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“Too basic and comfortless” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Cristal Resort Ltd

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Cristal Resort Ltd
P.O. Box 3917, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #103 of 143 hotels in Zanzibar
Moscow, Russia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Too basic and comfortless”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Deluxe rooms are good value for money, but "beach" rooms pretty awful: tiny, underfurnised, huge cracks and stains, moscito net grey and scary. A/C the only good thing (and the main reason we opted for this property in the first place). By the way, "eco" rooms are much bigger and better furnished. It matters because all guests have bulky kiteboarding and diving bags and need the space. Price difference between the three types of rooms is marginal ($10) which is hard to explain.

Now, all rooms lack basic comforts like porch furniture and sunshade (however cheap, would've been good esp as beach rooms size insufficient), place to hang your swimsuit to dry, and, most surprising, a water bowl or basin of some sort at the door to wash the sand off your feet before you go into the room. Simple things, really, don't have to cost much, and greatly add to your overall experience.

Been to 3 or 4 restaurants at Paje beach -- Cristal's is the worst, manage to spoil even perfectly good and fresh groceries (other than pasta). Breakfast particularly disappointing, othe than fresh fruit (if you don't mind swarms of flies, that is). I would definitely not recommend half board accomodation, you'd be much better off at Kinazi Upepo next door (where you can also charge to the room). What they do with fresh juices, the amount of water and sugar they add!

And, true, beer is not always cold. And ice is not always to be had. And they don't bother to put on generator for like half an hour during power outage, which is a daily occurrance, and which also means you've no water either. And, wifi is hellishly slow (though they charge $5 for it). And, it wouldn't have hurt to clean the beach and to send one of the numerous bar staff to take orders.

When there's no wind, the beach is an additional problem: they haven't enough tents for all guests, and not all tents have sunbeds, and not all sunbeds have mattresses. Result -- be sure to occupy one at dawn!

Sorry to have to be negative, Paje is a lovely place.

Room Tip: Avoid "beach rooms" like the plague, if "deluxe" are not to be had go somewhere...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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167 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Entebbe, Uganda
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

This was my third visit to Zanzibar, due to the short noticed on the accmodation. We couldn't book in North, like we normally do. We managed to book at Cristal resort which was recommended by a friend. We had a lovely time. Staffs were friendly, and our huts were so romantic and the view of the ocean was breathtaking, the only disadvantage which we missed was the sunset, cause of the resort location to the east part of the Island.
We raised our concerns with the manager about their breakfast, the portion and the extra charges for certain items.

Nevertheless, all in all, we liked the place.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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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Paris, France
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We were really shocked to find that their internet presentation does not reflect the reality .... the hotel seems to be falling apart , not maintained at all , , the pool dirty , no shower to be seen so people jump in filled with sand . the breakfast is poor , and there seems to be zero manager dealing with the staff , I wonder what the owners do with the money , i don't think they put a penny in this place for maintenance and renovation , electricity cuts non stop , food , below average , beach filled with plastic bottles .... would not recommend this place

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Last minute travelled to Zanzibar and decided to visit lovely Paje, on the other side of the island about a 45 minute ride from Stonetown. Cristal Resort is low key, on an endless great beach - ocean was warm, lovely and clean. Pool looked nice. No one is allowed to come near you or harass you on your chaise while at beach. There is a security guard during the day watching over the beach which was nice. Also very apparent at night.
My room was simple sort of rustic, bohemian with a fantastic view of Palms and beach! Heard the waves all night. Nice bed. The resort is owned/managed by a young French couple who go out of their way to accommodate you. The clientele consisted of many Europeans especially French but also a good mix of other nationalities mostly couples in their 30-40's. It is a family friendly resort so there were young children of all ages, and being the holidays, probably more apparent than usual. There is a non smoking policy in the open dining area. Smoking is allowed in the adjacent lounge area. The staff were all very kind and helpful.
Kite surfing is popular and ideal on this beach so fun to watch the colourful sails. There is a hip Thai /sushi restaurant that is nearby on the beach which is very good. Food at the resort was very good with a few wine choices.
I took advantage of getting a badly needed manicure and pedicure in the newly opened spa - all other treatments were available by a professional Thai masseuse.
The resort is laid back, so unless you are looking for more features or "luxury" accommodation, and if you just want to "get away" to swim and relax on a beautiful beach, this is a great value for sure. It's a pleasant drive from Stonetown with lots to see out the window plus some beautiful countryside - and not a long 2 hour + drive up north, taking up valuable beach time. Seafood is fresh, Jozzani Forest is 20 minutes, and excursions to Stonetown to shop or visit some of the out islands, ruins, spice tours or great snorkeling and diving trips are all within an hour or so away.

Room Tip: Owner told me all rooms are being renovated. I did not see new reno but sound nice. You might ask fo...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012 via mobile

Good, power a problem, view great, great beach, good relaxing time. Breakfast okay, restaurants good. Beer not always cold :( Service acceptable, food good, eco rooms good but warm with fan only. Reception helpful and plenty to do.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Great value for a deluxe bungalow with a/c. We were travelling as a 3 and the room was spacious and welcoming.

The beach is breezy but it keeps you cooler. Very fun to walk out and watch the seaweed farms being tended to in the morning. The breakfast was ok with nice coffee.

The swimming pool was clean and the water refreshing and it was nice to mix up beach and pool times! It was very quiet when we went so we always got a lounger.

The gem to this is the thai restaurant next door (owned by the hotel). The prawn curry was IMMENSE. We ate here three times!! Delicious.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Belgrade
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

It is an one hour drive from the ferry port in Stone Town (45 $ one way)that gets you to this resort. Driver sent by the hotel waited for us at the exit gate with the sign and he was helpful and courteous. On your way to the hotel don't miss out on stopping in a supermarket to stock up on whatever you might need*water, sodas, sun lotion...) since there are no stores in the hotels vicinity. Once in the hotel you might want to opt for eco lodge (best value for the money) It is very basic but definitely ads up to the entire Zanzibar experience. Eco lodge is small bathroom area is separated from the rest of the room by half wall it has netting on windows and all in all gives you Robinson Crusoe experience. Breakfast is very basic so don't keep your expectations high. We have decided on a half board option and I have to say that the dinner exceeded all expectations. (although the bar was set low due to the breakfast experience). Service is great. You can get beach towels from the reception desk so don't bother bringing extra towels with you..The swimming pool is small but clean and provides a nice refreshment during the low tides(which are really really low), If you are looking for a nice weekend getaway it's a perfect spot. Costs for two people are 160 $ ferry tickets round trip, 90$ cab ride to hotel round trip, 130$ two nights half board at eco lodge. For a total of 370$ not a bad deal.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about Cristal Resort Ltd

Also Known As:
Cristal Resort Ltd Hotel Zanzibar
Cristal Resort Ltd Hotel
Cristal Hotel Zanzibar
Cristal Hotel Ltd
Address: P.O. Box 3917, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#30 Top resorts Hotel in Zanzibar
#80 Romantic Hotel in Zanzibar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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