We spent 6 nights at Echo Beach after a 4 night safari in Tanzania. The hotel was being very ably managed by Zoe who had recently come out from the UK as the owners (A british couple) were away. The hotel is set right on a beautiful white sand beach on the Indian Ocean, 10 yards from the pool and the bar/restaurant area.
The beach was virtually empty the whole time. the hotel has its own PADI diving hut, and in addition watersports facilities are available at Breezes Hotel 300 yards walk along the beach, where you can hire hobie cat sailboats, windsurfers, bicycles, kite surfers etc.
The hotel also has good facilities to organise various trips - we did the Stone Town trip combined with a visit to the Giant tortoise colony on Prison Island (whole day); Swimming with wild dolphins in the Indian Ocean at Kizimkazi beach (5 hours), champagne at sunset (Michamwi beach - beautiful), and our (18 and 21 yr old) daughters did the reef snorkelling trip. All trips were excellent and well worth doing. The journey to Stone Town takes about 50 minutes but the roads are good and the taxis are comfortable. Costs were not unreasonable.
We changed some dollars into tanzanian Shillings at the airport on entry to Zanzibar, - the main use for these was for tips for taxi drivers etc. The final hotel bill can be paid in T.Shillings, US Dollars or by credit card or any combination. Tips incidentally - (after all this is Africa!) - we tended to give 10,000 shillings (about £4 or US$ 6) to a driver etc, but 20,000 if the person had been with us half a day or more. To be honest, if you dont change dollars to tanzanian shillings its not a problem, but dollars are much more useful than pounds sterling in Zanzibar and tanzania generally.
The staff at the hotel were uniformly excellent and if we were going on a trip which required an early start (eg the dolphin trip left at 06.00,) then a member of staff would see you off an ensure you had enough water etc.
Food at the hotel was excellent - we were on half board and managed well with a good breakfast and then very little was needed till dinner. Excellent food was available if wanted at lunch, and bar drinks were available all day. Bottled water was also available for free the whole time. You should not drink the tap water.
We felt since we had gone a long way to get there we should try and see as much of the country as we could but frankly the hotel would have been fine for blobbing by the pool or on the beach
Guest rooms were truly excellent - small thatched 2-room cottages around the pool - 2 people per room - as we were a family of 4 we had a cottage to ourselves. There was a large open verandah with each room, and inside the rooms were spacious, with a double bed (some had a double and a single), and a large shower room with good supplies of hot water. The rooms were completely cleaned every day, mosquito nets around the beds were readied for you in the evenings as well. I dont remember any of us in the whole time we were there seeing (or hearing!) mosquitoes in the rooms. We did get occasionally bitten but usually while we were on the beach and probably our fault for not putting repellent on in the early evenings.
I believe the hotel has a maximum of 24 guests - we were there in school holidays and there were one or two other families, but the majority of guests were couples, and if you have children who like the company of other children this hotel may be a bit too "boutique" for you!
Though anyone can come into the hotel from the beach, the land access is guarded and gated, and the land side of the hotel is fenced. The local Zanzibari people were all extremely pleasant and friendly and at no time did we or our daughters feel threatened during this holiday while at the hotel or on the beach. If you are going to Stone Town we found a guide very helpful and probably sensible to have!!
The beach was spectacular - green ocean, white sand, blue sky and palm trees , and very few people around. the tide goes out a long way to the reef and this results in interesting pools and sealife to explore - word of warning - take a pair of sandals you can wear in the water or the sea urchins will get you!
We cannot recommend this hotel too highly - and would love to return.
- 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