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“Great Place for Relaxation” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Samaki Lodge & Spa

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Samaki Lodge & Spa
main road, Uroa 458-928, Tanzania   |  
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20% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Uroa
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Place for Relaxation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2011

I stayed at the Samaki Lodge for three nights during third week of June. I'll preface this all by saying that I had been traveling for work for about 4 weeks and this was the last leg of my trip in Dar-es-Salaam, so I just wanted to relax and enjoy the environment. I chose Samaki because it seemed to be a place well suited for this. I opted not to stay in Stone town where there would be many more tourists. I was met by one of the hotel staff upon my arrival and he gave me a run down of the hotel and the services. The hotel only had a family staying there as this was a few weeks prior to the actual vacation season began.

Room:
The room was nice and comfortable. I had a lovely balcony where i was able to sit and read. There was no television or phone in the room. The mattress wasn't plush by any means, and was firm, which suited my back fine. The bathroom and everything else was fine.

Staff:
The staff were extremely helpful and diligent in being attentive to the needs of the guests at all times and looked to help in anyway that they good.

Food:
The food had its days. For the most part I would say that it was very good and it was a nice variety of things. The seafood was fresh, having been caught the same day, and was prepared in a variety of ways. There was quite a lot of food and I was often full. If you are looking for typical american food this is definitely not the case here, but everything was tasty. Having meals at specific times was a bit of a bother and I would have liked to be able to get something at different times during the day.

Beach:
The beach was absolutely gorgeous! Clean, beautiful definitely the best thing.

Travel/Tours:
I wanted to venture into stone town and there weren't many people for a tour so I was charged about $50 to go and come back. The to and from the ferry was $90 which was rather expensive. The village is about 45min from the port.

I would recommend this place if you are looking to get away and spend some time on a beautiful beach and aren't expecting the hilton.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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346 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (8)
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

It is a beautiful resort, wonderful clear sand and pristine water, very friendly staff and great food! It is very natural and tranquil. I highly recommend it to the nature-loving traveller who wants to rest and enjoy fully nature in all its colours and beauty!

Room Tip: The rooms are very nice, but they do not have a phone nor TV.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

Plus: relaxing environment, friendly staff, nice pool and beach area, WiFi throughout property
Negative: food, bed quality, limited options, felt overpriced for what you got (given it's Africa)

I feel like I stayed at a different place than some of the other reviewers, as my husband and I had a different opinion of the place.

The Ambiance: shabby, rustic beach shack. The pool area and beach area are pretty nice with pretty flowers, thatched umbrellas, though most of the lounge chairs weren't adjustable. the rooms are a bit worn. We were glad we had a beach room as it had an semi-enclosed patio area that was nice to hang out in when the beach area was too windy. The room was ok- air con, hot water, towels, mosquito net. The bed was a very basic foam mattress- not that comfortable and the toilet made really loud noises. The WiFi was a real plus. They had guards which kept the village kids and salespeople off the property- though you could interact with them on the beach if you wanted. The village of Uroa is quite a poor village.

The Staff: were very friendly and tried to help where they could. It was definitely a bit of emerging market challenges in what the local staff offers and what we would want from a North American or European perspective. The grounds were cleaned and well maintained. We had a few inconsistencies on what we were told and what we actually got. Settling the bill took around 30 minutes, and even though they only accepted cash, they said they did not have any USD or Euro for the $20 change we were owed- finally one of the employees gave the front desk guy $19 to give us.

The Food: this was the biggest disappointment as the positive reviews from others were a reason we picked Samaki. I knew it would be secluded with limited (if any) other options, so having decent food was important to us. All meals were buffet and at specific times. We felt it was similar to airplane food in quality and taste. Generally the spread had potatoes, rice, and other grain options, some cooked chicken and fish dish, some vegetables, soup, and fruit. I wish they had a limited daily la carte with basic pasta, grilled fresh seafood, and fresh fruit- would have been much better! One night we had quite good penne with a good basic tomato and vegetable sauce but didn't have anything near as good again. As we had half-board, we went to another hotel (Uroa Beach Resort) down the beach for some decent basic pasta and pizza from their a la carte menu. Their buffet didn't look any better than Samaki's, though.

