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“The most perfect place in Zanzibar, more than a paradise...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sea View Lodge

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Sea View Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Kibigija, Jambiani, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The most perfect place in Zanzibar, more than a paradise...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

This was the first place we stayed in Zanzibar. We travelled to every major village on the Island: Kizimkazi, Jambiani, Bwejuu, Paje, Uroa, Matemwe, Kendwa, Nungwi and Stone town the capital.

From all of our experience, Jambiani was the best place to stay. It was so good that we changed our plans for our last night and went through a 4h journey in the boiling heat to reach the place of our dreams.

When we look back at our trip and all the places we saw, it might seem a bit strange to an outsider that we judge this place as the best spot. Don't expect luxury when going there: hot water is not always running; all the food on the menu is not always available and it is sometimes slow. When you go to Zanzibar you don't expect to live with the same comfort than you are used to lets say in Europe but it is exactly the way life should be experienced on the island.

First of all, the hotel is in perfect harmony with nature and the landscape. The infrastructure of the Seaview Lodge is made of palm trees, the roof being made of their leaves and the framework from the trunks of the same tree. Coconut trees give a natural symmetry, dividing the space between the rooms and the restaurant, creating a sandy alleyway beneath their shade. There are four rooms, all directly on the beach, so you are lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves and awake to see the sunrise over the ocean and the fishermen on their dhow boats, carried by the wind in their sails. You will feel that time does not exist any longer as you know it, everything is paced by sun, the moon and nature. Inside the rooms are furnished in the traditional Zanzibari fashion. We slept very comfortably, the only sound being that of the ocean. The cleaner comes several times a day to ensure everything is as clean as a whistle and to spray mosquito repellant and put the nets down in the evening...his name is Bakari, he is 16 years old and would love you to play football with him on the beach in the morning. If you brought a t-shirt from your home town as a gift for him he would be over the moon.

At the lobby you will find Suleiman, the manager of the Lodge. He has a heart of gold and will accommodate your every need, no matter what time of day or night. We saw him waking at 3am to give breakfast to people checking out early, no request having been made for this, it just being his kindness and passion in making your stay unforgettable. He has many friends in the village of Jambiani, one of them, Hassan (the Robat) can arrange many activities including fishing, snorkelling, sailing...This man was the most generous and genuine person we met. We went sailing with him and his brother on one of the traditional Dhow boats and immediately built a relationship with him. Hassan is very well known in Jambiani village, you can even ask for him 5km away from the village and people will know exactly who you are speaking of. We felt very lucky to be invited by him to his family home for dinner during Ramadan. Having a girl sitting with the guys to eat when usually all the other women sit separately with the children demonstrated his open mindedness. It was the best meal we have ever had, cooked by his wife and eaten sitting on a Kanga under the stars, dipping our hands in a common pot in near total darkness. His children were holding our hands when we arrived, lighting our path to the food that awaited us before disappearing to leave the men together. We decided to invite him for dinner the following day and asked him to pick a place he would like to go. We expected him to choose a place along the beach, where he would ordinarily not be able to afford to eat but instead he chose a small local place in the heart of the village, putting himself behind us in order that we could discover his world. We were amazed by how someone with so little could nourish and build his own happiness on genuine feelings and the happiness and enjoyment of others rather than on any material possession.

The kitchen staff at the lodge were born with a smile. The whole village of Jambiani is like a huge family, everyone helping everyone else out and the staff at the lodge are a part of that family, enjoying life together, working together, supporting each other. We never felt this so much in any of the other places we visited on the island.

If you would like to have a cocktail or a beer note that Seaview Lodge do not serve any alcohol, in keeping with the local muslim culture. Fear not...the Shadow Bar is less than five minutes walk away along the beach. Here you will be welcomed by the clone of Bob Marley and can have all that goes with this ;)

Invite me to the most luxurious hotel in Mnemba Island, Matemwe private resorts, Nungwi.....I would tell you no thank-you I am staying at Seaview lodge. Tanzania is known as the womb of humanity among many African people so surely Jambiani should be the capital of Tanzania.

