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“Wonderful experience with few inconviniences” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Melia Zanzibar

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Melia Zanzibar
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   P.O. Box 3140, Kiwengwa, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 11 hotels in Kiwengwa
Covington, Louisiana
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience with few inconviniences”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

I stayed at the Melia with my wife after a Kilimanjaro climb. The resort is located an hour from the airport and it is truely fantastic, the service first class. The restaurants have a wonderful variety of foods for every taste. The bathroom was bigger than our bedroom, with an indoor and outdoor shower and deep and over 60 " long bath tub that can accomodate normal size couples. It is a romantic resort and every member of the staff appears to be there just to please you. They have live music every night which is a joy with the evening breeze.

The downs:
1) the beach accross the resort is pretty but unusuable, full of rocks, mud, plants, unwalkable. They have another beach 1 kilometer from the resort. A gulf cart from the resort leaves frequently to Gabi beach. They have a few huts with a bar and a pretty view. a few yards of beach that you can walk in 5 minutes but again, you cannot get to enjoy the water of the sea if you want to swim. I am pretty determined but could not walk half a mile on rocks, seaweed, glass and other trash to get there. It is worth taking a few pictures since the view is spectacular.
2) Another inconvinience was the crowds of 20 year olds claiming to be captains (Harry, John, Charles) they would follow you every where with pictures of fish, clear water, outboard boats. Want to go fishing? Best prices, half a day $150 a person look....snorkling, pick you up tomorror $120 cheapest price. You can politly decline but they will keep going up until you get firm and tell them not to bother you any more.
3) they nickel and dime you. As you arrive, they offer an all inclusive service at $50 per person per day, they claim it includes all drinks and lunch and dinner since breakfast was already included. Once you pass your credit card and sign, they will show you a menu with all sorts of drinks, after each one there was one, two asterics or none. We were then told that the all inclusive covered only the one asteric items. Guess what, of the 30 wines on the menu, there was one Sauvignon blanc and one sparlking, of all the beers, just one brand was included, of all vodkas, only Smirthnoff was included.

Room Tip: Garden rooms are among the most inexpensive and are very well located, large and convenient
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Dear Gabriel L

On behalf of Meliá Zanzibar am extremely grateful for your wonderful review of our hotel and staffs. We are indeed proud of our team who are our greatest asset; they have been hand-picked and trained by us to echo our brand ethos and philosophy which in turn is visible in the service delivery.

We are very sorry if the concept of all inclusive did not satisfy your expectations, apart from menu we also offer several other drinks like, cocktail with a lot of options to choose, there is also red and white wine although this is not listed in order to give wider choices to our guest satisfaction.

I do apologize that the beach boys bothered you. I would like to assure you that, my team has gone extra miles to deal with these boys; we have a very strong security team at the beach, whom are keeping a very close eye to make sure our guests are protected. Strict guidelines are insisted and followed all the time.

Once again thank you very much for your comments. We really try our best to guarantee that all our customer’s expectations are met at 100% and exceeded. We take all comments into consideration as a tool to better our services. We truly value you as a very important customer to us.

We hope to welcome you again in the near future.
Happy New Year!
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
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USA
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

If you are prepared to splurge, happy to be exclusively nestled in this resort with your loved one, or just relax by the ocean, this is the place for you. Large room and bathroom, clean linen and charming ocean resort are Melia's strengths. The mini-pool by the ocean near the fitness center is a good experience. While you are dipping in the pool by the edge of the cliff, you see the ocean across! Service is mediocre and the management will need to take the effort to train their staff on all counts. For people who eat vegetarian food, this is not the place to be - you will be desperate and find nothing much for you. After all this is an island! If you are looking to do sight-seeing in Stone Town and other places around Zanzibar, then transport options are limited and you will have to take the expensive hotel taxi. After all, it is better to enjoy the paradise of Melia Resort and neighbouring Gabi beach. This hotel is okay recommended for business meetings but not if you need internet access for work, which is terrible.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear NickTimepass,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience of our hotel on Trip Advisor. All guests are valuable to us; we take every single feedback to ensure our services are improved and go beyond expectations.

Thank you for your comment in regard to training for our staff and I would like to apologize for unsatisfactory services you encountered. I would like to point out that, we have continuous weekly training sessions which run well. I can assure you that on your next visit the situation will be different.

Concerning transport options, we have a tour company which organizes the tours for different excursions even the transfers to and from the airport or vice versa. However, the guest can still arrange transfers with our reception desk. I understand the charges seem higher, but the truth of the matter is that, we are very far away from the town, airport and other destinations. So the price is worth it.

