We stayed in one of the 1-room open-air beach bungalows for four nights in August 2011 and, overall, found Pakachi to be a solid budget option for a Zanzibar beach vacation.
Food---breakfast was included in our room price and was fine, consisting of 3-4 types of fresh fruit, coffee and tea, a sort of pancake thing, and omelette on toast. We found the lunch and dinner food to be mediocre but reasonably priced. On the weekends they sometimes do a BBQ buffet with all different kinds of fish available. We ate the majority of our meals elsewhere---lots of options are in walking distance along the beach.
Drinks---reasonably priced but limited. We often found ourselves at Spice Island, a nice resort just next door that has a far greater variety of drinks available than Pakachi. Note that the day bartender believes in putting fruit juice in all mixed drinks, regardless of the recipe.
Beach---as others have noted, the ocean swimming is not great at Pakachi because of lots of coral in the water. Also note that the water is shallow quite a long ways out so you can't really escape the rough coral. I would add that this coral extends the length of the beach in both directions until you get into Paje (1-2 kilometers north) where they've actually removed the coral. Pakachi has nice rope beds for lounging although a limited number of cushions for them.
Location---we really liked Pakachi's location between Paje and Jambiani. You can walk to both towns along the beach (20-30 minutes) and find restaurant options along the way as well as clustered in each town. Walking on the beach is a bit tricky at night because the beach has no lighting and there are lots of shells that can cut your feet. But there is a nice resort next door (Spice Island) that has a lovely pier bar extending into the ocean and also a restaurant that serves up better food than Pakachi (a bit more expensive, around 17,500-22,000 for fish dishes compared to 14,000-16,000 at Pakachi).
Room---small but fine. We loved the open air aspect and it gets plenty cool at night so the lack of AC is not a problem. The bathroom had rather low water pressure.
Excursions---we went on the Safari Blue where you go to Menai bay and snorkel, get a boat ride, have a huge lunch with lots of fish, and perhaps see some dolphins. We had a great time and would highly recommend it.
Service---this is where Pakachi really fell down. Generally we had to ask several times before anything got done, drinks could take up to half an hour to make, etc. The worst things that happened was that on the third night of our stay a mouse found its way into our room, left droppings everywhere (including over lots of our clothes), and chewed through a bunch of our stuff (including leaving holes in 3 out of 4 backpacks). Pakachi's reaction was pretty blase. After a bit of nagging they did agree to put down some poison in the evening when we went to dinner. The result was that we walked into our room after dinner to find a dead country mouse (bigger than city mice). After I requested a discount due to this experience, Pakachi did knock down the price of our room a bit. The management told us that mice have been plaguing the area for the last two weeks and that they're thinking about getting a cat to deal with the problem.
Overall, I might look a litter harder to find better service elsewhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Pakachi Beach Resort is situated on the southeast coast of the island of Zanzibar. The Resort is a newly refurbished tropical garden hotel with private beach and own swimming pool, an experimental spice farm, wellness and well known restaurant. The combination between European management and local participation is providing a well organized tropical feeling and the ideal place to relax from business life. Nature related beach bungalows may cater for the real tropical impressions with an open bedroom in the first floor of these all natural material built houses. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pakachi Beach Hotel Zanzibar/Jambiani