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“friendly and relaxing beach hideaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ras Kutani

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Ras Kutani
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South Coast, Kutani, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kutani
London
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
“friendly and relaxing beach hideaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2007

As the previous reviewer said I'm surprised that Ras Kutani has not received more 5 star ratings. My girlfriend and I loved everything about the place from the moment we arrived. After being rowed across the lagoon we were welcomed by the charming and charismatic manager Emile (I hope we got that right?!) and we instantly felt relaxed as he explained how everything worked.

The room we stayed in (6) had a lovely view, across the lagoon to the beach, which we enjoyed from the hammocks and comfy seats on our large porch. The interior was light and airy and contained a huge and comfortable bed. The floor had a natural carpeted finish which we felt was a nice change from the usual wooden floors. The bathroom was very well appointed with twin sinks and a walk in shower.

I suppose the common areas and the dining room are a bit rustic but In my opinion they suited the environment perfectly. Breakfasts included fruit, yoghurt, pastries and the option of a cooked breakfast. Lunches were were 3 courses the bulk of which was a buffet. It was nothing remarkable but we never left feeling short changed. Dinners were superb, often including fish for obvious reasons but never boring. Sauces were seemingly a particular speciality of the resident chef.

Guests congregated before dinner near the bar with many enjoying the boardgames. A wide range of coacktails are on offer all lovingly made by the friendly bar staff. I can particularly recommend one with vodka, crushed ice, crushed lime and honey (I forget the name).

The setting of a long wide white beach and picturesque lagoon backed by tropical greenery was perfect, but for us the best part of Ras Kutani was the staff. They combined the natural friendliness of Tanzanians with a level of professionalism that's a credit to the management. They were always ready with a big smile and friendly chat that really made us feel like special guests.

If you were staying for a long time you might regret the lack of a different option for lunch or dinner, but we were there for 5 days after our safari and found it ideal. I would not hesitate to recommend Ras Kutani to anyone looking for a relaxed beach retreat without the over-development seen on Zanzibar.

  • Liked — The location and the friendly staff
  • Disliked — It would be nice if there was another option for dinner outside the hotel
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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157 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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English first
London, UK
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2006

I'm really surprised that Ras Kutani hasn't attracted any five star ratings from reviewers to date. My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights at the start of our honeymoon in Tanzania in September 2005, and I really can't rate it highly enough.

Arrival at this small and intimate beach lodge is via private plane, car and boat (not many places can boast that!), and the lodge is set in wilderness on a stunning and pristine stretch of long, white beach about 80km south of Dar es Salaam. Rooms are beautiful detached bandas (huts) with private verandahs and ensuite bathrooms. Ours had a stunning view across the fresh water lagoon, across the beach and out to sea (see the attached photo).

There isn't that much to do here during the day other than relaxing on the beach (and lifting your flag from time to time when a cold beer is required!), but the helpful staff can organise fishing, snorkelling, horse riding, walking and visits to the local villages. There are a few boogie boards available, but gigantic waves thwarted rather than assisted my attempts to 'boogie'. It's worth noting that this probably isn't an ideal place for kids, nor for people looking for scuba diving (head to Pemba or Mafia for that).

The food here is sensational (provided that you like fish) - we couldn't believe it when unlimited lobster was being thrown on the barbeque on the first night! On our last night, we were surprised by the staff and taken to a private candelit table for two set out romantically on the beach, with a complimentary bottle of champagne and our own waiter.

The only let down for us was (I should clarify - we believe was) the disappearance of a small amount of US dollars from the sums that we had left in the safe in reception. This was denied by management, but whatever happened, it certainly didn't ruin our stay and we still left in good spirits and with very fond memories.

This really is a wonderful place, and perfect for honeymooners or for those who just want to recharge the batteries. Highly recommended and we'll be back.

  • Stayed September 2005, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Buckinghamshire, England
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
216 helpful votes 216 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2006

We stayed at Ras Kutani last week before flying home at the end of a holiday in East Africa. We had been at Beho Beho in the Selous Game Reserve for four days before coming to Ras Kutani.

This is a lovely simple, rustic hotel. the stafff were keen to help and make our visit a success.

The food was good, the beach excellent for walking and the villas charming. The only drawbacks were mosquitos in the villa and no fan. The staff provided extra mosquito coils to burn and a can of spray - that helped a lot.

This was a good choice to end our holiday before flying out of Dar Es Salaam back to UK on the Friday daytime flight.

