We stayed at Villa Dida in July 2011.
We nave bene extremely satisfied by our choice given to the fact that we dislike "all inclusive" type resorts and this small property is completely the opposite. The hotel offers 10 rooms only and is located on the beach by a local fishermen's village. This might be seen as a con but it did not bother us at all. Our neighbours were unintrusive, smiling and friendly.
We stayed in two suites, one for us and one for our teenage kids. These are located on the first floor of the villa and had ocean and pool view. Both were fairly large, with a big bathroom. A desk, a king size bed and an extra queen size bed were provided so one suite can easily accomodate a family of three. They all came with a furnished balcony.Rooms decor is typical from the island, a rustic mix of african/arabic style. All beds feature mosquito covers which make the ambience very romantic. Walls are coloured in dark reds and orange tones. Lighting should definitely be improved. Lights are so soft that we could not really see inside the wardrobe. We did notice at time some smell coming from the toilets but it wasnt as bad as reviews we read made us scared of. Overall cleaning was very satisfactory. The clientele is mostly Italian and the chef offers fish based delicacies daily. Food is truly excellent as it is fresh and 0 km! Do not expect club sandwiches and burgers here. If you hate fish run away!
However for our carnivore children who do not really appreciate fish, Vito the Manager went the extra mile to try to cater for their tastes. Just ask beforehand. Menus are supplied in the mornings for you to chose your lunch and dinner which comprises of appetizers, main course ( handmade pasta), and basically fish fish fish, plus a dessert or delicious tropical fruits. A delicious Zanzibar style typical dinner is also offered during your stay. Breakfast is limited to a few items but croissants and toasts are also offered, so overall it s ok for a continental, dont expect a full fried American hearty fare.
The spa is a simple wooden open air construction with two lovely ladies offering massage, braids and henna tattoos. Do not expect your city spa with multiple treatments but I do recommend the 5 massage package which limits the cost to 20 eur per treatment.
The Villa offers a small but clean pool, a main beachfront restaurant with breathtaking views of the ocean and a small bar. It s true that the beach area is impacted by the tide phenomena but we had no problem in bathing there and we recommend anyway that you explore the island's many wonderful beaches. And after all people should make their homework checking out facts and things before they leave for a trip instead of complaining afterwards for natural phenomena they should have been aware of in first place.
As far as tours are concerned we took advantage of the "discovery" package which included also a boat trip on a beautiful sandy beach and other activities. The spice tour and the swim with the dolphins experience was the trip kids and parents enjoyed the most. Packages offered at the hotel were fairly priced, well organised and we felt it was safer doing it with the hotel than booking one via the unknown beach boys patrolling the beaches selling souvenirs and excursions.
We felt some reviews where people expected a 5 star resort type of experience at the cost they paid for, kind of laughable. For this price range I dont expect the Ritz Carlton and I keep my expectations in the appropriate range.
To sum it up:
Do not go to Villa Dida if you are looking for an all inclusive resort with a young clientele and active nightlife. I would not recommend it either to families with teenage kids. We were so lucky that when we stayed there were 5 teenagers in total so they enjoyed themselves but if our kids were there alone I do not think they would have enjoyed it.
Do go to Villa Dida if you are a couple still enjoying each other's company and you favour small, simple, good value for money properties in an enchanting environment and you are ready to compromise a little bit on the occasional little problem that might occur. You are in Africa after all!
All in all it was a wonderful stay especially thanks to the wonderful location and all the staff at Villa Dida from the manager to the waiters to the tour guides. They all went the extra mile for us.Thanks for a memorable experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.