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“Chilled Zanzibar” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cristal Resort

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Cristal Resort
P.O. Box 3917, Paje, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 7 Hotels in Paje
London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Chilled Zanzibar”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2011

We have just returned from a 12 night stay at the Cristal.
We stayed in one of the Eco bungalows which are situated right on the beach and definitely made the right decision as opposed to the deluxe.
The place has a very casual, pole-pole (slowly-slowly) atmosphere.
The staff were very friendly & accommodating.
Paje beach which the resort is situated on is beautiful and goes on for miles, so ideal for long walks and stumbling on village life & the beautiful Masai's who sell there wares along the beach. Be sure to buy from them and support these natives of Tanzania.
If you are looking for a glitzy resort with non-stop entertainment this is not the place for you.
If you want peace and quiet in a comfortable and idyllic environment and to experience the real Zanzibar this will be the perfect place.
We recommend going out on the wooden boats to the reef for snorkelling, this also helps support the locals.
A highly recommended retreat that is quiet and simple.

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
    • 4 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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202 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, TX
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2011

We stayed there our last night in Zanzibar. The breakfast was terrible! It is standard for the hotels in the area to offer a free breakfast. We paid $80 for one night here, so expected a really good breakfast. Nope. It was a "buffet." When we got there at 9:00, they had a sad bowl of fruit, a couple bananas, some bread for toasting and jam and butter. No glasses for watered-down juice. They will bring you coffee, but I had to ask twice for milk for my coffee. You can ask for eggs or pancakes from the kitchen. However, the pancakes came out cold with no sauce. The eggs were scrambled and hot, but tasteless. No seasoning whatsoever.

The dining room staff is unfriendly, unhelpful, and cannot be bothered. They seemed miserable working here.

When we checked into our room, we had no hot water. Apparently, they forgot to turn on the water heater when we checked in but did quickly take care of that when we complained.

I would definitely recommend staying elsewhere, however.

Room Tip: Make sure you tell them to turn on the hot water heater for your room upon check-in.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, España
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2011

Just a black spot on my holidays in Zanzibar, it looked nice on their webpage but all pictures looked from a long time ago... Rooms without glass on windows, bad maintenance of rooms and installations.
I´m backpacking really often and I was really disapointed with this place, It was really expensive in the area compared with better quallity places.
Really basic breackfast and you´ll have to pay an extra if you want some bacon, corn flakes, sausages or yougourt.
Gardens and beach area with really poor maintenance compared with some places in the same area.

Room Tip: There´s only one "DE LUXE" shack with glass in the windows and air conditioning, avoid all...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2011

I was perplexed by the very mixed reviews of the Cristal Resort, and didn't know what to expect. But we found the (small) resort to be very good value, on a beautiful beach with a good-sized pool. The staff let us inspect various rooms before deciding what we wanted, and we chose a non-AC room which was perfectly adequate as it is open to the sea breezes on three sides. The food was good, and plentiful, and the resort seems to attract all sorts of guests, from local expatriate families to tourists, including young people and older people. I'd rate this highly in terms of value for money.

Room Tip: A non-AC room is fine, and they have a better location than the AC rooms.
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

had a weird stay at Cristal ( we stayed in 4 different hotels on Zanzibar) - it ticks the boxes in that it is clean, the rooms are adequate, it is good value for money, the food is good, the beach in front of the hotel is stunning.
However we did not feel comfortable here - on our first day we observed the manager berating one of the staff in front of all the guests in the central lodge which we found unprofessional and off putting. We guessed that the relationship between management and staff is not good and the service though adequate was not what I would call happy.
We were in an ac room which was clean and well equipped for $90 a night. The view from the room was oustanding.
A note about the beach - not really a problem but people should be warned that the area in front of the hotel is a kite surfing zone so can be a bit hazardous to swim as they come right into the shallows and the beginners are not always in complete control - if you have kids maybe it is better to walk down the beach a little to swim.
We were slightly worried about security and this wasnt helped by some of the staff - the housekeeping would leave our room unlocked after cleaning in the morning and after the night spraying of the room (maybe as the lock was a bit difficult). Though we had no problems with thefts we thought that locking the room was a standard precaution. Also on the first night we could not lock the sliding doors to the room from the inside - when we told staff they said they would fix it but only in the morning - as they said no one would come in. Again I may be a bit paranoid but they have had thefts in the past according to some reviews and i think it is better to acknoweldge this rather than ignore it. Other hotels we stayed in encouraged us to lock our rooms whenever we went out - rather than scare us this made us feel they were being practical about security.
In summary a nice resort but most of the wow factor comes from location, they need to work on relationship with staff and locals in order to provide a sense of warmth and also that you are on Zanzibar - not just a beach resort any where in the world

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2011

The website including pictures made us long to stay there so badly. When we arrived the staff was not helpful/ friendly at all. Several items in the room did not function, which made it even worse ( broken curtains/ broken shower head etc.etc). At night they played very loud music around the corner. Up to this day we have no clue where it came from, but it kept us awake for a long time each night. That is the last things you want when you are staying on an island. Loud, crowded noises. Each day the breakfast was the same, you did not have lots of variety to choose from. The beds on the beach were not user friendly at all, things were dirty and it did not look welcoming. I think there are loads of other ( affordable) places out there that you can book. I would seriously think twice before booking a room there.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bratislava, Slovakia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2011

After looking all of these different reviews i had strange feeling about our accommodation...but...everything was really great...ok, maybe not "everything" but me and my sister, we were really satisfied with stuff, beach, food...stuff was unbelievable friendly, talkative, willing...i dont wanna go home for that :) we were accommodated in eco bungalows without AC, so there were little bit warm, but we could expected that. In bungalows there arent normal windows, but only something like nets, so be careful about your personal things, like phones, cameras, wallets etc...cause we were robbed last night, the "window" was cut and camera with our all photos and phone were stolen :/ buuut it was also our fault...only be careful :)

after all, i definitely be back in zanzibar soon, im in love with paje beach and cristal hotel :)))

  • Stayed March 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Cristal Resort

Address: P.O. Box 3917, Paje, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Paje
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 7 Hotels in Paje
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cristal Resort Ltd Hotel Zanzibar
Cristal Hotel Zanzibar
Cristal Hotel Ltd
Cristal Resort Zanzibar/Paje

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