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“The most beautiful place I have ever stayed”

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Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel
Reviewed June 1, 2014

Fantastic location and glorious views. The accomodation is a basic banda standard and it is worth taking your own mosquito net as the ones in the Bandas are a little ripped up. The beach has beautiful golden sands and the bar is good with a reasonable day time happy hour on cocktails (which are toxic!). The food is good and reasonably priced.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Sarah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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229 - 235 of 624 reviews

Reviewed May 26, 2014

The hotel itself was very basic and, although it was priced quite reasonably in comparison with the big resorts nearby, could do with some upgrades like the mosquito nets in the bedrooms.The food menu was limited.
On a positive note, the place does not need selling as Kendwa is just stunning. Would definitely recommend, especially if on a budget.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
Thank ADA x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2014

Zanzibar likes to party and Kendwa Rocks is one of the best places to do it. If a party is not happening here, then there’s one, walking distance along the beach, somewhere else, nearby. Kendwa Rocks is like a hybrid hotel/backpackers and there are dorms, rooms, bandas or bungalow options. Stayed bungalow on the beach with ensuite (absolutely worth it), but some are attached and you can hear your neighbour, so ensure you request one that is standalone. Balconies (which include a hammock) sit on the sand but look out onto the bar, dining, volleyball, sunbaking areas, so they’re not right on the ocean and guests will constantly be walking by. Thongs and beachbags provided in-room, but no shampoo/conditioner. Phone/wifi reception on your own sim is virtually nil here and the cost to use the resort’s is ridiculously high. The included breakfast is an almost redundant offering: it’s lack-lustre at best, and offers only instant coffee. Budget to pay from the a-la-carte menu or skip breakky altogether and enjoy a sleep-in (you’ll need it after nights of partying), ’coz it’s not worth waking up for. Food from made-to-order menu is good (and Pizzas can be ordered late into the night when partying), but there’s plenty of other places along the beach (or back roads) you can eat for a change of scenery and local cuisine. Sun beds fill up quickly and, get up early if under an umbrella is where you hope to be parked for the day. They could do with offering sun-bed bar/food service, which they don’t (and I don’t understand why), but the bar is nearby and always pumping with people, music and drinks. They could also follow suit with other hot parts of the world (Brazil/Australia) and serve beer in coolers to keep them cold! Whilst I didn’t experience any problem with the signature card system they use, I can see how it could easily happen, so keep your receipts to be able to ratify any discrepancies if they occur. Pre-booked transfer from airport and return to Stone Town is probably more expensive than you can barter elsewhere, but the cars were in great nick and the drivers very professional and safe. The beachfront bar is a haven for in-house guests, other drop-in tourists from along the beach, and locals; a great place to hang and meet people. Staff were terrific and security is very good. The beach is breath-taking. This is down-time and up-time in perfect harmony. Yes, yes, yes, would return.

Room Tip: If booking a beach-front bungalow request one that is standalone (you can hear neigbours in the type...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank SoozSolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2014

We stayed at Kendwa Rocks this past February, after a long stint on the Tanzanian mainland, climbing Kilimanjaro and going on safari. We were excited to get to Zanzibar, relax on the beach, and enjoy the party atmosphere. Unfortunately, this hotel left much to be desired. The rooms were nice enough, but were on the pricey end of "budget travel". The beach was beautiful, but we couldn't go swimming without being harassed to buy something or take an excursion, which greatly diminished the relaxation factor. The largest detractor, by far, though, was the staff and the horrible service we received while there. It was like they didn't even care that we were patronizing their hotel. It took ages to get the simplest things. Even a cold beer seemed like too much trouble for them to get us in a reasonable amount of time. Once, I asked for a wine list, only to watch the server walk away and begin flirting with another server, never bothering to return. We become so frustrated with their lack of hospitality and apathetic approach to customer service, that we ended up going to other, nearby hotels for our food and drink. It was a truly disappointing end to our trip.

