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“If you want to sleep,don't come here”
Review of Sunset Kendwa

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Sunset Kendwa
Ranked #142 of 170 Hotels in Zanzibar Island
2 reviews
“If you want to sleep,don't come here”
Reviewed September 14, 2013

Was at Sunset with my partner early August.We had a very dark ,dirty room behind a wall way from the beach.The staff were generally indifferent and unhelpful.The worst thing was the incessant doof doof music from the restaurant on the beach way into the small hours.Fine if you're a so-called "partygoer"but not fine if all you want is peace and quiet.After 3 nights without sleep we'd had enough,even with ear plugs.The whole place had ring 'em in churn them out feel to it,with no personal feel about it .To top it all,the weather was very overcast for much of the day while we were there.T here are plenty of quieter places on the other side of the island,though to be honest,coming from Australia,the island is not all it's cracked up to be.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013

I had heard Kendwa Beach was one of the best beaches in Zanzibar and it certainly has almost perfect white sand and no tides so you can swim any time of day, however you get out of your depth very quickly and there are stinging jellyfish bits in the water, so it's actually not that great for kids, in my opinion. What is also really not great is the amount of people on the beach trying to sell you things. It is relentless. I got approached before 8am in the morning when sitting on the beach. One evening as I was admiring the sea from a sun lounger, a guy selling sunglasses moved into my line of sight and stood there blocking the view for about 10-15 minutes. Obviously these people are just trying to earn a living but it ends up with the beach feeling like a mobile marketplace. Add on top of that the large groups of loud Italian tourists screaming after their friends just as the sun dips romantically over the horizon, for whom pretty tacky entertainment is laid on (srsly, I took a sunset swim to the not so faint strains of Celine Dion) and overall this REALLY was not the Zanzibar paradise of which I had dreamed for years. This was not helped by the fact it was cloudy until after lunch all 3 days I was there and the beach is quite short so you can't really go off for a long walk when the weather's not good for sunbathing.

Sunset Bungalows itself is not a bad hotel, although neither is wonderful. My beach bungalow was large and clean with nice furniture (although, curiously, no proper place to put clothes other than the luggage rack). Most of the beach bungalows don't face directly onto the sea but onto a sandy area set back from the main part of the beach; you can see the sea off to one side. PLEASE double check the rate with the hotel - I had seen $75 for a single on the website but when I checked a few days before arriving they said it was $85 - I was on a very tight budget so for a 5 day stay this made a big difference. The bed was typically firm but I slept well. I didn't need the AC/fan on at night as it was pleasantly cool. There is music in the evenings but it didn't bother me on the nights I was there (Tues - Thurs); one night I used ear plugs just in case. Beach towels are provided. The staff are generally fairly grim faced and the service doesn't impress, but it's overall basically fine.

About half the hotel (rooms/reception) is up a steep flight of stairs, so if you have mobility problems it's probably not a good option.

Breakfast wasn't as bad as I was expecting from other reviews - small fruit plate was adequate except they served under ripe lychees every morning, which was a shame because it's easy to tell when they're ripe and there's plenty about. Fried eggs were quite good and you also get toast and some (fairly cheap and awful) jam, plus unlimited juice, tea, coffee etc. I didn't eat any other meals in the hotel after reading poor reviews of the restaurant, I heartily recommend Fisherman Local Restaurant for lunch.

Overall though I wouldn't recommend Kendwa, particularly if you are by yourself or on a romantic couple holiday and want some peace and quiet. You won't get that on this beach. I cut my stay short by 2 nights to try Upepo in Bwejuu, which was perfect for me. However if you're in a group and don't mind beach hawkers you'll probably be all right here.

