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“Gorgeous piece of beach” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Coral Rock Hotel

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Coral Rock Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Mfumbwi, Jambiani 4125, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Jambiani
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Arusha T
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Gorgeous piece of beach”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

To get here from stonetown we paid 40,000 tsh to our driver. It took around 2 hours.
Once you get to Paje they just keep following that main road all the way to what seems like another 20min drive.

We pulled in through a typical Tanzanian village and caught glimpses of the ocean between houses and were breathless. Arriving for check in local kids come up to curiously stare you up and down. Check in was easy they didnt keep our passports.

The premises is a long rectangular property and we were at the other end away from the restaurant. Lots of reviews on this site raved about the venue hence why we booked. We were a couple so just wanted quiet time. The room had AC and TV and was perfect - four post bed, clean, safe and private.

The food at the hotel was brilliant - go the seafood it was delicious. At first ordering according to gram size you think you will be ripped off but the portion was fair and the quality brilliant in comparison to most places in Zanzibar (this is my 3rd time).

Staff.. waiters were great always attentive and understood our orders. Its much nicer sitting outside for dinner as the restaurant there was just a vibe too crowded and not quiet.

There is an infinity pool which we used once as it was a little crowded. It was fine when you timed the tide and had some beautiful swims in the ocean. Strolls along the beach are gorgeous and as with most of africa - football is all the rage on the beach.

Expect lots of kids to come up and say hi. Please please dont give them sweets or money even if asked. This is one of the few beach destinations in East Africa left where you can take photos with the kids without them demanding money or sweets due to some tourists thinking its ok to do. If you want to help donate to a credible organisation not to beggars.

Tourism is ruining local culture throughout this continent be respectful its a Muslim island dont prance around in your bikinis, cover up after your swim!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
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396 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

We have stayed at the hotel twice before and so were extremely disappointed to see how this hotel has deteriorated since we were last there in late 2011. The current 4 star trip advisor rating for 2012 needs to be reviewed. The staff are friendly and do the best that they can, but the owner management Gillian and Neil appear disinterested.
The room had been superficially cleaned when we checked in, the bathroom had a terrible smell, the linen was dirty, two of our towells were badly soiled and stank. Fortunately we had packed our own beach towels so used those instead. When we moved any of the furniture or pulled the curtains back there was gunk underneath, and our mosquito net was very dirty.
When we flushed our loo, the sewerage came up in the shower. Staff cleared the blockage, but the bathroom always stank thereafter.
The aircon and one wall fan (both badly rusted and needing to be serviced) were ineffectual. The mattresses were very uncomfortable and you are also woken at 4am every morning by the taxi's hooting as they travel through the village (the hotel is in Jambiani Village), with the main road directly behind the hotel.
The waiting time for your food in the restaurant is very long. During our 10 days stay we waited for at least an hour (once 2.5 hours) for simple orders like soup. Staff appeared to be doing their best, but the kitchen was apparently understaffed. Most other diners had similar complaints and we found it better to eat most meals at surrounding restaurants (most of which are also significantly cheaper). The breakfasts are very sparse and unimaginitive given the variety of fruits available on the island. Breakfast is included with the room, so it appears management are cutting costs by offering the bare minimum. Be prepared for instant coffee in tupperware, cornflakes, muesli and one fruit juice container (may be empty if you arive later). The fruit is also left in the sun, so is hot and soggy later in the morning.
We weren't the only ones that felt let down, and we overheard several guests trying to secure alternative accommodation. Overall, we would highly recommend Zanzibar, and particulaly the Jambiani area, but unless management take drastic action, Coral Rock was dissappointing.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JambianiNeil, Owner at Coral Rock Hotel, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
I am deeply saddened to hear that we have let down a return guest. Our intention and efforts have always been to improve our offering. I can only offer my sincerest apologies and the assurance that this review has been given the respect, consideration and action it deserves.
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Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

