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“Very nice luxury hotel on a fantastic beach front” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa

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Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Kendwa Beach | P.O. Box 1543 Kendwa (north coast) Zanzibar, Kendwa, Tanzania   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kendwa
Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Very nice luxury hotel on a fantastic beach front”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We just enjoyed 3 nights at the Gold Zanzibar Hotel & Spa. The beach room that we had was very big, clean and had a beautiful bathroom and an amazing view of the beach. I know there has been some negative reviews, but rest assured, this hotel was lovely and the location is without a doubt the BEST on Kendaw beach. We walked the entire stretch of Kendwa and Gold Zanzibar is the only luxury hotel on this stretch that enjoys a wide, soft white powdery sand beach in front of the hotel that is not affected by the tide. At high tide, the water can rise up to 7feet high. All of the other luxury hotels in the area don't really have a beach front during high tide.
The Gold Zanzibar had cushioned loungers under thatched shade right on the beach that can be used all day without worrying about high tide, and they have a fantastic beach service. They bring ice cold scented towels and fresh cut fruit to you on the beach in the late morning and then again before sunset, the beach staff will serve fresh cold coconuts that they crack open in front of you to drink and you also get some little pizza snacks and lovey cold towels to freshen up.
There are security guards on the hotel beach front so its safe to leave your things on the loungers and go for walks or swim at any time. This stretch of beach will allow you to walk for over 4 km during low tide and you can actually end up on Nungawi beach up north.
The public power supply in this area is not reliable, and the hotel does experience black outs a lot during the evenings, but they have a generator that kicks in, so you just have to wait for about 30 seconds and the power does come back on. Bring a flash light with you if you are afraid of the dark!
Hotel menus items are all in Euros.
Peter the head waiter was very helpful at all times. Lucy is lovey and smiles a lot.
The breakfast menu was a buffet and was lovey with options of having eggs done anyway you like it, and they also did crapes but no maple syrup, only chocolate sauce and honey!
Dinner menu was either buffet style or a limited options menu, but there was always a fish and a meat option and soup or starter and lots of salad dishes to choose from. There was also a live duo that sang every night.
The price of the room sounds expensive at first glance, but as the rate includes breakfast and dinner it was really OK.
Nice hotel to enjoy some rest and relaxation.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms upstairs on the front row will have great views. Rooms on the far right side by the...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
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265 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
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English first
Milan, Italy
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

The first week of January 2013 we stayed in this amazing resort called Gold Zanzibar. The location is magnificent differenciated by excellence from all the other hotels, moreover the only one really corresponding to the 5-star hotel level located in the area that is not affected by low tides and has over its own long and white beach. GOLD resort is newly built, all the details speak of a very high level: the refinement in details is the rule applied in thespacious rooms, elegant restorant, large pool area for children and adults, SPA / 5 senses, as well as the beach.The cuisine is sublime and absolutely deserves 5 stars of the resort. We were pampered by very friendly and well prepared staff. A truly relaxing and luxurious vacation!!!

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms on the highier levels offer a breathtaking sunrises as well as sunsets.....
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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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Gold Zanzibar beach house and Spa is open since end of november 2012. The resort belongs to an Italian family. At the time we were there it was not all completed. We booked for a room with sea view and paid $ 50 on top of the normal rate for it, but we could not see the sea , only the grass roof of the restaurant. Even the room was far from clean. We refused to take the room, but with the very good help of booking.com ( chapeau ! ! , they were working during x mass! ) we got an up-grade.
The prices for the food and drinks in the restaurant near the beach are very high, but there is another neighbour resort with restaurant where we got a perfect lunch and drinks for a very good rate.
The breakfasts and dinners are very poor, and during the 5 nights we were in the resort, 2 times
the juice was spoiled and i have to inform the staff about it. The staff is very un-experienced.
The Spa is far from a Spa what you should expect. The masseuse is a local girl and works in open simple huts, where there is also a very poor wrongly designed and equiped gym.
We were very disappointed in this high rated and expensive resort.

The rate for the resort is far far too high.

Room Tip: Don't book for a sea view room, because by most of them there is no sea view, or you can only se...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Stayed 5 nights there for our honeymoon after an amazing safari trip. Thought we would go to Zanzibar to relax and enjoy the luxurious 5 star hotel. It was a NIGHTMARE, the WORST HOTEL we’ve ever experienced. We tried to look for another hotel to move to during our stay, but everywhere was full.

Booked through Expedia first week of November because there was no reservation section on the hotel website. Frankly this was the only hotel with availability. Specially requested for an upgrade since we were on our honeymoon. Never heard back from the hotel. Emailed Giada Rose, Guest Relations Manager and she said she couldn’t guarantee an upgrade but she’s aware that it was our honeymoon.

