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“Unforgettable hospitality ...” 5 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Uroa
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Unforgettable hospitality ...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

We spent a week at the Samaki after volunteering in Tanzania for 3 weeks in March, and during a 6 month trip around the world. It was the most beautiful week of our trip! The owner is Italian and the food was superb, with fresh local fish each day pastas, salads, and beautiful desserts. Very clean and comfy rooms, lovely pool and white fine sand beach. Domenico is a true gentleman and so generous and thoughtful ... He treated us like family! All of the staff went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable. One of them made us a CD of African music when we mentioned that we liked the music that was playing! As our 6 month sojourn was spent volunteering we had to conserve funds, and Samaki was amazingly affordable. Thanks so much to "Il presidente" Domenico and staff from your friends Dr. Patrick and Debra on the US!

  • Stayed March 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
samakilodge, Proprietario at Samaki Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, January 8, 2012
Dear Patrick,
in these months I have often thought about you and Debra and looked forward to hearing from you.
Remember when you suggested me to write a cookbook with my recipes? Well, following your counsel I started to write it. Lately I've been experimenting with green papaya as a vegetable with pasta, fish, soups ... you must come and try it!
The construction of the day hospital is going very well, we should finish this year.
I really hope you will come back and visit us soon and I promise you special treatment.
Contact me through e-mail address of the hotel.
Thanks for your nice words.
A hug.
Domenico
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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360 reviews from our community

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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
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London
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2011

This is an OK hotel in an OK location.

I was travelling alone and didn't want to be in a big hotel complex, but in honesty staying here was a mistake. There is nothing around the hotel to walk to or go to, the beach is really not great and a little dirty. The tide goes out for miles, making it difficult to swim in the sea here.

I booked half board on the hope that there would be local places around where I could have lunch, but there wasn't so it was either pay $15 for buffet lunch (which was a lot I felt) or wait till the evening. You couldn't purchase a snack and there was no where local to go

A lot of reviews say the food was great, I would sooner say it was OK. The hotel wasn't that busy whilst I was there (as it was right at the start of the season) and maybe this influenced the food, but I felt it was very similar every night and certainly if you had lunch as well it was the same as dinner making it very repetative. Drinks (given the captive audience) were reasonably priced and a nice touch was that you could get mineral water free at any time from the restaurant.

I had a room in the grounds of the lodge, near reception, which was clean, quite large and very comfortable - so absolutely no complaints there. The pool and loungers were good and they regularly cleaned the pool through the day too. Hotel felt very safe

This is definitely a resort favoured by Italians - the hotel is owned by Italians, all the staff speak Italian and I was one of the only non-italians there. The guy that organised the tours (who goes by the name of Gian Luca Zambrotta) is very amusing and definitely slightly mad!

Overall, reasonable value for money and a reasonable hotel

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
poway, ca
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

We rely heavily on trip advisor, but in this instance it was wrong. We had originally been booked into Uroa Bay Beach Resort by our travel company, but after reading trip advisor reviews, we switched to Samaki Lodge. That was a mistake.

ROOM: We checked into Samaki Lodge for 1 night. We were offered 2 rooms -- a standard room on the 2nd floor overlooking the pool and a beachfront room at Palumbo Beach for a 20% surcharge. The beachfront room is barely large enough for the bed. It has an outside area that is enclosed by a metal fence and gate, that makes it feel like you are in a jail cell. And, it is very far removed from the rest of the property so it doesn't feel safe. We opted for the standard room in the lodge, overlooking the pool. It had a king-size, very firm (bordering on hard) bed, air conditioning, and salt water shower/sink. It did NOT have an in-room safe, which I consider to be mandatory for this type of resort and location. And, it had a very weird and persistent odor.

