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“Beautiful hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Uroa Bay Beach Resort

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Uroa Bay Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Uroa Bay, Uroa PO BOX 2675, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Uroa
Sabie, South Africa
Level Contributor
31 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

Beautiful hotel with a lovely pool and gardens. Cannot fault the facilities at all. Appreciated the tea and coffee station in the room, replenished daily. The tap water is briney, so use bottled water. The staff are great, very friendly, and we enjoyed dancing to the band one evening. Excellent band, the best I’ve ever heard at a beach resort. The food is good, and we really enjoyed the buffet breakfasts and dinners. Good value overall.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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427 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 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 (44)
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English first
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

My two friends and I stayed here for a week in August. We had a lovely triple room - a real triple, not a double room with an extra bed. It was clean and in good condition. The grounds of the hotel are absolutely beautiful, as is the pool area. The staff were really friendly, helpful, and effective - especially the manager who was very helpful when we had problems with our hired jeep. They understand the importance of little touches to make you feel welcome - such as a welcome drink, arranging mosquito nets and spraying the room at night.
I'd agree with those who say the food lets the hotel down a bit. It was just a bit erratic - sometimes very nice, and sometimes bland or bizarre!
However, despite the food, I'd definitely really recommend the hotel, which was an absolutely lovely place to kick back and relax.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

I stayed in this hotel with 5 of my friends for 8 nights in June 2012. We had just spent 3 weeks in Arusha, Tanzania for our elective, as we are all dental students.
We were kindly welcomed by one of the Italian members of staff, who gave us our key, A/C controls etc and our little bracelets to wear showing we were half board. She was very kind, and explained everything clearly.

It was a beautiful setting...lovely main building with thatched roof, wall art, little compartments for the shop, excursion office and massage parlour along from the main reception. Everything is clean, well-furnished and finished to a high standard.

The room itself was gorgeous - we chose a Sea Front Room, since there was a 15% off deal, and payed around £427pp for 8 nights, so just over £53pp per night..which I found reasonable.
The Sea Front Rooms, of which there are 8, are very spacious, clean and beautifully decorated. They are only available as triple rooms, with a very large double bed, and a separate single bed, lovely ensuite bathroom and little veranda out the front where you can listen to the waves lapping in.
When we arrived, there were fresh tropical flowers placed on the beds, dressing table and in the bathroom - would have been lovely for a honeymoon couple! I was staying the room with my friend, but we loved it all the same.
The rooms are cleaned every day, and the beds turned down and mosquito nets sorted out, which is nice to come back to. They also come and spray insect repellant in the evening, although, one night there must have been a sneaky mosquito under our net, and I hadn't put any repellant on my face...so woke up with 7 bites on my face! Be careful.

The hotel grounds are just lovely, with little paths leading in between tropical plants and flowers. The pool is brilliant - huge and clean! There was a jacuzzi, but it was never turned on, and when it was turned on once after the guy saw we were in it, it wasn't warm! No big deal though.

The beach in front of the hotel is very nice, and before you reach the beach, there is an area of sand with sunloungers and straw umbrellas, and a stone path, which is where you can lie and relax/sunbathe. You don't actually lie on the beach, but it's not a big problem as it is right in front for you to appreciate :)

The tide is out until about 2pm-ish, which means in the morning you can take a walk out for ages and look at what lies under the water. You could really do with jelly-shoes or sandals that stay on if you do this, as flip-flops will break! When the tide is in, it is lovely to bob around in the sea, lovely temperature. The sand is beautiful and white! There is some seaweed about, but really not too much that it's a problem.

The beach is relatively quiet, with some locals and other guests of the hotel walking along it occasionally. Just the right amount of busy. Only a few guys trying to sell you excursions but just say no thanks or 'hapana asante' and walk away and it's fine. Once they have spoken to you once and know you aren't interested then they usually don't bother you again.

The food available at the breakfast and dinner buffets was okay; not the best, but not the worst. Breakfast usually had 2 types of cereal - rice crispies and cornflakes. There was also baked beans, bacon, a live egg station where you could get any type of omlette, continental breakfast like cold meat, cheese etc, bread, cheese spread, sweet pastries. A nice selection!

The dinner buffet usually had 1 or 2 pasta dishes, potatoes, vegetables, vegetarian options, lots of seafood, with usually a big 'catch of the day'. There was usually a live pasta station too, which was good as I love pasta! Got pasta with the tomato sauce. There was always fresh salad options too, and a selection of 4 or so desserts (weren't always the best - but we knew tanzania wasn't big on desserts!)

