First things first -- know that the beach here is not the best for swimming. The water is full of seaweed and at high tide, it comes right up to the stairs leading down to the beach area. At low tide, you can walk forever out of the reef (get reef shoes from the sports center), which is a really fun and different experience in its own right. Though each villa is assigned its own beach chairs (not directly on the actual beach, but on a sandy area just before), it was really breezy and not ideal to sit out there. Most people gravitated towards the pool area instead. Obviously nothing to do with the resort, but just something to be aware of. In fact, in all my research on Zanzibar, it doesn't seem to have great swimming beaches, so if that's what you are looking for, you may want to look elsewhere.
Anyway, on to the resort. As others have mentioned and as it clear from the resort's site and brochure, it has a very Arabic design, which reflects Zanzibar's history, but is different from the thatched-roof Swahili style that some may be expecting. Regardless - the rooms are huge. We stayed in a one-bedroom oceanfront villa and it was one of the most spacious accommodations I've ever had. Huge bedroom with a comfortable bed, living area, separate sultan's den area off of the living room (which was really cozy and nice to have some after-dinner drinks in), enormous bathroom area - more like it's own suite. Nice amenities (no conditioner, though). Outside you have another bed, a plunge pool, two chaise lounges, and another chair-bed that is connected to the wall. Very, very nice.
Food was consistently good. I knew from other reviews that the resort does buffets every other night and I wasn't really looking forward to this. I don't mind buffets for breakfast and lunch but really am not a fan of dinner buffets. But these were actually done really well. First night was Swahili night (my favorite), second night was a set menu (it's really not a la carte - you just have a choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian), third night was Tradewinds (Asian theme). I was really disappointed with the vegetarian offerings for the Tradewinds buffet. Even the salads had meat or seafood. Really the only vegetarian options were steamed rice, steamed spinach, Chop Suey, one version of vegetarian sushi, and stir fried noodles. A vegetarian is not going to starve, but compared to the plethora of options with meat and seafood, it was quite disappointing. However, I spoke to the chef and he brought out some samosas and spring rolls which were delicious and very much appreciated. Wine options are -- red or white. Again, not something I usually like - but the wines were actually fine, no complaints there. Breakfast buffet was a typical American/Continental style (great mini-donuts and coffee cake). Lunch was an assortment of sandwiches, salads, some mezze-style appetizers, a selection of tandoori and naan, pizza, and a choose-your-own pasta station (great pesto). Try the sangria (red version) - it's really quite good. You can also opt for lunch to be served to you at the beach or pool off of a separate menu, though we never did this. The bar for pre-dinner drinks is also quite.
The pool area is very nice. Someone is always walking by asking if you need drinks. Very enjoyable and relaxing. There isn't much to do at night, though occasionally there is entertainment at dinnertime. Make use of the insect repellant in the room, because if you're outside at night, you are sure to get bitten.
There's a few things I think the hotel could improve on. First, at the prices charged (€860/night), there is no excuse for wifi not being included. As it turns out, our travel agent made a mistake on our vouchers which said that internet was included. The hotel honored this, which was appreciated, but the wifi was very spotty and extremely slow. I would have been really upset had I shelled out the $15/day charge per device. I also think the hotel tries to gouge on the extras (the "exclusive" items, as they are called). If you want drinks delivered to your room, there's a room service charge, minibar prices are really high, and the suggested non-inclusive wines are quite pricy (think $100/bottle). Best to get your drinks filled up at the bar and then walk back to your room. The gift shop prices are really prohibitive - $30 for a bottle of sunscreen. There really shouldn't be a need to make high margins on the little things when one is paying such a high price for a night's stay. If you decide to stay here, I'd recommend just resigning yourself to taking advantage of the included items and try to avoid spending on anything else.
So, overall, it was a good stay. Everyone was very nice. It might lack the very personal feel of some other places (we'd just come from a safari where everyone knew us by name), but it was certainly a pleasant place to get some R&R.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.