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“Loved the restaurant and the dolphins!” 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 8 hotels in Jambiani
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Loved the restaurant and the dolphins!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

I stayed here with my family after a safari in Uganda and it was just what we needed to unwind for a few days. We were lucky that it wasnt so busy when we came so we were very happy with the service and especially the quality of the food in the restaurant.

The views from the beach bungalows and especially from the restaurant (which is suspended over the ocean) are just amazing, as is the beautiful warm water just outside the rooms!

The highlight for us was swimming with the dolphins, although this is not run by the hotel per-say, they were very helpful in organising the excursion for us.

There seem to be a plethora of hotels along the Jambiani beach line, and we only stayed at Coral Rock so I cant compare. But I would recommend it for someone looking to unwind for a few days.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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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
Honolulu, Hawaii
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

Truly fantastic location, right on the amazing beach where the ocean comes almost all the way to your bungalow's door every high tide and then retreats hundreds of meters. Great for swimming, kayaking, windsurfing and snorkeling at high tide. Amazing for long walks with locals harvesting seaweed at low tide. During the full moon it becomes pure magic.

The hotel is cozy and sweet, nice bungalows and great restaurant on the water. You have to try the tuna sashimi and their twist on caipirinha - one of the best cocktails I have ever tried (konyagi, dark local organic honey and limes - almost too good to be true).

The place is expertly managed by Neil and Jill, cool couple from South Africa; Neil also spins fine tunes in his spare time, as a DJ.

All in all - great experience and very highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 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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Hamburg, Germany
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

I spent at Coral Rock in total around 10 nights with my girlfriend and all in all we have been very disappointed, so let's start:
- First of all they mixed up the dates and we had to wait about an hour till they sorted that out, we were offered for that a free breakfast and a bottle of wine in the evening by guest relations which seems very nice. Unfortunately we found the bottle of wine on the bill and guest relations could hardly remember.
- The hotel itself is quite nice with a nice pool. The view is amazing I have to admit but available in other hotels around as well.
- The first room we got was absolutely okay. It was rather at the end of all bungalows.
- After a break of 5 days when we have been to another island we got another room which was quite close to the main entrance and especially the generator. This is used quite often as the power drops quite often. Unfortunately it is so close that you have the feeling it stands in your room when it runs, absolutely horrible.
- the most annoying thing was actually the food in general. The breakfast was horrible and there was nothing nice about it. They just took no pride in it at all. The menu for lunch and dinner is much too long and this lowers the quality to a level which is not acceptable for the prices they charge. Furthermore a dish which was good one day was horrible next day plus looked completely different.
- Service was also bad apart from one waiter who was always very nice. All other people run around as if they hate their job. Guest relations as well, there was this one girl who I haven't seen smile once the entire time - plus we got the feeling that they all just don't care. As example for that we were not even asked why we left earlier when we left two nights before the end of our booking.
- Last problem is that they have a lot of big travel groups coming which stay only for one or two nights, this might be one reason why they don't really care about their customers.
All in all I would not recommend the stay at Coral Rock!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
JambianiNeil, Owner at Coral Rock Hotel, responded to this review, October 18, 2012
Hi Peer. Thanks for your feedback. I've looked into this and can report back as below..

Before I do so, I'd like to mention one very important thing, we at Coral Rock respect the fact that you work hard for your holiday and have every right to be somewhere that you're completely happy with. If you're not completely happy, it is niether any good for us nor for you to stay with us. For many years we have been the busiest hotel in Jambiani and we turn down in excess of 100 booking requests per year because we do not have availability. If anyone is unhappy it is better for all if they move on and let someone else come in that may enjoy their stay with us. I simply do not understand why anyone would stay on if they are unhappy. We would rather refund you than have you upset on our property. That being said...

1) It seems the you were initially happy enough to spend time at Coral Rock and even returned again and that the problem mostly relates to the second room you were given upon your return. You do not seem the type to return to a hotel if you did not find it satisfactory to begin with.
2) The issue it seems relates to the proximity of the generator. Let it be known that we used a decibel meter during and after construction of these rooms which allowed us to refine & use the corrrect noise reduction materials in the room and generator enclosure. The result is a 1,2 decibel difference in the room when the generator is on compared to off. This is assuming the door and side windows are closed. You are welcome to check online how small that difference is, and this being the first ever complaint we have received of this nature for this room implies that something was open in your room that could have been closed to solve this issue. We could have assisted you with this.
3) With regard to your dates, you dates were correct in the booking system. The mistake made was that the manager had not added your room to the check in sheet as yet as they wanted to upgrade you. In the end you were still given your room ahead of check in time.
4) It was the managers mistake to charge you for a bottle of wine offered to you for free. I have spoken to him about this and it wont happen again. I apologise on his behalf and we are happy to refund you for that.
5) Apperently he did ask why you were checking out early whereupon you mentioned your travel dates had changed and you needed to get to Stone Town early. If this is not the case please let me know.

As for the other issues, you saw for yourself how full we were and that was why you had to go elsewhere during your stay and return at a later date. Our restaurant too is by far the busiest in Jambiani and our head chef recently won the local chef cook-off at the Zanzibar Beach and Watersports Festival and is now going on to compete in Dar Es Salaam against the top local chefs in Tanzania. I agree sometimes we have an issue with consisentency between the 3 head chefs but we are working on it.

Yes there are big travel groups from Europe that visit us every week and the fact that these are luxury travel groups means that the operators themselves have personally selected Coral Rock as it meets the high standards expected of their clients. That being said we are no longer encouraging big tour groups and wil discontinue with this business model from Feb 2013. A specific guest relation manager speaking their language was appointed for them specifically in the times they were here so that the other managers were free to focus on other guests.

As for happiness of the work force, 95% of our staff have been with us since the begining and in the case where they are not, only 2 or 3 have left us of their own accord in the past 7 years.

Thanks again for your comments, we apologise for the errors made during your stay, we have heard them and we will work to correct them
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arusha T
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
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.
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 8 hotels in Jambiani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Coral Rock Hotel 3*
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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