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“Relaxing place to stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Bay Resort Zanzibar

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Dolphin Bay Resort Zanzibar
P. O. Box 2622, Kizimkazi, Tanzania (Formerly Zanzibar Dolphin View Paradise)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Kizimkazi
Birmingham
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Relaxing place to stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2009

My wife and I recently stayed here and had an enjoyable 5 days. On arrival we were upgraded to a sea view villa with private pool which was a great surprise.

The Villa is huge and basically like having your own house. They are kept clean and having your own pool is a major bonus. If, like us, you are after some peace and quiet for a few days then the fact you can choose between a main pool and your own is great. In terms of the staff, we found them to be very friendly and helpful. Yes, at times there can be a language barrier, but we got the feeling that many of the staff were really making an effort and learning their trade and this was fine by us. A special mention goes to Ole who always made an effort to see how we were each day. He also took us on a village walk which we found to be a highlight of our trip. The food was good, perhaps not outstanding, but always tasty. Other features are the close proximity to the dolphins, a private beach, bar serving drinks thoughout the day and also an onsite spa which we found excellent.

These next points are not meant to be negative, but would be good improvements for the future. At times you really just wanted a drink at the villa rather than go to the bar, so they either need to install mini bars or have some sort of room service which makes this possible. The bar isn't a long walk, but it's long enough to put you off sometimes. At times we did find the restaurant area a touch breezy. We don't know if this is normal or just how it was when we were there, but this can be easily prevented with some wooden blinds (or something like that) to cover the open windows which act as gaps allowing the wind to come through. Finally, I do think the dolhin trip could be a little cheaper. For me, that's a major reason we picked the hotel, but I guess we hoped cheap or even free trips to the dolphins would be put on, rather than paying the standard price that all tour operators charge.

These points aside, it is a nice hotel and we look back on our stay very fondly. For peace and relaxation while on the south of island, it is definitely worth your consideration.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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37 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    7
    15
    4
    7
    4
See reviews for
15
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town South Africa
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2009

I have just returned from a weeks stay at ZDVP resort with my family. We had a fantastic time. Most of the other hotels in zanzibar offer you a room with a bathroom attached, here you get a whole villa with 3 bredrooms, all on suite, a living area and an upstairs area with views to die for!! The rooms are all air conditioned and there is a HUGE plasma screen TV with DSTV! Most of the villas have a good sized swimming pool which is really fantastic. The meals are good but if you have a specific meal request, the kitchen staff were fantastic to seeing that you were kept happy... we had a wonderful stay!!!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Birmingham
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2009

I have recently come back from Zanzibar where I stayed with my wife at the Dolphin View Paradise Resort - and I have to tell you that we were very disappointed with it - and we weren't the only ones, virtually everyone we spoke to at the resort was less than impressed with what they experienced. Main concerns are that the resort does not deliver the promise - here are a few examples...the anticipated daily swimming with the dolphins at the end of the jetty is actually an organised excursion that is going to cost you a minimum of $25 per head each time; the jetty for lunch and a bar with a spectacular view is just a fantasy (the jetty is there but no bar and certainly no lunch); the resort is pretty much isolated and if you want to leave, you're probably going to have to take one of their very expensive excursion trips (for instance $66 per head to go and visit Johani Forest 15 minutes down the road).

Also the resort is still not fully operational (we found out when were there that they are still in a 'soft opening' phase) - you'll find basics missing like drinking water in your villa, and phones (how do you phone for room service?), there is no shop on site - the villas are huge - in fact too big in many ways - and certainly not cosy. In fact the whole resort is a bit of a 'folly' to someone's grand vision - it's a shame the reality doesn't match the dream. I'd check out other places first before opting for this kind of Paradise.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Madrid, Spain
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2009

