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“Stunning!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Oyster Hotel

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Blue Oyster Hotel
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   P.O. Box 007, Jambiani, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Jambiani
AUSTRALIA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Stunning!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

After travelling for 32 hours from Australia to get there, we arrived just before sunset and my jaw dropped open as I walked in!...What a view what a place!...
The staff were so friendly and welcoming - we were shown to our room, which was on the ground level and had a large deck with chairs and table. The room was so romantic - the four poster bed was stunning and the sound of the waves and the breeze -simply to die for.
My husband and I had fabulous time walking the beach, laying in the lounges overlooking the blue waters of the Indian Ocean and then having the lovely town so close with welcoming villagers who greeted you with Jambo!!!
We went snorkelling with Captain Zappy who was so much fun, and we could have kept snorkelling all day!....

  • 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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161 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    103
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    11
    3
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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 (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Breda, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

This is the best hotel for this price range in Jambiani. At this hotel you get excellent value for money. The food is excellent and the service is also very good. The employees are very helpful and friendly. A dive centre is located next to the hotel and diving is possible just of the shore.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 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.
Kampala
2 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

I truly think this is one of the countries best lodges in this price range. I was overwhelmed with the location, the standard of the rooms and the fast and friendly service.... The beach is among the whitest of Zanzibar and the sea is as azure blue as you can get. The sea view rooms are spacious and the double bed is ginormous! I just loved it!

  • 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.
Tanzania
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

Our 3-night stay at Blue Oyster was quite comfortable. The staff gave us a very friendly welcome and were helpful throughout our stay. The rooms were cleaned very well every morning and sprayed for mosquitoes every night. They have a lot of nice places to relax outside plus a second floor restaurant with an excellent view and generally, very good food. Although I wouldn't recommend eating all of your meals at the restaurant as it can get expensive quickly. Most of the dishes are 15,000 Tsh (~$10) or more without drinks. The included breakfast was usually pretty good but varied a lot. We were surprised the first morning at how limited it was: eggs, fruit and some bread. The following day there was cereal, eggs, mini-pancakes, meat, cheese, fruit and multiple types of bread. Our last morning was somewhere in between the first two days. We were happy that there was real coffee at least every day.

One thing that surprised me was that Blue Oyster only had soap and shampoo available for purchase. There was liquid soap in the rooms, but that was all. Every budget hotel I've stayed at in TZ offered soap and most places that were more expensive offered shampoo as well. It probably sounds minor, but after a long trip we didn't have a lot left and expected them to offer at least soap. If you are planning a longer trip and stay here, just be sure to bring enough of your own until you get to another place.

The seawall outside the hotel has its positives and negatives. No one ever bothered us, but during the high tides, you could not swim or even sit on the chairs as the waves crashed over the wall.

Electricity in Jambiani can be a little sporadic, so we were glad Blue Oyster had a backup generator. Therefore we never had any issues with electricity during our stay even though it went out at times. However, we were without water on our last morning for a few hours. I'm not sure what happened, but they did fix the problem.

Jambiani is a great place to experience local life and relax. A taxi from the airport should cost no more than 50,000 Tsh. If it's within your budget, I would recommend Blue Oyster for its friendly service and relaxing atmosphere.

Room Tip: Request a room on the second floor with ocean view.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012

Such a nice few days at the Blue Oyster. German run leads it to be very efficient and a breeze to sort everything we needed. Rooms are perfect and the restaurant gave us no reason to look elsewhere. Personal feel with the staff remembering our room number etc. A couple of things For that 5th star; tv somewhere (had to find one elsewhere to watch the Murray final), and Wifi would be an appreciated add on rather than the netbook rental option that is offered. Thanks very much, lovely village and hotel.

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2012

After two nights in Stone Town, we took a transfer over to Jambiani Beach to stay at the Blue Oyster. I booked our room and prepaid one night for a deposit. They accept credit cards with a 5% surcharge. The charge during June was $120 a night for two persons. This includes breakfast and ocean front room.

