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“Paradise in Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Anna of Zanzibar

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Anna of Zanzibar
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   South East Coast, Bwejuu 3185, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 12 hotels in Bwejuu
Boulder, Colorado
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Paradise in Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

Anna of Zanzibar is fantastic! "Barefoot luxury' as they call it, is a fitting description. I have lived in Zanzibar for a number of years and this is truly one of the best on our beautiful island if . Situated on a great stretch of beach in Bwejuu and a small diamond set amongst bigger hotels near by. The villas are done in elegant but not opulent style, privately situated, with the pool and beautiful white sand beach are right out your door. The food is great and staff friendly and attentive, but not overly so. Definitely should be on your list if you are coming to Tanzania.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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144 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

My husband & I stayed here for the last 4 days of our honeymoon, after 5 days in Istanbul, 4 days on Mnemba Island & a 4 day safari. We do travel a lot & booked Anna due to the great reviews. We thought it would be a great place to chill before heading home.

It was very nice, but nothing amazing. Perhaps our stay on the neighbouring Mnemba island had spoiled us!

Pros: the room had been recently renovated, the room was clean & very large, nice pool, and right on the beach. Meals were served whenever / wherever you preferred. The local staff are lovely. There was a nice spa.

Cons: the room smelled very musty, the curtains do not draw back so the room is very dark & opening the doors to get rid of the musty smell means allowing millions of mossies in, the beach isn't pretty & the tide goes out so far it's not possible to swim most of the day (depending on tides of course), you have to wear special shoes to go in the ocean to protect your feet, it is a tiny resort so can feel claustrophobic & there isn't much to do.

Do make sure you take local currency with you if you want to tip & give tips DIRECTLY to the hard working local staff & not to management if you actually want the staff to receive them.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

A dream for any couple, family or for friends, this jewel in Zanzibar is not to be missed....

The five villas are spacious, luxurious with fluffy towels and are all so private that one thinks that one is alone. Staff is extremely friendly and helpful and know when to leave the guest their space.

Scrumptious breakfast is served wherever the guest feels like it-either at the beach, in the garden or on one's own front patio. Fresh fruit, homemade pancakes with real maple syrup, various egg dishes with organic bacon and so much more.

The beach is immaculately clean,with soft white sand and swimming is a bliss - just reading under the naturally thatched umbrellas makes this holiday an unforgettable experience. An extra bonus is that there are no vendors to try and sell one something.

This all inclusive resort offers amazing wines, delectable seafood and other great dishes -pretty much anything your heart desires.

One is certainly treated very royally in this special place that Michael has created......

What a way to spend blissful days here !

Michael,wir haben es so sehr genossen und kommen auf jeden Fall wieder !

  • Stayed September 2013, 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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Palo Alto, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

Great place with a remarkable kitchen. Great service, great privacy, super relaxing. Not good if you're on a diet! the food here was phenominal. Our flight got in late, and they held dinner for us until we arrived. No dining room but they serve you anywhere on the property you want- including the beach. Charming.

Great pool.

The bungalows are all amazing, beautifully appointed and large.

The staff highly attentive and professional. The manager, Niccy, was amazingly competent. She made you feel like a valued guest, and took great care of us in the finest tradition of service, which is uncommon in Africa.

Room Tip: Mattresses here are generally hard. All over the country as far as I could tell, which makes sense i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle, WA
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

My husband and I spent a week at Anna after a weeklong safari. It was an amazing place and I would absolutely return. It was very private but there were opportunities to socialize with other guests if you wanted to.

The room: We stayed in the Frangipani villa - it was enormous for just the two of us. Large bedroom which was beautifully decorated with fresh flowers on the bed every day. The bathroom was equally large with a giant tiled rain shower. There was plenty of closet space, but there weren't very many hangers provided. The villa also had a living room, but we didn't really make much use of it. There was a mini-fridge in the living room stocked with sodas and water. When we drank the waters, they got re-stocked, but when we drank the sodas, they weren't replaced. We didn't notice that until several days had passed and we didn't complain about it. The housekeeping was pretty good, although they didn't replace our bathroom glasses (we have to brush our teeth out of a cup because of water quality issues on the island) for two days straight and we had to ask for this to be done.
My one complaint with the room is that the bed was extremely squeaky. My husband is a restless sleeper, which I never notice when I'm at home because our bed is relatively quiet. However, at Anna, I generally awoke every night to the sound of the bed squeaking and creaking as my husband flopped around from his stomach to his back to his side. Very frustrating, but not something we thought we could do anything about so we didn't mention it to the staff - in hindsight, maybe we should have.
As an aside, two of the five villas are beach adjacent with a partial ocean view - so if that's important to you, be sure to ask for it. Our villa had a garden/ppol view and was beautiful. I might have preferred the ocean villa, but I have no complaints from our villa's garden view - it's not like we spent a lot of time on our villa patio.

