We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nice place” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sultan Sands Island Resort

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Save Saved
You added Sultan Sands Island Resort to your Saves list
Sultan Sands Island Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   P.O.Box 3276 | Kiwengwa Beach, Kiwengwa, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 11 Hotels in Kiwengwa
Moelv
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Nice place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Stayed here one night to check out the beach as the north east coast. Very good place, but too expencive. Paid 150$ pr night pr person. The bungalows were clean and modern, however, some maintenance is needed in the bathroom. The door into the shower was broken (and the cleaners could not have been able to celan the shower..) Luckily my fiance can fix everything, so he fixed the door. The pool is good and the beach is good, but it is almost impossible to swim in the ocean when tide. Can walk fror 30 minutes.. We liked the beach at the north end better. On the east you get the sun rise and not the sunset. The buffet for dinner and breakfast are nice. To buy lunch and drinks are way too expencive! Overpriced. The saff tries to do more-sales and offers you to buy drinks for "special price" (which is actually no special price but just a trick to sell more). Not good for a hotel that prices itself so high.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Write a Review

348 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    188
    117
    27
    7
    9
See reviews for
67
208
12
4
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bicester, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

Sultan Sands is in a nice setting by the beach and the rooms are adequate though not as described in the brochure. We stayed here for 8 nights on All Inclusive. Food hygiene and quality were abysmal. At the live cooking stations raw and cooked food was being handled with the same utensils so cross-contamination was inevitable as were the stomach problems we encountered throughout our stay. Once I saw the girl preparing fruit on the buffet swat a fly with the knife she was using and then continue to cut fruit with it! In general the food was at best lukewarm and very often undercooked, especially the breakfast sausages, although to be fair the vegetables were usually somewhere approaching hot. All the red meat we tried was tough and I was served ‘cooked to order’ chicken that was raw inside. The variety of food on offer was not very good, appearing to be different versions of the same thing on different days. The kindest general description I can give the food is poor to inedible. With only one exception, which was Salma, the female staff were rude, indifferent and unhelpful and the male staff were in the main, lazy and uninterested. All are in need of some serious training both in waiting table and customer service. The bar staff made it look as though it was a real inconvenience to them to serve you a drink – that is if they didn’t ignore your presence which they often did! Staff service in the restaurant was extremely bad. Often we had to ask three times before we were served drinks with our meal which meant that we had almost finished eating before they arrived. More often than not we only had to ask twice but this still meant a long wait every mealtime for drinks. Drinks orders were also very often wrong which further delayed getting what you wanted. Tea and coffee at breakfast did not escape from this inefficiency either, taking a long time to be brought to the table and then the water was not hot enough to make a decent cup of tea and on one occasion we were served with sour milk which the waiter thought was very funny! In the bar we were very often ignored for several minutes because the staff were too busy chatting and had to go to the counter to ask to be served and then the staff became rude because we had not waited for them to come to us. We were both quite pleased when our stay at the Sultan Sands Island Resort was over and we did complete the customer survey before we left but I don’t expect we shall receive a response from them. The exchange rate offered is extortionate compared to the other 4 hotels we stayed in this trip, as was the price of wi-fi connection which in the other hotels was either free or considerably cheaper than Sultan Sands. We most definitely will not be returning to Sultan Sands and will not be recommending it either! By the way ladies, forget your hair-do here - no-one tells you about the incessant wind blowing off the sea - you need concrete, not hairspray, to keep your style!

Room Tip: If you must go to this hotel try to get a Bahari room otherwise you could find yourself with a steep...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Bochum, Germany
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We have been in sultan sands island in january 2013 and it was very nice! The service is first class, the staff super friendly and attentive. Dinner was excellent and every evening special. The rooms are beautiful and we enjoy the whole week.
We would come back.
Bochum, Germany

  • Stayed January 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Overall impressions were good at first, until I was hit by food poisoning (they use the same utensils for raw and cooked food at the "live cooking stations" I subsequently observed!), and then hit for three extra bottles of wine i hadn't drunk on check out. Drink prices are outrageously high - a single glass on wine costs more than half a bottle - And it is a battle to get a parasol by the pool or beach as hey are thin on the ground. However, the staff are lovely and the rooms of a good standard.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Oslo, Norway
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 January 20, 2013