Arrived at Gold Zanzibar. Beautiful lobby, pool area and bar. Giada showed us to our room. It overlooked a wall, at the very back of the property. We told her we were not happy with the room. She just shrugged and said that’s the best she could do, bad attitude from the start. We later found out that the next room was occupied by the hotel sales representative that was based in Italy. Either we were put in the staff quarters or he was staying in a guest room? And they claimed that they were fully booked? The family members of the Director, Alex, were in Ocean View Rooms. We paid USD$700/nt and on our honeymoon, they put us in this crappy room with no view, basic furnishing, no hairdryer, no hair conditioner. There was a big hole in our bathroom. There were no welcome cards, drinks or fruit baskets or any special touches. We were without hot water for 2 days because no one told us at check-in about the hot water switch in the bathroom.

Breakfast- Tired looking ham and cheese, the worst omelet we’ve ever had. The yoghurt was bad, watery with lumps. Cereals were cocopuffs and cornflakes not even muesli! Leftover dessert from the night before surrounded by flies, Instant coffee and stale bread. The only good thing was fresh fruits being cut by a staff, but they put a big blue trashcan just next to the fruits. Needless to say there were flies everywhere.

Dinner – My husband is allergic to shellfish and fish. The second night it was “Fish Dinner”. We told the waiter about our problem. He consulted “madame” the F&B Manager, and she told him there were no other options. She did not even approach our table to talk to us. The waiter then checked with the chef, the chef said there was nothing else prepared. No dinner for my husband. My dinner came and the seafood risotto was not cooked. The rice was raw inside. The 2 little grilled calamari was good, but the potatoes were bland with no flavor. The buffet salad and desert bar every night were disgusting. Old tired looking lettuces. At the price they were charging, we expect quality, a la carte dinner! The director, Alex walked by, curious as to why my husband was not eating. A steak was offered at last! That was after an hour and a half without food. The next day, received a notice of NYE menu printed on an A4 poor quality paper. 90% of the items were seafood. After the fiasco last night, you would think they would offer an alternative to my husband! Called reception, and the receptionist kept offering vegetarian menu! After 10 minutes, she said she had to check with “madame”. She called back again with the vegetarian option! It was only after we told her we would talk to Alex ourselves then “madame” called back immediately. She was clearly available just couldn’t be bothered to help us. At this point we were very upset. Talked to Alex at dinner about all the problems we’ve been having, the room, the “madame”, the terrible food and service, attitude of the management staffs. He kept interrupting us when we were talking, and he said dismissively, “This is the best hotel in Zanzibar!” Just to get away, he told us to proceed to the buffet table before they clear away the food! He promised to make our remaining 2 nights very special. At 10:45 p.m. housekeeping came for turndown service! The housekeeping manager was probably at dinner and getting better service than us. We were always seated at the back of the restaurant. The best seats were reserved for Alex and his family and the staffs!
NYE Dinner – They charge USD$150 per person, compulsory. That gets you cheap prosecco, uncooked risotto, old and smelly lobster, buffet salad and dessert! The only good thing was the parmesan cheese!
Another bad dinner on our last night. The beef was very chewy, not entrecôte as listed on the menu. The fish was dry and full of bones, it was clearly frozen. I had a fish bone stuck in my throat which later caused a fever. It took 4 days before I felt better.

The management – Alex the director, Giada the Guest Relations Manager, “madame” the F&B Manager and the General Manager Maurizio.
No one made us feel welcome the whole trip. No one even asked us how things were. No attempts were made to change our room. They offered us a couples massage through an A4 paper in our room. No apologies were made for the traumatic experience. The Spa then tried to charge us for the massage and they tried to charge us again for the massage at checkout.

Went for our complimentary treatment at the spa. The Balinese massage was very good. As we were leaving, Alex's wife came by to book for a massage. We saw her 2 days ago booking for a massage when we were at the spa. We couldn't get the time we wanted that day because she wanted the same time although she arrived after us.

Finally, our last night!! Around midnight, the reception called and woke us up. She wanted for us to settle our bill at the lobby immediately for our departure the next day. We refused, then she said we were leaving at 4 am that we had to settle the bill immediately. Our flight was not until 2:50 p.m. the next day. She didn't even apologize for waking us up from our sleep.

Next morning, we were woken up again by a big knock on the door at 8 am. A family of 3 was at our door with 5 pieces of luggage demanding that we vacate the room! The checkout time was 12 pm! A call to the reception, they did not know what to do with the situation!
Checking out, it took them 15 minutes just to ring up the bills. The bills from the restaurant last night were presented on seperate dockets, not added to the final bill yet. They again try to charge us for the massage. We had to settle the bill in cash because the credit card machine was broken. What if we didn't have cash on us? What were they gonna do?
So happy to leave Gold Zanzibar. They wanted to rip us off one last time by charging us USD$100 for a street taxi to the airport. It wasn't even a hotel car! It only cost us $40 for a taxi from airport to the hotel.
Giada called for a taxi for us, but after waiting for 25 minutes and we've enquired 5 times, there was still no taxi in sight. My husband went with the bellboy to the street and got a taxi immediately.

