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“Lovely place!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Waikiki Zanzibar Resort

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Waikiki Zanzibar Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Kiwengwa Road, Pwani Mchangani 2210, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Pwani Mchangani
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lovely place!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

I enjoyed staying at Sarah and Flavio's little resort place. It is a little distant from any towns, however, it is easy enough to take a taxi to a town (although it can be a bit pricey).
Sarah and Flavio were great! Super nice folks and they do care about their guests and making sure that their guests have their needs provided for (to the best of their ability).

My friend and I did take a tour of one of the spice farms and also a tour of Stonetown. We did find that our tour guide's English was not the best...we got a general sense of things, but any more difficult questions we had went unanswered - which is ok, it's not the end of the world...just a warning to others.

The other thing to be aware of is that you can barter your taxi. I am horrible at bartering, but our friend was great and we got a better price to the airport $50 instead of the normal $60,

Overall, I would recommend the Waikiki Zanzibar Resort! I'd stay there again in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: Friday night is the big party...if you can't sleep through it (I slept like a baby!), ask to be...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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368 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (21)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

The Waikiki Zanzibar Resort scores a very good in my books. Its not perfect or 5-star, and nor to they claim to be, but it is a nice little resort. Flavio and Sarah (the owners) are delightful as many others have pointed out and were always very helpful and friendly. The rooms are great, the pizza (recently introduced) truely wonderful and the atmosphere very relaxing. The chef could use a little more spices in the food but otherwise, we had an enjoyable stay at Waikiki.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kigali, Rwanda
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Family of four. Kids 7 and 9. We stayed at Waikiki for a couple weeks.

The hotel staff were great. Some befriended our children and helped them out from time to time. We all felt very welcomed. The manager, Alberto was extremely friendly and helpful. Flavio and Sarah, the owners, were delightful. They are doing a great job with training their staff.

Kite Boarding:
The beach is wonderful. When the tide is up enough there is a Kite boarding school right there in the resort. If you are planning to take kite lessons, make sure you do your research. The season wasn't quite getting started when I was there. So you need to plan your trip during the big wind seasons (there's two of them). The seasons also shift a bit, so it's maybe worth checking with the school if the wind is consistently good. I was able to do some lessons regardless, but there wasn't quite a enough wind to get up on a board while I was there. With the wind being finicky, it was nice staying at the same place as the school so I was always ready to go.

The Beach:
When the the tide is out it essentially transforms into the world's biggest wading pool. Our kids loved the beach if the tide was in or out. Check the tides though. It's seasonal as to what time of day you get your high and low tides. You might want to make sure you are visiting when there is water during the hottest part of the day. Even so, we didn't find the lack of pool to be an issue at all even though it was something we were considering when shopping for a place. While walking the beach, it looks like the beach near Waikiki is as good or better than the other spots nearby. Particularly the deeper swimming area and the large island at lower tides.

Beach Boys:
Ya, the beach boys are pretty obnoxious on the entire island. I talked to the ones near our beach the first day and said I would be there for a while but want to be left alone. I told them I was unwilling to shop until my last day. I didn't find them to be too much of a bother. I live in East Africa, so maybe I have a little more comfort in dealing with that sort of thing.

The food was okay. Certainly enough choices for a few day stay. Definitely would have liked to have more options nearby since we were there for two weeks. The Polish place next door was pretty good eating, but they require shillings, so I would bring some with you if you want to have another option (turns out the airport rate is actually pretty competitive). I learned of a local places to eat in the little town near the end but never made it out there. Depending on what kind of traveler you are, it's probably worth exploring that option as well.

The Party:
Yes, there is a big party one night a week. For some that's a good thing, but I've got kids so its not really our cup of tea. We all stayed in that night and watched movies. It was noisy for sure, but it wasn't a huge deal to us. Obviously some folks in the other reviews are pretty put off by that sort of thing, so just something to be aware of. If you aren't into parties and not tolerant of noise one night, either pick the days for your stay carefully or maybe look for a different place that night.

We were pleased with our room. Though not terribly large, it was big enough. Definitely go for the rooms with air conditioning as Zanzibar is HOT and pretty humid. The only real criticism of the room is the bathroom had a glass door which is odd even for couples, but pretty unfortunate for families sharing a room. We usually just hung our towels there. They turn down the room as normal in the morning and clean it top-to-bottom (which is very welcomed when there's so much sand from a family of four). Before the evening, they return to the room to put the nets down and spray. The spray is a bit strong, but you get used to it and the lack of mosquitos is totally worth it.

