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“Brilliant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est

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Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Nungwi Road, Nungwi 2019, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Johannesburg
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Brilliant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

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!

Room Tip: All rooms have a sea view and so I don't think any of the rooms are better than the others.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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621 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
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English first
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

Stayed here for 2 nights over a weekend. The service was excellent, staff can't do enough for you. Rooms were very comfortable and ours had a sea view with little patio/garden area just outside the room. The beach was gorgeous - not as nice as Kendwa beach a little bit further south but kept v. well security wise - any beach sellers were swiftly moved on. The grounds were beautifully maintained and a pleasure to walk through - gorgeous red & pink bougainvillea flowers everywhere.

We loved the sunset bar at the end of a wooden pier overlooking the water - just amazing to see the sunset while enjoying cocktails (not included in the all inclusive drinks!) with dhow boats sailing by and schools of fish swimming around. The food was excellent - authentic pasta dishes (lots of Italians here) and good variety. The only complaint is that all inclusive, all you can eat buffets, 3 times a day is just too much food! Snacks like sandwiches, ice-cream and popcorn were also available at the beach bar throughout the day. You will not go hungry here. The pizza at the restaurant on the beach is also worth trying but you need to make a table reservation well in advance - we only got a table due to a cancellation. The spa also needs to be booked well in advance.

If I had to think of something less than perfect about La Gemma it would be that you are in a sort of bubble - you're not really getting a true impression about how Zanzibar/Tanzania is by staying here. The staff all seem to have been trained to say hakuna matata and jambo to every guest. All the time. It felt a little bit fake. There was an African night on the Friday with a BBQ on the beach (great fish & typical local food) with a performance at the end by some Masai which was like forced "authentic” entertainment. A resort holiday like this is not normally my cup of tea, and I don’t know if I would stay there again, but saying that we had a great few days and were sorry to leave. I would recommend it though if you're looking for a place to relax and get away from it all - everything is taken care of perfectly, with good food and friendly people, all in beautiful surroundings.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
walsall
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We have just returned from a fantastic 11 day stay at La Gemma and are still on a high for all that La Gemma and the beautiful Island of Zanzibar has to offer.

Our check-in was very efficient and after a cool drink and a very welcome cold face towel we were taken by buggy to our room. We were on the ground floor and our French windows opened out to the most beautiful gardens we have ever seen in a hotel property, the accomodation is only 3 story and the rooms above us and the ones above them have roof top gardens too, instead of the usual concrete balcony's and they also get a better view of the ocean from there. The room was spacious and though in places the decor and furniture appeared a little 'tired' we had everything that we needed and to be honest why would anyone have the need to hang out in the rooms when there is such a lovely resort beyond the door.............

The resort itself has been built into a Hillside and as a result the amenities are all on different levels which adds to the charm ( but may i add that this hotel would NOT be suitable for those less able and with poor mobililty as there are so many steps to negotiate, there was a 76 year old lone travelling lady who sadly was not able to enjoy the many things La Gemma has to offer due to not being able to get about easily , though the staff did their best at all times to assist her i have to add )

The beach is incredible with clear, clean blue water, the tide is a little erratic but this said is of no fault of the hotel, this is down to nature!!!!!! There are a series of steps leading up to a man made beach for sunbathing, whilst still only being a few steps away from the ocean. This area is cleaned everyday and the 'beds' are the most comfortable ones we have ever laid on. The pool is only steps away as is the bar/poolside restaurant. There is beach service all day if you are feeling to lazy to wander the few yards to order for yourself. Pool towels are available and are of a high quality and plentiful.

The 'main' restaurant is really good and always has a great selection of freshly cooked, good quality dishes with several live cooking stations. Whatever your taste and preference there is always something to suit. The staff are incredible and always eager to please......... Breakfast was my favourite meal of the day and you must really try the pancakes.

