We returned from a 7 night holiday to this resort a few days ago. Wow, what a wonderful time we had! The resort was amazing. From the well organised arrival to the friendly staff, nothing was too much trouble. The staff were incredibly friendly and always seemed to be happy. The service was excellent at all the bars and restaurants and also around the pool / beach area.
We were on the all-inclusive package and really felt that it was excelelent value for money. The rooms were large and spacious with a little patio outside with 2 chairs. Every room has a sea view and the rooms and bathrooms were comfortable. As regards the food in the main restaurant, it was really of a high quality especially considering that it was a buffet. The breakfast was my favourite but lunch and dinner also had a large selection of meals. We loved the salad bar at lunch and dinner with about 25 different salads and fresh foods. Every day there was a standard pasta station, risotto station and salad bar. There were then different stations on different days, ranging from grilled fish to vegetable curries and some meat dishes...and of course a large selection of desserts. By far our favourite venue was the cocktail bar out in the sea. A walk along a wooden platform takes you to the cocktail bar which was great for sundowners and drinks at night. At night, there are some lights that are shined onto the sea and lots of fish come and swim around the lit up area obviously because insects are also drawn to the light. It was wonderful to sit on the deck and look at the wonderful sunset followed by an array of small fish at night. Another reviewer stated that the cocktails at this bar were not part of the all-inclusive but they are. We were never charged for any of the cocktails we had. On the cocktail menu you will note that certian premium cocktails are charged because they use premium spirits but really, there is a large choice of cokctails that are included in the package and this was never an issue. Also included is wine (decent quality) and local spirits, which seemed fine - especially the gin in the G & T's.
The beach and pool area - this area was great, with a huge pool and wonderful, clean, clear sea. There are plenty of deck chairs and straw umbrella's for lots of shade. At high tide, the sea comes right up to the edge of the beach area meaning that the stairs go straight into the sea. At low tide, the sea recedes very slightly and so a small beach emerges but the sea is still right there and swimming is still divine. There are waiters walking around the whole day and you can order soft drinks or alcoholic drinks (including cocktails) from them. The coral cove restaurant down at the beach / pool serves some basic meals for those who do not want to walk up to the main restaurant. They serve 3 different pastas, 2 different burgers, 3 different salads and a few sandwiches, so not a huge choice but sufficient.
As regards additional activities - there is a dive centre at the resort and my sister did a few dives and really enjoyed it. She said that the visibility wasn't the best (which was strange because the sea was so clean) but she still had good dives. We also took a 2 hour sunset cruise on a tradtional dhow and loved that. It was great to see the other resorts up and down the coast and when we did, we realised that we were living in real luxury. We did not notice many motor sports which we thought was great as the peace of the place wasn't broken by speedboats and those types of things.
What were the negatives for us - only two things really. Firstly, there is a pizza / pasta restaurant down at the beach which is part of the all-inclusive package and where you can have dinner (you have to book though). We found the pizza's very disappointing as they were very dry. In South Africa a pizza is covered in cheese and then you choose your different topings. The pizza's served at Gemma were very dry, more like foccaccia with a few toppings and a tiny amount of cheese. We did hear that in Europe pizza's are also served like this and so maybe this won't be a big deal for some but for us, the pizza's didn't live up to the standard of the hotel which was a pity as we would have loved to eat down there a few more times. The second negative for us were the prices for the food at the restaurants not included in the all-inclusive. We really wanted to go to the seafood restaurant but on seeing the prices and then the additional prices for the wine, we decided to give it a skip. Prices were charged in Euro's and as South African's we found the prices truly over the top. A seafood platter for one person was about 55 Euro's and a bottle of wine which sells in South Africa for about 6 Euro's was being charged at 30 Euro's. This was a huge pity for us as we felt that these prices were just too over the top and hence we never saw the seafood restaurant full once, which was a pity with that many people at the hotel. There was also another restaurant on the beach where meat and fish on the grill could be ordered but the pricing was similar i.e. very expensive. We feel that the prices at these restaurants should be reconsidered so as to encourage the guests to try something different and to be able to enjoy these extra's at a fair price.
Another point which I feel some people might be interested in is the amount of children at the resort - we were 4 adults travelling together and we loved the fact that there were very few children / babies at the resort. That is not to say that children are not welcome or not catered for because they are, but for those of us wanting an adult type holiday, this resort was great. There were many couples, honeymooners and groups of adults travelling together but not many children at all. I think I saw 2 children in the whole week we were there. It must be said that this was a real bonus to staying at this hotel. Those travelling with children might find it better to stay at another hotel where there are more children around because this resort definitely focuses on rest and relaxation and hence the lack of children screaming and crying is a bonus that was greatly appreciated by many other travellers we spoke to at the resort.
In conclusion - we thought that Zanzibar as a whole and Diamonds Le Gemma Dell Est were fantastic. A holiday here is very relaxing and peaceful. The food is excellent, the staff amazing and the all-inclusive package excellent value for money. We loved every minute of our holiday and I cannot wait to go back.... And I can't see us staying at any other hotel! This hotel was perfect. You can arrive, have a real relax and rest and if you don't want to, you don't have to spend another cent. This hotel is an excellent choice!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set within exotic tropical gardens and water features inviting guests to enjoy the pristine view over the Indian Ocean, Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est is located on the north-western shores of the magical spice island of Zanzibar. This enchanting, luxurious and environmentally friendly resort is famous for its magnificent beach and large wharf built onto the open waters of the Indian Ocean and stretches out towards the sunset. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Despegar.com, TripOnline SA, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Diamonds La Gemma Dell` Est Hotel Zanzibar
- La Gemma Dell Est Zanzibar
- Gemma Del Est
- Diamonds La Gemma Dell' Est Zanzibar/Nungwi