My partner and I are in a great position to review, having stayed in three different rooms while at Kichanga - a sea view lodge, a garden view lodge and a villa.
We had booked a garden view lodge, but in the confusion of our very late arrival (4am), were placed in a more expensive sea view room. Having been delayed for 13 hours in Ethiopia, we were doubtful that there would be anyone awake, but we were greeted by three smiling Maasai security guards.
The next morning we were awakened by a beautiful sunrise, a perfect Robinson Crusoe-esque palm tree and white sand beach and a pleasant sea breeze. The room was huge and surprisingly cool. The lodge was designed well, to provide ample ventilation, with high ceilings and side openings, to give a calm through draft.
Breakfast was a nice mix of pastries, fruits, juice and coffee, with chefs on standby to cook eggs, sausages etc, and pancakes. We were greeted by friendly waiting staff, who already knew who we were, and there was a genuine sense of sympathy for our delay. We were advised to order lunch in the morning, and were free to choose when we ate.
While there are 23 lodges on site, you wouldn't realise it, as there is plenty of space to not see anyone. We were often sat by an empty pool or clear section of beach. While there are a couple of pedlars on the beach, offering snorkelling trips etc., they were polite and did not pester us. They introduced themselves, offered there sell and left you alone. They even advise on the best route out into the sea, past the sea urchins.
The best part of the day was afternoon tea, put on by the lodge, from the beach cafe. They knew I was taking more than my share of biscuits and never even raised an eyebrow.
Dinner was a mix of fairly western food, with salads, rice, pasta etc., as well as a BBQ. Sunday offers African food, and music, with waiters wearing traditional dress.
Later in our week, we had to move into the room we'd paid for. The staff had juggled bookings around to keep us in our sea view room for most of our stay, which was so kind. The garden view room was pleasant enough, and would have been fine had we not seen the better room first. It also coincided with us getting ill from our Malaria medication. The reduced breeze from the sea was sorely missed. The staff showed genuine concern, and we were given some simple medication, and offered advice. We were also given boiled rice and lime, and pressured to eat it, like your mum would do. It really helped.
Due to our illness, we had to delay our flights and stay, and we moved to a villa for our additional days. This was once again huge, and had a lovely breeze again. The villas would suit a family perfectly, with a mezzanine floor for the children. They each have a private terrace, with a swing bed and sofa.
All in all, our stay was amazing. There is nothing lacking in what I had hoped for. Staff are friendly and helpful. Simple touches like bottled water in the room, straw hats and beach bags/ towels, free bar snacks, all make a huge difference. Once we can find a route there that avoids Addis Ababa, we will be returning!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A little resort with a private beach and beautiful charming cottages, surrounded by a luxuriant tropical garden. In perfect harmony with the natural environment, Kichanga Lodge is an unforgettable place for those who love nature and romantic atmospheres......... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kichanga Hotel Michamvi
- Kichanga Hotel Zanzibar
- Kichanga Resort Zanzibar
- Kichanga Lodge Michamvi, Zanzibar Island