There's tons of outfits to take you snorkeling and whatnot. There's a group that sells excursions in the hotel itself. They are sort-of the lower rent excursions. They give a very similar experience but maybe a little rough around the edges. But it's pretty cheap (they never charged for our children). Definitely do the Safari Blue (they call it this, but from what I can tell its the generic version of the official Safari Blue). For a total of about $120 it was an all day affair for all four of us. You get to go snorkeling, a dhow ride, and they serve you soooo much seafood. Pretty much all you can eat of calamari, cicala, lobster, octopus, tuna, and more. The snorkeling at the island off Mtemwe is maybe a little better but if you are only going to do one and like seafood, do Safari Blue. We stayed in Stone Town the last couple days of our trip, so we paid them for a spice tour on our last day. It cost almost the same as a taxi ride and they dropped us at the door of our next hotel.

At night, the kids LOVED hunting for hermit crabs. We would all follow their circuitous tracks with a flashlight until we came upon them waddling along in their shells. One night, one of the beach guards helped the kids catch a giant sand crab and made a leash for it out of a large blade of grass. Too funny. Hunting critters was always a nice way to finish our day.

On the whole, the experience is far different than you would get at one of the mega-resorts (like the Neptune just to the south), but for me, it's a better one. It's far less crowded and "touristy" at a place like Waikiki and we found the value for money to be excellent and will definitely consider returning.

Room Tip: Definitely go for a room with AC.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

I chose this resort primarily based on reviews on TA, but it was a mistake. I only realised last minute that there was no pool, and Pwani Mchangani is not a good place to be as a solo traveller. For one, the surrounding (and nicer) resorts don't let you eat or swim there, and the food at Waikiki is slightly over-priced and mediocre. I was told outright by staff there was nowhere else to eat, and felt a little trapped! Shooting Star is a good bet for dinner, but will cost about 20-30,000sch return. As Waikiki has no pool and the tide is out for most of the day, plus there is no shower even to cool down, you have to go to your room if you are too hot or retreat to the restaurant. There is room for a pool, but there is a big rave every Friday which is very loud and goes on until 3.30am, and the empty area in front of the restaurant is used for the DJ and dancers, and perhaps the resulting $$ from that night make up for putting a pool in (?!).

As a single traveller it wasn't fun, the minute I left the safety of my sun bed on the beach to walk out in the low tidal pools, I was beset on by touts, who literally came from every direction. I would be 200m out and turn around and see men starting to intercept me, most armed with clipboards. They also filmed me and another solo female traveller on their mobile phones (beware the Eddie Murphy Group in yellow t-shirts!!) I went to the Friday night party for an hour (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em) and was so hassled by locals I gave up and went to bed although I couldn't sleep until the party was over - the music is very loud.

The beach is pretty but go left out of the hotel, not right, and walk in daylight only carrying no bags or wallets! A good half hour stroll brings you to a nice row of palm trees and plenty of wading birds, with no touts!

The rooms are large I'll say that. You can lock your valuables in the safe or in your bag. I didn't have any luck with the hot water but next door had decent hot water the whole time.

Diving on Mnemba Atoll was disappointing for an experienced diver - head to Mafia Island and swim with whale sharks or go and stay on Pemba which I've heard is better if diving is your thing.

On the whole I'd look at other hotels - you really do need a pool if you are staying on this side of the island. If you are a single traveller Kendwa might be better - you can swim all day, it's slightly busier, and although there are even more touts (and read reviews so you don't end up next to a nightclub with a nightly rave!) there is a decent shop and slightly more choice. Neptune or Paradise on either side of Waikiki both have pools so if your heart is set on Pwani Mchangani then make sure you do a massive comparison... for the price I there are better options in the area. The staff are very nice and try hard and the room was ok which is why it gets two stars, but location and amenities are very poor overall.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerZanzibar, Owner at Waikiki Zanzibar Resort, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Dear Helen,

I am shocked by this review as it seems that you didn't do your homework prior to arriving at Waikiki.
We do not have a pool and this has never been advertised on our website or even trip advisor. The east coast is well known for the tides and is appreciated for its colours and characteristics.
It is even possible to bathe at low tide but if you were there at Full moon, you would have experienced the lowest and highes of tides.