FOOD: As many of Uroa Bay's resorts are owned by Italians, so is Samaki Lodge. Therefore, the food is Italian-oriented. The quality of the food was okay, but nothing to write home about. The hours for each meal are very limited and all meals are buffet style. We had 1 dinner there and the "custom" pasta dish, prepared to order by a pasta cook, was a tuna ravioli. Not much customization. The breakfast was very basic and they didn't even have an omelette station, which is pretty unusual for a breakfast buffet.

LOCATION: The location is excellent for a beach resort. It is on Palumbo Beach, which is beautiful with a sand spit sticking out into the Indian Ocean for several hundred yards. Once you get past the constant hassling of the local touts trying to get you to buy tours and/or trinkets, you can enjoy the scenery and water. You can see the fishing dhows of the neighboring village as they go to and from the sea. A beautiful location and this is the strongest point of Samaki Lodge.

We walked down the beach from Samaki Lodge to visit Uroa Bay Beach Resort for lunch. Once we got there, we didn't leave and checked out of Samaki Lodge and into Uroa Bay. Please check our review of Uroa Bay for more information.

In our opinion, Uroa Bay Beach Resort deserves to be rated above Samaki Lodge. There really is no comparison between these 2 resorts. Uroa Bay is clearly superior on practically every level, except the beachfront of Samaki, which is a short walk from Uroa Bay.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Netanya, Israel
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

We spent 4 nights at Samaki Lodge during this August (2011). The stuff is great, food is very good and the swimming pool and beach are great. Do not take the rooms near the beach. They are too far from the lodge. We were in the lodge and we had some problems with the rooms: in one room there is a sticky floor (no solution to this problem). Also we had problems with electricity and the aircondition. In sum, we think it is a good place to stay and very good value for the money. Do not take transportaion and trips from the lodge. You can pay 50% less at least by hiring a local taxi driver

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2011

Owned and run by Italians, this inexpensive hotel has a great beach, nice pool area, reliable security and staff, and unusually good, Italian-influenced food. There’s nothing fancy here but if you’re just craving a relaxing place to crash on the beach this is a great bet.

Food: The rates include an ordinary breakfast buffet. Lunch and dinner are 10 euros/person and include bread, a salad course, pasta course, seafood main dish, and fruit for desert. We found the food was so filling that a late lunch and some snacks in the evening was enough.

Service: The service is a bit odd. The staff are very friendly and helpful but a bit more talkative than we'd like. We probably would have given Samaki a 4 star rating but the staff was so helpful when we had a mishap our last day that we're going to rate them a five.

Location: The hotel is right on a long white sand beach. Locals fish from their dhows just offshore. Beautiful

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Austin, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011

Nice folks running the place. The rooms are pretty sparse by our standards and dinner was kinda a first come first serve thing, so if you were late, you may not get much of the main course. The place really caters to the Italian vacationer and the beach kids selling tourist trash all know basic Italian and the staff is fluent. Cash only.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Stow, MA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2011

Tanzania Journeys found us this incredibly welcoming lodge that was a perfect relaxing end to our trip after being out on safari and climbing Kilimanjaro. The lodge combines the charm of an Italian villa with the beach décor of Zanzibar. We arrived to a room filled with bougainvillea and hibiscus blossoms. On the sweeping white beaches you can watch the local fishmen set sail in their dhows. Our teenage sons had a great time talking with locals, finding coral and shells, climbing coconut palms, and playing soccer on the beach. The excellent food is an interesting fusion of Italian country cooking and tropical influence, with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. The food is served buffet style and the Chef Abdul serves a special pasta dishes each night. Breakfast is included, while lunch a dinner was a flat $15/pp charge, very reasonable for the quality of food served. The friendly staff speak English, Italian and Swahili. The Maasi security guards provide an interesting cultural attraction. Day trips to Stonetown and nearby islands for snorkeling are easily arranged. We went snorkeling and saw the giant tortoises at Prison Island. Also recommended is a spice plantation tour.

  • Stayed July 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 3
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): $
Number of rooms: 19
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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