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“Paradise on earth : this is a private island” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chapwani Private Island

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Chapwani Private Island
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Chapwani, Tanzania   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #73 of 142 Hotels in Zanzibar
Marseille, France
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Paradise on earth : this is a private island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2010

As a tour operator specialized in that area, I travel twice a year to Eastern Africa.
Chapwani is my retreat : dramatic view (the beach where the bungalows are settled are facing Stone Town), best food in Zanzibar, perfect service (special mention to Ali & Kathy), relaxing place... I try to start all my visits to Eastern Africa with 2 days in Chapwani, to relax, regenerate and be ready to negociate with my supplyer for 7/10 days.
Obviously, if you are "bling bling style", want plasma screen or pool games, avoid !

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    42
    12
    3
    3
    2
See reviews for
11
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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 (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
paris
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2010

green stuff floating in the pool not nice for kids, rats on the roof. very expensive. no credit cards.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2010

I traveled to Tanzania with my husband and four friends (2 couples) in August, and we did a safari in Northern Tanzania and finalized our wonderful trip with a beach stay in Chapwani Island. I have no words to describe how beautiful and special the place is: a private island, untouched, unspoilt, with a small hotel built with just 10 rooms right on the beach, litterally, a cozy bar & restaurant serving the freshest food. Fish dishes were my favorite, and among them, the delicious red snapper.We were just some 15 people on the island, feeling so privileged in our little paradise, observing from our beach beds the old Zanzibar town and seeing the lazy dhows sail. We were able to visit Stone Town often, do some shopping and enjoy the evening entertainment in nice bars, especially Livingstone!Thanks to Ali and his team for their wonderful job! They are attentive and professional yet they leave you enjoy and do things at your own timings. They gave us very good ideas on things to do, and we enjoyed the fish & corals doing snorkelling around the islands, and we visited the giant tortoises in Prison Island. A fantastic experience and a wonderful cozy island

  • Stayed August 2010, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2009

My wife and I booked one week in advance and expected a nice, secluded island close to paradise due to so many good critics. But what we experienced was quite different.

Let's start with the nice points - lovely beach, comfortable accomodation, clear and warm water which invites for swimming and snorkling. The food was fresh and varied. Being close to ancient and lively Stone Town is convenient and offers great activities besides relaxation on the island.

What we didn't enjoy was the sound at night from various night clubs at the mainland preventing good sleep. Staff and management despite being friendly didn't give us a warm welcome feeling. The pool, or let's call it pit with warm greenish water, was not worth the name, see photo.
Our last day turned into hell. We were short 100 USD on cash for drinks and extras. Due to technical problems our credit cards didn't work whereupon the femal italian manager told us that we could not leave the island despite knowing that we had to get our flight in a few hours. After endless discussions she agreed on getting money from an ATM on the mainland, sending an escort of three guards with us - how degrading is this? Racing from ATM to ATM we still could not manage to get cash, there seemed to be a generall problem to the bank system at this time. So we finally got to the airport telling the manager that we would transfer the money by internet being home - which we offered her right from the start. Well, what can you say - welcome to Chapwani Island!

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Chapwani, Manager at Chapwani Private Island, responded to this review, September 4, 2010
We would like to inform all Trip Advisor readers regarding this negative comment dated in November 2009, that a new filter for the pool was installed in January 2010.

From then, the pool is kept clean, but please bear in mind that it is fed with sea water, so when the tide is high new water may come in the pool straight from the sea at times.

Our Team keeps a close eye at the status of the pools at all times and hence the same is kept clean and in the right conditions for guests to swim.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2009

Chapwani was the first stay of our Honeymoon and it was a perfect start. It was an excellent place to relax, unwind and watch the sun set.

It does have what some may see as "limitations" - a salt water pool, limited electricity supply and fresh water piped across from the main island. However, this in no way detracted from our stay.

We found all the staff to be friendly, attentive and accommodating and more than happy to help us with our Swahili. Our first night we were surprised as they had set-up a table for us by the pool for dinner and on our last night we had dinner on the beach, again something set-up with no request.

The food was excellent. There was no dinner menu as such and each meal was a surprise. For us this was great as we like to experience new tastes and dishes. However, on the odd occasion that we did require something different, our requirements were catered for.

It is a small island, although activities are not limited. Whilst there, we took a trip to Stonetown, went on a Spice tour, kayaked around the island, went snorkelling at nearby Prison (Changuu) island where we also visited the old prison and saw the huge Giant Tortoises that are bred there. The island itself is interesting with a small and historic grave yard as well as some wildlife - the fruit bats are quite a sight when they all wake at 18:30!

Probably not a place for those who need "luxuries" or to be surrounded by lots of other people. For us, it was ideal.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Lisbon, Portugal
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2009

We stayed at Chapwani for 4 nights. The place is quiet and the staff is very nice however for 300 euros per day per room a lot could be improved: (1) the pool has green water (2) most of the days there wasn't enough running water in the bathrooms (3) no electricity at night and no light during the day.

(1) The lack of inviting pool really is a shame because during low tide swimming is just impossible and you're stuck on the sand for many hours.

(2) Be aware that "basic and simple" rooms means that you should not take a working shower for granted (all the water is pumped and sometimes that doesnt work too well). Flushing can also be a challenge (either because of water shortage or because the flushing is just not working properly). Could definetely use better maintenance.

(3) The power cut should not be a problem unless you happen to have food poisoning and have to rely on a single candle to find your way to the toilet all night. (And when you consider that the fridges are turned off at night too, the food poisoning becomes very understandable). For a place that seems to take pride in its European maneagement it could definetely use some upgrade in the kitchen higyene.

All in all Chapwani does seem to have the nicest and most unpoiled beach that close to Stone Town and if you're trying to combine the two things it is a great location. It is just not value for money: when you pay that much you expect a higher standart.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Malmö
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2009

Fantastic place! Great food, great accomodation, fantastic service on the island. Only 10-15 minutes far from Stone Town by boat.
Extremely quiet if there is not a group of 10 Italiens people on the Island..., this is just like a piece of paradise, when you start walking around the island and discover many different species living on/around the island!
I got a little sick on the island and the people were simply very considerated and tried to make me feel better at all time.
A place to recommend to anyone who is looking for a quiet place to chillout and enjoy the life with a nice service!

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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 Chapwani Private Island

Address: Chapwani, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#53 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Chapwani Private Island 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chapwani Private island is the perfect spot for those seeking a small quiet lodge with good food on a beautiful peaceful beach with Stone Town (Zanzibar main town) and all its facilities just 15 minutes away by boat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chapwani Private Island Zanzibar

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