Room Tip: The deluxe beach bungalows are on a level with the beach - I think all other categories of rooms are...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
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1 Thank Pgnacht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We've stayed 5 nights this August in one court yard room, in Lulu building (first floor). The room was big, with balcony, with A/C, ocean view, safe and fridge, clean and fairly cheap. The location is great, directly on the beautiful white sandy beach. On the bar is big party during the weekend. A lot of young people, music, fun. The beach is absolutely beautiful. The only downside is the breakfast, but again, the food in Kendwa is not so great. And I'm talking about all the restaurants on the beach. Unfortunately, not so much creativity on the fish and seafood part. The only good thing to eat in all Kendwa is pizza.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Pitea2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

Not worth the money, they charge you VAT tax while they are not registered with the TRA (tax authority; so 18% of the bill is charged for tax but not paid as tax which is illegal) no towels until you ask for them repeatedly no hot water, air conditions not working, bed sheets with stains, staff not well trained! NOT SATISFIED!

Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Irfan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2013

Sunset bungalows is in a great location, on the west side of the island so you sit and watch the sunset every night was is blissful. The accommodation is pretty good, fairly cheap and clean, with aircon and a small fridge. Go for one of the bungalows on the beach if you can get them, although if you are on the beach, be prepared for some noisy parties! They like to throw a party here, i think Friday night is their big party night and it's really fun if you are in the bar, but not so fun if you are trying to get to sleep! There are a lot of backpackers here, so good fun if that's what you are looking for - not really a family place or quiet place for couples though. The dive center here is very good so if you are thinking about diving this is a very safe place to do it. Food isn't great -breakfast was one of the worse we had on the island and we eat at Kendwa rocks up the beach which has much better food. The beach is beautiful though - white sandy paradise, although you do unfortunately get quite hassled by the beach sellers. Overall, a great place to party and watch the sunset, but if it's chill out you are looking for, there are probably better spots on the island.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank jzee033
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2013

We arrived at Sunset Bungalows at the end of an overland tour and intended to only stay for 2 nights. After signing up for a 4 day diving course at the place next door (Scuba Do) we ended up staying a total of 6 nights. We had Room 60 which was closest to the beach without actually being 'on' the beach, on the ground floor and with ocean views from the balcony. It was airconditioned and just lovely. The room was large and very modern with twin four poster beds and was cleaned daily with new bedding, bath towels and beach towels provided. Laundry service is cheap and taxis were arranged effortlessly by Reception staff. Negatives: the bar staff shortchanged us on almost every occasion claiming they didn't have the right change; the food in the restaurant is terrible (eat at Essence for dinner and Kendwa Rocks for breakfast instead); WIFI is available only in the restaurant/bar/beach area and is 2000 TSh for 15 minutes; the bar is very noisy on Friday and Saturday nights (would recommend you don't stay in a beach bungalow if you're visiting on either of those evenings) and shower was salt water. Overall, I would recommend you stay here but don't eat here. The beach location is really lovely :)

Room Tip: Room 60 is a good choice. Avoid the bungalows which are right on the beach as they would be noisy.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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1 Thank leonie69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I arrived late around 9 and the bar was pumping music until 2am which was very irritating if you don't like that kinda doof doof music. The rooms were large but that's about it. The bed sheets had blood stains, the towels we not very clean, there was no hot water and only a trickle coming outta the faucet. I could not stay another night there as every Night is party night. This place is more suited to young partying backpackers. However, the beach is really beautiful. The water is pristine and the sand is so soft and white.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Coates77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunset Kendwa

Property: Sunset Kendwa
Address: P.O. Box 3546, 3546, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#103 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunset Kendwa 3*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Sunset Kendwa, your place to stay in the tropical paradise of Zanzibar's north coast. Fringed by powdery-white sand beaches, azure waters, and thriving coral reefs, the exotic spice island of Zanzibar is the most idyllic of tropical destinations. We offer a wide range of brightly decorated traditional rooms and bungalows, as well as all the facilities you will need to help you ease into Zanzibar's relaxed pace of life. Right on the perfect sands of Kendwa beach on Zanzibar's north coast, this is the perfect place to unwind, spend your days swimming or sun-bathing, snorkelling, scuba diving with our award winning on site water sports centre Scuba Do Zanzibar ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunset Bungalows Hotel Zanzibar
Sunset Hotel Zanzibar
Sunset Beach Hotel Zanzibar

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