This resort is beautiful. The views to the sea and the sunset are breathtaking and it's decorated with good taste, in a rustic style. It is a great place if your objective in Zanzibar is to see the dolphins, because you can find them after a 10 minute boat ride from the hotel pier. That was an amazing experience. The beach is very small, but at least it has one. It isn't a place to go snorkling either, although taking a boat you can get to those places.
In my opinion what this hotel needs to improve is the service: they always try to help, but they are slow, they don't understand... there's no telephone in the villas so you need to go to the reception anytime you need anything. There's no "do not disturb" sign, so they came in at the most inconvenient times to clean the room. Regarding the meals, I felt a little trapped because there aren't other restaurants close by so you are forced to have all your meals at the hotel and they don't have a lot of variety. They don't have restaurant room service. Sometimes it was really windy and the restaurant is at an open space so it was quite unpleasent. The rooms were clean but they left fresh flowers every day which filled up the villa with ants. They folded used towels so you didn't know which had already been used. At the swimming pool they didn't always have pool towels available.
Summerizing, the hotel is good, it would just be sooo much better with minor improvements.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Maryland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2009

Still in the "soft opening" phase we were lucky enough to stay the night that they were fully booked for the first time, which was celebrated with a scrumptious buffet of local foods. OMG!
The villas are extremely comfortable and because they all come with a private pool it was a party for our kids. Seas were rough so only a few of us were brave enough to swim with the dolphins, but we did go out snorkling the next day (this particular beach is said not to be the best for snorkling but we saw plenty of gorgeous fish.
The people are VERY friendly, management does its utmost best to greet everyone and I truly wish we could have stayed MUCH longer!
It is slightly pricey, but well worth the money.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Kent, U.K.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2009

My partner and I stayed at Dolphin View Paradise just for one night but had a wonderful time there and were very impressed. On arrival we were greeted with cool juices and towels at reception. There is lots of local art on the walls in the large reception area, and also a One Ocean Diving and Tours desk. There is also internet access and games, fitness and business rooms.

The architecture is very nice and construction is of an excellent quality. This is continued throughout the resort, from the large infinity swimming pool, bar and restaurant areas, to all the villas.

The villas are definitely the highlight of this resort: they are absolutely huge and finished to a high international standard whilst retaining some traditional Zanzibari features. Each villa can accommodate up to 6 people and ours also had a private pool. There is a huge living area both downstairs and upstairs, and also a huge balcony with wonderful sea views. This side of the Zanzibar also faces the sunset, and the resort has a long jetty out into the sea, so it's perfect for romantic sunset dining or cocktails. The huge villas would also make it perfect for families or groups wanting to all stay together in one villa. It was like having our own holiday house!

The resort also has a lovely private beach and is perfectly located for swimming with the local dolphins. We were out on the water by 6:30 in the morning, meaning that for the first hour we were the only people in the water with these amazing creatures. After this all the other dolphin tours start arriving from the hotels elsewhere in Zanzibar so it can get a bit busy, and we didn't really like the way some of the other boats harassed the small pods of bottlenose dolphins.

To sum up, I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone thinking of visiting Zanzibar. The food, service, staff and location are all excellent, and the villas are wonderful!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Hawksbrigde
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2009

This is one of the best resorts I have visited. The location is marvellous with the picturesque fishing village Kizimkaze around the corner. The houses are very spacious and well equipped. The main area offers a gourmet restaurant, bar and pool. There’s a wounderful palm beach and a Jetty with a bar. We also went on Dolphine rides with 100 % success every time. The service could be better, but is absolutely high class for Zanzibar standards.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Bay Resort Zanzibar

Address: P. O. Box 2622, Kizimkazi, Tanzania (Formerly Zanzibar Dolphin View Paradise)
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Kizimkazi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Kizimkazi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dolphin Paradise is designed in respect of the Zanzibari culture to meet the increasing demand of travelers seeking for an authentic atmosphere within comfort, leisure and intimacy.The resort offers 30 stunning Zanzibari Villas with a perfect view on the Indian Ocean. The place remain simple, incense the natural treasure of Zanzibar, friendliness, amazing scenery, historical architecture and offers the advantages of a service minded boutique hotel combined with the extended facilities of classic Resorts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Dolphin View Paradise Hotel Kizimkazi
Dolphin Bay Resort Zanzibar Kizimkazi

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