Evening Pizza at the Poolside restaurant was excellent, but by far our favourite was the Seafood Restaurant in the Pavillion, this carrys an extra charge and is not particulary cheap, BUT, the quality, presentation and service was without fault and we highly recommend the Fresh Lobster with Basil Mash ( the 'mash' in itself was a treat - delicious ) we actually chose to eat there twice during our stay as it was such a lovely way to dine, eating delicious fresh fish overlooking the ocean. Well worth the extra cost.........

There was not really much to fault with this holiday - but a few negatives were:

Eating in the Seafood restaurant - whilst we didnt mind the extra cost, we do object to being charged for the wine that elsewhere is on the all inclusive package. By all means charge for more expensive bottles but when you can drink this all day long at no extra cost, to be charged 25 euro to drink it in the Seafood Restaurant is a little greedy. The second time we dined there we stuck to soft drinks and water and then drank it in the Pavillion Bar to our hearts content after we had finished our meal!!!

Power Cuts - a lot of them, again no fault of the hotels and barely noticed in the daytime but at night to be plunged in to darkness with no other form of light is somewhat scary. For me to have been left stranded on a narrow bridge with water either side of me and being alone was not a nice experience, maybe a torch in the rooms for guests to carry at night should they wish might be an option - Like they do in the Maldives.

African Night in the Pavillion - this consisted of a crowd of 'dancers / entertainers' racing around the room, their make-up was as demonic as there act!!!! It had no storyand was of no Cultural relevance. The thing which upset and distressed me was part of their act consisted of releasing a very large snake from a very small suitcase, tormenting it till it reacted on the floor and attempting to impress us by repeatedly stuffing this poor snakes head into their mouths...........and then passing the poor thing around the lesser intelligent guests with no compassion for living beings to pose for photographs, i was so upset I had to leave. I see no significance in this act and the hotel should bin them off. Off all the 'acts' , and the Acrobats were awesome - these were horrible and spent most of their act moving a 'hat' around guests feet for a tip.......... I had a few 'tips' for them, but not appropriate to publish on here.

Ladies be careful with your footwear - i suggest 'flats' as heels are no match for the decking and pebble paths .

I did at the beginning of our stay have a bit of an issue which so could of escalated had it not have been handled correctly. But it only took a conversation with Nicolette ( i think she was reception manager ) and it was all sorted out swiftly, without fuss and with respect. I do not feel it would be fair of me to state what the problem was as it was dealt with but i just want to highlight just how efficient and 'open' Le Gemma are.........

So to summarise and end this epistle :

The staff are amazing and i loved them all - They work tirelessly and always greet you with a smile - Jambo Jambo!!!!!!
The grounds and gardens are to die for and i could have wandered around them all day- The Sunset Walk is such a great concept - Loved it!!!!
My diet starts on Monday - food terrific!!!!
The Ice-cream at the Poolside Bar - to die for - best ice-cream i ever tasted!!!
Amazing holiday, on an amazing Island, with Amazing People - cant wait to return

Thankyou Diamonds le Gemma- A PARADISE IN PARADISE..........

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sidcup, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

An excellent location and an excellent hotel.
The rooms are good and are kept very clean and tidy. Maid every day.
There are 4 places to eat, the main restaurant is at the top of the hill and is buffet style with a very good selection. This restaurant is closed on Fridays and there is a barbecue at the African Village down by the beach. There are 2 bars as well, the one by the reception only supplies beer and soft drinks, the one behind the main restaurant supplies all drinks and also has a singer.
The beach has a bar and a place to get snacks, most people eat here lunchtime. The bar shuts at 10pm. At night it acts as a Pizza restaurant and on the beach is a Barbecue, the barbecue is payable and both have to be booked.
On the pier there is a cafe, a bar that is open at night and payable after 12 and there is a fish restaurant which is very expensive and is payable.
All the usual drinks at the payable restaurants are on the all inclusive.

It can be a climb up to the rooms if you are infirm or are unsteady on your feet.

The best thing about this resort are the staff. I have been to several countries where the people make the holiday, but the staff in Zanzibar are exceptional, they are such a lovely people, you cannot help but smile.

Internet access is available in most places in this resort but not in your rooms.

