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“Nice place to stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Spice Island Hotel Resort Zanzibar

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Spice Island Hotel Resort Zanzibar
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   P.O Box 2484, Jambiani 10777, Tanzania   |  
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Ranked #3 of 8 hotels in Jambiani
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Nice place to stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2012

I was traveling with two other people and our triple room was very spacious, with a king and a twin bed, both fitted with mosquito nets. The twin bed's net was rather close-fitting, requiring the occupant to either squish herself down into the middle of the bed or lay normally with the net on her face. There's an air conditioning unit, which is absolutely necessary, considering how hot and humid Zanzibar is. It does a pretty good job, but doesn't cool the entire room evenly. There were 1.5 bathrooms, which was great. The open shower was spacious and had decent water pressure. Note that the water coming out of the tap is brackish (a mix of fresh and salt water), as it is over the entire island. It's not as bad as it sounds, but it takes some getting used to.

The hotel actually sits slightly above the water, and there's an area with umbrellas and chairs to lounge. You have to walk down some steps to get to the actual beach. In June, low tide lasts roughly 6 am to 6 pm, so basically the whole day. And low tide is super low. You can walk way out there, but it's not really worth it. Water shoes are a must because of all the sea urchins. Even at high tide when you can hear the waves crashing to shore, swimming isn't great because of all the seaweed. Also, there are occasional pieces of trash floating around, not a lot, but enough to notice. Oh, and the cows. What? Yes, we walked down the beach on our first night and smelled cow manure but didn't know where it was coming from. Early the next morning, we saw cows being herded down the beach. Yuck. Despite these small details, the beach really is beautiful. The water is turquoise and clear and the sand is the finest I've ever seen, like flour. A couple of hours of beach clean up could go a long way.

This all (and the hot, humid weather) makes the pool essential. We didn't understand why the pool looked murky but soon realized that it was because it was salt water. Of course, because everything is salt water on this island! I happen to like deep pools, but note that I, at 5'4", could only venture a little ways off the step before being completely submerged. So be prepared to tread water a lot.

My favorite part of this hotel was the pier. There's a long pier over the beach, and it opens up at the end into a large deck with tables, chairs, and couches. There's a bar and a fun center as well. We laid out on this pier for literally an entire day, reading and sleeping. We were thrilled to realize that we could order lunch out there too! We watched the tide go out, the locals harvest seaweed, and the tide come back in. Bonus, there are steps going down into the water, so we did some snorkeling as well.

Service is pretty good. I was most impressed that they mopped our floors every day. We really tried to not track sand into our room, but it's inevitable, so the clean floor was much appreciated. We encountered a bit of a language barrier - we never got the right order in the restaurant, and the woman working the front desk was really difficult to understand. It wasn't really a problem, though, just be flexible. If you really need help, Claudia and Tina are always available and very willing to help.

We had a problem with our dolphin trip; our guide shortchanged us two hours and then lied about it when we asked Tina to investigate. Tina was very apologetic and discounted our cost, because the dolphin company refused. We appreciate the gesture, but I can't help but think that the resort should have never been in partnership in the first place. On the off-chance that this was the first time something went wrong, I hope that the resort will not be doing business with them again.

The food was decent. Our favorite dish was the pilau rice. The owner was friendly and came around to check on everyone each night, but did not seem to know what was going on in his resort. We asked him a bunch of questions and we realized later that quite a few of his answers were inaccurate.

Basically, most complaints about this place would have been the same at any other resort (e.g. brackish water, seaweed-filled beach), so this is a pretty good place to stay. However, if I were to come back, I'd probably try another resort, possibly Echo.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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101 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Gotha
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2011

Das Hotel hat einen jungen & dynamischen Stil, sowie Managment. Verschiedene Aktivitaeten wie Boat trips, Angeln oder Tauchen werden geboten und auch auf Anfrage begleidet. Die Zimmer sind liebefoll gestaltet und haben einen frischen Flair. Der Garten mit seinen vielen verschiedenen tropischen Pflanzen gefiel uns besonders. Im grossen & ganzen ein aufmerksamer & hoeflicher Service kuemmerte sich um unsere Wuensche & Anliegen. Sundownwer drinks an der Jetty Bar sind ein muss. Die Kueche ueberraschte uns mit kreativen & liebevoll gewuerzten Gerichten jeden Tag aufs neue. Viel Erfolg fuer die Zukunft im Spice Island.

Room Tip: 2.in der zweiten Reihe missed man den leichten Laerm des Pools
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reykjavik
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2011

we staid with our daughter at this beautiful resort last august and were very happy with our stay. The room, in our little house, was spacious and comfortable - especially good to have 2 bathrooms with a teenage daughter. The staff was friendly and efficient. Food was very good and the restaurant beautiful, as well as the comfy living room loft. The bar on the pier is something to remember, as it was like sitting out at unbelievable green-blue ocean. And we all had fabulous massage and, us girls, manicure as well.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Spiceislandhotel, Manager at Spice Island Hotel Resort Zanzibar, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
Thank you for taking time to comment your recent stay at Spice Island Hotel & Resort. We are happy and proud that we fulfilled your expectations.

