Overall, our stay at Kendwa Amaan Beach Resort was very disappointing.
Firstly, upon arrival the management infuriated us; we were told our rooms would be $60USD per night however in order to pay in the currency of the country - Tanzanian Shilling, the hotel use their own exchange rate which is very favourable for them, and not so favourable for the customer. I would like to say that we were not exchanging currency, if we were, it could be expected that the hotel charge a commission or less attractive rate of exchange. Although ultimately, $1USD is NOT 1,400TZS.
As a member of the management team was present when we checked in, we voiced our opinion, in a very rational manner and it quickly became apparent that he couldn't care less.
Secondly, we chose to eat at the beach front restaurant - the Taj Mahal (previously The Titanic bar) on our first evening and after a delicious meal, the bill arrived with an array of various miscellaneous charges. Plus this, plus that, minus this, plus that....
As we couldn't make any sense of what was in front of us, we asked the waiter. He told us that the various additions were 10%taxes in order for a tarmac road to be made outside the hotel and this only applied to drinks. However the amount was more than 10% of the drinks, so we asked to speak to the manager. (Keeping up?!)...
The manager said that actually it wasn't a tax, it was a service charge and our waiter would receive 100% of that money as a tip. (this was however after much changing of the story, one minute it was a tax the next it was something else before finally settling on it being a service charge.)
This is clearly a shameless way of supplementing the hotel income in the hope that customers either don't notice, or can't be bothered to question it.
We are not new to travelling, nor are we difficult to please, in fact on holiday we allow very few things to irritate us, but we felt that Kendwa Amaan Beach Resort operates a particularly dishonest business. The staff we found were great and mentioned that we were not the first people to question the taxes and weird charges.
Interestingly, on our last day, the menus changed, to incorporate the 'tax' into the cost and service is not included...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kendwa Beach resort is located in the North Coast, Zanzibar and is also known as Eden Village. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Eden Village Kendwa Beach Resort Zanzibar Island