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“Really enjoyed it but we're not all Italian” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

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Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   North Coast | PO Box 3425, Nungwi, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Really enjoyed it but we're not all Italian”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

We really enjoyed our 3 night stay here and kept referring to the place as paradise. The rooms were big enough, the pool and beach facilities were excellent and the beach out front was close and swimmable all day. The food was not bad and we enjoyed the African theme dinner and entertainment night on the Saturday night. The clove soap in the bathroom on the first night was also amazing!

What I didn't like was that throughout the stay many continued to automatically assume we were Italian even though we had contimually politely said "no Italiano". I can appreciate not every staff member can remember every guest and where they are from but the resort wasn't full and we were the only english speaking guests there. It's not like we felt unwelcome but it did make it seem like the whole service within the resort was geared only for Italians.

I would also like to have seen some more organised tour options - eg: Dhow sunset cruises, safari blue tours - from the resort itself rather than having to contend with the touts on the beach.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful review of the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort.

We're so pleased that you enjoyed so many things about the resort and thrilled that you would refer to it as paradise. It makes it that much harder to hear that we did something so foolish to make it not as wonderful a stay as it would have been otherwise. We have such a simple greeting in "Jambo", fun, easy and applies to any guest, no matter their country of origin as Jambo is such a uniquely East African greeting. We will take this opportunity to remind our team that they should never assume which language a guest will use, but open with English and take it from there. This may have made it feel like you were the only non-Italians in the resort, but that is never the case as we have guests from all over Europe, East Africa, South Africa and occasionally, from further away, Canada, the US and in your case, Australia and we need to make sure that all of our guests feel equally as welcome. I hope that you will accept my sincere apologies that this reminder is taking place after your stay and not before it.

As for the tours, we can make arrangements from the Reception Desk or from the East Africa Dive Center Desk next to the Beach Bar. We know that it can be very aggravating to deal with the beach boys and we don't like to recommend their services as we don't know what kind of safety practices and procedures they have. I'm sorry that you weren't aware of this during your stay.

Thank you once again for choosing the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi. We hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back again in the near future.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort
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742 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Wow the first word comes as you enter in the resort, it has a so cool and pleasant welcoming atmosphere.The resort has a beautiful view and huge garden and marvelous pools.
The crew from top to bottom are so pleasing and make you feel home.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Thank you so much for your lovely review of the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort!

We're delighted that you liked the resort property so much, we think it's beautiful and are happy when our guests feel the same. But we're also extremely proud of our staff, their warmth and friendliness adds such a wonderful atmosphere and it's such a pleasure to share reviews like yours to thank them for their efforts and show them how sucessful they've been!

Thank you once again for choosing the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi, we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

The hotel was very nice. The rooms had a great view and the food was good. The restaurant did have a lot of flies in which at times bothered you during your meal.

The all inclusive was great although alcoholic drinks were limited to local spirits and beers only. The cocktails were not fresh juice but sachets for flavours and not very nice.

The rooms were amazing with bathrooms that were just as amazing with a double bath.

Would recommend!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind review of the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort.

We're delighted to hear that you enjoyed the rooms and the food so much and will happily pass on that information to our staff.

I hope that you will accept my apologies for the flies. We continue to work with a local exterminator to keep them to a minimum, unfortunately that is not always an easy task.

I notice that you stayed with us last August and am pleased to report that we are no longer using the sachets that you commented on from that time. We use fresh fruit and fresh juices now with much happier results for our guests.

Thank you once again for choosing the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi. We hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Great location, beautiful beach, stunning sea, large rooms with huge balconies that have great views. Four lovely pools and lots of space. Shame then about two points - firstly the food - it's an all inclusive resort and the food smacks of package tourist quality - poor!. Secondly, the beach boys who hassle you big time as you walk the few paces into the sea. At other places I've stayed they are able to keep the beach boys away from the hotel and surely they could here.
Having made these points, I would still go back because the location and sea are so good!

Room Tip: Ask for a room near the beach
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your kind review of the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort.

We're delighted to hear that you so enjoyed the structure of the resort. We agree that the location and the views are beautiful and it's great to hear that our guests enjoy them, along with the pools and the space.

It makes it that much harder to hear that you were disappointed with the food. Our Food & Beverage team works hard every day to provide a wide range of foods prepared in different styles and with different methods of cooking. I assure you that we take these comments to heart and continue to strive for improvements.