The pool is a salt water pool and is excellent.

The gardens are kept very well.

I saw in one report that along the sunset walk there is only one rail, this is true bu you don't have to walk that way there are other routes, so this was not an issue.

Hope this helps.
If you want any other information contact me.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cornwall, England
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012 via mobile

I stayed on my honeymoon after a fantastic 4 day safari in Kenya. Both my wife and I were slightly apprehensive about our stay in Zanzibar, as the safari and the lodge where we stayed was so fantastic. However we needn't have worried. The hotel is absolutely superb.

The grounds, beach, and all other areas were beautifully kept, and there was always somebody doing something to keep everything in order. All the staff were very friendly and helpful and really appreciated us trying to speak some Swahili.

The buffet at breakfast, lunch and dinner, had a great choice, and had several freshly cooked items. My favourites were the different daily fish and the stir frys at lunchtime. We also tried the beach grill which was great and turned into a pizzeria in the evening, again great. You must try the ice cream at the pool bar, lovely!!!

The beach and pool were very clean and had plenty of space and sun loungers available. The 4pm volleyball was great fun.

The only reason the hotel didn't receive 5 stars was the room. There was nothing of note wrong (apart from a fuzzy tv picture) but it didn't reflect the overall quality of the hotel, and they could probably do with a bit of an update. However this would not stop me from highly recommending a stay here, you will not be disappointed!

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

We took our grown up sons with us to La Gemma. Very large Italian run hotel. Beautiful position on a beautiful beach. Rooms I think should be refurbished did not like the maroon curtains and rust setee. Bathrooms okay. Clean and new flowers put on bed daily. All inclusive food, plentiful but really missed the seafood? Only a dish of Octopus every night and occassional fresh fish. Beach bar good and deck for sundowners. Ate at beach bar for lunch and dinner much preferred to be served. Think a bit of variety of food and venue would be nice. Not impressed with Dive Centre attached to Hotel though. Did day tour to Chumbe Island - this was fantastic and only wish we had known you could also sleep there, very good snorkelling and a lot of fun. Evening entertainment a bit limited but we had Olympics to watch. Last night had "african" themed evening and finally lobster - But ... it wa braaied and landed up being burnt on the outside and raw in the inside - what a waste!! Zanzi staff are very good. Spa was too expensive for SA!!

Room Tip: We were given rooms on the ground floor with grass in front. The ones above looked nice to as they h...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Europe
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

The rooms
We stayed at a suite that was very large and very comfortable.
Two TV, three couches, a mini cuisine.
Nice bath.
Very comfortable beds.
Amazing balcony with flowers and an unbelievable view of the gardens and the beach.

The beach and pool
This is the main attraction. Amazingly beautiful beach and pool.
White clean send, a lot trees, and place to seat.
The pool is right on the beach with a free bar free snacks and free restaurant, if you want to stay all day at the beach.
Very large private beach. You can see at the photos.

The restaurants
One main dining room and another four-five restaurants.
Two bars, one night club.
Breakfast was excellent with a huge selection of any thing you can think of.
Omelets and pancakes prepared on the spot to your request.
Dinner and supper also with a very large selection and variants.

The service
Wonderful service, in the rooms (flowers every day) in the restaurants and on the beach.
A lot of service people always available to fulfill your requests.

All generously included (well almost all, but it felt like all)!!!!!
Everything was included, food, beverages, snacks, in room minibar, bar, pool par cocktails, and very very generously so. New large mineral water bottles every day in the room.
You felt like they were asking you take more. You didn’t have to ask. They kept offering more.

There were three extra restaurants that were not free - we didn't feel the need to visit them.
Some expensive alcohol drinks were also not included,

The drive to the hotel
It was an hour drive to the hotel.
You have to pre order the transportation.
The Airport is rather third world small airport but the flight with Ethiopian Airline was with a new boing and quite pleasant.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est

Address: Nungwi Road, Nungwi 2019, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est 5*
Number of rooms: 138
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 
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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

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