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“Food the best in Zanzibar” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Palm Beach Inn

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Palm Beach Inn
Bwejuu, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #43 of 125 Zanzibar B&B and Inns
Dublin
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Food the best in Zanzibar”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2007

Had to write a note after reading the previous review. We stayed at The Palm Beach in June 2007 and the food (cooked by Mama Naila, the owner) was THE best we had anywhere on Zanzibar Island. Yes it's wise to order early, as the cooking to order takes time but that was pointed out to us by Mahfudh the very charming host. The accomodation here is spotless but basic (very old fashioned). It is quiet here, very relaxed, the same as most of Zanzibar island. The hosts were very obliging. You can go out snorkelling on a local fishing vessel, have a tour of the village with an elder or the seaweed farms or visit Jozani forest. If you want an all night cocktail bar, go to Paje By Night (nearby), bungalows, restaurant (good pizza) & a bar run by Italians but their accomodation doesn't come recommended on this website. Mama Naila is an elegant lady although she does appear severe at first. Her well travelled son Mahfudh is the perfect manager and will pay you as much attention as you want, or not. It was not high season while we were there (i.e. no entertainment) but the guests staying at the time happened to mix well so had our own fun.

  • Liked — The food and hospitality
  • Disliked — Decor was very old fashioned and bathroom was basic
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    21
    10
    3
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    2
See reviews for
5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
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English first
Dublin
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2007

We went on spec to the Palm Beach Inn on a glowing recommendation from a couple we met in Stone Town (while on our honeymoon). Bwejuu is a gorgeous spot on the East coast although the village can be off putting as you drive towards it (the common & unattractive sight of half-finished concrete houses), the views over the tropical beaches and blue-green water is worth the bumpy trip into the Palm Beach. As the tide is out for a large part of the day (you don't want to spend your whole holiday on the east coast) but the seaweed farms that appear every morning shouldn't be missed. The Palm Beach Inn is run by the elegant Mama Naila & her charming son Mahfudh who are the most welcoming & obliging hosts we encountered. The food here is THE BEST you will get anywhere on Zanzibar island. Mama Naila is an exquisite cook and everything is fresh, local, cooked to order and a rare chance to sample traditional Zanzibarian recipes, done to perfection. The restaurant here is unfairly listed as very expensive in the Lonely Planet, which simply isn't true. We stayed in the Kamilo 'suite' which was spotless and private, the bed was lovely and the extra space was nice (also the little garden in front on the beach) but the decor is like stepping back into the Fifties (very old fashioned), same as all the rooms. This hotel is completely safe with lovely local staff & personal service. They will organise a trip (cheap) in a local fishing boat (fun novelty) out in front of the hotel for snorkelling and you can be taken on a village tour (free) by an elder (definitely worth doing once on the island), see the local school or seaweed farm up close. We had a jeep so went to Paje By Night a couple of times for great cocktails (just change of scenery), before returning to Palm Beach for our dinner (better wine here than most places at reasonable prices). Mahfudh is a big music lover (huge Don Baker fan) and can be persuaded to break out the guitar occasionally! A lovely relaxed spot with as much attention as you want (or not) from the hosts - don't miss it. We arrived at a quiet tourist time but I would book in advance.

  • Liked — The food and the hospitality
  • Disliked — Room & bathroom decor is very old fashioned
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2007

The place is basic. Nothing there but a beach so expect endless days of doing nothing. Bring your own food because you will be waiting a minimum of 2hours for every meal and even then you are lucky if it's hot. The manager is the rudest woman I've ever met. I asked for a refund for my cold meal I waited an hour for and this was her response "I don't like you", "you are no fun", "only if you write a good review", "get out of here" etc etc. The woman has never heard of customer service and her only concern is money. I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone. I paid big money for a big let down.

  • Liked — The tree house
  • Disliked — Customer service from senior management
  • Stayed July 2007
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Belgium
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2006

We had a wonderfull 4 day stay at Palm Beach Inn. The accomodation is basic but very clean and well maintained with A/C, fans and hot water. It's located right in the village of Bwejuu which gives it a lot of local atmosphere. The food was the best and the largest portions we had anywhere on the Island. It's cooked by women from the village from that days catch and you need to order in advance in what way you want it cooked. The owner, Mahfudh does everything to make your stay a memorable and pleasant one and is very helpfull in organising excursions, transfers and rentals. The live african music, and the party that followed were a wonderfull and authentic experience.

The hotel is set in a pleasant garden with lots of places to sit and relax. It even had a swing for the kids. Because the hotel is in the village the beach isn't exactly pristine but the kids loved it because on no other beach on Zanzibar did they find such big sea shells. It's a great place for a few relaxing days.

  • Liked — the food and the relaxed atmosphere
  • Disliked — the not so clean beach which wasn't very inviting for swimming
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Palm Beach Inn

Address: Bwejuu, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar
Hotel Style:
Ranked #43 of 125 B&Bs / Inns in Zanzibar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
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Also Known As:
Palm Beach Hotel Zanzibar

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