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
ask for a room close to amenities like dining room lobby if you have a breathing or walking problem
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.