We stayed at Diamonds in 2011 and couldn't wait to return again in 2012 (this review is a little late!). The private villas are spacious, stylish, spotlessly clean and so comfortable you will never want to leave. The large outdoor patio with its huge comfy day bed, gorgeous ocean views and complete quiet is sublime. The private plunge pool is a bonus but it is very shallow so only good for a cool down and some splashing about, but a large hotel pool is just a few metres from the villa. The frequently replenished L'Occitane bathroom products are a nice touch and the rain shower overlooking a private garden which is lit up at night is fabulous. The SuperSport TV channel is also a bonus.
The private butler service is outstanding and catered to our every whim. The breakfasts, eaten at leisure on our private patio, are absolutely delicious and were a highlight of the stay. The Ocean Blue restaurant has magnificent views, fabulous food and excellent service (sometimes a bit too attentive though). The barmen at the adjacent Lounge Bar are delightful and make a mean cocktail. On most evenings there is live music entertainment in the bar and on a few occasions we were the only guests and thus enjoyed private performances before dinner - so special!!
Guests may also use all the restaurant and bar facilities of the La Gemma resort (on which Diamonds is located), which are all really good and provide nice variety when you get the urge to leave the private enclave of Diamonds. Our favourite is Cafe Moresco, a specialist tea/coffee venue built on stilts over the water, which is a great place to relax after dinner while enjoying live music from the Sunset Bar next door combined with the lapping of the ocean below, just awesome!
The spa at La Gemma is very good and having the use of another large swimming pool provides further variety. The hotel beach is smallish (and disappears at high tide) but is very clean and safe.
The service at Diamonds is world class and every staff member from porters and security guards, through to butlers, waiters, barmen, housekeepers and management is extra friendly, helpful and efficient. There were a couple of staff who couldn't really speak english but were game to partake in some fun charades which achieved the desired results in the end!
The only minor criticisms are the wifi, which is understandably sporadic (but inclusive in cost), and it would have been nice to have both a bath and shower (some villas only have showers). The mosquitos (mostly at night) are annoying (and obviously potentially dangerous) but a standard feature of this part of the world - take precautions!
It is quite astounding to encounter this level of luxury on a remote corner of an island. It makes the accomplishments of this hotel even more remarkable and appreciated! If you want a memorable, luxurious, relaxing holiday with all the frills, this is the place to go.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A magnificent private sanctuary of eleven exclusive villas with their own plunge pool and a tastefully furnished terrace, a covered Makuti patio and a large tropical garden to enjoy exclusive privacy and the supreme view over the Indian Ocean and the famous Zanzibar sunset. The villas are named after eleven of the most precious gems in the world to match the modern and contemporary African style architecture. Personal butler service, a private beach and unmatched all-inclusive services accommodate the most discerning traveller with ultimate comfort, privacy and luxury. Literally everything and anything you could dream of is catered for at the very highest level of all-inclusive services including access to all facilities, restaurants and bars of Diamonds La Gemma dell’Est. Diamonds Star of the East is member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Diamonds Star Of The East Zanzibar/Nungwi