Gabi beach is owned by the hotel and its 1 kilometre from the hotel, of which we provide the golf carts from and to the beach every 15 minutes, although few guests like to walk to enjoy our beautiful garden and also experience the fresh air and the wind from the ocean, most part of it is to enjoy the nice view of the hotel. On the internet part, I must say that, we have been experiencing difficulties with internet; we are in a transition period of changing the system to stabilize our services permanently.

Once again, thank you for the trust you have in Melia Zanzibar to be your chosen holiday destination. We are looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Happy New Year!
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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

A group of friends and I stayed at Melia for three nights after a week on safari. The rooms were incredibly clean and well maintained. The bathroom was draw-dropping with an indoor and outdoor shower and huge bath and just as big as (if not bigger than) the bedroom. We upgraded on arrival to all inclusive and it was well worth it. While it was the basic level (so not everything on the menus was included) there was still plenty of variety in both drinks and food. The burgers at the pool bar were delicious.

The infinity pool was awesome and the wait staff at the pool were prompt with taking and delivering orders. I found the beach not that great. It was gorgeous but the water is very shallow and warm and the sand felt like mud underfoot. This is obviously not the hotel's fault and I may be picky because I'm used to beaches in Australia. I was more than happy to lounge by the pool for the majority of my stay.

The food at Spices (buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner) and Aqua (set menu for basic all inclusive guests) was delicious. The cafe at Gabi beach wasn't up to the same standard as the pool bar I thought but we were there at what seemed like a very busy time. Plus I was on holidays so was in no hurry.

I've read reviews complaining about the noise but I was in a ground floor garden room in block 14 (facing Spices where a band plays each night) and I had no problem with noise. And yes, there is the occasional black out but not for long. It is Africa after all and if you've spent any time there you know how common power outages are.

All in all I had a wonderful stay and wish I could have stayed longer. I hope to make the long trip back sometime (hopefully sooner rather than later).

Room Tip: The ground floor garden room has an outdoor shower
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this review, December 29, 2012
Dear Guest

On behalf of Melia Zanzibar, I am delighted that you took your precious time out to review your stay with us. I was delighted to read that you found the location along with the staff, meal plans and service to have met your expectations and hope that you will contact our team, the moment you find yourself back in Zanzibar.

I am very pleased that you understood the creation of our Gabi Beach, our team are doing a great job to make it clean and secure all the time. Concerning the power cut, we experience this problem in the Island, but we have the generator which takes over in 8 seconds whenever the power goes.

I have shared your constructive feedback to the team, as it is through guest’s feedback that we are better able to see what our strengths are as well as what we need to improve on. Once again am extremely appreciative of your review.

Yours in Hospitality
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Riga, Latvia
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
132 hotel reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

Was there for 4 days meeting. While grounds and rooms are spectacular thanks to ex owners (Kempinski), this place cannot be recommended for 60+ people gathering for conference...

The hotel is just not able to react quickly even on rather simple requests: I requested extension of my stay for 1 additional night, and only after 2 days and number of reminders later I received the final confirmation. OK, I stayed based on conference rate, but nevertheless...

Safe in my room was not functioning (not big deal, but not acceptable for 5* hotel). There is no way you can order iron and ironing board, so bring your own travel iron!

My room was NEVER cleaned before 3-4pm. Disappointing,as you need to work after the lunch break. The internet was slow, if available at all. Over cable.

The pool in theory opened at 7am, but none of the mornings the towels were made available so early.
Staff is coming late at night to spray the rooms.

Room service order took 50 minutes.

General staff attention is attentive and friendly, but supervising staff at the reception seems to be non existent.

My highest appreciation goes to Mr Reda however: he looked genuinly interested to our feedback and despite being responsible for food, was going the extra mile to address our concerns.

Gabi beach is great with friendly staff and guards there, and the golf kart ride is refreshing and fun.

So, my recommendation- to spend some free days there ( but be prepared to very high food costs, but the quality of the food is excellent (dinner buffet with water included: USD 45 per person) and super inflated prices for spa treatments (pedicure USD 55)).

But if you are looking to stay there for work, look elsewhere!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Dear kaspainens

I am grateful sending my gratitude thanks to you for selecting Melia Zanzibar as your preferred hotel for your recent holiday in Tanzania. On behalf of Melia Zanzibar Team, I truly appreciate your honest and constructive feedback to our services during your stay. We take every comment seriously in order to better our services and have a stunning impression to all our guests, as we value their choices coming to our hotel.

I sincerely apologize that we failed in our endeavour to meet and exceed some of your expectations. We have noted the lack of attention to details with regards room cleanliness and other weak points mentioned. I want to assure you that corrective measures have been taken based on your comments. In regards to your request extending for 1 additional night, I have checked with our reservation team, your request was received and dealt in time via emails. It would have been grateful if you could have met with our Guest Experience or Reception Desk to sort your doubts out.
We pride ourselves on delivering excellent services to all our guests that staying at Melia Zanzibar should be something to remember.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to win back your loyalty and trust which is very important to us. We are looking forward to welcome you again in the near future.

