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“Laid back, friendly and simple... If we could only stay for a few more days” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Upepo Boutique Beach Bungalows

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Upepo Boutique Beach Bungalows
Bwejuu Village beach, Bwejuu, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 7 Bwejuu B&B and Inns
Hong Kong, China
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Laid back, friendly and simple... If we could only stay for a few more days”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We came here as the last stop in our 2-week vacation, and we considered our stay at Upepo one of the highlights in the trip, and this is a very high benchmark...

The people: The staff was just wonderfully helpful and we learned about the best time to do things (according to the tide) as we got a warm welcome. There are only two bungalows so the service is personal.

The food: We wanted a lobster for dinner, then Shareef bought one from the fishermen and Rasta grilled it to perfection. That was as fresh as it could possibly get. It took some time, but really what's wrong with having to wait for your dinner to be cooked? The change of pace is exactly what you came looking for in a vacation. Also, make sure you try the meat balls.

The place: Nice beach bungalow that is basic with cold shower, yet it's clean and nicely presented. It's a bit of a walk to the nearby village, but wherever you go, you stroll through white, warm powdery sand. Here's your perk. Also, beautiful night sky as you can be alone quiet on the beach at night (and be safe).

We would highly recommend Upepo to anyone who like to have a laid back getaway from the hustle and bustle that is your ordinary city life (like ours).

  • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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52 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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 (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

the experience at Upepo was amazing! it is a very special local place where, if you love to get in touch with the local people and culture, you can not avoid to fall in love with it. we stayed10 days and we had the bungalow just few steps away from the ocean. while we were sleeping you could feel and hear the ocean ...amazing!
the food is daily handmade and the menu changes every day....we had different delicious fishes every day! one day we also did the cooking course, and we learned 2 local dishes...so much fun and good recipes!!! the staff is friendly and very welcoming....we loved spending time chatting with Shareef, Fatma (Karen's name at Zanzibar) and Rasta!

the place is simple, small, and has not much around, so if you look for relax, nature, chilled atmosphere...it is the right place to be... I would suggest it to free travellers....not to people who looks for places with lots of amenities or entertainment options for the night.

Room Tip: front beach bungalow is always windy, so you can sleep without turning on the fan
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  • Stayed January 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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London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We were first timers to Zanzibar and so didn't really know what to expect. We're not up for large hotels with forced entertainment and mass catering. We were looking for relaxation and some simplicity, luckily, that is what we found. We booked a 2 week stay at Upepo, only on arrival there did we find that we were extremely lucky with our choice. It is an understated, cool, calm and laid back hideaway, well away from the main tourist trail on Zanzibar. We felt very at home from first arrival when Karen greeted us at the gate. The staff - Rasta, Hamis, Karen and Shareef made us feel like we were at home, the local village of bwejuu was welcoming and the locals were all up for practicing their english, although we tried to pick up a few choice swahili words to get by. The room was comfortable, well presented and wonderfully located only a few steps from the beach. The food was absolutely delicious, with all sea food completely fresh having been caught on the day from the fishermen. Due to it's location, seafood is ample and we tried things that we would never order at home like octopus, parrot fish, squid and a zanzibar pizza! We were never bored. We were given great advice on the area by Karen and Shareef who work very closely with local companies and individuals to supply us with motorbikes, a fishing trip, taxis to town and day trips. Do remember your head torch as the electricity cuts out most evenings, although we were lucky enough to experience their new generator which is booted up when this happens. The electricity cuts out on the whole of zanzibar, not just the bungalows. It was back to basics, yet exactly what we needed to get away from the bustle of London. We would reccommend upepo to any couple planning a trip to zanzibar looking for some isolation and relaxation as we were.

Room Tip: Only two rooms and both were equally great. We had experience of both!!
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  • Stayed December 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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Dakar, Senegal
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

I had a wonderful experience at Upepo, from the moment staff met me at the main road and walked me to my cottage at night (I had opted to take public transportation from Stone Town and night fell more quickly than I had anticipated) to conversations with Karen and Shareef over a beer, to the delicious food that was served. My favorite part was renting a bicycle and riding it along the beach to a nearby lagoon where you could snorkel right off the coast. Karen was kind enough to show me this local treasure and I am truly grateful to her for this. The staff was friendly, the environment was relaxing, the room perfect with some nice personalized touches and a lovely front porch for hanging out. I will definitely return to Upepo!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

