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“Nice place!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Smiles Beach Hotel

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Smiles Beach Hotel
2.5 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   North Coast of Zanzibar, Nungwi, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 12 Nungwi B&B and Inns
Moscow, Moscow City, Russia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Nice place!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

Very cozy and nice place. We had a great view to the ocean and actually it's great that they have wifi that worked EVEN ON THE BEACH!

We had some problems with the water but that is beacuse we lived on the 2nd floor i guess. Our friends who lived on the first - was great!

BTW taxi from and to the airport is 40$ we have found even for 30 but there was no time to cancell the first one

The advise - to have some water with you for the first evening - if you are tired from safari and dont want to go outside, you will die without drink water :)

Great that they have their own masai who watched over the beach so other sellers will not bother you. But still buy and try frech coconut !!

Room Tip: Higher floors have problems with the shower
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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104 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

The Rooms were nice, but the staff were less than helpfull. There wasnt enough beach chairs when the hotel was fully booked. The bar/restaurant didnt serve alcohol, and we didnt have any water in the room for 12 hours.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Tromso, Norway
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2014

Our stay at Smiles Beach hotel was not as it should be at a hotel.
Leopard Tours had recommended a hotel that was not good.

We were a family of 2 adults and 2 youth. We were at the hotel for 1 week. We spent two days to get the shower to work (!) But it never became quite all right. A young boy at the front desk was NOT helpful!
We had specifically asked for the rooms to be next to each other. We had packed so we'd share toilet issues etc. The boys' room smelled musty. During our stay got the boys white rashes on the body. The doctor here at home In Norway says it is a fungus infection called pityriasis versicolor. It must be treated with expensive medicine.The boys' room was also more shabby than ours, poor air conditioning, no refrigerator. Why did they not have the same standard of room that we got? We were also promised that we would get bottled water in the room - it never came!

That we were placed at each end of our area was a major problem. Our agent had suggested - packed lightly! We had therefore taken with just one piece one of all the things we could share . It was the hopeless, we had to buy everything we needed, and there were no shops in the area, so……..
Hotel employees showed no understanding. They said it was full occupancy! But(!) the room below us was empty all the time! It confirmed by the washers.

The "Restaurant” was the only concrete frame with thatched roofs over! Dirty placemats on the table. It took an unreasonably long time to get served breakfast which consisted of some fruit and two fried eggs. Coffee was not easy to get. We never used less than one (!) hours before we were finished eating. This was problematic for all guests and everyone was talking about it.

The worst was the rat that we saw up on a ”shelf " in the thatched roof ! The whole area was full of crows screaming all day, not pleasant.

The hotel advertises that you can snorkel from the beach. It is no possible!

We also got many clothes ruined, rust diverge in chair backs. Many expensive clothes are forever ruined! This is because all the chairs in the restaurant had iron nails in the chair that was positioned.

The area and the hotel seen from the outside is beautiful and is fantastic - it has great potential , but needs to be upgraded at all levels .
The washers, an older man at the front desk, the girl in the restaurant and Barak, one Masai man who worked with loungers, were incredibly talented and nice people!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
SmilesBeachHotel, Manager at Smiles Beach Hotel, responded to this review, February 7, 2014
Dear Sirs,

It’s very rare that we comment on guest TripAdvisor reviews, I believe it a place for guests to offer their honest opinions for other guests and guest suggestions for hotels. We have read all 4 of your reviews and we noticed that all 4 are pretty damning, not a single positive review was posted. Every hotel is thankful for comments, positive or negative. Only through guest comments, hotel managements get a neutral reflection on their properties.

However we were unusually aware that your review was coming after your threats and bribery for discounts. Please accept our apologies that we didn’t succumb to your demands but this is not the behavior we neither expect nor accept from our guests.

I will address each of your points but I would first like to suggest a simple check of our website or Google search would have given you a much more thorough understanding of where your holiday was planned and understand that we have 3 types of rooms and what to expect with each.

We do apologise again for the lack of water pressure during your first night, we and I personally addressed this issue as soon as it was brought to my attention and once repaired the issue was never raised by you again, high pressure hot water was available.

After you mentioned you were generally not happy with your rooms, we offered to change the rooms for the whole family once other rooms became available but for some reason you declined. Unfortunately when the hotel is full, as I explained it is a very complex jigsaw puzzle and unfortunately it wasn’t possible to switch. As I explained at the time, we are a small hotel running at full occupancy, and not each of our 3 room types are located next to each other. We were running on 97% occupancy during your stay and the room you are talking about is Room 101 and it was available for only 2 nights during your 8 nights stay. Unlike many hotels in Nungwi we never over book and we have a very firm understanding about who is in our hotel and who is arriving.

We are genuinely sorry to hear about your Sons infection, I must stress this complaint is entirely unique and has never been reported about our hotel prior to or since your stay. This is a very serious accusation and I would like to say unfounded. You had several other accommodations including camping accommodation before your stay here. As you know your sons and I shared beers out and about in the evenings and we got along well together. It was also a good opportunity for me to hear their opinions on our hotel. They were somewhat contrary to yours I must add. And according to them didn’t have a problem with either the location or the air conditioning in their room.

As previously mentioned a quick glance at our website explains exactly what we offer in our rooms, we offer fresh made juice and water in rooms upon arrival. We have a restaurant fully stocked with water and soft drinks to purchase anytime.