The food: Amazing. After each meal, we were presented with a menu for the next meal and asked where we wanted to dine. We could order off that menu or, if we didn't care for the menu choices, we could order anything we wanted to. Seriously. Anything. When we arrived, I mentioned to Niccy, the resort manager, that I loved lobster and would order it every night if I could - and she said I could if I wanted to. So I did. And they did not disappoint. It was amazing. The one drawback to being told that you can order anything you want is that when given limitless options, your mind suddenly blanks and you can't think of a single thing you want. But fear not - the menu choices were both delicious and creative. There's no real snack food available between meals, although you could always request a snack at any point - but there would be a lag between request and service because they make everything fresh - even potato chips or roasted cashews! (Yummy, BTW)

The service: This is the tough part of the review for me to write. On the one hand, service was extremely attentive and anything we asked for was provided without question. On the other hand, though, meal service was relatively slow, which is perhaps the point of an island vacation which I should treasure rather than question. Because the resort doesn't have an official dining room, you choose where on property to have each daily meal - the pool, the beach, the main house, or your villa. The farther you are from the main house, the longer your meals take - and the servers don't multi-task when they serve you. So there is one trip to bring you an app, then another trip to clear your apps, then another trip to bring your main. Lunch was typically an hour-long affair. Perhaps I should be more grateful that I never felt rushed, but it did seem to take a little longer than was reasonable sometimes.
Another point where I think Anna could improve is that although the staff was absolutely willing to bring us anything we asked for, when we were at the pool or at the beach, the staff didn't generally proactively circulate to offer us drinks or snacks. I found, however, that once one couple on the beach would ask a staffer to bring them something, that would often inspire them to check with the other guests to see if they'd like anything as well. Overall, it's not a big deal, but it would have been nice if they had been proactive about offering snacks or drinks rather having to ask for them.

The beach and pool areas: First off, there was nothing more relaxing than sitting on the beach listening to the waves roll up on the shore. I should mention that the ocean bed on this part of the island is made of coral so it's not a great swimming/frolicking area, but if you don't care about swimming in the ocean, then it doesn't really matter.
We typically spent our mornings at the beach, then had lunch beachside, and then spent our afternoons up at the pool because the beach got a bit windy in the afternoon. There are 5 villas on the property with a beach umbrella and pair of comfy beach chairs for each villa. I've read other reviews that indicate more than 2 people stay in the villas sometimes, in those cases I'm not sure how the umbrella/chair allocation works out since the umbrellas aren't technically assigned to the villas. The pool area has 4 cabanas, which concerned me at first since there are 5 villas and only 4 poolside cabanas - however it was never a problem. There was never even a time when more than 3 cabanas were being used at once during our weeklong stay.

Activities: There aren't a whole lot of things to do *at* Anna, but they can arrange for excursions off-property. We went on the wild dolphin swim - which I highly recommend. The boat was of questionable safety quality (our captain was a teenager who smoked while sitting on a gas can and the young teen first mate spent most of the trip bailing water out of the bottom of the boat with a gallon bucket), but the experience of going out to the area of the ocean where the dolphins normally hang out and getting into the water with them was amazing. Because we shared the boat with another couple from our resort, we paid only $60/couple for a couple hours on the water. Quite a bargain, actually.
Niccy also arranged for a sunset Dhow cruise on our last night on the island. The water was so calm and glassy it was amazing.

Other stuff: The wifi at the resort is pretty great. No real speed problems to speak of - I was even able to have a Skype call with a friend back in the US once. They discourage downloading large files because of their data subscription plan, but we didn't experience any problems with the wifi.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were several cats hanging around the resort (I was really missing my home cats by this point of our trip). There were also a couple of dogs - both the cats and dogs were anxious for any loving attention they could get. I felt especially sorry for one of the cats who seemed particularly thin - apparently it was a cat that lived elsewhere and would just come to visit the resort.

Overall, our experience at Anna of Zanzibar was fantastic. Despite the few complaints we had with the service, this is a fantastic resort and a restful escape from the bustle of real life. Niccy and her staff do an amazing job of making every guest feel welcome and cared for. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

- True privacy (only 5 bungalows)
- Welcoming and warmhearted atmosphere
- Hughe bugalows, charmingly decorated with old Zanzibar chests and colonial style furniture
- The best shower facilities we had during our entire trip
- Excellent food (Try the grilled lobster !). You can freely choose when and where
(beach, terrace, restaurant, at the pool) you want to have your meals
- The beach is absolutely beautiful but not ideal for swimming (coral rocks, sea urchins)
- Special thanks to Nicci for her Stonetown shopping recommendation (just ask her if you are
looking for some antiques souvenirs !)

  • Stayed August 2013, 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.
Lusaka, Lusaka, Zambia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

We spent 5 happiest days in Anna Of Zanzibar, and one of them was actually our wedding day!!! Niccy and the team went all the way for us, creating a day of our dreams. We got anything we could wish for, and much much more... Truly unforgettable experience, wonderful people, amazing location, lush villas and delicious food...the list goes on forever! They really do make you feel like the most important guest. The villas are always spotless, with huge bathrooms and fresh flowers every day. The food is to die for, and we definitely put on a few kgs in 5 days spent in Anna :) The staff gets you anything before you could even think of it. And, of course, wedding with Anna is truly special. We didn't have to think about anything, all the documents, decorations, sunset cruise, - it all was professionally organised for us. And our wedding dinner in wonderfully decorated gazebo was truly amazing! We really could not rate this place highly enough!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, 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
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 Anna of Zanzibar

Address: South East Coast, Bwejuu 3185, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Bwejuu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Bwejuu
#1 Spa Hotel in Bwejuu
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Bwejuu
#2 Romantic Hotel in Bwejuu
#3 Family Hotel in Bwejuu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Anna of Zanzibar 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Private and exclusive boutique hotel with 5 superb villas only. Situated on the east coast of Zanzibar with a beautiful beach. Swimming pool, spa, bar, restaurant with superb seafood. Activities include diving, fishing, boat trips and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Anna Of Zanzibar Hotel Bwejuu
Anna Of Zanzibar Bwejuu

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