Kind regards
Spice Island Hotel & Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2011

room prices with breakfast 140 usd, half board 180 usd, full board 220 usd. food and drink prices excellent value. the 2 managing ladies are extremely efficient, present and very attentive to customers and staff. we stayed in another (grubby) place and had our lunches and dinners at the spice island resort. we even took others along. food is great, staff service excellent, reflecting the positive mentality of the managment. charge of 5% on use of creditcards.
we were able to stay alongside the pool using hotel facilities after asking the managment. we felt both ladies were fantastic, and we were greatfull to be able to stay at their place that really stands out in tanzanian hotel landscape.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Spiceislandhotel, Manager at Spice Island Hotel Resort Zanzibar, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
Thank you for taking time to comment your recent stay at Spice Island Hotel & Resort. We are happy and proud that we fulfilled your expectations.

Kind regards
Spice Island Hotel & Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blighty
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2011

an efficiently run place, with an extra toilet in each cabin, totalling two toilets. (our main complaint was the lack of a hatch connecting the two commodes which meant our conversation was often frustratingly muffled during times of shared faecal urgency.) a, frankly, sinister head waiter (who the waiting staff clearly feared) meant meals were tense and the preponderance of knick knacks in the rooms offended my wife's delicate sensibilties. (also, inedible pasta was served up one evening in the restaurant..)

on the plus side, the pool's nice, the masai are very lovely and the two hotel dogs are very cute. an extra minute on the pasta, and less of a blood curdling grin from restaurant man and all should be well.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2011

We had an amazing time at Spice Island. The staff are friendly and attentive. The hotel is stunning. Rooms have 4 poster beds, a large bathroom, A/C, fan, balcony, another separate loo. The swimming pool is large and refreshing. I had a massage in the spa which is well worth it if you have tired muscles.

The beach is stunning, long white sand stretching for miles. There is a long pier at the hotel with a beach bar at the end which is great to sit and have cocktails at in the evening.

If you want to venture out of the hotel for some food i would highly recommend Captain Cooks restaurant in Jambiani for some delicious seafood. Just walk right out of the hotel along the beach to the village and you will find it.

All in all a great hotel, i would definitly stay here again.
Lavinia

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Spiceislandhotel, Manager at Spice Island Hotel Resort Zanzibar, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
Thank you for taking time to comment your recent stay at Spice Island Hotel & Resort. We are happy and proud that we fulfilled your expectations.

Kind regards
Spice Island Hotel & Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

On our second visit to Zanzibar, we were very lucky to chance upon the newly opened Spice Island Hotel and resort before the crowds arrive, as they undoubtedly will when word gets out.
This is a beautiful 4 star resort, very competitively priced in Jambiani, on one of the nicest stretches of beaches in all of Zanzibar, with glistening white sand and the clearest turquoise seas you could ever wish to see.
The rooms are lovely, and spotlessly clean with a large 4 poster bed with mosquito nets and a further pull out bed. Linen was fresh and crisp, and towels big, white and fluffy. Air conditioning units of a high standard and, and there is a TV in the rooms
A member of staff arrived each night to bug-spray the room.
All rooms have a little shaded veranda and private garden which is lovely to sit in, and chill with a glass of wine.
The gardens are absolutely beautiful, with many young shrubs and trees and flowers of every colour that we have only ever seen in Africa. There was always gardeners tending and watering and of course we saw many little brightly coloured little birds every day.
The pool is huge and there was a member of staff continuously cleaning and checking whatever needs to be checked, temperature? Salt level? whatever, it was an absolute delight to get into. This is the only hotel in Jambiani with a pool I believe.
Now the restaurant. I think it’s very difficult to get really food in Africa unless of course you pay an arm and a leg. The food here was excellent given the prices.
Each meal we had was better than the previous, and the pumpkin soup and date parfait memorable.
A very respectable wine list with a good house for about £12. We also had a few very nice well priced cocktails and they have Glenmorange, the only malt if you’r Scots.
All areas of this resort are clean, and comfortable, and the lounge area above the restaurant is one of the most chilled out places we have ever been in. I have posted a picture here but I don’t think it’s a true reflection of how nice it is.
There is also a jetty type thing, like a wooden walkway with another comfortable cocktail bar area at the end, and a room for massage just off, so that if you fancy a massage (which I did) you can hear the waves lapping.
Lastly all staff including management were, professional and friendly but from a distance, i.e. attentive without being intrusive, and the people in reception extremely helpful
The girl in charge of the kitchen (whose name I forget, sorry) did give me her recipe for the date parfait.
I have no hesitation in recommending this hotel, it was an absolute delight, and we sincerely hope to return one day.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TinaWurmus, Manager at Spice Island Hotel Resort Zanzibar, responded to this review, February 10, 2011
Dear Beth,
we are so happy that you liked your stay with us! Thank you for you comment! Kind regards Tina
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Spice Island Hotel Resort Zanzibar

Also Known As:
Spice Island Hotel Resort Zanzibar Jambiani
Address: P.O Box 2484, Jambiani 10777, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Jambiani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Jambiani
#2 Family Hotel in Jambiani
#2 Romantic Hotel in Jambiani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Spice Island Hotel Resort Zanzibar 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Life`s the beach, enjoy the people, feel the culture ofZanzibar!Enjoy the sophisticated island cuisine, fresh seafood and fish as a combination of Indian, Arab, Indian and African dishes; here finds itsperfection. What could be more romantic than a dinner under the starry sky of Zanzibar with accompanied by the full moon of the Equator or aperfect breakfast on the beach with the rising morning sun of the Indian Ocean?Our oriental lounge gives you a breathtaking view over the Indian Ocean. Seated on cushions, you can read here, listen to the music or just simply relax and let your soul flow. Over the sea pier youare reaching our Jetty bar and the water sports center. ... more   less 
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