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“well pleased” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Zanzibari

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The Zanzibari
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Nungwi Road, Nungwi 10437, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“well pleased”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2011

I was really surprised by the negative reviews. but then again, we all have an idea of what we dream of for the perfect holiday. I found the zanzibari to be a safe haven that exceeded my expectations. I loved the fact that it wasn't as commercial, very clean, and a bit more secluded without harassing salesman (God bless em) and male gigolos one might find on the more public beaches not too far away.

I felt safe and honored that we were guarded by real Masai warriors. WOW! We were even serenaded one night, hearing real traditional songs , what an honor! I'll never forget that! and I doubt the other places had the same privilege.

We stayed in the suite which I highly recommend as it is right on the seafront. I loved gazing at the stars from the top level at night and waking up to the sunrise over the sea early mornings, some truly spectacular scenery out of this world !!!, not too mention how well I slept to the sound of the waves...

I do not think the website lies, the bit of beach you see on site is what is there , when the tide is low. We enjoyed piddle-paddling along the exposed reef during low-tide- looking for crabs and fishies….I stepped on an octopus!! ;-) don’t step on the sea urchins ! a staff member (zuri) was even so kind to lend me his shoes ! I walked a mile in it .
I did not mind that the water wasn't always that hot whenever I took a shower, I found it quite refreshing and loved the fact that they were making use of solar panels. it is a tropical island after all, I was there during their winter season, but they don't really know what winter is ;-)
Early mornings is great for kayaking , and if you're brave, ride those waves at the reef. BE BRAVE!
I also thoroughly enjoyed my early morning swims in the beautiful swimming pool (salt water - so soft on the skin), or a run through the town, not to mention those frequent lazy naps in the hammocks, great massages.- uninterrupted, except for an invitation for tea and cake late afternoons - something we learnt to look forward to, and a great opportunity to meet other travelers..
This place truly gave me that well needed rest. However, whenever I needed more stimulation, there were so many other options to explore…The food was great , the staff, just amazing!!!- gentle people who truly’ aims to please.’..I just fell 'in-love' with them all..I felt valued and cherished!
I did not find the pricing exorbitant, as they always tried to get us the best deal. Tip: the more people on board for a daily excursion, putting some heads together and going on trips together, the cheaper the rates! as its more the transport that makes things pricey....so don't do things solo. we met some incredible like-minded people with the same interests and always managed to arrange some great deals for the spice trip, stone-town, sunset cruises, mnemba snorkeling trips etc etc.. Just ask! ....

We loved our leisurely walks along the beach during low tide to paradise hotel for a change of scenery and some cocktails. There’s so much within walking distance ie, parasailing, kite-surfing, scuba, turtle - sanctuary etc etc....next time I go, I'm renting a scooter to explore even more of this stunning island!

I left with a heavy heart and I highly recommend this gem of a place to all I encounter. It’s ran by gems of people worth praising and treasuring!!

Thank you for such an unforgettable holiday !
ps. for all photographers: what a dream . however, the locals do not like their pics taken since their muslim. do it from a distance ;-)

Room Tip: go for the suite!!!!!!
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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203 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    144
    35
    11
    9
    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2011

If you are looking for somewhere beautiful, private and relaxing, this is definitely where you want to be! The service was excellent, the food to die for, and the location perfect. And for a really good price. I sincerely hope I can return one day...

Room Tip: Stay in the suites!
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2011 via mobile

We really needed a relaxing holiday and that is exactly what we got. The surroundings were beautiful and the view of the sea endlessly captivating. Every member of staff was helpful, friendly and courteous and went out of their way to make our stay a wonderful experience. The food was truly excellent, lots of variety and choice. I really have nothing negative to say about our stay, we normally find it very difficult to just sit still and relax but here it was easy! Thank you!

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 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.
UK
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2011

As the title suggests we headed out to Zanzibar and the Zanzibari to relax and enjoy the start of married life! Eugene and his staff were excellent all the way through from initial enquiries, to the welcome and throughout our stay. The team obviously care about their guests and do their utmost to ensure their stay is enjoyable and hassle free - not always easy in Africa! An oasis close, but far enough away, from the growing madness of Nungwi proper. We stayed in one to the suites with our own infinity pool and took the honeymoon package, loved it! The food was excellent and a surprisingly good wine list, an amazing setting and view just over the beach (which is tide dependent) but it was the service and attention of the staff that make this place special! Thanks guys really enjoyed it!

Room Tip: That little extra for the suite is worth it!
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2011

The Zanzibari is paradise on Earth! A group of 9 friends and I stayed over New Years Eve and we couldn't ask for more. We rented 2 private guest houses that gave us more than enough space. The houses were modern (had large flat screen tv- though we were too busy to ever watch them!) and had views that literally took your breath away. The houses had private pools and were steps away from the main pool. The service was amazing! The staff became our good friends who would do anything to make the trip more enjoyable. The owner was amazing and accommodating even when we had difficulties with our credit cards (he let us pay in both US and shillings). I should note that one must have a credit card not a debit/credit card combo because this will not work. It caused a bit of a problem for us, but we worked it out. The meals were amazing! Some of the best food I had in Africa! The tours were also amazing! I recommend the Sunset Cruise and snorkeling to Mnemba Island. Both were well worth the money. Also well worth the money is the massages they offer. Imagine laying in a beach hut, listening to the waves, as a petite woman gives you the most relaxing aroma therapy massage. HEAVEN! I will note that as a group of ten 20 somethings that this isn't the place to go party. However, the staff was more than happy to help us book transportation to local hotspots like Kendwa. I couldn't have asked for a better stay!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria, South Africa
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2011

We stayed at the Zanzibari for 3 nights in late April (the rainy/low season) and had a lovely time. I'm not sure why this is the low season - perhaps we just had a particularly gorgeous week - but the days were hot and sunny with only intermittent rain showers (1-2 per day, lasting 30 minutes max), the prices were lower, and it was delightful to experience the island with fewer tourists. There were still plenty of tourists, however, which makes me wonder how packed things must get during the high season months.