Unfortunately the beach boys are a very different concern. By law, all beaches in Zanzibar are public and we are not allowed to remove them from the area. We do understand the frustration our guests feel and try to meet with them to tone down their behaviour, however our hands are tied for taking it any further. We did have a success last week when we felt that one of them had gone too far with the aggression for the second time. We asked the new Tourism Police to assist and after an investigation, they agreed and banned him from our beach. It's not perfect, but it's a step in the right direction and one we hope we can continue to build on.

Thank you once again for choosing the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi! We are honoured that you would visit again and hope that we will soon have a chance to welcome you back.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Spent about 8 nights at the Royal Zanzibar and it was a wonderful experience on ALL levels! It's the kind of place you go to when you really do want a true escape from the world. The beach is stunning: in pristine condition with some of the clearest and warmest water I've ever experienced. After traveling all the way from Los Angeles, I was worried about being disappointed with either the beach or the hotel. I found both exceeded expectation.
A concern I had before traveling to such a remote location was safety. Upon arrival you feel incredibly safe and looked-after, and you always sense the protective presence of the Masai guards wearing their red sarongs as they patrol the entire property day and night. Safety is not a concern whatsoever.
As for staff, they could not have done more to look after their guests. I travel extensively and have not experienced a staff who are more attentive to their guests. Any concern or issue - big or small - was dealt with immediately. For example, I realized I forgot the changer for my Kindle and Ritesh, the wonderful IT Director figured out a way I could charge my Kindle with a Blackberry cord he had. I forgot my sunglasses and Kim, the general manager of the entire property, loaned me HERS. They even host a weekly cocktail party with the heads of the various departments so guests have an opportunity to bring up any concerns/feedback in a relaxed environment. When I read other reviews about this hotel and they express that they didn't feel the staff was "responsive" I have to wonder if they ever clearly expressed their concerns in the first place. I travel 100,000+ miles a year and I expect a certain level of service from hotels and I can honestly say that over the eight days I was there, there was nothing they weren't willing to do - big and small - to improve on the experience for their guests.
As for food, I'm always a little concerned about "all-inclusive" hotels. I can say that not only was the quality of the food was amazing overall, but also the variety. There are two restaurants with an insane number of choices (it's worth noting that because of the high volume of Italian tourists, the Italian pasta/pizza are as good as anything I've had in Italy). But it's not about just the two restaurants - multiple times during our stay, the staff would arrange these very creative food "experiences": for example, a BBQ on the beach with very fresh seafood or a "Masai Market" with food stands set up along a pathway along with vendors selling handicrafts. I was constantly impressed by the resourcefulness of the staff. And rest assured, for an all-inclusive, they never skimped on drinks - either in quality, quantity or selection
Finally, the property is truly huge. There are paths, and pools and little seating areas all over. We stayed during full occupancy and always could find a nice chunk of space to be completely on our own.
Things that weren't so great: it's a very remote part of an island off the coast of Africa so you're going to have bugs in the rooms. It's just a natural byproduct of the location. The beds have netting and rooms have strong bug-spray, so it's not a major problem.
Also, a lot of the Italian tourists travel in groups and have a small "animation team" that leads group activities for them all day. One doesn't ever feel obligated to participate, but sometimes you get the passing feeling that you're on a cruise ship. That being said, the property is SO massive you can always find a quiet place to relax and read that is far away from the water aerobics class taking place in one of the swimming pools.
All in all, I would ABSOLUTELY stay again. Kim Bird and her staff (especially Ritesh) made our trip. It's a wonderfully-run hotel and worth the 11,000 mile trip!

Room Tip: The A-block of rooms are the closet to the beach. Fantastic views!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear alwaysonaplaneLA,

We can't thank you enough for your lovely review of the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort!

What a pleasure to hear that you had enjoyed your stay with us so much and Ritesh was particularly proud of his first mention in Trip Advisor! I also thanked the Masai guards for their efforts in making your stay so positive. Of course, I shared the review with the entire team, as I always do, but in this case, it was also particularly to thank our Food and Beverage team for their ongoing efforts with our "event nights".

We really have tried to create a restful and relaxing environment for our guests, one where they don't have to worry about a thing for the length of their stay. I'm delighted to hear that other than having to join in our ongoing battle with the little insects and running across the occasional "cruise ship" environment, you found exactly that.

Thank you once again for choosing the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi, we hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future!

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013 via mobile

The hotel has an impressive entrance, enthusiastic staff, good food and surely one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Unfortunately having just returned from a 5 night stay we came away feeling disappointed that guests concerns are not addressed. On day one we reported at the front desk that the plugs in our sinks would not stay depressed so there was no way to retain water in them, we also asked for some coffee sachets for the room. Both of these requests were not responded to during our stay. Whilst the food was varied and tasty the wine was of a poor quality, especially the white. I note from a previous reviewer that the manager was looking into this but as yet this hasn't been done, or the previous wine was worse! Another annoyance to us (and again in a previous response the manager said she had dealt with this) were the large number of people who bagged their favourite sun lounger the night before by putting out the same towels they'd used during the previous day. Worse still some couples had 2 loungers in the sun and 2 in the shade! We found this sort of behaviour very irritating. It could be so much better ..........