Waikiki is a 3* hotel and never pretends to be anything else....as you say in your review about 'nicer ' hotels either side of waikiki....you would probably want to check the price first......I am sure that you wouldn't be paying 'Waikiki Prices' for these hotels....try triple/quadruple the amount!
The party(Not rave) is well advertised on the front page of our website.....this is there to inform people of our party and to avoid complaints....did you read this??? time 10.30pm-2.30pm!

As for the beach boys.....they are all over the island....not just In Pwani Mchangani,.,..I would advise people to dress approriately whilst walking on the beach in order to avoid discomfort...

next time find somewhere colser to home.....with a pool!!
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We spent 2 nights here after spending a wonderful 3 nights elsewhere in Zanzibar. After reading the reviews on TripAdvisor on Waikiki, I was really expecting something amazing.

First of all the positives - the room was superb and the breakfasts on both days was excellent.

Sadly, the rest of our experience at Waikiki was awful. The food is bland and really poor. For an Italian run place, the pasta dish we got for lunch was just pasta in a watered-down tomato sauce. Moreover, long grain rice was used for the risotto!! All the fish dishes were overcooked and overpriced.

Sadly this was not the worst part! On Friday, there is a beach party which I thought would be on the beach outside the resort - but it was 10 meters away from my room!!! I could not sleep the whole night!

Overall despite the good rooms, I would stay away from this place. Pwani Mchangani is a wonderful beach but stay on one of the other resorts.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerZanzibar, Owner at Waikiki Zanzibar Resort, responded to this review, December 9, 2012
Dear Mr Abdul,
We are sorry that you didn't enjoy your stay at Waikiki.
We apreciate your opinion but feel that the title of your review 'Awful' isn't appropriate.
We are glad you liked the room and the breakfast and we appreciate your positive response.
In saying that some items were over priced though, we find a little hard to believe. Our menu ranges from 4$-16$. There is no food item over this value on our restaurant menu.Something being overcooked is of course a mistake. We are always happy to send out a new dish if our guests are not happy..as long as we know about it.
Waikiki is a 3* resort with professional local (Not Italian ) chefs. Not all products are easy to find here in Zanzibar.(especially for a small resort that does all of their own sourcing) Everything that we serve is specified in the menu though and should be considered before ordering.
We are sorry that the party disturbed your stay but as it is advertised on our website we assume that guests are knowlegable to this fact.
Friday is the only night of the week where Waikiki could be considered as Noisy....Most guests are happy to join the party for a while but as Waikiki is a small resort we would encourage any future guests that are disturbed by noise to arrive on a Saturday.

Kind Regards
Flavio Maglione
Director Waikiki Resort.
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Birkirkara Malta
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

We spent the last 4 days of our honeymoon in the Honeymoon Suite at Waikiki and our hut was a 10 metre walk from the beach with a lovely hammock on the front porch.
After an 8 day safari and 4 days in Stone Town, we were looking forward to laze around and relax and we got just that. Cold beers on deckchairs on the beach, canoeing to the reef or walking when the tide is out and watching the seaweed farmers.
The mzungi or beach boys can be a bit of a pain trying to sell you all sorts of tours however they leave you be if you show disinterest.
Diving or snorkelling at the nearby Mnemba Atoll is a must.
The choice on the restaurant menu is minimal, and since my wife and I dont each fish, and we were unlucky to be there during a chicken shortage, we were a bit limited in our choices, but what was served was always freshly cooked
Will definitely re-consider if we return to Zanzi

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Beirut, Lebanon
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

I've been at the Wakiki the last week of August and the place is awesome. The location is very strategic, the staff is very nice, rooms are very very clean and the happy hour organized by Marcello makes your holiday. So if you want to go to Zanzibar just go there!

Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Additional Information about Waikiki Zanzibar Resort

Address: Kiwengwa Road, Pwani Mchangani 2210, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Pwani Mchangani
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Pwani Mchangani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Waikiki Zanzibar Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Resort is located on one of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches of Zanzibar : Pwani Mchangani. The resort is surrounded by the lush of the spot, palm trees and bush, built just on the beach and so, except for the two single rooms which are on the back, wherever you are you can enjoy a wonderful sea view. A perfect place to chill-out. The resort is managed by international staff. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Waikiki Zanzibar Hotel Pwani Mchangani
Waikiki Hotel Pwani Mchangani Mdogo
Waikiki Zanzibar Resort Zanzibar Island/Pwani Mchangani

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