A very nice resort at the east coast of Zanzibar, right at the beach. We stayed for 8 nights and enjoyed the comfort of small appartment houses with a spacious bedroom, bathroom, balcony and not at least air conditioning (which was very necessary due to the high temparatures and air humidity). The Sultan Sands resort resides next to the Bluebay hotel, those two belong together and one can use both hotels' facilities (apart from the included meals). The dinner buffet was of real high quality with a variety of choices and high quality food. Every day of the week had a special food motto, and there were several dishes every night that were prepared or grilled just at the buffet. The staff was very nice and friendly, sometimes a bit limited when it comes to conversation in English. The hotel holds a high standard, but also a high price level. A small bottle of beer (33cl) e.g. costs 8500 TSH (appr. 5,5 USD) - and there are no free beverages during the day (not even water) or dinner (if you do not book all-inclusive).

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 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.
Oslo, Norway
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We stayed at Sultan Sands/Bluebay hotel for 8 days in January 2013 after a week of safari in Tanzania. They have really deserved the "Traveller's choice award 2013". Here you will find everything you need in order to relax after a week of safari.
The rooms are very clean and spacious and the staff very friendly. The resaturant offers a variety of food and ín the evenings there is entertainment and themed buffets.
The pool and beach areas are clean and you can choose between sand, grass or pool area in order to relax during the day.
I can really recommend the entertainment during the day, which is interesting and not the kind of typical "egyptian tourist hotel entertainment" as we know it. You can for example study some Swahili, participate in the village walk or learn more about the importance of the coconut tree on the island.
The SPA area is also very neat and you can listen to the waves while getting a massage :)
The hotel is only one out of 10 hotels on the island which is opened all year long. In January it is not overcrowded, so that we had a lot of "space".
The only challenge is that the hotel is far away from the city and transportation/taxi is quite expensive. The same are the beverages. I was a bit disappointed that a hotel with that kind of standard did not even offer free water during dinner.
For excursions we can really recommend the spice tour and to go snorkelling.
Enjoy your stay there! You defintly will :)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oshawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

I booked this resort for a time of relaxation after a safari. There was some confusion upon our arrival but after some time and negotiation the Manager set us up in a room that was very enjoyable with two entrances - one from the beach and one from the main walkway with a waterfront patio. After a lot of contemplation and research we decided to go half-board (breakfast and dinner included). However I didn't realize that ALL beverages (including softdrinks and water) came at a cost. Lunch at the beach grill was costly. An order of fries which consisted of perhaps one medium sized potato was US$5. We decided to venture out to try to acquire some beverages from the local store (just through the entrance and up the driveway) and were successful in purchasing soda ($1.00 each) and Kilimanjaro beer ($2.50 for large bottles). As for the food I would honestly say that it was adequate but never hot or cold. With the exception of the food at the cooking stations everything was just warm and variety is very limited. On New Year's Eve they put a hugh spread of traditional as well as international foods and I am sure it was very good however my husband experienced food poisoning the night before from the Marsala chicken so we were unable to partake of the festivities. We welcomed an offer to cut our stay short by a day with an offer of exchanging privileges at the Beyt el Chai in Stonetown. In closing I want to mention a particular server, Jonathan, who went above and beyond his call of duty to ensure that we were taken care of during meals and even when we were confined to our room on New Year's Eve. So sorry we didn't get a chance to say goodbye to him. Thank you Jonathan for your excellent care.
In summary I would say that this resort is overpriced for what it offers.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Sultan Sands Island Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sultan Sands Island Resort

Address: P.O.Box 3276 | Kiwengwa Beach, Kiwengwa, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Kiwengwa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Kiwengwa
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Kiwengwa
#5 Romantic Hotel in Kiwengwa
#7 Family Hotel in Kiwengwa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sultan Sands Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 76
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Jovago.com, Expedia, Despegar.com, Booking.com, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Otel and Tingo so you can book your Sultan Sands Island Resort 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:
Sultan Sands Island Hotel Kiwengwa
Sultan Sands Island Resort Zanzibar/Kiwengwa

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Sultan Sands Island Resort, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.