Stayed here for a 5 day beach vacation before my safari. On arrival I was absolutely wowed by the ocean view - white sand, aquamarine water, a few dhows for atmosphere. The hotel has one of the few spots that are right on a swim-friendly beach. At full high tide the beach disappears but only briefly. The pool overlooks the beach and is a comfortable place to sit for an hour or two. When I was there it was very hot and I found the pool too warm to be refreshing. There were lots of umbrellas for shade by the pool and there is pool service from the small bar but not always easy to get someone's attention considering how few people were using the pool.
The rooms are bright and clean and the view from the ocean-facing balcony amazing. I did a little early-morning yoga out there one day and it was wonderful. Comfortable bed with mosquito net. Theoretically there was turn-down service but they only came once in the 5 days I was there - perhaps because I went to bed fairly early(9). The main electrical switch in my room was broken when I arrived but someone fixed it fairly quickly - rigged up a cardboard jam to make it work. Had trouble finding an electrical socket that wasn't already occupied with the room's appliances. My sink drain did not seal and I brought this to the attention of the both the desk and housekeeping staff on more than one occasion because I wanted to wash some delicates. It was never addressed. The bathroom counter space was sparse. I used the little table outside the bathroom by the front door for my toiletries. The housekeeping service was generally so-so and they often came quite late in the day.
One really annoying thing is that the valuables digital safe is directly above a small refrigerator that puts out an amazing amount of heat. I was quite concerned about damage to my camera, overheated batteries, etc. I kept the A/C on continuously to help deal with this but it still got pretty hot in there and at times there would be a brief power outage and the A/C did not immediately come back on. The A/C was great and kept up admirably with the very high temperatures and greenhouse effect from the sun in the afternoon.
Breakfast was fabulous and the service at breakfast really friendly and efficient. There were lots of pastries, cheese, fruit, cereal and milk and sometimes yogurt and you could also order eggs or 'pancakes" and bacon or sausage with home-fries. Coffee was great too and the restaurant overlooks the ocean - I loved it. Otherwise, I found the restaurants to be expensive and mediocre. I had lunch the first day and it was a fried wrap thingy that was tasty and beautifully presented but tough and hard to eat. I had dessert twice and both times the brownie or cake was a bit stale and the ice-cream a bit icy. I wanted to try the set menu one night but never found the items to be very appealing and it was about $30 compared to all of the nearby restaurants where I could get a good meal for about 15.
There is a small business center with 2 computers that worked most of the time. I usually had to wait for one but rarely for long or I would just come back later. The computers are located in a loft type room with lots of sofas with big cushions where you could rest or read and there was a small leave-a-book, take-a-book type library for the guests.
I used the on site snorkeling tour agent for a day trip - I was encouraged to do this despite the substantially higher cost and was assured I would get a better trip as a result.....all of the boats ended up at exactly the same beach, snorkeling the same water and eating the same food. In general the snorkeling was disappointing and the boats, while quaint, aren't very comfortable and ours had difficulty navigating the shallow waters on the return at low tide and it took ages to get back. Nice break if you are just looking for something to do but not recommended otherwise and if you book with anyone else it will be cheaper.
The staff at this hotel were, for the most part, very friendly and helpful - especially the front desk. The housekeeping staff seemed happy and always said hello. Breakfast staff were great except for the manager who came in one day during a rain squall and started rudely ordering the other staff around in front of the guests. He was nice to the guests, of course.
In this area it is probably the only hotel of it's kind - a bit more upscale and comfortable than the rest and quite a bit more expensive than many but comparable to what I have paid at beach resorts in other countries for similar service. Air conditioning is a must in December and there were not a lot of options in Nungwi with this so it was worth it for that alone. Good for a 3-5 day stay but I was ready to move on after my 5th day.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This chic, boutique hotel located on the northern tip of the Island, blends contemporary design with traditional Zanzibari features to create a unique, cool and relaxing environment. Set in a lush tropical garden with direct access to white powder beaches and the Indian Ocean, the Z hotel has been finished to an extremely high specification. Each room has floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading onto a balcony, which looks out across the crystal blue ocean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- z Hotel Nungwi
- The Z Hotel Zanzibar Zanzibar Island/Nungwi