The rooms are really nice and they are clean. They even come during the evenings for turndown service and changing towels. This is a really well-maintained property. The food however is so-so. Their breakfast is however fantastic. They actually provide a lot of choices. Here's a hint for other meals you might have there: Don't order dessert because whatever they serve for dessert that you have to pay for, they actually serve the very same bread (yes it's not really cake but some sort of breakfast bread) the next day at breakfast. Save yourself 4000 shillings! You can have as much of it as you want in the morning. Also, don't order coffee because you also get that for free until 1030 am (when breakfast is over). Same coffee just save yourself 5000 shillings!

Staff here is friendly and helpful and their English is good. The General Manager is German which makes sense since most of the guests were also. We got to go snorkeling through Captain Zappy who visits the property and works with the hotel to arrange snorkeling trips via his boat. There is also a scuba diving company right across the street (Easy Blue) that you can arrange diving trips with. They also co-own a tour company that can arrange Spice Tours, etc. It's a one-stop shop for Zanzibar. The only thing is that you are pretty much isolated there. There are no shops or anything around and even though there's other restaurants along the beach, it's simply easier to sit and eat at their hotel. We had lunch at one other place but ate all the rest of our meals at the Blue Oyster. Like I said, the food was so-so. Could be better especially for the prices they were charging. It was like NYC prices for entrees that are really not worth paying more than $10 for but come out to nearly $20. A personal pizza costing nearly $10 is sort of more than I expect to pay in Africa especially when they use salami and not pepperoni :)

In any event, I enjoyed my stay there but it easily cost us over $300 a day for two people including meals for a room that was ocean view but without A/C. That's a lot for low-season in East Africa, even if it is in Zanzibar.

Room Tip: spend the extra money for an ocean view rooms. the views are worth it alone but you really need that...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 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.
Munich, Germany
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

I arrived at the Blue Oyster a broken woman, post-Kilimanjaro. I needed R&R and the Blue Oyster offered just that. White sands, good weather and a stunning setting - it was just what I needed.

First off, the staff are amazing. The general manager (I forget his name) was super helpful and always there with a smile. Everyone who worked there was happy to help - and that made our stay so relaxing and enjoyable. The garden staff are so hard working - the flowers and bushes added such a beautiful touch and each morning a gardener was out with a rake and kept the gardens in great shape.

Food: breakfast was good - a choice of eggs, fresh fruit, pastries and freshly squeezed juice / tea and coffee- sometimes we were offered muesli too. Being lazy, we ate lunch and dinner there every day too, though apparently the Italian Sale e Pepe nearby (walk left along the beach and it's around 5-10 mins away) is pretty good. We met a couple who had eaten lunch at a nearby tourist college (lunch between 12-4) which they highly recommended, but unfortunately we missed out. Lunch and dinner at the Blue Oyster was good though - fish, seafood and European dishes such as lasagne.

Tours: We organized a couple of tours via the Blue Oyster and they were good, though VERY expensive. The tourist college mentioned above offers tours at a fraction of the price, though I don't know where it is - but I am sure the Reception staff would be able to help. We also went snorkelling with Captain Zappy, who was the coolest guy - we spent a morning with him fishing too, and it was so much fun. If you want to go out to sea, definitely consult Zappy!

Rooms: Beds are HUGE and the rooms are clean. Before going to dinner you can hand your key into reception and they will prepare the mosquito nets and spray the room for you (though we didn't see many mozzies). The showers were pretty nippy, but I guess you can't expect boiling hot showers in Zanzibar :)

Only gripe is the price of the Kemi organized tours. Mohammed our driver for them was a very fun guy, but it'd be nice if the trips came a little more reasonably priced.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Oyster Hotel

Address: P.O. Box 007, Jambiani, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Jambiani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Jambiani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Blue Oyster Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
small friendly place hotel next to the beach offers rooms with sea view and rooms in a court yard, open terraced restaurant with an extensive menu. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Blue Oyster
Blue Oyster Hotel Zanzibar/Jambiani

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