As mentioned in the title, it is only the service in this hotel that let's it down. By this I am referring to the bar and restaurant staff - at lunchtimes, we had to order lunch since we were half board, and it would usually take a very long time to come, with everyone's meals coming at different times who were at the same table - this is just not good service! And is simple to rectify. At dinner also....I would often have to ask for cutlery if a place wasn't set for me, and it would take ages to get the staff's attention, and then a long time until i received it!
One night we didn't have our drinks order taken for about half an hour or more - not really acceptable!
It was often a painful process ordering things, mainly because of the language barrier. But, we actually knew some Kiswahili, and used it when ordering, for numbers etc, but even then, things were wrong when they arrived!?

In general, the service is way too slow and not efficient enough. For the management to improve their hotel and get 5 star reviews all the time, they really need to invest in some more training for their staff to improve the standards.

Also, I must say that near closing time, the Bar Staff at Bar Rafiki were acting very strange, and it almost seemed like they were high on drugs - no joke! We encountered this with 2 members of the bar staff, so perhaps this needs to be addressed!

I would recommend you do Soft All Inclusive, because it was a pain having to pay $1 for a litre of water, and I drink a lot of water. It would be good if it was provided for all guests. Lunch prices were okay: $6-12 for a pizza/pasta etc. We wish we had done full board/soft all inclusive though, to save the hassle of paying more.

We organised an excursion with the excursion office on site, which was a day involving: Spice Tour, Stone Town Tour then Prison Island and some snorkelling. The prices originally quoted were too expensive, and we were aware of the 'mzungu price' phenomenon they have in Tanzania...so we managed to get the price of this tour down to $50 per person, which was reasonable for the 3 elements. I would recommend such a tour.

The weather was rainy some days, and on such days, there really isn't anything to do in the hotel. We never got any massages because it was again quite expensive, and the shop onsite is extremely overpriced also. TAKE SUNCREAM, as it's $24 for a bottle: ridiculous. They can scam people from this because there are no other shops near the hotel. The souvenirs are also extortionate, so don't expect to buy stuff in there!

The hotel really doesn't have any other restaurants/shops/facilities near it, so you can feel a bit bored and isolated at times, especially when it's raining! It could do with some entertainment on-site...such as a pool table! Even that would improve it.

Every second night, there was some sort of evening entertainment, which was a nice touch. It was mainly bands, but also a brilliant acrobatic group - very good entertainment! I would say that they could do with bands that play more traditional Tanzanian music, rather than the Gipsy Kings and things you would hear on holidays in the Med - too cheesy!

To summarise: If you are looking to chill out on a beautiful island, and just sunbathe and swim, even for honeymoon/couples, then this is the hotel for you. It really is gorgeous and I don't feel like I wasted my money, had a lovely time. 8 days was a bit too much though, when there is no entertainment on site! The boys in our party got bored, but I love just relaxing so I was okay!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2012

The hotel is okay, but the food is terrible. We had pasta for 7 nights, we already knew whats on the menu before we even saw it. Otherwise everything was fine.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Potsdam, Germany
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

The compound is very beautiful and spacious, with coconut palms everywhere. Nice Garden with lots of Bougainvillea and Hibiscus. The pool area is lovely and such are the bungalows - large, clean with everything you need. However, they lack a certain special something. The bathrooms are little more than functional. The cons of this place are the dining area, the food and the beach. The former lacks atmosphere, while the food is largely italian style cuisine with little if any local meals. For example, we lacked the loacl fruits for breakfast that were abundant in many other hotels. The guests were mostly italians. At the time, the beach was not very nice, because of the seaweed and the murky water. With the same weather and wind conditions, 200m north, though, the water was clear and shallow.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
N. Wales
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

Lovely location but that's the only positive thing about this place, Food - average, i.e. tinned hot dogs/mushy peas/tinned fruit/stale bread. The BBQ at dinner was the best and freshest, so if you have already booked then head for this. If you haven't yet booked, then, don't. There are much nicer places to stay, try Pongwe. Much more exclusive and just down the road. We stayed there for 4 nights and hardly saw any other guests most of the time and yet they were full. Also, book direct.