Photographs of our restaurant are available on TripAdvisor from both us and our guests, on our website and on our Facebook page. As with the water pressure issue before we accept we and apologise whole heartedly where our services were not as we would have hoped and that whilst running at full occupancy we apologise as our breakfast service was too slow and suffered. It’s something we have worked on and are continuing to work with to constantly improve. Suggestions are always welcomed.

Hygiene in our restaurant and kitchen is again something that has never been previously or since been an issue or commented upon. Hygiene is something we take very seriously. The comment about our chairs is also unique. Living at the hotel it is not a problem that I have ever encountered and all chairs were recently recovered prior to your stay.

The continent of Africa has an array of wildlife. Lions, Zebras, Elephants and indeed Crows. They fly from hotel to hotel and seek food. This is a reality of the island not a reflection of the hotel. You are right that Crows do not have their roots in Zanzibar. They were brought during the Indian immigration 200 years back on trade ships from India, so the history tells.

If you fail to believe us about snorkelling, ask at any one of the dive centres along the beach. Or even our other guests.

In this review you forgot to mention, that your local agent, Leopard Tours and ourselves did our best to make your stay positive. There was clearly a general misunderstanding between the emails you wrote during your stay to your Norwegian tour operator and the talks we had in the hotel. Leopard Tours arranged a change of hotel, which you surprisingly declined, even though we agreed to waive any cancellation fees.
So, if you were really so unhappy with your stay with us we question, why?

A concluding word from all at Smiles Beach Hotel: We very much appreciate any comment negative or positive, personally or anonymous through the internet, we even motivate our guests in sending them TripAdvisor email reminders to comment. The reason is, we are interested in our guest’s thoughts, opinions and suggestions on ways we can improve, change or motivate. However, such unfounded accusations and negativity meant we felt should comment.

Martins Lusis
Operation Manager
Smiles Beach Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kharkiv, Ukraine
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

This hotel is nicely located right in the middle of Nungwi beach, in its quieter area. The white sandy beach would be its biggest plus. You could do long strolls along the beach, watch fishermen going about their daily activity, talk to local kids. Avoid papasi, they are everywhere.

Internet is fast and covers all the areas of the hotel, even on the beach. Breakfast was ok but prepare to wait for a long time which is a normal thing in Zanzibar and don't ask difficult questions to waiters as you will puzzle them for the whole day. The staff hardly understands English and is neither quick nor very intelligent but smiley. They were not much of the help in organizing excursions either.

They thoroughly cleaned our room every day all day but the hotel is so old ( don't trust the hotel's photos) that no cleaning can help. It needs a good renovation. Towels are so dirty, disgusting to touch, taps are rusty, basically it used to be a good hotel but now it simply needs renovation. Not value for money. I wouldn't pay more than 30$ .

Room Tip: A room on the first floor would be better
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Moscow, Russia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

It's a small hotel (only 4 buildings) located very close to the sea. You can either have a sunbath or relax in the shadow of the palm trees or these huge umbrellas. Because of the small number of the rooms (16 only) the beach is never crowded.
They clean the room every day, the A/C is quite efficient and wi-fi is availiable even at the beach.
Though the beach is not the best here (you can still feel the high and low tides here), so it's better if you walk several minutes to the left. It's better there when the tide is low.
Also we didn't like the restaurant where they serve breakfast. It is extremely slow, we were waiting for our spanish omelet for 40 minutes! And it came cold after all.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

It's a great hotel, in a good location, with very comfortable and clean rooms. The price is good for a high season in Zanzibar, specially in Nungwi beach. The service is nice and the staff is very friendly! Internet is always working (very important).
It's recommendable!

Stayed January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

Loved this small 16-room hotel with warm staff, good food and right on the beach. Thanks to all the lovely staff including Abdul, Abdallah and Amina. Hotel manager Martin made our new year's eve unforgettable by barbecuing lobster on the beach. Do eat the grilled octopus at the sweet restaurant. As you wander along the beautiful beach say hi to Prospa for me - he sells lovely batiques. Sensational beach from which you can see all the fishermen come in with your next dinner! Really loved it. And thanks to Abdullah Aziz at Cholos for hosting a very fun viewing of the Arsenal game! Nungwi really is a paradise.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smiles Beach Hotel

Address: North Coast of Zanzibar, Nungwi, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Nungwi
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Smiles Beach Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Smiles Beach Hotel is located in the coastal fishing village of Nungwi, Zanzibar's north western coastline. Both Nungwi and the hotel boast the islands famous white sands and crystalline waters offering the picture postcard setting. Our family run hotel warmly welcomes all to come and enjoy Zanzibar's finest. With our resort on the beach, all of our 16 rooms face the ocean, with only our tropical gardens and the beach separating you with the azure waters. All of our rooms offer either a balcony or patio area allowing you to relax and watch the ocean and admire the simply awe-inspiring sunsets. Our staff welcome you with genuine smiles, and offer a high quality low profile service to allow you to relax and unwind. They will also helpfully assist in arranging any activities you may wish to take part in on or around the island. The opportunities for diving, snorkeling, parasailing and other water sports are vast and we endeavour to provide you direction to the greatest and safest options. Our Oceanside restaurant uses the best ingredients Zanzibar has to offer. We use the Indian Ocean and constant sunshine to our advantage sourcing you the finest fresh ingredients daily. Serving well put together food with a touch of Swahili authenticity. Under new management and receiving a little outlay, we are striving now for even higher standards, superior facilities and value for money. Our aim is always to offer you the very best experience of Zanzibar and we welcome you to our special little hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Smiles Beach Hotel Zanzibar/Nungwi

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