Room Tip: If you're on site and able, ask to see the room before you book it.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Stacey S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2014 via mobile

The hotel is in Kendwa that for me (and all ,I am sure)it is the most beautiful part of Zanzibar.The beach it is a dream!
But...but the hotel is not the best.If you are a person who just wants to stay in lovely beach and looking for a budjet place to stay it is perfect.They have very good price.
But the cleaning isnt the best(bathtoom not very clean and a big lackage in the toilet)the staff isnt so smiling and ,but this was my unlucky only I think,we had the workers for 2 hours in the room upstairs working with drill and hammer which is not the real idea of relax(the hotel wasnt so full so WHY do the maintenance works in a room close to another with guests?!)
Anyway for me was enough for 2 days but for more...I dont know.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank valeuk23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2014

Pros (I did enjoy the beach in Zanzibar) - Great beach, lively atmosphere, decent food
Cons (unfortunately outnumber the pros) - The location and happy hour bring people to the resort, but handling guests well was not a priority. While the serving staff were helpful, the management were very poor. Beware the volleyball court if you aren't a highly proficient player. The local players intimidated guests who wanted to play for fun. I watched a girl with little skill be attacked constantly with dangerously hard serves and was almost seriously injured by a hard spike. When guests objected, they were told by the local players that they pay for the resort, but not the volleyball court, which is clearly on resort property for guests to use. The beach front manager, who was present the whole time, did nothing about it and the front office manager proved to be unhelpful as well.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank boxyoyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aino T, Front Office Manager at Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 23, 2014

Thank you for your feedback and I’m really sorry to hear you had a bad experience staying with us. Please accept our apology for the inconvenience that occurred during your visit to our hotel.

We try to ensure all our guests the best experience during their travels. Thus we take every complaint very seriously, and every compliment is appreciated. For the case in question, we did have a meeting to make sure this problem at the volleyball court will not happen again. We hope you will see the improvement and enjoy your time with us on your next visit.

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Reviewed April 18, 2014

This is what a man--some kind of a manager--at Kendwa Rocks Hotel said to me. Why? It's all because of this system they have of using a plastic card to buy drinks. (They don't accept cash).

The problem began at the Full Moon Party when my friend, having already ordered many drinks and having had his card handed back each time along with the drink he ordered, ordered a drink but didn't get it or the card back. He waited a few minutes and then became curious. He asked the bartenders where his drink was, and they didn't know. He asked them where his card was, and they said they didn't know. After arguing with them a bit, he went to reception and got a new card. The next day, he returned to reception to check his balance. It was 0--they told him his card had no balance. We thought he got a lucky break, and it seemed like he deserved one after the ordeal with the bartenders.

When we went to reception to check out 3 days later, they had "found" his first card, and wanted its balance in addition to the second card's balance. I'm sure the problem is obvious. There were drinks on the card that he didn't order. We tried explaining to the woman working there, who was very nice and had been all week, that the bartenders had possibly had his card but that somebody had clearly ordered drinks on it. Enter bad cop. This other manager refused to listen. The bill included a mixed drink I know my friend didn't order. I told the bartender that he hadn't ordered it and bartenders had probably ordered these drinks. He said it's impossible. "They have cameras everywhere." I told him (probably yelled, admittedly) that we weren't going to pay and he said "If you're angry, that's your problem."

Thankfully, my friend had every receipt and was able to prove the man wrong. If he hadn't, I don't know what would've happened.

The lesson I learned is that I can take a vacation in Africa, but I can't take one from Africa. A manager in the United States couldn't say that to me. His unprofessionalism makes everyone look bad and left a bad taste in our mouths, which is too bad because all the other staff at Kendwa Rocks are great, especially some servers at the restaurant, namely Arusha.

The beach is gorgeous and they were smart to put sand so far back so that even at the highest of tides people can lay out and play volleyball. They do need a rinse station at the top of the stairs on the way to the rooms though. The bathrooms are filthy just because of sandy feet. The staff do clean the bathrooms every day. They could also crank their refrigerators down 1.5 degrees Celsius. The beer in Kigali is much colder than it is at Kendwa Rocks, and Kigali isn't as hot.

If you stay vigilant with your card, you could stay here. It is relaxing (minus bad cop manager). Just be careful.

Room Tip: Banda room 6 or 7 is ideal for the combination of money, nearness to the beach, nearness to recepti...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank Steve L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aino T, Front Office Manager at Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 23, 2014

Thank you for your feedback and I’m really sorry to hear you had a bad experience staying with us. We hope you will accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you have experienced during your stay at our hotel. We had around 800 people at our Full Moon Party, so the bartenders did get very busy.

The manager in question wants to send his personal apology to you and your friend for his actions and any misunderstandings.

We are happy to hear that you otherwise liked our hotel and will also consider your suggestion about the rinse station.

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Additional Information about Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel

Address: Kendwa Beach, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 237 Specialty Lodging in Zanzibar Island
Price Range: $93 - $266 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
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Also Known As:
Kendwarocks Bungalows Hotel Zanzibar

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