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“Fabulous location but property needs updating soon” 4 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
Albufeira, Portugal
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Fabulous location but property needs updating soon”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Just returned from a family holiday. Lovely location and the property has been 5 star but now 3.5/4 star due to deteriorating maintenance. The management who are non existent are treating this place as a cash cow with little evidence of reinvestment. It is still satisfactory but with the exception of the truly beautiful gardens the rest of the property needs a significant spend. The hotel still advertises itself as 5 star but we were advised locally that the official rating has fallen to 4 and that is a fairer assessment. Staff are very friendly but service is patchy and there is no real sense of leadership throughout the business. An enjoyable holiday - if you are considering staying here ensure you pay the appropriate price for what is now a 4 star resort.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (66)
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English first
Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
81 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
154 helpful votes 154 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

I checked out of this hotel 3 days before my departure date. I made a mistake travelling here in peak season. That is not the fault of the property. I take responsibility for my own bad choice and lack of proper investigation. This being a first time safari/beach type adventure I used the services of a reputable British/Irish high end travel company. I was assured it was truly 5 star in line with the whole trip. It was poor advice.

Before I outline my experience and the issues I had let me say first: 1 This hotel is in an amazing location. 2 The grounds are beautifully kept and the gardeners and people responsible for the landscape architecture are quite obviously highly skilled professionals. The local staff in all respects were courteous, polite and obliging in all ways. That said, many were poorly trained. The service from reception to the pool, to dining outlets was inconsistent and patchy, 3 The food is quite good given its propensity for all things Italian. 4 The spa facility and treatments are top end with highly trained therapists. It offers great value for money and became my refuge while there.

So, to the "BUT". I will put the situation in context for you and you can make your own judgement. I paid through my agent 480 euro per night to stay here. It is reasonable for a reasonable person to assume that one could expect certain standards in both comfort and service delivery for that amount or maybe I am missing something. This is what I got.

1 The room. It was a so-called suite. The furnishing in the living room was tacky, old and badly stained. It was probably tea. I hoped it was not anything else. To sit on the chairs/sofa's I always put a towel under me such was the feeling of the dirt. Speaking of towels. Those offered in the bathroom again old, 80,s low end resort feel, rough and coarse some stained. Awful. If this is the best on offer by the planhotel brand in a so called 5 star resort, you should hang your heads in shame.

2 The bathroom. The shower was full of grime. It was a pure joke. It had shower head that is long past its sell by date. It was a bathroom that was straight out of any 1/2 star poor hotel in any resort in Spain or Italy. Attention to cleanliness did not seem to be a priority.

3 The bedroom. The most uncomfortable bed in a very long time. It was 2 beds shoved into one. Old linen, poor duvets dreadful pillows, awful canvass curtains, stained furniture. You get the drift. I wont go on.

4 Services. There is no wifi but ok it is provided in the lobby. There is no direct line telephone.in your room .You have to go to the lobby to make a call. There is one house phone in direct earshot to the reception and every word spoken can be overheard. "5 Star" get real. In the same lobby are computers for guest use. Beside the area is a European managers office which is partitioned. Maybe the busy manager might look up to the ceiling and notice that half the light bulbs are broken making it impossible for a guest at night to see the keyboard. She/he might also go round with a cloth and clean the grime of the filthy keyboards and take a brush and sweep the floor. The fact that a duty manager cannot even see such filth is indicative of a management set up that does'nt give a damn.

5 Pool Area. It is congested with low quality sun beds. I expected on my first day receiving some assistance to find a shaded area. I went to get towels. Have you got your ticket?? What ticket?. Yes to get a towel you had to give them a ticket. Then it was your responsibility to bring the towels back in order to get your ticket back to produce the next day to get your towel. There was an activity at the pool each morning disco music blaring. It was the end of high season family time. Families with children have every right to expect value and some form of entertainment for their little ones. Other guests are also entitled to sit in comfort and relax. There is no service at the pool. You get what you want yourself. The all inclusive nature of the resort is to my mind ideally suited to lazy inefficient and inept managers who don't have to take responsibility for anything. Believe me the whole style, attitude and approach of both the European/Indian junior trainee's would send shock waves through any reasonable branded product that take customer services seriously.

After one day i made the inquiry of of upgrading to their star of the east facility. After 24 hours the manager I approached had not come back to me. At dinner on the second night he told me they were trying to adjust things in order to facilitate me. Maybe something will come up tomorrow says he and then we can talk bottom line. I lost interest got straight on the internet and booked into the Residence in the south of the country. I left the property and not one person of their European management team asked was there a problem. Maybe i should have told them but why should I have too. If they are not aware that the room was filthy and stained, if they are not aware that right beside a managers office their are broken light bulbs and no one has swept the floor. Whats the point. Whoever manages this property needs serious retraining.

Another tip. you need to be energetic to get around. A real upgrade and a focus on better customer care might do the trick. Believe me this property is a package resort that can easily be bought for a fraction of the price at any 3 star facility in Europe/Asia. A bad deal. I will post photo's later

Room Tip: ask for a room close to amenities like dining room lobby if you have a breathing or walking problem
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DiamondsManagement, General Manager at Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Dear Sir/Madam,

In reference to your letter posted on January 9th, 2013 we do apologize for any inconvenience that has been caused during your stay.

We would like to thank you for your compliments on the hotel and we would like to ensure that your comments are very important to us and we have addressed your various concerns with the departments involved.

Firstly I we would like to confirm that, in effect, the hotel has completed some in room refurbishment to consequently improve the quality of the outfitting, furniture and bathrooms.and therefore we apologize if any disturbance was caused due to this.

