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“Zanzibar!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sunset Bungalows

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Sunset Bungalows
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   P.O. Box 3546, 3546, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #111 of 144 Hotels in Zanzibar
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Zanzibar!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

After camping for many days, this place was heaven!
Beautiful / clean / comfy rooms
Air conditioning, clean showers and toilets.
Close to the beach with lounge chairs (get their early)

The restaurant was good, but very slow at getting food.
Order early.

I would return to this place.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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257 reviews from our community

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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 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 (40)
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English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

I stayed at this hotel for three nights at the beginning of July 2014, as part of a trip to Africa with a group of students from the UK.
We visited Zanzibar as part of our independent travel after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity and then going on safari in various national parks in Tanzania.
After a lot of travelling, we were thrilled to arrive at the Sunset Bungalows. The rooms were spacious, clean and comfortable. The shower always had hot water and our triple room was cleaned each day, had a reliable safety deposit box and comfortable beds with mosquito nets.
The hotel restaurant has a wonderful cocktail list, including great alcoholic smoothies and happy hour is from 3.30-6.30pm which was a great way to spend our afternoons on the beach!
The restaurant breakfast which was included for us was pretty basic but delicious, I had an omelette each morning which was served with toast, fresh fruit and tea/coffee/juice, and it was more than satisfactory. You could pay extra for other options but I was totally content with what was provided.
The food menu served all day is great, the pizzas are amazing although service is always slow, so be prepared to wait a while for food.
There is a really nice atmosphere around, staff are generally very helpful (providing beach towels, answering our questions about excursions etc) and the beach is a wonderful place to just relax for a few days and soak up the African sunshine.
As a group of young people, we had no complaints about the beach at all, it was clean, there were people trying to sell us souvenirs and persuade us to go on snorkelling trips, but they weren't annoying or disruptive in any way, there were volleyball nets, the sunloungers are comfortable and plentiful, and the matresses for them are provided for no extra cost.

The Kendwa rocks hotel right next door was also nice to eat at and they have a much larger bar area- the drinks there are around the same price so we spent quite a lot of time there (some of our other friends were staying at that hotel) and enjoyed the nightlife there.

The food and drinks are more expensive than we expected to pay, as we had spent time on mainland Tanzania were a local beer was around 2000 TZ shillings, compared with 4500/5000 in Zanzibar, however it is still relatively cheap compared to home..

I would thoroughly recommend venturing away from the beach restaurants and going to the local seafood restaurant, which is on the main road (basically a local street) down into the hotel. It's only about a five minute walk and although the street is poorly lit and busy with locals in the evenings, it is completely safe.
The restaurant, like all in Africa that we experienced, has very slow service but it is definitely worth the wait. (Generally our service was slow because we ate in large groups, there was around 12 of us the first night, so its understandable). The first evening, I had the grilled kingfish which was served with rice, chips and vegetables plus a soft drink for 10000TZ shillings, around £4.
It was so good that we went back the following evening. They had a great menu- a seafood platter, various grilled fish that depend on what has been caught that particular day, seafood pizzas, pasta, calamari, prawns etc etc. Definitely worth a visit.

All in all, the sunset bungalows were great for a few nights relaxation in Zanzibar after a hectic and exhausting few weeks. Perhaps two weeks would be too long to spend there as there isn't an awful lot to do and eating choices are quite limited (basically the hotel's own restaurant, Kendwa's restaurant or the seafood place).
Would definitely recommend it to friends and family.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

I stayed here based on a recommendation from a friend but found it rather disappointing. The place tries to be luxurious, but falls significantly short. The first room we were shown smelled horribly of cigarette smoke and must. The room we switched to was only marginally better. Although the site we booked through advertised Wifi, this service must be purchased from the dive shop next door, which closes at 6pm. When we did purchase vouchers, the connection didn't work and we had to get a refund. Fortunately, a kind staff member allowed us to use the computer in the office to get some work done.
The bungalows have nice high ceilings and are rather spacious, but are lacking in character. The doors to the porches outside don't have screens, so you cannot really enjoy the beach air unless you are willing to be bitten all night. The hotel doesn't even provide a complimentary bottle of drinking water.

I expect significantly more for $100 per night.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Vancouver
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

Sunset Bungalows should not be confused for anything other than the budget beach accommodation it is. The beach is beautiful and Sunset Bungalows offers a good price to experience it, however it is rife with areas to improve

Pros:
- the rooms (we stayed in the Deluxe Beach Bungalow) are actually quite lovely, large and well furnished
- operating electronic safe and A/C
- rooms regularly cleaned
- beach is very nice, and the Beach rooms are quite close (though not directly on the beach)
- beach security is usually on top of things, as long as you aren't on the edges of the beachfront area
- breakfast provided
- cheapest happy hour around (3k TZS for a beer)
- working hot water tank

