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“Wonderful honeymoon” 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 #45 of 141 Hotels in Zanzibar
Tetbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful honeymoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

My wife and I returned from staying at the Sea Cliff Resort and Spa in Zanzibar. We spent 11 nights at the hotel on our honeymoon. Having left England with snow on the ground, sunny days with 33 degrees C weather were exactly what we were looking for.

We arrived at the hotel to be greeted with much-needed cold towels and an icy juice drink, before being met by an affable porter (Issa) who showed us around the hotel on our way to our room. Being led out onto the terrace to see the view over the infinity pools, pier and the sea was a great introduction to the hotel. We had declined to opt for the honeymoon package, instead choosing an extra night through our travel agent, but were astonished to find that the hotel knew we had just been married. The first sign of this was the flower arch around the door of our room; on entering, we also found that we had a bottle of sparkling wine, a voucher for a couple's massage, one for a romantic dinner for two and a book about Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Speaking of our room, it was smart and well equipped, from an easy to use safe deposit box to a flat panel TV with satellite channels. The ensuite bathroom had a large shower cubicle, almost set up as a wet room, and the balcony gave us a good sea view over the garden in front of our building. The room was cleaned daily, with the maid leaving an intricate folded design or flower petals on our bed almost every day. In addition, we had a turn down service. I have never previously seen the point of these, but having returned to our room after dinner on our first night and found the air conditioning had been switched on, the (mainly decorative) mosquito net around our bed drawn and the bed turned down, I'm converted!

We spent most of our days by the lower infinity pool, which has plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas. In addition, there's a patio with tables under shade where you can eat lunch, and staff who will pass by your sun bed to see if you'd like a drink. There is another bar at the end of a pier below the eponymous sea cliffs, which is the perfect place to watch the sunset in the evenings with a cold drink. The main bar is up at the top level of the hotel, and with its comfortable sofas is a pleasant place to spend the evening with a drink or two. We opted for the all-inclusive package, which meant we had our pick of food and drinks during our stay. Some seafood dishes at the bar would require a supplement, but the standard food on the menu was good enough for us. The same goes with non-local spirits, but the local lagers (Kilimanjaro and Safari amongst others) were fine by me.

Breakfast and dinner were spent at the buffet restaurant, which overlooks the top swimming pool and has a fine view of the sea. Each evening had a theme, from Asian food to Italian to my favourite, Zanzibar food. As well as an excellent selection of dishes on the buffet, a veritable army of happy, smiling chefs were waiting behind the grill to offer you anything from grilled seafood to build-your-own omelettes. I'm very much an omnivore, and didn't find a single thing I didn't enjoy, whilst my wife is a vegetarian and had plenty of choice every evening for food.

Two nights per week, there was also live entertainment. Normally, we don't enjoy this type of thing on holiday, but the acts (one night, acrobats; the other, a local band and dancers playing traditional music) were very good, and made a great accompaniment to dinner.

We visited the spa for our massage the day after we arrived, and we thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing treatment. My wife was spoilt for choice in choosing another treatment from the spa's brochure, and visited them again before we left. The resort also boasts other facilities including a sports and exercise centre, watersports, horse riding and a twice-daily shuttle to Stone Town, but having been so tired before arriving we stuck to just enjoying the sun by the pool. Likewise, we didn't visit the resort's beach in our time there.

All of this made the Sea Cliff Resort a good hotel. What made it a great honeymoon was the staff. The porters, the security guards, the gardeners, the maids, the waiting staff... everyone was happy, smiling, friendly and welcoming. Whilst all the staff speak good English, we were delighted to find that everyone was willing to help teach us small bits of Swahili, day by day. In turn, they were delighted that we made the effort to learn it!

Special mentions must go to Amani, who we saw every day by the pool, and Joaquim, who waited on us every night at the restaurant, for their friendliness and helpfulness throughout our stay. And to all the staff at the hotel for making a wonderful honeymoon.

Asante sana - kila kitu poa!

