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“Great staff and very comfortable stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sea Cliff Resort & Spa

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Sea Cliff Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Mangapwani, PO Box 1763, Tanzania   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #32 of 143 hotels in Zanzibar
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
“Great staff and very comfortable stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Excellent concierge and porter service. Very helpful and polite staff. Good size room and well lit (for a change) bathroom with great amenities. Excellent air conditioning which was very welcome after a day of meetings and sweltering temperatures. Good Indian restaurant but don't expect too much from the food. However, to be fair, I never really eat a good meal anywhere in Dar Es Salaam. Even though the hotel has excellent views and a magnificent sunrise this is not a beach resort so don't expect sandy, white beaches - go to Zanzibar for that.

Room Tip: choose a room with an uneven number as they are sea facing.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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345 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
    4.5 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 (107)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

The Sea Cliff in Zanzibar is in essence a brilliant resort. What you get here is a 4* star hotel and spa with literally all the amenities one would need on a beach holiday. The rooms are new, well maintained and of decent size. The bathroom was actually great with ample space.

The resort is also coupled with tennis courts, a squash court, pool tables, spa, full fledged gym, a long infinity pool (albeit a little shallow) and an even better secondary pool that overlooks the ocean. The kids also have ample activities so its all good for you to drop the little buggers while enjoying a sun downer by yourself.

The not so good include the lack of a proper beach (the beach is a good 15 min walk and isn't exactly the cleanest on the Island, not to mention the abundance of nosy fishermen) and the food. The food was basically very average buffet style coupled with some a la carte lunches. The chef seemed somewhat confused when making a few dishes: Chicken Tika Masala on American Night? Think he confused Indians and Native Americans there!

Finally, there seems to be a "lack" of activities to do at night. Don't get me wrong, during the mornings, you will be spent but at night things get a little boring. There's a fantastic jetty right on the sea but its empty. Why not put a coffee bar there? The whole resort feels like its lacking potential but nevertheless still a very safe bet if you don't mind the lack of beach access.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Stunning setting.
Food average- (chef never heard of pork with apple sauce or lamb with mint sauce, he suggested tomato sauce!!!) This is not 5 Star service or food.
Language was a huge problem as majority of the staff could not understand simple dining requests in English, also, they were over attentive unable to leave us in peace.
Rooms- we had to complain to housekeeping about the cleanliness of our room on arrival and the bathroom toiletries had not been replenished from the previous guests' stay. Next day it had such a stench due to dirty floor mops being used. We almost had to beg for this to be rectified. Our pleas fell on deaf or non comprehending ears however eventually, through the help of Daneela van Niekerk (Food and Beverages) and Dean the Food and Beverage Manager we got a clean room.
At night pungent smelling chemicals were sprayed in the gardens which was so foul that it woke us up.
There was a lack of communication to the guests regarding the daily activites so we had to make our own enquiring about any Xmas Eve celebrations or functions.
The person responsible for the above must ultimately be the General Manager at the resort, Abrie Esterhuisen, however he seemed unaware of any of these problems or issues. Maybe he was too busy entertaining his family for the holidays.Even though we had expressed our dissatisfation of the service and maintenance issues there was no follow up from him to ensure that our dissatisfactions had been resolved. All in all a bad experience we will never recommend any traveller to visit Zanzibar or the Sea cliff resort.

Room Tip: Rooms not near gardens because of the smell from chemicals being sprayed.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Chicago
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
104 hotel reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

The staff is friendly and the rooms are spacious and clean. After that, it's your typical large-scale resort. On an island known for great beaches, the one near the resort (5min walk outside the resort walls) is below average. The buffet meals are forgettable. You won't be (overly) disappointed, but there's no special draw about this place other than it being a large resort with all the standard amenities they have now: infinity pool, tennis court, kayak rentals, etc... If you live in East Africa, this is a nice place to go and enjoy yourself. If you're traveling from North America or Europe, you don't spend all that money to travel to Zanzibar to stay at place that could be anywhere.

Room Tip: There are four blocks of rooms. I believe the 300s lack the best views, but double check. I believ...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

An absoulotley amazing hotel lovedour stay here and would definately come again could never get tired of the endless sunrises and sunsets... From the delectable food to the fantastic service this experienece was truly unforgetable ... Breataking indian ocean and the amazing spa makes me want to never leave this place !!!! Must go for every person wanting to see the real raw beauty of a small part of Africa :)

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Cape Town
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Jambo!! We spent a week at Sea Cliff Resort & Spa from 9/12 to 16/12 and had a fabulous time! Most of the staff from reception to the waiters at pools and restaurants were very friendly and aimed to please with their service (especially "our waiter" Calvin!). In certain instances language was a barrier as english is not their first language but that did not detract from the overall awesome experience. room size was adequate and comfortable, enough packing and hanging space for a holiday. The mosquito nets and floor rug (room 109) needed cleaning / replacing though. wifi was erratic
The view from all angles of the resort is just awesome, the grounds are beautifully landscaped and the pool & restaurant areas just stunning. The 80m rim flow pool is perfect in all respects - we enjoyed lounging around, swimming and enjoying cocktails till very late (the ground staff actually waited till after we were done swimming for the night (sometimes 22H00) before they cleaned or added chemicals.
Its impossible to be bored at Sea Cliff - there's just so much to do from the water activities, to private beach, to snooker, tennis, bike rides and so much more.
The menu varied and each night was a different theme plus evening entertainment on most nights we were there - food was great.
Our anniversary celebration was made perfect by a couples massage at the spa + private seafood dinner.
Asante sana to the management & staff of Sea Cliff, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will recommend this resort to anyone visiting Zanzibar!!

Room Tip: We stayed in Superior room # 109 with the most beautiful sea views - sun shines directly on to porch...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
JHB
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

A 5 star experience for the whole family. Exceptional sunsets, beautiful pool and bar facilities, friendly, helpful and well trained staff and beautiful room. I would recommend this hotel to anyone travelling to Zanzibar!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Sea Cliff Resort & Spa

Also Known As:
Sea Cliff Hotel
Sea Cliff Resort And Spa
Sea Cliff Hotel Zanzibar
Address: Mangapwani, PO Box 1763, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Zanzibar
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Zanzibar
#21 Luxury Hotel in Zanzibar
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar
#73 Romantic Hotel in Zanzibar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sea Cliff Resort & Spa 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Driving into Sea Cliff Resort & Spa you know you have found something special. The 4 km road through a coconut plantation that leads to the hotel is a reminder of the Zanzibar of old. Peace and tranquility, no other hotels or busy roads just open space and palm trees.As you enter the courtyard filled with tropical flowers and palms the view of the ocean stands before you. With our traditional makuti roofs and Arabic towers lit by brass lights you know this is not a typical hotel. Its an hotel built with our location in mind. It is a unique combination of modern facilities mixed with the original exotic architecture of historical Zanzibar. ... more   less 
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