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“best beach, great getaway!” 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
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“best beach, great getaway!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Last minute travelled to Zanzibar and decided to visit lovely Paje, on the other side of the island about a 45 minute ride from Stonetown. Cristal Resort is low key, on an endless great beach - ocean was warm, lovely and clean. Pool looked nice. No one is allowed to come near you or harass you on your chaise while at beach. There is a security guard during the day watching over the beach which was nice. Also very apparent at night.
My room was simple sort of rustic, bohemian with a fantastic view of Palms and beach! Heard the waves all night. Nice bed. The resort is owned/managed by a young French couple who go out of their way to accommodate you. The clientele consisted of many Europeans especially French but also a good mix of other nationalities mostly couples in their 30-40's. It is a family friendly resort so there were young children of all ages, and being the holidays, probably more apparent than usual. There is a non smoking policy in the open dining area. Smoking is allowed in the adjacent lounge area. The staff were all very kind and helpful.
Kite surfing is popular and ideal on this beach so fun to watch the colourful sails. There is a hip Thai /sushi restaurant that is nearby on the beach which is very good. Food at the resort was very good with a few wine choices.
I took advantage of getting a badly needed manicure and pedicure in the newly opened spa - all other treatments were available by a professional Thai masseuse.
The resort is laid back, so unless you are looking for more features or "luxury" accommodation, and if you just want to "get away" to swim and relax on a beautiful beach, this is a great value for sure. It's a pleasant drive from Stonetown with lots to see out the window plus some beautiful countryside - and not a long 2 hour + drive up north, taking up valuable beach time. Seafood is fresh, Jozzani Forest is 20 minutes, and excursions to Stonetown to shop or visit some of the out islands, ruins, spice tours or great snorkeling and diving trips are all within an hour or so away.

Room Tip: Owner told me all rooms are being renovated. I did not see new reno but sound nice. You might ask fo...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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207 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    52
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    30
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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
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012 via mobile

Good, power a problem, view great, great beach, good relaxing time. Breakfast okay, restaurants good. Beer not always cold :( Service acceptable, food good, eco rooms good but warm with fan only. Reception helpful and plenty to do.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Great value for a deluxe bungalow with a/c. We were travelling as a 3 and the room was spacious and welcoming.

The beach is breezy but it keeps you cooler. Very fun to walk out and watch the seaweed farms being tended to in the morning. The breakfast was ok with nice coffee.

The swimming pool was clean and the water refreshing and it was nice to mix up beach and pool times! It was very quiet when we went so we always got a lounger.

The gem to this is the thai restaurant next door (owned by the hotel). The prawn curry was IMMENSE. We ate here three times!! Delicious.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Belgrade
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

It is an one hour drive from the ferry port in Stone Town (45 $ one way)that gets you to this resort. Driver sent by the hotel waited for us at the exit gate with the sign and he was helpful and courteous. On your way to the hotel don't miss out on stopping in a supermarket to stock up on whatever you might need*water, sodas, sun lotion...) since there are no stores in the hotels vicinity. Once in the hotel you might want to opt for eco lodge (best value for the money) It is very basic but definitely ads up to the entire Zanzibar experience. Eco lodge is small bathroom area is separated from the rest of the room by half wall it has netting on windows and all in all gives you Robinson Crusoe experience. Breakfast is very basic so don't keep your expectations high. We have decided on a half board option and I have to say that the dinner exceeded all expectations. (although the bar was set low due to the breakfast experience). Service is great. You can get beach towels from the reception desk so don't bother bringing extra towels with you..The swimming pool is small but clean and provides a nice refreshment during the low tides(which are really really low), If you are looking for a nice weekend getaway it's a perfect spot. Costs for two people are 160 $ ferry tickets round trip, 90$ cab ride to hotel round trip, 130$ two nights half board at eco lodge. For a total of 370$ not a bad deal.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Arusha, Tanzania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

After reading of the reviews, I as a little nervous about my trip to Cristal Resort, but was pleasantly surprised. We stayed in the deluxe bungalow which was wonderful. We had AC, three beds (three girls were sharing) all with mosquito nets and a huge bathroom. The place was clean and tidy and inviting. We did at one point have a friendly guest of a gecko, but that’s too be expected anywhere in Africa. The staff were lovely, and we always had fresh towel, both in our bungalow and for the pool. The restaurant had a continual change of menu for dinner every night, and always had a variety of good meals. We also enjoyed our free breakfast, which consisted of toast, spreads, lovely fresh fruit and we could order eggs and/or pancakes as well. Yes it was extra for bacon or cereal, but why would you want it with all that was available for free?

For those reviewers who complained about power-outages, no welcome drink, having to carry your own bags and unfriendly staff, I do not know what you are talking about. Also, people should do their research before coming to Tanzania. Power outages are common, even in major cities, and when our power went out, it came back on within ten minutes (instead of 5 hours later in Arusha). Also, for the price of $23/person (with three girls) what do you expect, the Hilton? I was very impressed with the quality of the place, the beach, the variety of food and the staff.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Dar Es Salaam
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

We are a family of 4 with 2 children aged 6 and 7 at the time of staying at Cristal in late October 2012. The location is great and the overall experience very good. Swimming pool is great for young kids and there are a variety of different rooms. We had a family room and it was very spacious - the air con did not work the first night and the bed squeaked every time we moved - this problem was solved the next day once we informed reception. The breakfast is OK but the hidden gem is the Thai restaurant next door owned by the same hotel - the food was excellent and we lived in SE Asia for 8 years.
After talking to a friend who looked at a variety of hotels in Paje he said that Cristal was the best value for money in that area.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Jinja, Uganda
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

I was worried about staying here after seeing the mixed reviews; however it was a lovely place to stay. The location was fantastic, we were right on the beach and the view was amazing from our room. It seemed very good value for money, although we did go in low season and got a last minute deal. The bungalow was very spacious and pretty and someone came in twice a day to ensure it was clean and make the bed. The kite surfers did become slightly annoying in the water but in general the beach was great. If you want 5 star luxury this is not the resort for you, the staff weren’t particularly friendly and knew very little about paje, also the towels that they provided didn’t always seem the cleanest. Overall a very nice place to stay, very good value for money.

  • 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
    • 3 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.
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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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