but thankfully enough they were all three pretty good and should suit every palate. The pool bar goes extremely busy during the afternoon when every Italian wants their espresso.

ACTIVITIES: Hotel offered beach volleyball, table tennis, water gymnastics, zumba, beach walk (you HAVE to do this, a walk to a nearby village & school, a fantastic experience) and probably some other stuff. All was free. We didn't participate in many, though.

EXCURSIONS / TRANSPORT: Don't book from the hotel's tour office - it is ridiculously over-priced. Book everything with the beach-boys - try and get to know one of them and then always return to the same person. Ours was called Bigfoot and was very helpful. Don't forget to bargain - a lot! After a few days you start to understand what the prices are. We went on spice tour (a bit overrated), sunset in Nungwe and took a taxi to Stone Town (watched sunset, had barbecue at Fohodzani gardens - amazing!! but we forgot to bargain there grrr... payed $20 for 4 skewers which should have been $1 a piece). Even when we went to the airport to go home, we booked the taxi through the beach boys ($40 one-way instead of the hotel's $60 - and they even tried to charge $90 for a single trip to Stone Town!! which we ended up paying $30 for).

POOL: Very nice looking and well kept pool area, extremely clean and not at all busy. Very relaxing. The only issue was loads of tiles missing in the pool, but guess that's only a cosmetic problem.

BEACH: Very nice as well! Good that there was a line dividing the private beach from the public so the beach boys couldn't always bother you. If you decide to go for a walk on the beach, expect to have 4-5 beach boys following you wherever you go. Just say no if you're not interested and they might leave you alone. Water not swimmable during low tide.

SPA: Just amazing. One of the best massages I have ever had, and reasonably priced ($40 for 50 mins). Great private pool area within the spa. Top notch.

TO SUMMARIZE:
Pros: Clean, website photos don't lie, great service and polite staff, nice pool & beach (definitely 5 star), great spa.

Cons: Bad food, over-priced tour office, staff sometimes a bit clueless, mosquitos in room, rooms not perfect.

Would we recommend it? Yes. Would we go back? Probably not, will try something else next time.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livingstone, Zambia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

We spent a week at this hotel and had a amazing time. Garvit the Front Office manager was an excellent host. He met all our needs and the staff and chefs all made sure we had an enjoyable stay. The pool, spa, food, bar room and beach were all perfect. The hotel is perfect for kids as they have a kids club and entertainment each eveing. The 5 restaurants had an excellent choice and variety for eah evening. We would definately stay at this resort again.

Room Tip: The Junior suite is ocean view was perfect!!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dream of Zanzibar

Address: Kiwengwa, Mahonda, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Mahonda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mahonda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Dream of Zanzibar 5*
Number of rooms: 157
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dream of Zanzibar is a superb 5 star all inclusive Resort, proud member of The Emerald Collection. The Resort is nestled in the midst of exotic gardens on the beach front at Pwani Machangani overlooking the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean. Dream of Zanzibar offers 104 deluxe gardens rooms, 40 ocean view junior suites, 10 additional junior suites with Jacuzzi and 3 beach villas with private pool. The 5 Restaurants offer guests an exceptional variety of dining options and 3 bars feature relaxing environments to enjoy refreshing drinks and cocktails. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Diamonds Dream Of Zanzibar Hotel Kiwengwa
Dream Of Zanzibar Tanzania

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