Value: The Zanzibari is expensive, but the value is about even when you consider the full package you're getting (compared with other high end hotels, I felt we had a decent deal). We were half board (room, breakfast and dinner included), and when you consider how much a decent dinner can cost, and that the hotel is prime property that's apart from central Nungwi, I think you get what you pay for. You also get free tea in the afternoons. Two caveats to this, though: 1, they charge an hourly rate for kayak usage, which seems excessive since they're just sitting in a shed.. it really ought to be a perk for guests; and 2, car transfers are pretty costly.

Location: Others have remarked that Zanzibari is a significant distance from central Nungwi, and it's true - it's a 20-30 minute walk, which can feel like a long time in the east African sun. We preferred the quiet of being off the main strip, and found this to be a bonus - central Nungwi is really packed with people, even in the low season. If this is what you're looking for, definitely go central - Zanzibari is more serene than social.

Service: The staff were very attentive and friendly and responded to requests quickly and seamlessly. They booked activities for us (i.e., snorkeling, Stone Town tour, etc.) at reasonable prices, gave us recommendations on restaurants, directions, etc. Due to limited room availability the hotel upgraded us to a suite for our last night for free. Transport was prompt half the time - we were stuck waiting upon arrival at ZNZ airport for about 20 minutes.

The previous reviews are certainly right about some service issues, humidity, smells, etc., but some of these issues are just par for the course on a less developed island where most people do not speak English as a first language - it's not meant to have all the comforts of home. That said, it's important for other travelers to be prepared for this so they're not disappointed. For example:
- Everything will get musty/mildewy. The humidity is inescapable.
- The waiters have some difficulty with English, but if you are patient you will get your questions answered. Or, just as you would in any foreign country, learning a bit of the local language helps.
- The tides make beach access complicated, but there is a more "pristine" beach in the high density tourist area, so you can still access one with a walk. We took sea kayaks directly into the water from the hotel and could easily take a dip once we were a few hundred meters out. The pool is quite nice (and clean!) as well.
- Mosquitoes are inevitable but the hotel clearly sprays a significant amount of repellent because they're not as ubiquitous as they could be. I'm not sure one would want any MORE chemicals floating around. If you wear bug spray, keep doors closed, use nets, you shouldn't be pestered.

Overall, we were happy with our stay at the Zanzibari and would recommend it to others. I would suggest an upper level room if you're not in a suite -- each room has a balcony so you'll have more privacy if you're above ground level.

Room Tip: Suite or upper level room
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2011

Where to start ...
Upon arrival you are asked if there are any alergies, etc .. I am lactose intolerant and believed that this questionaire would mean some care in the meals served .. but not. In most cases desert was off limits for me and there weren´t other options. After making friends with a couple of waiters I started to get fruit for desert and was alloud to have certain dishes without the cream/cheese/milk sauces. Food in general is good but very repetitive in ingredients. The restaurant and pool staff are wonderfull, we only have kind words for them! The recepcioninst is condescending in tone but zero effective and the manager, Mr. Eugene is very nice and a great PR but seemded a very poor manager.
The room (number 8) was nice looking and appeared clean, but the bed is unconfortably high (about 1,30m) and the bathroom needs urgent remodeling. The water pressure is very weak and there is limited quantity of hot water (after a shower of 15 minutes there is not enough hot water for the next person). In our bathroom, every time it rained we would have a flood.
We were in during the rainy season and having arrived after a mud safari we needed to do some washing. The hotel provides the service and we were warned that clothes might take a couple of days to be ready due to the humidity. I asked if they had a tumble dryer and I was informed that yes but anyway the clothes would need to stay out for a while because the dryer is not enough .. this sounded strange but we believed. 3 days after giving the clothes to wash we had a basquet with our clothes left outside of our bedroom door (outside were everyone can see and touch) still wet and with an awfull stench!!! When we confronted the manager about it I was told that it was the best they could do as they don´t have a tumble dryer and depend on the sun to dry their clothes. They washed up again and for the remaining days of our stay our bedroom was a drying facility with clothes hanging all over. We managed to dry everything in time!! In general the towels, bed sheets and table napkins were humid, stained and smelled strange.

To summarize the only reason I would go back to "The Zanzibari" would be to visit the restaurant and pool staff .. to expensive for the service offered and no way a boutique hotel!! In our walks through the area we found nicer and less expensive places ...

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Zanzibari1, Manager at The Zanzibari, responded to this review, May 12, 2011
Dear Lola-Berget

I am sorry to hear that we did not meet your expectations during your visit to our hotel, please accept my apologies.
I will certainly pass on your compliments to the service staff here at the hotel.

Thank you for your comments and we will certainly use them to improve ourselves and the hotel.

Kind regards,

Eugene Skoberla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Zanzibari

Address: Nungwi Road, Nungwi 10437, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
#9 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Zanzibari 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Zanzibari is located in Nungwi on the northeastern tip of Zanzibar. Set above the beach on a low coral cliff with easy access to the sea you are offered privacy, peace and tranquility while taking in the stunning views of the Indian Ocean. The hotel has many high quality facilities, including our infinity pool, spa and famous Dhow Restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Zanzibari Hotel Nungwi
The Zanzibari Zanzibar/Nungwi

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