Regarding the wireless internet signal, it maybe weak in some of the rooms but is available in most communal areas and we are working on upgrading it in those areas. We will also be improving the internet point area at the reception.

Unfortunately the light in the reception burned out due to the constant electricity changes that occur on a daily basis in Zanzibar and it has since been replaced.

A towel card is issued to all guests upon check in, as the hotel offers beach and pool towel service throughout the day. The towels can be replenished at any time during the day by presenting this card.
The music around the pool takes place once a day for water gym and is the only loud activity that we have. The rest of the day we do not have music on the beach allowing a peaceful rest under the sun.
We would also like to add that we do have waiters who provide beverage service on the beach and around the pool area and apologize if this service was missed.

Being a fairly large property the hotel offers electric car service to assist your movements around the resort and can be reached at any time by calling the front office.

I sincerely apologize that none of our managers came back to you regarding the eventual move to Star Of The East and furthermore that non of us approached you before departing to get a clear understanding of all your concerns.
We take great pride in providing you with the appropriate service and will personally revise some of our managers attitude in order to improve our management style.

Once again we would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us as this will enable us to further expand our services and we look forward to welcoming you back to Planhotel Resorts & Hotels in the future.

Wishing you a pleasant weekend/afternoon/evening

Yours sincerely

Sandro Pecorelli
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria, South Africa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

This was a spectacular holiday and we will probably be back to Zanzibar very soon and we will definitely only choose La Gemma! We traveled to Zanzibar in August. The weather was perfect. The days were sunny and hot and the evenings were comfortable and never cold. There was definitely some over cast days but they never lasted. La Gemma has very helpful and friendly staff that look after your every need! The beach was clean and private! We were never bothered by beach boys unless we went on walks along the shoreline. They don't really bother you if they see you are not interested? The restaurants at La Gemma are amazing!! Such a treat! Especially the Beach grill and the restaurant on the jeti! Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are always interesting and delicious! There is a huge selection and you will never go hungry! The Pasta Bar was our favourite! Everything about this hotel will make you never want to leave! Its an amazing holiday and you will want to come back every year!

Room Tip: All the rooms are similar and equal distance to restaurants and the beach. They all have the same vi...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

Whenever you plan a trip to Zanzibar, everyone keeps raving about La Gemma. So after all the hype, we went on to check this place out. The beach on high tide is phenomenal. The sand is crisp and clean (thanks to all the vacuuming).

This beach is up there with Maldives and Mauritius. However, the rooms are getting really run down. The bed is uncomfortable, the setting and lighting is darn right depressing and the restaurant is very mediocre. Like your Arabiata? Well you better, because that's all you'll be having! The menu is indeed very Italian heavy and so are the Tanzanian waiters (fluent in Italian and tend to give way too much attention to especially Italians).

I don't quite understand the management ethos behind this as any other race was pretty much ignored during my visit. Perhaps its all the Arabiata these folks are being fed?

Apart from the lack of discipline from the waiters, there were a few odd moments. Not that I am conservative but topless 60 year olds were the last thing I wanted my 3 year old to see in the middle of the beach (he already got enough brainwashing by all the Arabiata he had for lunch and dinner for 4 days).

In the end, La Gemma lies on a fantastic beach but really feels very run down. A little upgrade and a little less pasta and a home run is real close.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
istanbul
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

The entire hotel was amazing. The beach was great; normally the tide and currents are very evident in Zanzibar but not in this hotel's beach. The location of the hotel is very good and you can swim any time during the day regardless of the low or high tide.
The food and wines were amazing. There was an African night on Friday night and it was the best night of our entire vacation. Food, music and drinks were great. Include a Friday night to your vacation if you plan to stay in this hotel.
The staff in the bars and restaurants are incredibly friendly. The rooms have sea view and they are very clean. You have flowers all over you room.
Definitely recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed in this hotel for four days following safari. Overall, the experience was nice. The food at the main restaurant was good (especially for a buffet 3x a day), and the pizza place (also included in our package) had a nice atmosphere. The pool is pretty but salt-water. The beach is big at low tide, small at high tide, but it seemed like one of the best in the area for swimming (many other hotels only had only low, rocky cliffs at high tide - not so nice). Be warned - there is not much to do here other than relax, and it's definitely a couples' kind of place. Excursions are tricky - we saw different quoted prices before coming, and it's probably worth googling a little before going on one to get the right price. We payed through the roof for a snorkeling trip that was advertised for a third of what we paid at a nearby dive center (that trip would have been with a group, but still). The same goes with the 'spice tour', which was nice but we probably could have gotten a better price from the tour agencies that work out of the hotel lobby.

Overall, I found the resort a little boring. Zanzibar as a whole was underwhelming (snorkeling not so great, beaches very narrow, hard to get around and explore from the resort areas). Also, no wifi in the rooms (although it's good in the lobby area, which is really beautiful). And the 'extra nice' cottages that are part of the complex are a little too snooty for my taste - we were told we couldn't walk in that part of the resort because that was the 'luxury part', or something like that.

In short - beautiful, probably worth your money if you are a couple that wants to relax, but quiet. Try and negotiate better prices on the excursions, because they can be quite expensive.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
veghel
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Been on many places , but this one is in the top 5 of the best , with service included butler service, wonderful food and a very nice spot.
The place looks big, but its build like if it is completely private, so you have all facilities without being masive. perfect place to stay, very friendly and a great service, nice clean rooms. the buffets are every 10 minutes fresh, the cooks are preparing it everytime fresh.
The sunsetbar is a great place for music and enjoying the evening. totally perfect place

Room Tip: Just go there and enjoy it
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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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Additional Information about Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est

Address: Nungwi Road, Nungwi 2019, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Nungwi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Near the Kendwa Rocks on NW coast. ... 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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