Deluxe rooms are good value for money, but "beach" rooms pretty awful: tiny, underfurnised, huge cracks and stains, moscito net grey and scary. A/C the only good thing (and the main reason we opted for this property in the first place). By the way, "eco" rooms are much bigger and better furnished. It matters because all guests have bulky kiteboarding and diving bags and need the space. Price difference between the three types of rooms is marginal ($10) which is hard to explain.
Now, all rooms lack basic comforts like porch furniture and sunshade (however cheap, would've been good esp as beach rooms size insufficient), place to hang your swimsuit to dry, and, most surprising, a water bowl or basin of some sort at the door to wash the sand off your feet before you go into the room. Simple things, really, don't have to cost much, and greatly add to your overall experience.
Been to 3 or 4 restaurants at Paje beach -- Cristal's is the worst, manage to spoil even perfectly good and fresh groceries (other than pasta). Breakfast particularly disappointing, othe than fresh fruit (if you don't mind swarms of flies, that is). I would definitely not recommend half board accomodation, you'd be much better off at Kinazi Upepo next door (where you can also charge to the room). What they do with fresh juices, the amount of water and sugar they add!
And, true, beer is not always cold. And ice is not always to be had. And they don't bother to put on generator for like half an hour during power outage, which is a daily occurrance, and which also means you've no water either. And, wifi is hellishly slow (though they charge $5 for it). And, it wouldn't have hurt to clean the beach and to send one of the numerous bar staff to take orders.
When there's no wind, the beach is an additional problem: they haven't enough tents for all guests, and not all tents have sunbeds, and not all sunbeds have mattresses. Result -- be sure to occupy one at dawn!
Sorry to have to be negative, Paje is a lovely place.
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- Also Known As:
- Cristal Resort Ltd Hotel Zanzibar
- Cristal Hotel Zanzibar
- Cristal Hotel Ltd
- Cristal Resort Zanzibar Island/Paje