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 16, 2013
Dear Annette,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review of the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort.

We're so pleased that you enjoyed some of the things about the resort and so unhappy that other things damaged your vacation for you. We truly strive to ensure that all of our guests enjoy their stay and in this case we have obviously failed you. For that I hope that you will accept my sincere apologies.

There is simply no excuse for the stoppers in your bathroom not being fixed or the coffee sachets not being replaced. Not only is there a system in place at the Reception desk to ensure that guest concerns that are reported to them are completed and followed up, but housekeeping should also have been addressing both of these concerns every day when they cleaned and replenished the room. We have revamped the worksheet at the Reception so that we can now see that guest concerns have been answered and the report is also sent to all department heads daily so that they can keep an eye on things that affect their areas. Housekeeping has been reminded of their responsibility to check on the workings of the room and to replenish as necessary.

Unfortunately we are limited on the selection of wines available. We have tried a number of different options, but this one seems to be the most satisfactory for the majority of our guests on the all-inclusive option. I'm sorry that it wasn't to your taste.

The situation with the beach beds is a little more complicated. In the post you read, I had addressed the issue that we had a staff member who was accepting payment from guests to stake out beach beds for them early in the morning. That practice is not tolerated and he is no longer employed with us. We have not addressed guests who choose to get up early and reserve beds as it is impossible to know where to draw the line. They are not reserving the chairs the night before as any remaining towels are removed about an hour after sunset. What they are doing is getting up early to go and place their towels on the beds. As we have such a large number of beach beds that there are always beds available, we are not prepared to determine how our guests go about choosing their location and holding their beds. I am disappointed to hear that there were guests that were selfishly holding two sets of beds and had you brought that to our attention I would have been happy to have a quiet word with the guests involved. Having too many people do that could compromise our ability to provide beach beds for all of our guests.

Thank you once again for choosing the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton UK
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

This hotel in Zanzibar is luxurious and spacious with 4 beautiful swimming pools which are kept clean and sparkling. The rooms are huge with lovely furniture, en suite bathroom with a double bath & a big shower. Ours overlooked the sea and pools. The food is good with great variety, buffet style. The staff can't do enough for you. They are so polite & friendly! The general manager is Kim Bird, a nicer, more helpful person you couldn't meet. We had a lovely beach dinner with candlelight, fabulous food plus a live band. Another night they put the tables on the lawn, great buffet and dancing by the Maasai warriors & much more.
The only downside is the long drive from the airport - about 1:40 minutes on poor road. Otherwise I thoroughly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Thank you so much for your lovely review of the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort!

We are so proud of our friendly staff and it's always a pleasure to be able to share such positive comments with them. The Chef and his team were happy to know that you had enjoyed the food and the Food and Beverage team was also delighted to be complimented on their special evenings in the garden and on the beach. We love these events and it's so nice to hear that our guests enjoy them as well. As for me, I'm a little embarrassed to be mentioned so prominently, but I'm also thrilled that you had such a good time and appreciate very much your recommendation of the resort to our potential guests.

We were sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the drive. We know that it's a long way to come, particularly if you've already had a long flight, we're just glad that once you're here, you can relax and enjoy.

Thank you once again for choosing the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi, we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

Address: North Coast | PO Box 3425, Nungwi, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Nungwi
#4 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#7 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A spectacular view of the Indian Ocean from almost anywhere on the resort makes this all-inclusive property a wonderful choice for those guests looking for a peaceful and relaxing vacation. Fantastic swimming pools, a beautiful beach with clear, turquoise waters and amazing sunsets just add to the ambiance! The rooms are large, approximately 80 square metres for Superior Rooms and 100 square metres for Suites. A spacious bathroom with a double bathtub, separate shower and double sinks provide luxurious comfort. All rooms include a quiet split-unit air conditioner, TV, fridge, coffee and tea making facilities, a safe and a terrace from which to enjoy the view. The warm, friendly staff invite you to enjoy meals in the buffet restaurant with a varied selection of local and international dishes or a traditional pizza oven near the beach offers a quick snack while you relax by the pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Zanzibar Beach Hotel Nungwi
Seaclub Royal Zanzibar Beach Hotel
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort Nungwi

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