Cons:
- stained sheets and towels (blue sheets by the way, which makes the stains even worse)
- a major pain to replace provided beach towels
- we experienced one power outage for about 15 minutes one evening, I imagine they are more regular during the high season
- occasional water stoppages
- insect egg sacks growing in the bathroom
- salt water from taps/shower
- NO INTERNET PROVIDED - blatant lie on their website, the only Internet options are to buy it from the Scuba shack or Kendwa Rocks next door
- CONSTRUCTION going on all day, they are building several new bungalows and an entirely new restaurant, all of which seem to be taking forever and result in construction debris strewn around the area between the bungalows and the restaurant/beach, plus many random workers wandering through the property all day
- wear shoes! Aforementioned debris and other garbage pose danger to feet, we saw plenty of broken glass on the property
- in addition to the random workers, the property is hardly secure from locals and beach boys wandering through, despite the lackadaisical efforts of the beach security. Don't leave valuables unattended in room or at the beach, if you want to go for a swim and have no one to watch your stuff leave anything valuable with the security at their beach stand
- beach boys are non-stop and aggressive in Kendwa, know how to politely say no twenty times a day and sit farther back from the front of the beach area to avoid altogether.
- breakfast was pretty lame (fruit, hard toast and an egg done different ways) and they charge a silly amount to supplement it
- dinner food just not very good either, takes forever and is not as good as Kendwa Rocks next door which is similarly priced

Scuba-do is the adjacent scuba/snorkel shop and should also be approached as a budget option - I wouldn't recommend engaging in any scuba diving with them, their safety regulations are extremely subpar (dealing with equipment in an unsafe way, taking new divers out way too late in the day to squeeze out a few more dollars). Extremely unorganized, struggle to get snorkel trips together (advertise a $15 snorkel but that is ONLY for an afternoon trip to Kendwa Reef which is not guaranteed). They also hire out to local (poorly kept) boats when their own aren't working, sketchy practice to say the least!

Room Tip: Deluxe Beach Bungalows are only option close to beach/restaurant, everything else is quite far up th...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Western Cape, South Africa
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

We took a two week holiday to Zanzibar. We were planning to stay at various hotels but after the first few nights we just decided to stay put as it was such a lovely place. The beach is very wide at this point in Zanzibar, which added to the beauty. There are comfy loungers on the beach where we spent most of our time reading and watching the sunset. (We walked a couple of times to Nungwi to buy beer for this purpose)The rooms are nice and spacious and the beds comfy. The only reason why this place is not getting 5 is hairdryer was missing and also we missed a kettle as we love out tea. We got a good rate which was another reason for staying on. The Bikini Bar and Restuarant served a plain breakfast (included in the price) or you could order extra off the menu - egg, toast, fruit and coffee. The other meals were pleasant although a bit pricey. We ate seafood nearly all the time. Also good pizzas.

Room Tip: The rooms in Chaza are spacious but further from the beach.
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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
    • 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.
Doha, Qatar
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

I love this place, the gardens are beautiful and it is such a beautiful beach. Rooms are clean, love the turquoise sheets! Mosquito nets, fans and a/c. Second visit. They are building a new restaurant but the old one was still open and many more vegan friendly local Swahili dishes. I loved the food there (it was off season so many places not open). Coconut vegetable curry was excellent, so was the local Swahili meal, Swahili breakfast and Chili Bean soup! I hope they don't change the menu.

My only wish is for a kettle in the rooms to make some tea! Very helpful with transport.

Room Tip: A variety of rooms including bungalows on beach (no sea view)
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

We booked 3 nights here and enjoyed each of them immensely. The rooms were well decorated, spacious, boasted large balconies. The bathrooms/showers are very modern, clean, and the water hot. It is technically fresh water but it has a high slat content. Not a problem, just don't be surprised. All the hotels in this area experience the same type of water. The grounds on the premises are really well groomed and beautiful. The restaurant is right on the beach, which makes for a lovely atmosphere for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The food was really good. It's priced accordingly as you're on the beach. I suggest eating here at least one night but be sure to venture out to at least one evening (make a reservation regardless of how small your party is). The scuba diving outfitter next to the hotel offers a fabulous sundowners cruise. That was the highlight of our time on the island.

  • Stayed April 2014, 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
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 Sunset Bungalows

Address: P.O. Box 3546, 3546, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#79 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunset Bungalows 3*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Sunset Kendwa, your place to stay in the tropical paradise of Zanzibar's north coast. Fringed by powdery-white sand beaches, azure waters, and thriving coral reefs, the exotic spice island of Zanzibar is the most idyllic of tropical destinations. We offer a wide range of brightly decorated traditional rooms and bungalows, as well as all the facilities you will need to help you ease into Zanzibar's relaxed pace of life. Right on the perfect sands of Kendwa beach on Zanzibar's north coast, this is the perfect place to unwind, spend your days swimming or sun-bathing, snorkelling, scuba diving with our award winning on site water sports centre Scuba Do Zanzibar ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunset Bungalows Hotel Zanzibar
Sunset Hotel Zanzibar
Sunset Beach Hotel Zanzibar

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