Stayed there in July 2012 for 1 week. Very sweet and personal staff! Small place with 2 nice cottages, one just down to the beach. Good restaurant, but make shure to orden 1 hour before since everyting is cooked from scratch..If you are looking for a place where you just want to only a few people, this is the place:) Nice beach but the tides was very heavy, so only swimming from 16 p.m. at that time of year. You can walk out 500 m on the "button", but remember shoes since lot of sea shells. Not good for snorkling or diving, then you might go all up north of Zanzibar.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Debs1923, Owner at Upepo Boutique Beach Bungalows, responded to this review, December 14, 2012
Thank you for your wonderful words and taking time to review us! We welcome you back any time! We would like to mention that there is some fine snorkeling at the lagoon just 15 minutes by bicycle from us (or you can also arrive there by a small local boat). We have had several guests enjoy snorkeling at that reef ! It is not as large as the reef further north but we like it as it is accessible straight from the beach and you can actually just swim there yourself if you are inclined .... Many thanks again for your response and we hope to see you back soon !
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knokke, Belgium
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

We had an amazing experience at Upepo. The bungalow overlooked the beach & sea which was stunning. The room had a decent bed with mosquito net, fan, and bathroom. I enjoyed the sea breeze a lot and never felt like i needed AC. During the night we just opened the windows (which have mosquito protection) and slept very comfortable. I think there are just 2 bungalows, which I really enjoyed, it was always so quiet and peaceful there. They clean your bungalow whenever you give them the key, we did it every 2 days.

The hosts were amazing, Selle took really good care of us making sure we were ok and joined us to the lagoon to make sure we were all safe. I had a problem with the ATM in the airport and did not have enough to pay for the room, there was no stress at all and in the middle of the week Rasta & Patrick went to stonetown with us so I could withdraw money from the Barclays ATM (only atm that worked with my card). Rasta also arranged a boat to Prison island from us and both bus-rides, which were not expensive at all.
My diving goggles broke the first day, and one of their guys repaired it in a way it was like brand new, I can't believe how he did that! what a service!

On the 2nd day we rented a scooter and drove to Stonetown which was an amazing experience. On the way back we got lost in the middle of nowhere and the scooter didn't start anymore while it was already dark. We were able to stop a taxi and load it in, and he brought us back to Upepo. Eventually the problem was a switch for the reserve gas which I didn't know that it was there and had to be put on. They gave us a 10$ discount which was almost the taxi ride back and I really appreciated that as I was a little bit fed up with it.

The food was indeed very good, I loved the Calamari, their chips, fish etc. The only food I wasn't too impressed with was the lobster which wasn't that tasty and meaty for me. Also cocktails are not really their thing:) You can see the sea from the restaurant and they also have a little patio to eat and have breakfast right on the beach away from the others, very cool.
I can also recommend to go an evening to eat at Bellevue, which is just a 10 minute beachwalk. It's very cosy there and had very good cocktails.

The beach was amazing. During high tide there is no one! It's sooo calm and private.
I can not understand the negative reviews about seaweed and pieces of pine tries. This is just nature, not litter.
Also the difference between low & high tide didn't botter me at all. We've swum from 1pm until 6pm without a problem. And during low tide you can walk the ocean, which is really cool, but be sure to wear protective shoes (I've experienced the sea urchills the hard way ;) ). You can walk until the heavy waves and there it's a lot of fun to swim.

For me this vacation was amazing to be gone from all the technology and stress in Europe.
I loved the back to basics feeling. In the evening there were a lot of power failures but that didn't bother me at all. It was just cosy, they bring candles to your bungalow, or when you are eating in the restaurant.
On vacation I want to be far away from other tourists, noise, animation, music etc and this was the perfect place. If you are looking for a luxury resort with swimming pools this is not the place for you!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

This place was awesome! My husband and I went with our 7 and 9 year old sons and 16 year old nephew (they shared one bungalow and we had our own right next to it). We had the place and beach to ourselves. We rode bikes up the beach (about 25 minutes) to Paje and came back as fast as we could because Bwejuu was way cooler and more peaceful -- Paje is a bit of a scene. The food was so good we never ate anywhere else and they even gave us a cooking class and took us to market in Stonetown to get all the spices to take back with us. The guys running the Upepo -- Patrick, Rhasta and Silam(?) were great and could not have been nicer and more enjoyable to be around. Mellow, peaceful place -- no one bothered us and we felt safe. Best spot in Zanibar -- quiet beautiful beach where we swam all day with the kids, great food and hosts, wouldn't stay anywhere else....unless of course you're looking for the disco, pool-side party scene.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Upepo Boutique Beach Bungalows

Address: Bwejuu Village beach, Bwejuu, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Bwejuu
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Bwejuu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Upepo Boutique Beach Bungalows offers the convenience of a hotel with private bungalows on the beach and a great breakfast included in the price. Set on a long white sand beach on the East Coast of Zanzibar, we offer a quiet safe environment to relax. Enjoy opportunities for snorkeling, diving, kite-surfing, or rent a bike and explore on your own. Our restaurant uses fresh local ingredients and serves Zanzibar dishes as well as International favorites. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Upepo Boutique Beach Bungalows Zanzibar/Bwejuu

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