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“Six Days in Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Zanzibar House

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Zanzibar House
3.5 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Matemwe | Matemwe Kilimajuu, Matemwe PO BOX 3085, Tanzania   |  
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Ranked #1 of 7 Matemwe B&B and Inns
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Six Days in Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

This gorgeous boutique hotel is located on a beautiful stretch of a secluded white sandy beach, with a private swimming pool, seven stylishly decorated rooms and a great, comfort-filled atmosphere. It is a perfect getaway if you are looking to spend some private, quiet time, away from the chaos of everyday routine (and the horror of overcrowded, massive hotel complexes). I spent a little under a week here and I had a great time. The Room: My room had a view of the sea, a private balcony, a huge (king size) bed, a small bathroom, TV, beach towels, bathroom robes, slippers, a safe...basically everything! The décor is 'traditional', namely all in wood, so it is really cozy. The Staff: The hotel is run by a European couple and they are very nice and welcoming. They will make sure you are comfortable and will try to accommodate you in any requests you may have. For example, the internet was in and out for a day or so and when I pointed it out, a crew was called in and installed new modems the next day. The rest of the staff is either local or from the mainland and is very nice as well. Amenities: Zanzibar house has free wireless, Turkish hammam, sauna, pool, private 'beach' (attached to the garden because in Zanzibar you cannot 'privatize the beach') - umbrellas and chairs overlooking the ocean, but you still have to cross the beach to get to the water, massage/spa lady available 6 days per week, bar, pool table, table tennis, board games... The food: the food was INCREDIBLE!!! Since the hotel was small, dinner was served at the same time to everyone. We all had a 4 course meal (and snacks first) with appetizers, first course (usually pasta), second course and a desert. The food is varied and really delicious. Also, they will do their best to accommodate any preferences, if so desired (for example, I don't eat fish, so they always made me other meat instead). Breakfast is good too (self-serve) with eggs and other cooked things available on request (for free). The only problem I had here was that the hotel only has the half board option. So, if you are used to eating three meals, calculate into your budget spending extra on food. But no worries, lunch is available and the menu is extensive, the food is great and the prices are reasonable. The beach: The beach is white sand, but if you go there in July/August, be ready to encounter some grass in the sea. I am told this is the standard in Zanzibar. The beach is however quiet - during my stay, aside from Zanzibar House guests, I only encountered one couple vacationing in a private house. However, there were local women collecting some sort of plants from the sea and they come in the mornings - they will not bother you, however, and they stay far away from the shore (the water is really low for almost a mile). Also, there might be one or two local men looking to sell you an excursion around the island. They are not too annoying and if you tell them nicely you are not interested, they will leave you alone. To conclude, Zanzibar House was a great find and I truly, truly enjoyed my stay. I would warmly recommend this hotel to everyone. Gorgeous!

Room Tip: Invest in a sea view! It's worth it!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    75
    15
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    2
    1
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20
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Menerbes, France
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

We just left the inn on Friday using a very reasonable taxi arranged by them. We unexpectedly stopped in the road; the taxi had been spied but the owner, Massimiliano, who waved him over so that he could come say good bye. A gesture that fit right in with the level of warmwelcome, extraordinary service, and food that was so fresh that the seafood brought to the inn that morning became the star of that evening's meal. the building, housing 7 rooms named after their children, has exquisite touches in the carving of the door trim, the chandeliers, the boat (you have to visit to understand that), the flow of the place, etc. and meshes seamlessly with the beauty of its surroundings: white beach, turquoise sea, all at your feet or to be viewed from the swinging chair on your balcony.
It was the crown jewel in the trip of a lifetime.

Room Tip: Although all rooms are lovely, the sea view rooms are worth the extra expense.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

This perfect hideaway was simply the ideal location for a calm and relaxing holiday. The Italian hosts, Miria and Massimiliano, are very welcoming and they do everything to make your stay special. The food, the beach, the rooms and the whole interior of the hotel is so outstanding and exquisite, it is hard or rather impossible to find anything to improve. Don't miss the massage - the 20€ for 30 minutes might appear a little expensive compared to the more casual and cheaper massages you get at some other beaches, but the quality of the surrounding and the massage itself is definitely worth it!

Room Tip: There are 7 rooms in total, 2 with garden view, 5 with sea view - go and ask for a room with sea vie...
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenya
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

I stayed at Zanzibar House for a week, and it truly was one of the nicest places I've stayed. If you want to avoid the lack of flexibility and buffet meals that are standard at big hotels, then this place is for you. Zanzibar House has just seven rooms, and the owners (Maxi, Miriam and their daughter Georgia) will look after you, feed you delicious food and ensure that you are totally taken care of.

The setting of Zanzibar House is idyllic - right on the perfect white beach, a swimming pool for when it's low tide and even a cute little beach Hamam where you can get a lovely massage or other beauty treatment. I also did a week's worth of diving, and it was all arranged for me through Zanzibar House - it was great not to have to organise or worry about anything. And I thought the diving plus half board package was really good value.

The room was lovely and the ocean view was amazing - sitting in the hanging cane chair on the balcony, reading my book and looking out on the ocean was one of my favourite past times during the week.