This was a lovel;y place to finish off our holiday

  • Liked — The beach
  • Disliked — The mosquitos
  • Tips/Secrets — Take plenty of MozzieGuard spray for night time use!
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Brighton, UK
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2006

We started our five base honeymoon here and it really was the perfect choice.
We arrived by air, a fabulous experience especially from the co-pilots seat landing on a dirt track for a landing strip. We then had a short car transfer, maybe 2 minutes, then a short boat ride paddled by one of the staff, to arrive in absolute tranquility.
The main building area is a little disappointing but I understand its due to be rebuilt in the closed season. It is looking a little tired, so first impressions can be marred by this.
We were given a welcome chat, which was nice but I never did get to grips with when breakfast, lunch and dinner were! A printed handbook in the room would have been helpful.
We were taken to our room along the sandy paths, up the hill on sandy steps to arrive a suite 3.(The steps were swept smooth daily and the first day we had just married stamped into every step) This is when the WOW factor kicked in. It was grand and practically brand new, no more than a month old. I will post some pictures but as a brief description. The room had a huge bed, bigger than any bed I have ever seen, with a billowing mosquito net around it and meshed open sided walls. There were white billowing curtains that could be pulled around for privacy but it was very private anyway. The bathroom was ensuite, with 2 basins, a massive walk in shower and a normal flush toilet but no bath. Outside was a decked area with two chairs and small table to watch the sea from. Further away and still covered by a lengthly roof was a white cement sofa covered with a cushioned base and a large scattering of cushions. Carrying on away from the suite the roof disappears and gives way to a plunge pool surrounded by a sandy "beach" area and two large comfortable deck chairs.
So in short, the room was incredible and better value than the standard rooms. In fact we could have spent the entire 3 nights in the suite and not left.
The communal area, bar and restaurant was very airy and laid back. Food was generally very tasty, plentiful (3 courses for lunch and Dinner) infact too plentiful. It sometimes felt like each dish was tasty in its own right but seemed like a strange muddle when put together.
The beach was the best we saw in Tanzania, long empty and very clean. There is a little snorkelling to be done at a german wreck just off shore to the North End of the beach. Body boards are available to use in the fun surf. There was a small topper or some kind of dingy but it appeared to be out of use since it never got utilised.
The best activity to do on the beach is Horseriding. The hotel charge $77 per ride for about 1.5-2 hours. We met the owners on the beach and went direct, $50 per ride so that it becomes buy 3 for the hotel price of two! The horses are in good condition, they breed their own and they are very professional, taking you for a ride in the school first to assess your skills. (not very good in my case). My Wife had a fabulous time and says she would go back just for the horse-riding.
We were also lucky enough to see a few hundred turtles hatch from protected nests along the beach. It happens at a fairly set time, so i am sure an email to them would allow you to coordinate a stay when this happens. It was great to see these tiny creatures scuttle down the beach to their new life, I wonder how many are alive today?

In summary. The suite was amazing, the communal areas a little tired but still very nice, beach lovely, as were the staff. It would help if a little more info was supplied in the rooms with regard to meal times and activities and perhaps a phone so that you could call for drinks to be sent to your room. We had to go to the bar and bring them up ourselves or have them sent up.

  • Liked — The suites with amazing views out to sea
  • Disliked — lack of information in the room
  • Tips/Secrets — Get a suite, $100 more but twice as nice!
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2006

Stayed hear on the first part of our honeymoon, arrived by can but left by air it worked well The resort feels private and intimate and the staff were friendly and accommodating. it dose not have the 5* feel as and the food was good but not long way short of outstanding or what you would expect from you standard London restaurant. Properly would visit again as there is nothing else like this near Dar es Salaam

  • Stayed September 2005, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2006

After a 10 hour overnight flight from London we were booked into Ras Kutani for a couple of nights to recharge the batteries and wind down from busy lives at home. I can't think of a better choice.

Just 2 hours by road and a 10 minute flight from Dar (we were driven by the way and it was fine) this small boutique hotel on the Indian Ocean nestled around a lagoon was perfect.

Our large cabana was open to the breeze and had about the biggest bed I have ever seen. At the front was a large and comfortable verandah looking out to sea from where we lay in hammocks and watched the sun set. It's also where monkeys gathered every morning to try and steal the breakfast that had been delivered! Amazing.

The resort feels private and intimate and the staff were friendly and accommodating. It felt like nothing was too much, including a fantastic dinner on the beach on our last night.

The food was excellent and a wonderful flag system on the beach ensures you are never more than 1 minute away from a beer.

Boogie boarding is a must on the beach, but watch out for the waves. They are very powerful!.


Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ras Kutani

Address: South Coast, Kutani, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Dar Es Salaam Region > Kutani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kutani
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This beach destination in Africa offers the visitor that increasingly rare commodity - long stretches of pristine deserted beaches, warm blue seas and an opportunity to experience the peace and tranquility long since swamped by overcrowding in more publicized tropical resorts. The setting ensures that feeling of being on one's own tropical island. The lodge is flanked by a fresh water lagoon abutting onto a coastal forest, which spills to the edge of the unspoilt and undeveloped beach. Accommodation is in nine spacious, charming cottages constructed of natural, local materials that harmonise perfectly with the wonderful surroundings. On top of the hill we have also four suites and a family house all with stunning views. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ras Kutani Hotel Kutani
Ras Kutani Dar Es Salaam
Ras Kutani Tanzania - Dar Es Salaam

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