isaraya not hotel, only part of konokono beach resort. not luxury. bad access to water + low water = no swim. noisy music all day + night = no sleep, no relax. poor food, strange staff = no enjoy dinner. big price, but no services, no luxury. no activities = boring. worst place ever. were happy to leave.
If there was a hotel I could come back to it would definitely be this one. The staff are all so kind and courteous. I love the fact that the hotel is right next to the beach as it allowed us to watch the sunset and swim while feeling safe. I wish I could’ve stayed longer, it was complete paradise. I would recommend 10/10
This place is unassumingly beautiful. Impressive views, calm and tranquil. The seafood menu was extensive, the seafood platter for 2 should have been for 4 really, we loved it. The staff are kind and pay attention. The wi-fi was excellent too, I could still attend to work online (even though I wasn't supposed to :) ) and get into zoom meetings seamlessly. In summary, one word for it, AMAZING!!!
They have the best service, a perfect getaway for friends or with hubby. You get to enjoy the private villas with your own swimming pool and an amazing ocean view. Get your hubby or friends and visit the Maldives of Zanzibar 😍
Isaraya is not a hotel itself, it is just 5 bungalows/villas and all services were actually provided by Konokono Beach Resort. We came to this hotel for 16 days, expecting great new overwater villas and 5 star hotel standards. In reality it was rather suffering than relaxing due to EVERYDAY never-ending annoying extremely loud techno music from nearby bar, poor hotel equipment, ugly beach, incompetent top manager and a lot of disappointments on daily basis. I have also noticed delisting of this hotel from major booking platform, which should have warned me. First time in our live we decided to shorten our stay there and move to other hotel even risking that we do not get refund for unused days. Unfortunately, all top hotels in Zanzibar were overbooked, so it took us many days, when we were forced to stay at this terrible hotel, unless we would be homeless. So we succeeded to move out just several days before end of our stay. Luckily the next hotel was fantastic, so that it is clearly not a problem of lower Zanzibar level of services, but just horrible Isaraya/Konokono. But let’s start with the biggest positive – new pier and overwater villas look nice, even though there are a lot of issues. The biggest negatives: 1) Noise, BIG NOISE, EVERYDAY BIG NOISE from nearby beach bar – it starts at around 2PM each day and lasts till late night. Not only during celebration of New Year, which I would understand, but really every day. My apple watch showed over 60 dB on the worst days at both dinner area and villa area and over 50 dB in the “best” days. If you love techno music, this hotel is good place to go. We did not close an eye until music finished. Complains on this noise was practically the only topic when other guests talked to us. We have seen one lady to even scream on management because of this issue in the full restaurant, so the atmosphere in the hotel was annoying. Also two water villas are not finished yet, so there is additional noise from building activities. 2) This hotel doesn’t meet many of general 5-star hotel requirements (e.g. missing fitness, SPA, daily cleaning of the floors and plenty of others) and except pier with villas it also looks more like ordinary 3-star hotel (no atmosphere, cheap restaurant equipment, no maintained garden, industrial lights at some places, etc.). I have found, that it also clearly doesn’t comply with several official Zanzibar 5-star vacation hotel requirements described in Zanzibar tourism act 2009 (available on internet), actually it should even be only marked as 3-star hotel according to this act. 3) Beach – there is nice sand there, but it was definitely the far ugliest 5-star hotel beach we have ever seen all around the word (unbelievable amount of not cleaned seaweed, plenty of cheap old “huts”, no surprise that it was almost not used by guest). Villa – looks nice, but the finishing done by construction guys is poor – e.g. water leaks through every window during the rain. Materials used inside are shocking cheap, especially furniture. There is real problem with privacy – half the of terrace is visible from the pier. As the stairs do not go down enough, we were able to go to water and climb back to villa only approx. 1 hour per day at high tide, when 3 stairs at 2 m height were covered with water. Otherwise you can jump to water, but no chance to get back. No way to use stairs it by older people. There is also security issue – strange local fishermen parking at villa terrace stairs, while hotel security just watching them without saying a word. Power outages 10 times per day. Internet sufficient only to mails and website browsing. Forget about cloud services or downloading the film. Massages – we went to local massage room as pointed by signs. I have never seen so ugly and dirty hole – see the picture. Shame on you, hotel manager. Food – acceptable seafood and pasta. The rest is mostly catastrophe and the quality varies. Especially local food is disgusting unlike at other places, where we loved it. Very poor plating and lot of basic mistakes. Restaurant service – perfect waiter at breakfast and couple of good guys at dinner. But communication between the staff is weak. On the beginning of our stay they were delivering coffee each time even over 40 minutes. Some guys at bar can’t even operate coffee machine. Cleaning services – generally acceptable at the villa, but terrible at public places – windows, mirrors, stairs, pathways are not cleaned at all. I drew a sun on the terribly dirty window at restaurant, it was there even after a week. Toilets at restaurant sometimes smelling. Other services – generally speaking - daily disappointments. Everyone is slow, lot of staff misses basic behaviour skills. All of them tired – working even 15 hours 6 days a week. Even basic repair at villa, which should take 10 minutes takes them 2 hours and prevents you from using it. So we rather ignored other problems like water leakage from windows. Covid issues - no measures at all (only swedish tables cancelled). We waited for our villa to be cleaned after previous guests just left. And we have seen at neighboring villa - one couple in the morning, leaving at 11:00, another one arrived in the afternoon . Staff not using masks, etc. Management – openly saying, hotel is not managed at all. There were only two guys, who really wanted to improve services (food and service manager and guest relation manager) and they tried to implement some changes already during our stay. Top manager of the hotel, arrogant old guy, is e.g. walking in dirty areas and he just doesn’t see it. Glorious end of our stay - we asked reception to shorten our stay and refund unused days (4 out of 16) because of never-ending noise, hotel not matching 5-star level and other troubles. Reservation manager whom we informed 3 days before planned departure had no rights to decide and pointed us to top manager, who is according to him the only one who can decide. But top manager started to play hide and seek game with me. I went twice to meet him at the agreed times and I was rejected to talk to him both times as he was too “busy” – once e.g. by preparing reports to the owner :-). Then I got promise that he would call me, he did not. So I “caught” him at restaurant. After explaining the reasons for our leaving and politely asking the refund for unused days, instead of apology for the serious problems and finding reasonable solution, he rather became angry, switched to “combat mode” and started to threaten that if I would even think about making bad review in the future he would report me to Tripadvisor that I was blackmailing him (without me even mentioning the review). OMG! After he calmed down, he said that potential refund must be approved by someone from the board of directors, he has no rights. Funny. After planned assessment of this request by the board chaired by beneficial owner of the hotel, Amina, daughter of Zanzibar ex-president, top manager kept hiding till the end of my stay, reception claimed that they have no guidelines from him, so I got no compensation. I only received the most rude e-mail ever with statements like „stop making a fool of yourself, and stop wasting our time“ later. No chance to comment if I want to stay polite.…