Room Tip: Beach front - has to be.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
uroa_bay, Direttore generale at Uroa Bay Beach Resort, responded to this review, March 25, 2012
Dear Guest,
thank you for taking the time to write a review of our Resort. As hoteliers, we are acutely aware that our entire success depends upon meeting or hopefully exceeding the expectations of our guests, and it is truly heartbreaking to hear from one of our guests that we were not successful at doing so.
In the meanwhile as much as we like to hear from our satisfied guests we love to hear from our dissatisfied guests so we can continue to improve the experience we offer.

We can't anyway not make some notes about your review:
all products used for meals are fresh, and so it's for the fruit, not available on Zanzibar in tin (you won't find it on the island in a lifetime);
breads, croissants and cakes are daily made in our pastry department;
I personally have never seen hand made hot-dogs... and i'm not speaking only about Zanzibar, but not even in my home country;
regarding mushy peas yes, it's one of our side dishes and during your stay was served on the buffet, but freankly speaking the same evening the menù was composed of, apart mushy peas:
Starters: vegetables and feta Tian - Shrimps Cocktail - Beef Fillet Carpaccio - Cheeses Buffet;
First courses: Seafood Risotto - Pasta alla Carbonara - Cream of Pumpkin - White Rice
and Pasta Live station as every meal, with 2 ready sauces (Bolognaise Sauce and Squid Sauce that evening), or with fresh ingredients for pasta on request (tomatoes - fresh chilli - garlic - green pepper - onion - olives - cheese - bacon - Parmesan Cheese, as usually);
Second courses: BBQ Red Snapper (catch of the day) - BBQ Chicken - Beef Fillet in Balsamic Vinaigre - Sail Fish in Madras Indian Style
Side Dishes: Mix Grilled Vegetables - Spinach in Coconut Sauce - and as told by you in your review Mushed Green Peas;
Buffet Salads - Buffet Fruits - Buffet Desserts

We regret the dish was not to your liking, but at the same time we hope you have enjoyed the other dishes, as well as the free aperitiv with french sparkling wine before dinner.
Quite a pity also that you didn't even say nothing about the grilled lobsters crabs and jumbo prawns we offer every saturday night in our restaurant, free of extra-charge.

We are also happy you enjoyed your time in Pongwe Beach Resort, but it's quite a different structure. Could be quite easier to not seen a lot of people when the maximum capacity is 30 people, quite more difficult when it's around 130.
Please note that also the facilities are anyway different: we provide in every room Private A/C, TV, Safe, Telephone, Internet Connection; of course if you are not interested in any of this, you will not care about. But for some guests to have A/C is important, at least when the temperature reach 40° during the day and around 30° at night.. For some others is important to have the internet connection, for others again to have the tv with cartoon channel for their kids..
We think it's quite a personal feeling anyway.
However we can see you were not interested in this things.

Just one last remark: Pongwe and Uroa are not far, but not just "down the road".. Around 8 km drive one beach to the other and not attainable through the beach due to the rocks that divide the two localities.

Kindest Regards

Alex Lippi
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2012

I had an excellent 3 night stay here in a beachfront bungalow (highly recommended, as even when you want to escape the sun, you can sit on your terrace and hear the waves). The pool was wonderful-- 35 meters or so and I enjoyed swimming laps in the morning. The room furnishings are a bit worn but fine. Food was all Italian and excellent.
The only negative about Uroa is the beach adjacent (to the left as you are looking out to the sea). It is a community of locals and there is trash on the beach. The resort cleans the area in front of their property, but this direction is a bit of a trash depository at times.
Bring everything you need with you-- a bottle of sunscreen was USD 26 in the gift shop. Everything else was equally outrageously priced ($1 per minute to make a local call? Shameful!)

Room Tip: Get the beachfront
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Uroa Bay Beach Resort

Address: Uroa Bay, Uroa PO BOX 2675, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Uroa
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Uroa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Uroa Bay Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Brand New 4 Star Superior Resort, on wonderful Uroa Beach, on the East Cost of Zanzibar. Italian management and maintenance, with smiling and professional local staff, working all together to make you enjoy at best your stay here. Big pool, pool/beach towel service, great beach, excellent Italian inspired Kitchen, more then 40 square meter rooms fully equipped and furnished (individual A\C, mini fridge with daily refill mineral water, TV with satellite channels, telephone, fan, mosquito nets on beds, safe, internet connection, private furnished terrace, private services with shower box and bidet). Relaxing and easy-going atmosphere. Ideal for everyone who wants to relax and have a great time in a wonderful location. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Uroa Bay Beach Hotel Uroa Village
Uroa Bay Beach Resort Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

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