We have just returned after spending 12 nights at this wonderful boutique 'resort', which is probably longer than a lot of people stay but we felt really lucky to be staying so long. We chose Echo Beach because we don't like big, busy all inclusive resorts but we do want good food, attentive service, a bit of TLC and also we look for dive facilities. Echo beach had all this and so much more. We had a very stressful journey to Zanzibar after Kenya Airways saw fit to cancel our flight and so taking 48 hours off our 2 week holiday - don't fly with them if you can help it!! I think it is fair to say I was not in a good mood on our arrival and I did find fault with a couple of minor points but these were immediately put right and I managed to get into a more relaxed frame of mind.
We had a very large room with 6' four poster bed, with quiet and very efficient air conditioning,huge bathroom/wet room, a lovely balcony with a day bed, sofa and coffee table and a wonderful view straight across the pool and gardens over the beautiful ocean and reef beyond. The tide does go out a long way but when it comes in it is truly beautiful. We were lucky during our first week with the tides and managed to go snorkeling right in front of the hotel and saw some lovely fish - not very big but more than we thought we would and the water is so very very warm. The second week the tide was a very high one and so the water came right up to the hotel but this meant the visability was not good for snorkeling - but it was great for swimming! When the tide goes out it reveals lovely rock pools etc and it was great to put on sandals and wander through it and see the local people looking for shellfish etc. When the tide is out you can turn either left or right from the hotel garden and walk either into the local village of Bwejuu (about an hours walk) or you can go in the other direction and pass a few larger resorts - none of which looked particularly inviting compared to ours. If you walk towards the village you pass a few beach bars and back packer type resorts and it made a lovely outing stopping for a beer etc. We used African Blue Divers who have a base at the hotel and our dive master was called Bakari. We only ever dive when on holiday and so not very experienced but Bakari was great and we felt very well looked after and we saw a good selection of fish and lovely corals.
Water and electricity are in short supply in Zanzibar but when the power goes off the hotel generator kicks in and so there's no problem. The water comes from a well and so can be a bit salty which takes a little getting used to and it does cause a few decorative issues in the bathrooms where it splashes the wood and chrome but the shower was very powerful and there was always a good supply of lovely hot water - take some good shower gel though as it is quite difficult working up any lather with regular soap! Lovely thick towels are changed regularly and beach towels are also provided. The plugs are normal UK three pins so all our chargers/hair dryers worked fine. There is free wi-fi but it worked best when near the bar area rather than in the rooms.
There are only about 10 rooms here and so it never feels busy so each evening everyone gathers in the cosy bar for drinks and nibbles before dinner. It was a lovely time where you could chat with other guests if you wanted to, or play cards , check e mails etc. The bar prices are extremely reasonable. The menu changed nightly and and there was always a choice of three starters, 4 or 5 main courses followed by a dessert or various ice creams. The food was absolutely delicious - the chefs do a fabulous job and the waiting staff were superb and very friendly - they all try and remember your names and make you feel so very welcome. It was truly like going out to a lovely restaurant for a meal every night - not like turning up for yet another buffet which is becoming so normal these days in big resorts. Susan and Andrew were always around during the evening and they made everyone feel like true friends - they are indeed perfect hosts and they both work so very hard and nothing seems too much trouble for them. I stupidly forgot to take some prescription medication with me but Sue arranged with a pharmacist in Stonetown to get me some and it was flown in from Dubai the next day and Andrew went to fetch it for me - what service- they wouldn't even take any money for it!
I am not a dog lover and I was a bit concerned at first when I saw the Great Dane but he is so very well behaved and just lies down and ignores you unless you make a fuss of him.
The pool is great and is filled with fresh water and kept immaculately clean. The sunbeds I thought looked a bit 'rickerty' - but they were actually very comfortable - just made by the locals with wood and ropes but with a cushion on they were so much more comfortable than the 'posher' wooden versions. There are plenty of them both around the pool area and along the beach frontage where there was also lovely thatched umbrella/rondells for a bit of welcome shade. The waiting staff brought drinks out to the beach and were also quite happy to serve lunch to you on the beach should you require it.
Echo Beach in our opinion was really wonderful and we will treasure our memories for a long time - thank you so much to all concerned and especially to Susan and Andrew who work so hard to ensure their guests have a wonderful stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Slice of ParadiseThe new Echo Beach Hotel resort offers visitors a slice of paradise on the dreamy tropical island of Zanzibar. The very name Zanzibar evokes a sense of mystique and adventure.Sue and Andrew Page, the owners of Echo Beach bought a 5 acre stretch of unspoilt beach to create a unique boutique hotel. There are now 13 individual villas combining unpretentious African architecture with state of the art technology, interior design, fixtures and fittings.Beach Villasin Unspoilt SurroundingsThe individually designed Bandas are constructed from local stone, capped with Makuti roofs and painted in the Little Green Paint Company's iridescent white to reflect the sun.Each dwelling boasts exquisitely hand carved balconies and verandas where guests can enjoy a drink in the shade. The Bandas are completely private and not overlooked, allowing visitors to relish the unspoilt surroundings and uninterrupted views of the beautiful Indian Ocean.Beachside diningDining in the beachside restaurant, decorated with designers guild fabric, in the white and turquoise of the seashore is a highly pleasurable experience, with discreet and efficient service.With a refreshing breeze blowing in from the sea, guests can unwind and relax with a decadent cocktail in the stylish bar area, where designer fabrics are teamed with Zanzibar carved furnishings. Or wander down to the unique bar on the beach, and enjoy refreshments by the sea shore.Local Dishes & International FavouritesFor those who want to get the true taste of Zanzibar there is a wealth of fresh local food on the menu, not to mention some carefully selected International favourites.The ultimate in fresh fare, produce is purchased daily, including lobster, crab, prawns and squid straight from local fisherman who come to the beach.Relax at the Beauty SpaZanzibar is the perfect place for a complete break from the hectic life most people live nowadays. If you want professional, unobtrusive service, peace and privacy to relax, then why not try our professional beauty spa and treat yourself to a complete pampering.Tours and TransfersEcho Beach is happy to arrange transfers to and from the hotel.Whilst on your holiday why not let us arrange for you to explore the magical island taking in the legendary Spice Tour. While spices no longer dominate Zanzibar's economy as they once did, there are still numerous spice plantations in the centre of the island, which make an interesting visit.Friendly and informed guides will escort you on a walking tour of the spice farms, picking bunches of leaves, fruit and twigs from bushes and trees, inviting you to smell or taste them to guess what they are.Swimming with Dolphins is also a magical experience that will not be forgotten and can easily be arranged. The Jozani Forest Tour with the colobus monkeys that are unique to Zanzibar. These are just some of the adventures you can enjoy as well as diving, fishing and snorkelling in one of the most unspoilt areas of the world. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Echo Beach Bwejuu
- Hotel Echo Beach
- Echo Beach Hotel Zanzibar/Bwejuu