  • 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
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403 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
    4.5 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 (127)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
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English first
UK
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We stayed here after an exhausting 12 nights in tented camp on safari.
We upgraded to a junior suite for $50 a night - money well spent in our opinion.
You get a fantastically positioned room with panoramic views and a large bathroom with bath and jucuzzi.
Food and facities excellent. Pools lovely - if rather shallow!
We were all inclusive. Food excellent - especially the a la carte lunch.
Not sure why ice cream was not included - we queried this with the manager - blamed children!
There weren't any children there in January! - he said it was being looked in to.
Snorkelling - none nearby. $40 car journey then $45 each. We decided against it.
Twice daily free shuttle to Stonetown - 30 minute journey - good for a visit. Wouldn't bother staying there though - we also used the recommended guide at $10 - an excellent 3 hour walking tour of Stonetown.

Room Tip: I would recommend the upgrade
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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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NAIROBI
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

The hotel has an excellent services, well thought off architecture, nice swimming pool and beautiful rooms. Sundown er dhow ride is a must go if you want to enjoy Indian ocean romance when the sun is going down.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jena, Thüringen, Germany
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

This place had a lot of things to do. I like to keep a little bit active during my vacation to account for lounging around and overeating. There was a pretty decent fitness centre and I was able to rent a bike pretty cheap. I had some nice little excursions my bike and it was nice to come back and chill out in the pool.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

I stayed at the Sea Cliff for just 24 hours at the end of a work trip and really, really, really wanted to stay longer. It was the first time I'd opted for an all-inclusive package and it was a great experience. Delicious fresh fruit juices and good selection at the buffet. The hotel seemed full - but there weren't any lines for food. The wine we had at dinner was from South Africa and was really nice.

Rooms were spacious and clean. The spa was excellent. Plenty of loungers around the pools - the infinity pool is pretty spectacular! And the bar built out over the water is a very relaxing spot to have a sundowner. Staff were pleasant and smiling.

I'd like to go back!

Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

We spent a lovely week in Zanzibar at the Seacliff, and were thoroughly relaxed at the end of the stay. The facilities are lovely, rooms are clean with excellent airconditioning. 2 beautiful pools (plus one smaller one) overlook the sea, offering superb sunsets. Also a small beach +- 500m walk from hotel. Staff are plentiful and accommodating, though can be invasive if you prefer to be left alone! Management and front desk service is very good and always helpful. Restaurant offers good meals with wide variety for all tastes - the fish is outstanding. Evening entertainment is not every night, which is better, and was tasteful. My friend enjoyed the scuba diving (offered by third party) which was easily arranged through the concierge. On-site spa is superb, and worth a visit.

I would recommend spending a full day in Stonetown (we got a free shuttle to Stonetown for every 3 nights spent in the hotel) - our guide was Harry Belafonte, who was very informative. Just be careful of being ripped off in the markets if you want spices! We also spent time in the Cinnamon Spa just around the corner from the shuttle collection point - very welcome after a hot day!

All in all, I would go back to the Seacliff easily - it lives up to what the brochures claim 100%.

A note on cash: The hotel (and most other tourist establishments (markets aside)) accept credit cards, but put a 5% surcharge on all transactions. If you're going to take dollars (which are accepted as freely as the local shillings), take some cash with you - don't rely on traveller cheque cards, as you will only be able to draw the cash at one of the very few ATMs in Stonetown...

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

This is a decent resort about 20 minutes away from Zanzibar city. You will find most amenities and services that you find in most resorts across the globe: buffer breakfast, lunch and dinner and an array of sports activities and equipment. If you are interested, this resort even has tennis and squash courts. One other positive point is its small capacity (only 120 rooms) and yet its relatively large size so you never feel you are in an overcrowded place. There are two pools in the resorts. They are large and the water was amazingly clean and refreshing while we were there. If you are interested to use the beach for water sports, you should note that although the beach is beautiful, as with most Zanzibar beaches, it is difficult to use it for water sports activities due to large tides and shallow depth of water.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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

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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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
#24 Spa Hotel in Zanzibar
#27 Luxury Hotel in Zanzibar
#38 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sea Cliff Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 120
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 Hotel Zanzibar
Sea Cliff Resort And Spa

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