Activities: we didn't book any excursions with them. My husband got a massage, but he stopped part way though as the quality was so poor- though the hotel said it was a new person and didn't charge us. At over $50/person for any excursion we were doubtful the quality would be worth it to us. We tried independently to book the real Blue Safari company (the hotel's "Blue Safari" was run by themselves), but they didn't offer a trip the day we wanted. Samaki's quoted airport transfer price was $100, but our driver from Stone Town charged us $40- without any negotiating.

Summary: If we were to do it over, we would have just stayed in Stone Town (liked Kholle House) and booked excursions and beach visits from there as there would be more hotel and food options. In my research I didn't seem to find stand-out beach hotel options in the mid-price range ($100-200 per night) so I don't know if there are good alternatives to Samaki. Better food and mattresses would go a long way.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tanga, Tanzania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2011

We stayed here for 2 nights. Rooms are good sized, clean and comfortable and can easily sleep 3 adults in a room. Bathroom is clean, functional and in good working order.

Food quality is good and can be made as per our choice and taste.

Beach is wonderful, long, pure white sand, clear water. Spending time on the beach under the sun-umbrellas is relaxing....watching the changing colors of the sea depending on the tides.

Staff is very attentive, providing all services with a smile. Owner is on-site and very helpful.

Over all a very enjoyable stay and would definitely go again and also recommend highly to all.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2011

Just spent 5 days there and was glad to leave. Makes me wonder where on earth people have been eating all their lives as the great reviews I read about the food made me choose this place! The 70 years old Napolitan owner seems to have no idea what a well-balanced meal is (risotto, fried fish & potatoes in one meal after having soup, bread & salad). The food is good but it is very basic countryside Italian food. Not refined nor delicate. No herbs are used not even basil and no spices in spite of the opportunity. Coffee is served “instant” - something unheard of coming from an Italian cook… besides living in a coffee producing country. Wine is totally disgusting. Do not expect nice Italian bread either! Having said that, I must admit that the staff is charming and the service excellent.

Samaki lodge does not offer any tour for less than 100 – 150 US$/person even for just snorekling. Their beach is far from being great either. I had to go to Pongwe Beach Hotel during most of my stay and pay an extra US$25/day (including snorekling, food & beverage). The village of Uroa is a modest fishing village with unhappy looking inhabitants and no particular interest. Paloumbo, the owner, enforces a couvre-feu by 10 pm every night! Ideal if you wish to spend your time eating and sleeping.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2011 via mobile

Want to get away from it all... That is the best place... Private beach...excellent service n friendly staff

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2011

we received personal attentions from staff of the hotel as if we knew each other long time ago.....the staff are real great out there,instantly they asked if we enjoyed their services whenever they served us.they are flexible and charming.
the food was everything i liked, the seafood was excellent, Italian prepared with a lot of varieties in one dish. waah uuuh,i already miss the food.
The place far away from the city noise is perfect for relaxation, with the big well designed swimming pool, though the beach wasnt marvelous, we loved it anyway.
i gues i will be going back there as soon as i can.......

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 Samaki Lodge & Spa

Address: main road, Uroa 458-928, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Uroa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Uroa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Samaki Lodge is a "boutique hotel" located on the beautiful Uroa beach, 30 km from the international airport.Samaki Lodge comprises 19 rooms, elegantly and originally furnished while retaining the style of old Zanzibar.A private beach, equipped with beds, tables and umbrellas is ideal for sunbathing and relaxing under the hot African sun.During their stay guests can make long walks on the beach, meet and socialize with the friendly local people, discovering the uses and customs. The area of sea that lies between the reef and the beach allows you to swim in a safe and wonderful language of coral sand that goes for dozens of meters into the turquoise waters. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samaki Lodge & Spa Zanzibar, Tanzania

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