Wishing you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Yours in Hospitality
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New Ulm, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

Our 5 night stay in November was truly relaxing and wonderful. All-inclusive and extremely clean. The staff bends over backwards for anything you need. There is enough to the resort to keep you busy. A number of places to eat, so you have new experiences. The dock bar/restaurant is a great place to be. The rooms are immaculate and large. I've read reviews about the beach being a bit down the road, but I wouldn't let that stop you. They run you down there in a golf cart along a manicured path. Once you're there you have another fine dining experience, lounges and even lounge "cottages" with full size bed lounges, etc. Truly relaxing. We took a snorkel trip to Mnemba atoll through the dive shop on site and it was a great trip--we swam with dolphins that happened to be going through! $60.00USD for the trip was a good value. Internet was as fast as the States, which is not the case all the time on the island. We would go back in a minute!

Room Tip: Get a ground floor room, as it has an outdoor shower...not sure if upper rooms have that. We were i...
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  • Stayed November 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this review, December 21, 2012
Dear Peabody69

On behalf of Melia Zanzibar I would like to thank you for taking your time to give us Feedback and suggestions about our services during your stay.

We are very happy to get Comment about Service in General during Your Stay at Melia Zanzibar. Nothing to say much only Thanks . Your expectation was exceeded and we hope this moment you will share with your Friends who are still Looking Place for holiday.

Melia Zanzibar Team Would Like to wish you a Happy Merry Christmas and New Year 2013.

We are Look Forward to welcome you Next Visit
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Leuven, Belgium
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

We stayed at the Melia at the end of November 2012.
We do travel very often but this was our first all-inclusive vacation.

Our stay at the Melia has been a positive surprise.
The buffet is very good. Every evening, the cooking team managed to surprise us. The buffet food is varied and good quality, and we did not feel the need to go to the (paying) hotel restaurant.
The only annoying aspect was the evening music band. For 6 evenings in a row, we had the same music band; that was a bit too much for us.

The staff is without exception very friendly, and the large majority of them know their job.

  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this review, December 9, 2012
Dear Mr Dr Korneel

May I take this opportunity to thank you for Selecting Melia Zanzibar as your Relaxation Place for your holiday in Zanzibar, On behalf of Melia Zanzibar team we truly appreciate your wonderfully feed back to our Service during your stay with us,

We also thank you so much for appreciate Quality of Service we deliver to you during your stay , Also Regarding Music at Night we have plan for the Coming season to increase internments Especial to the Main Restaurant and our Romantic Jetty Bar , We hope next visit you will enjoy more and we expect you to visit us next Season as .

The good thing now you became party of Melia we expect to see you time to me

You’re the journey
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We stayed at Melia Zanzibar over New Year 2011 and although the hotel was nice and the beach was good, we felt that we could have been anywhere. Having travelled to Zanzibar before we felt the charm was the local chilled out vibe created by the friendly locals - which was missing at this hotel. The hotel has a very European feel and was mostly staffed by Europeans, which we didn't like. The manager was very rude to the few local staff there were in the dining room in front of guests and he had his family visiting so the staff,who were clearly terrified of him, spent most of the time running around trying to make his table happy to the detrement of paying guests. The facilities and rooms are beautiful, its a pity we felt the experience was spoilt by the atmosphere created by management.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

On behalf of Melia Zanzibar, I appreciate your very concise and pleasingly positive comments on the experiences and tips which will help other future travellers. It is so great to read that we made you feel so welcome at our hotel, and we were trusted to look after you. I would further thank you for your kind comments, especially about our staff as we perceive them to be our most important assets.

We are very pleased to know that our hard work, dedication and commitment towards our guest are recognised. I must say that, our mission has always been to exceed our guests’ expectations by providing unique services, and make them feel and see the difference at the time they leave from Melia Zanzibar.

We hope to see you again very soon.

Warmest Regards
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Additional Information about Melia Zanzibar

Address: P.O. Box 3140, Kiwengwa, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Kiwengwa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Kiwengwa
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kiwengwa
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kiwengwa
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Kiwengwa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Zanzibar 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Melia Hotel and Resort is the Zanzibar's leading international resort, situated on the north-east coast of the island. Melia Zanzibar is built on a 40 acre estate with a beautiful beach of pearlescent white sand lapped by warm ocean waters, 300 meters long, situated at the very end of the property to procure the perfect combination with nature. The resort is ringed by a natural coral reef, making bathing a relaxing and safe experience. The hotel is perfect destination for honeymoon or wedding vacations as well as meetings & incentives. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Melia Zanzibar Hotel Kiwengwa
Zamani Zanzibar Kempinski Kiwengwa
Melia Zanzibar Kiwengwa

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