The staff was very welcoming on arrival and even during stay but my 1st night was horrendous, was given a room that was damp and quite stuffy, the bed linen was dirty. Only got upgraded to another room the next day, of which the bed was squeaky, a slight turn/toss and the bed screams at you.Even when a I remarked to the staff about my problem, they told me to wait for Neil or his wife to sought it out, as far as management coming to your aid..don't hold your breath cause they won't attend to you. For hotel standards this place for me is a no, but if you're easy-going and don't give a care to much about being comfortable, it could work

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
JambianiNeil, Owner at Coral Rock Hotel, responded to this review, September 21, 2012
Thank-you for your feedback. As the owner of the property, I'd like to fill you in on how I've been following this up. Since the day of your review I have spoken to every member of staff (twice) with regard to the contents of your review, I have also been through every single room and F&B account on both and computer and paper systems for the month of July. This is what I've found...
1) There is no written or electronic record of any guest moving room after the first day for the month of July. We even triple checked the South African bookings. Gill is responsible for bookings, inquiries & room allocations and movements. If your room was indeed changed it would have been Gill that changed it and it would have been on the written and computer system. Meki and/or Apuu would have physically handled the move. None of these staff recall, or have any record of, any room change by a South African guest after 1 day.
2) No member of staff can confirm a complaint about a squeaky bed. That being said, not all "non-customer facing staff" speak English. Please bear in mind you are in a foreign country and not all staff can/are obligated to speak English so you may have approached someone working on/cleaning a room that did not understand you or that maybe did not even work for Coral Rock.
In your defense, I know that we often change beds in rooms for different configurations and it's possible that a nut & bolt was not correctly tightened- this could have been rectified quickly by speaking to any one of three guest relations managers (Pedro, Cindy/Carmen or Makame) in one of 7 different languages.
3) As a director of the company handling finance and other issues and with Gill doing all admin (bookings etc), we have to hire managers to deal with guests face to face on a full time basis, of which two are available at any time. We also make ourselves available almost everyday in the bar and restaurant and are always contactable by staff and managers to assist guests where they (staff and managers) can't.
****** Any guest who is unhappy with staff service should ask for a manager, and if they can't help, then ask for Gill or Neil by name,to personally assist you. We will not intervene on our managers duties unless requested by them or the guest. We allow them to do their job. We are also not psychic and we can't know something is wrong at an operational/guest level unless we hear it from a manager or you. In your case you knew our names, but you did not come forward and speak to a manager or request assistance from us. I have had to hear about your experience from reading it online after the fact which is frustrating because it would have been so easy to assist you when you were at the hotel ****
It is also possible that a manager or member of staff that you dealt with is not being forthcoming about the incident to me and the only way I will be able to assist you beyond this response is if you are able to provide me with the names or other details of the people you interacted with
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Labin, Croatia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

Our stay at the Ciral rock was pleasant. With nice location and lots of charm this hotel is good place to rest from african hustle and bustle. It has a small but nice pool and lots of outside chill areas.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Norway
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

We stayed four nights at Coral Rock, situated on the south side of Jambiani. We were upgraded from a deluxe room to a suite - but neither term makes much sense. Our half of a bungalow didn't have any modern amenities except a rather small safe and an AC. The AC was placed in the closet, and it kept the closet nice and cool (at least until one of the frequent power blackouts, then the AC stayed off when the power returned). For the main room there was a ceiling fan. Our bathroom door wouldn't close, the sink was clogged, the faucet was as loose as it could be without actually falling off, and water was spilling from the WC onto the bathroom floor. Save for two bars of soap, there was no complimentary toiletries. There was no mosquito net (but malaria is supposedly no problem at Jambiani).

To sum up the room, it was basic and not up to hotel standard.