The food was delicious - half board included breakfast cooked to order, mid morning fresh fruit, afternoon tea, evening aperatif and then a four-course dinner! I also appreciated that on the days when I decided to order lunch there, the meals were reasonably priced and super tasty. I live in Africa, so it was such a nice change for me to taste the variety of Italian delicacies that Maxi served up. The pasta (particularly the fettucini with prawns and the gnocci) was amazing. But on the other hand, I certainly knew that I was in Zanzibar, eating fresh fish, prawns and squid every day, often with a hint of Zanzibari spice or fruit...

I guess to summarise, Zanzibar House is a beautiful relaxed place run by a kind and thoughtful family, where nothing is too much trouble and everything is taken care of for you. As a place for a chilled out long weekend or week away, it's just superb and I can't recommend it highly enough!

Room Tip: The €10/night surcharge for the ocean view rooms is totally worth it!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

This place was so excellent I don't even know where to start. My husband and I were looking for somewhere quiet to relax after climbing Kilimanjaro and oh man this place was perfect! Its right on the beach and has a little private section for hotel guests only for extra seclusion. The rooms are super cute most with beach views. It was advertised as a "half board" on expedia which seems crazy because it included breakfast (with homemade passion fruit jam - so tasty), fruit at 11am, coffee/tea/biscuits at 4pm, appies at 7pm and then a 4 course supper at 8 - the most delicious Italian food I've had including homemade gelato. There's even an onsite masseuse on the beach - so perfect!

The owners are what really make this place special. They told us when we arrived to treat it like our house and they really meant it. I said to my husband one day over dinner that Maxine felt like the Italian grandpa I never had who spoiled us rotten everyday with cookies, ice cream, mystery chocolate things. He took care of everything we needed including arranging snorkelling excursions, mailing postcards, airport transfers. All so easy.

Its a little pricy for Africa but I think its totally worth it given the amazing service and experience. If I'm ever back on Zanzibar, I'll definitely be returning to Zanzibar house! I t was small and quiet and personal and perfect.

  • Stayed July 2013, 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.
Perrysburg, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

Holy Smokes... did we have a great time at the Zanzibar House. My wife and I and our 2 sons (ages 12 and 10) stayed there June 17-22, 2013 and had a great time!! The owners are the greatest couple and bent over backward to make us feel comfortable and welcomed. We were cooked a 4 course meal EVERY evening, which was 5-star restuarant quality and breakfast every morning was GREAT. The view of the ocean was perfect - postcards could not even compare. if you dont want ocean there is a great pool instead. All means are served with a GREAT ocean view. The food, the view, the accomodation were all better than we could of imagined was possible on a family budget!! BUT THE BEST OF ALL was the owner, him and his wife were just plain awesome. When our tour guide for a Stone Town tour fell through, he volunteered to do it for us himself, he arranged all our excursions and even packed sac lunches for our boys (on the house) in case they didnt like any of the "african food." It was truly, truly a great place - my highest recommendation is not enough! We loved it, our boys loved it!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

I was there in June with my son. A small, organized belief. A fantastic location, on a very large and white beach. The rooms are spacious and equipped with every comfort, the food is excellent, with a hint of Zanzibar and an Italian touch. Maxi and Georgia welcome us with great care and were always ready to meet our needs. It 's really a paradise that is worth checking out!
We'll come back there soon :-)

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zanzibar House

Address: Matemwe | Matemwe Kilimajuu, Matemwe PO BOX 3085, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Matemwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Matemwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Zanzibar House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zanzibar House is a 7 room privately owned and ran boutique hotel situated in the beautiful location of Matemwe on the North East coast of the island, about 40km from Stone Town.The hotel opened its doors in December 2012. The materials used in the construction are found in Zanzibar, with a traditional Makuti roof, decorated with Maritaki patterns, in harmony with the nature and not to disrupt the beautiful landscape. Zanzibar House offers its guests 7 rooms. 5 Rooms with sea view and 2 have views over the rich vegetation that surrounds the area. Four posters Queen size beds in every room. Extra beds and baby cots are available upon request. Satellite TV, complimentary WIFI, minibar, air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities are few of the amenities found in the rooms. Each and every room has a large terrace from where to enjoy the breathtaking views.The restaurant offers delicacies of international and local cuisine with extra care put into the selection of the produce, respecting the seasons and what is available in the market. The full licensed bar offers a selection of local beers, world reknown spirits brands, cocktails and much more all to be enjoyed in the porch overlooking the Indian Ocean. During the day guests are pampered by the carefully picked staff and presented with nibbles to accompany the passing hours; seasonal fruit skewers, spiced tea or coffee in the afternoon, home made savory or sweet treats according to the inspiration of the chef. Special efforts were made in choosing and making of the decorative details found across the house. All the doors were made with coconut wood, found in plentiful supply on the island; the wood was carved by a skilled carpenter in Stone Town with traditional Zanzibar motives, the floors are made of Galana, a local stone, the material used for the walls and structure is called Choka, the island's version of cement. A full menu of massages and treatments available all day along and tailor made solutions, such as custom made excursions, insiders tips to fully and responsably experience the magic of the island make of Zanzibar House an oasis of peace and tranquility, the perfect destination where to get rid of the stress of everyday's life and regenerate the senses with attentive to detail service never losing the essence and the warmth of African hospitality to make you feel truly welcomed at home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar House Matemwe

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