Thank you for everything Suleiman, Hassan, Bakari and all the kitchen staff for making those 5 days the best moments we ever had.

Alice and Leo

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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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72 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    45
    21
    4
    1
    1
See reviews for
10
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Cairo
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2012

The service is attentive, but the kitchen is very slow in producing meals. Much on the menu was also unavailable and the so-called vegetable curry had no relationship to curry and wasn't even decent-quality food. The rooms and bathrooms are rather basic with no chairs in the rooms. During the day, this may not be an issue as you sit on your porch, but you might like one inside in the evenings.

There's very little live coral to see on the snorkelling trip they arrange for you. The fisherman they set you up with who takes you out uses the time to fish for the same little colourful ones you came to admire. He must use them as food or bait for other fishes. You might want to pay more and go to a better reef.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2011

Our experience at Sea View Lodge in Jambiani was unbelievable. We paid exactly the same as at other resorts on the island, but we received the most fantastic service and care by the staff (Salum and Salum 2). They are so welcoming. Breakfast is beautiful and the dinner menu is impossible as there are so many lovely options at great prices. Lovely relaxing bar area for spiced tea or cocktails. Private sun loungers for each chalet. There are only 6 chalets so it is quiet with a lovely family feel. I felt like we were staying at a 5 star hotel. Just excellent service. They were kind enough to help us book local tours. It is also placed in the most beautiful spot of Jambiani. The chalets have charm and character and are cleaned daily. We moved on to Paje, but we wished we had stayed longer. It is unbeatable!

Room Tip: All rooms face the sea, no duffers!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 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.
Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2011

This is a wonderful place if you want to relax!!! We really recommend it!
In the morning you wake up and you see the sea; bungalows are located –almost- on the beach. Peaceful place, good food, clean rooms, a very nice host man,… Along the beach there are many restaurants and bars so very easy to go elsewhere if you like. Possible activities: snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, mountain biking,... High value; we would certainly return!

  • Stayed October 2011, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2011

We spent 4 great nights at Sea View. This small lodge has the "back to nature" feel with its simple rustic settings. There is no need for shoes as the sand in Jambiani is not only the whitest I have ever seen, but is also very soft. Thanks to the staff at sea view (Mohammad, Cacao, Abdullah and Masai) who were very welcoming and helpful. Nothing was too much to ask including orgainsing fishing trips etc, which made our break very special. The chef is also excellent, so dont miss out on the fresh octopus salad, pilawo rice and swahili chicken!! The rates were very reasonable, for such a fantastic experience which is priceless and we look forward to visiting again in the next year!!! Oh....do try the beach massages by the local women while you relax on the bed loungers at the front of each banda.

Room Tip: All bandas are sea front so you cannot go wrong!
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  • Stayed September 2011, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Aquitaine
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

What else could we say...
This place was our first spot in Zanzibar and we must say we felt like starting with the best we could see and experience during our 2 weeks trip. Staying 3 nights we finally stayed 5 because the place and people were so nice, so peaceful and so beautiful!
After 5 days, we felt like at home with friends and enjoyed their lovely seafood (the best we had during our whole trip), feet in the sand.
Bungalows are very nice and clean, all with sea view and very comfortable, all with mosquito net and fan.

Thank you Mohammed, Abdul and all the team for your kindness, your help and for giving us so precious memories!

And thanks again for this divine food experience we had!

We wish you all the best !

Caroline and Jonathan (France), stay from July 18 to July 23, 2011

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sea View Lodge

Address: Kibigija, Jambiani, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Jambiani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Jambiani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sea View Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small privately owned and run lodge which has had a further four bungalows built this year. Totalling eight bungalows with four facing the Indian Ocean; and four by the poolside. Home cooking which includes Italian cuisine besides local Zanzibarian cooking. Ideal place for a totally relaxing holiday . Clean, quiet and peaceful. No request is out of place; please ask and we will endeavour our best to comply. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sea View Lodge Zanzibar/Jambiani

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