On the other hand: The place had loads of charm. We had our own veranda facing the sea, and Coral Rock had a small, but very nice pool. The beach style restaurant sat beautifully on a rock above the sea / beach / sea bed (Water flooded the beach almost completely at high tide and retracted a kilometer at low tide). The beaches were white and unspoiled - at least when the tide was right. Breakfast was nothing special, but lunch and dinner were absolutely terrific. At times we had to wait quite a while for the food, but when it arrived it was Oh so good.

If you like the simple life with a pool, beautiful nature, delicious food and a well-stocked bar, Coral Rock might be just your thing. If you require hotel standard, though, you might want to consider other options (although I have no idea if better options exist in Jambiani).

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

My husband and I spent 2 nights in this hotel. After the first night we were quite positive about the hotel as the food was good and the location is nice. The second night however had to be one of the worst nights ever spent in a hotel. We got woken up by very loud techno music at around 23:30 pm. After some tossing and turning my husband went out and found out (to our surprise!) that the loud music was coming from the restaurant area where owner Neil was DJ'ing for a group of 20 people. Though at first glance it appeared that the loud music would be turned down, Neil started turning up the volume again as my husband got back to our room. This time I went to the restaurant area to ask if I could speak to the manager so that the music could be turned down. Upon this request the hotel owner Neil absolutely flipped. He started getting aggressive, kicked our hotel room, pulled out all plugs and threatened to kick us out of the hotel at 12:30 AM! A very inappropriate reaction towards guests that are paying a lot of money for a hotel room and are hoping for some peace and quiet. We spent the rest of the night not sleeping as we were worried that the hotel owner would come back. We absolutely DO NOT recommend this hotel. There are so many other nice hotels to choose from in Zanzibar where you will get treated like a real guest rather than be humiliated, intimidated and screamed at by the owner.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JambianiNeil, Owner at Coral Rock Hotel, responded to this review, July 26, 2012
Coral Rock Hotel reserves right of admission which gives us the right to ask any person to leave the premises if we feel their attitude is abusive, dis-respectful, intimidating or a danger to staff, themselves other guests. In 8 years operating as Coral Rock, we have excercised this right only 2 or 3 times.
There is not a single reference in any review,online or otherwise, in all these years of operation, of a guest being handled or even touched by a member of the Coral Rock team.
When someone is asked to leave, it is not surprising that they may be disgruntled and find a forum for expressing this on a review platform such as this.

The review claims the action of the owner as "unreasonable", yet continues to mention that they were allowed to stay the night, somehow there was enough "reason" to consider the guests and the inconvenience they would face in trying to find alternate accommodation late in the evening.
The guest claims they paid a lot of money for the hotel room that night, but in fact refused to pay the manager on duty the next day for the night they opted to stay
The guest stayed in room 12,with eleven other rooms closer to the restaurant, all full with other guests, some of these being families with young children. There were no other complaints, and, even if we did not receive any directly, if it was as big a problem as described we're sure other reviews would be available that validate this one.
In our opinion and experience the music was stopped at a reasonable hour and was of a reasonable enough volume not to upset any of the other 30 odd guests.
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Leeds, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

Absolutely beautiful location, right on the beach front. The hotel had a lovely pool and a great restaurant with delicious meals, with breath-taking views over the sea. Not too noisy and the staff were very helpful. We booked through 'Pure Zanzibar' and Laura was great, she organised the whole trip for us including transfers.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
JambianiNeil, Owner at Coral Rock Hotel, responded to this review, December 6, 2012
Thank-you for taking the time to share your experience. Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for letting us know our efforts have been worthwhile
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Coral Rock Hotel

Address: Mfumbwi, Jambiani 4125, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Jambiani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Jambiani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Coral Rock Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Coral Rock is one of the most popular small to mid-size hotels in Zanzibar. We offer incredible views and an authentic Zanzibari experience encourages local and cultural interaction within a functioning Swahili fishing village. Our aim is authenticity & value for money. We have arguably the biggest menu in Zanzibar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Coral Rock Jambiani
Hotel Coral Rock
Coral Rock Hotel Zanzibar/Jambiani

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