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“Must visit!” 5 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #46 of 141 hotels in Zanzibar
1 review
“Must visit!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013 via mobile

We had a wonderful time at the Sea Cliff Resort. The staff were friendly and helpful and the food were excellent! Special thanks to Dean, Maggie and Danielle, they went out of their way to make every moment special. We'll definitely go back and take our children with us.

  • Stayed December 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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395 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 (125)
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Three days ago we had our wedding at Sea Cliff Resort in Zanzibar and are very-very pleased.

We came in with minimal planning and wanted a stress-free little ceremony. The management team - Abre, Maggie, Mario, and Dean - were knowledgeable, friendly, and professional. They worked creatively with our loose guidance, stayed pleasantly within our budget without any hidden charges and allowed us to spend quality time with our friends by the pool. Looking back, from the first day of our stay to the last, the resort easily exceeded our expectations and delivered a picture perfect wedding.

The rooms were very nice and we received complimentary couples massages as well as champagne in our suite. I was actually sick with a cold upon arrival at the resort and Maggie had a doctor come to meet me and give me medicine within minutes.

Our wedding took place on the lawn (some 100 meters from the guest rooms) - arch made of purple flowers interwoven with banana leaves, white chairs overlooking the sea and sunset.

For dinner we moved to the Jetty - round tables, white tablecloths, lots of candles. We requested bold and spicy food for our wedding dinner, and Chef Mario tailored the menu for us nicely from two preset menus (King Neptune's table and best of Zanzibar spices) using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Several of the wedding guests were food professionals and they thought the food was scrumptious.

After dinner we went to the beach where we had a lovely setup of blankets, torches, some snacks and a local tarab band. This midnight barefoot dance in sand on a secluded (and guarded) beach is something I would recommend particularly wholeheartedly to anyone considering a wedding at Sea Cliff.

Room Tip: Recommend room 424 honeymoon suite. Quiet room with best view of the sea.
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luxembourg
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

A group of friends and I spent 1 week in Seacliff over New Year 2012/2013 and had mixed experiences about this hotel.

While the setting of the hotel, the gardens and pools are very attractive, we were not impressed by the service and, especially, by the food.

Staff is willing, but uncoordinated and therefore appears to be somewhat chaotic dealing with requests. The food, mostly presented in buffet style, lacks refinement, choice and could be better presented.

The same is somewhat true for the rooms. Our deluxe room was big and had a marvelous view on the ocean. the finishing and attention to detail was in our view not on a 5 star level. This is also true for the cleanliness in general.

All in all, we spent a very relaxing week at the Seacliff in Zanzibar, but expected a bit more given the very positive comments about this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
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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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 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
125 reviews 125 reviews
105 hotel reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
88 helpful votes 88 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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

Address: Mangapwani, PO Box 1763, Tanzania
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:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Zanzibar
#22 Spa Hotel in Zanzibar
#29 Luxury Hotel in Zanzibar
#35 On the Beach 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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Also Known As:
Sea Cliff Resort And Spa
Sea Cliff Hotel Zanzibar

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