NEVER stay at Gold Zanzibar, the WORST experience we've ever had!
The management has another sister hotel in Baa Atoll, Maldives. Best to avoid that as well.

Room Tip: Do not stay at Gold Zanzibar!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GoldKendwa, Responsabile reception at Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa, responded to this review, January 17, 2013
Dear Mrs. Khor Lee Cheng,
We are sorry that you are not satisfied of Gold Zanzibar Beach & Spa, and we apologize if they have strayed small drawbacks. But we would like to clarify a few points.
In our website there is the e-mail contact for the reservation; we prefer to have a direct contact with our guests; and we answered to your request of free upgrading. We remind you that you booked a Deluxe Garden Room; Deluxe Ocean View Rooms are a higher category, because there is the ocean view, and we informed you that we would be pleased to upgrade you, considering that you were on honeymoon, but in case of availability at the last minute (cancellation of some guests) because we were fully booked. At your arrival, we welcomed you and we came together with you to the room to give all the information and explanation about our resort and our services. You were not in the staff quarter: it is situated far from the guest area. And the amount of money that you wrote was for the 31st of December, that included the Gala Dinner of the New Year.
The hotel has the right to assign the available rooms, respecting the reservation of the different category of the rooms received.
The rooms are big and they have all the comfort: both air conditioner system and fan, 2 telephones, facilities for making coffee and tea at your disposal with a daily bottle of water, linen of high quality, as per the restaurants and bars (Villeroy & Boch), safe box, hair dryer, amenities of Bottega dell’Albergo at your disposal (soap, shampoo, body soap and body cream, vanity set, sewing kit). Then it is a subjective point of view if you like it or not, but for sure it is not of poor quality. And the turndown service finishes at 9.30pm; at 11pm the staff bus leaves, so a big number of employees are leaving at that time.
The kitchen has high standard level, with a different menu that changes every day, fresh food purchased daily and protected by the insects. For the breakfast the waiters serve espresso and cappuccino as well. We print daily the menu, using high quality papers and machinery arrived from Italy. And I remind you that the table for the owners was the closest to the kitchen’s entrance.
We also remind you that the day before your departure we asked about the details of your flight, and you planned to leave at 10am. And we assign a daily room to the guests in arrival that day, to respect the timing of the check-out. All the hotels works with local tour operators for arranging transportation, to offer to the guest high standard cars, with fresh face towels and water. We have 2 cars at disposal 24 hours. You preferred to look for a taxi arranged, without any license, nor insurance, by a group of local people of the village that share the same car. At the last minute you asked for it, and for giving a pleasure the bell boy went out of the hotel (not allowed during the working time) to look for a taxi, but there were all busy.
We are pleased that all our guests appreciate our personalized contact with them, daily but never intrusive.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Austria
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

Two Italian cooks prepare every day the same “ stuff ”, No variety at all, instant coffee, flies on ham and cheese, fish and beef steak uneatable because of bad quality, at the end of the week half of the lunch menu was not available anymore, fruits (Mango and Papaya) always unripe --> we bought them in excellent quality by ourselves on the market!
management was completely unable to cope with the standard of a five star hotel!

Room Tip: the beach houses are close to the party area of the next hotel
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GoldKendwa, Responsabile reception at Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa, responded to this review, January 17, 2013
Dear Guests,
We are sorry that you are not satisfied of Gold Zanzibar Beach & Spa, and we apologize if they have strayed small drawbacks. But we would like to clarify a few points.
Our professional chef is changing the menu every day, and we offer a great choice of fruit, fresh food and in good condition, purchased daily and controlled. Our breakfast includes espresso and cappuccino, not only instant coffee, on request to the waiters.
Close to our Resort there is the Kendwa Rocks Bungalows; every Saturday they organize a party on the beach, famous throughout the island. So far we have not received complaints about the music (at a certain time is off), and most of our guests attended the party, an opportunity to experience the local African atmosphere, with their different colors and tribes.
We are sorry that you have started to complain only the day before your departure, even threatening us to write a negative review on the website if we had not offered any discount. It is not an acceptable and appropriate behavior.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa

Address: Kendwa Beach | P.O. Box 1543 Kendwa (north coast) Zanzibar, Kendwa, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Kendwa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kendwa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BEACH SUITE WITH PAVILLON- NEW ROOM CATEGORYLocated directly on the beach and have a easy access to pool area and to the beach. They have a private pavillon with comfortable sofa, chair and table. The perfect place to read,to relax,to get a rich breakfast and for romantic ones to get unforgettable romantic candle light diner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gold Zanzibar Beach House & Spa Kendwa

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