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“Gorgeous spot. Quiet, clean, expensive boutique hotel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Z Hotel Zanzibar

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The Z Hotel Zanzibar
Ranked #1 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Gorgeous spot. Quiet, clean, expensive boutique hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2011

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.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank thetravelduck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,049 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2011

I travelled with my 74 year old mother and 24 year old son and we all really regret only setting aside 2 nights from our travels to stay at this stunning hotel We had 2 dulux sea view rooms. Wow what views. Beyond the beautiful infinity pool, the sea was the most inviting turquoise blue. The hotel is run with customer service as an evident priority. The fruit was abundant and succulently fresh. I particularly enjoyed trying out the cocktails as suggested in previous reviews. We all have different taste in food and chose a variety of meals and were all exceedingly happy with the quality and taste of our various choices.
The rooms were large and well maintained with modern furniture and fittings. The free wifi was a bonus for us to keep in contact with family back in England.
This is the perfect hotel to unwind and chill out.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bunnygirl50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
59 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2011

Couldn't even wait to submit this review until I returned home and in fact am laying by Z's gorgeous infinity pool listening to the ocean waves as I write this.

After quite a bit of research in Nungwi and other parts of the island, I'm very happy about choosing Z Hotel. Thinking we might want to explore another part of the island (the east beaches) we only booked the first 3 nights, but just extended out stay another 3 nights. IMO, the nicest 'hotel' on Nungwi with the best part of beach...soft white sand, no seaweed or coral. The hotel has a sleek, welcoming, intimate feel. A very chilled out vibe supported by the sounds of the ocean waves and soft ambient lounge cafe del mar-esque tunes flowing from beachfront restaurant. Staff is excellent as many reviewers have mentioned - attentive and friendly - and who cares if there's a short wait for one of thier tasty and refreshing blended cocktails. I'm on holiday...time is meant to slow down a little.

Rooms are clean, modern minimalism, though would have liked an extra chair to sit or hang clothes and some more shelf/counter space in bathroom. That being said, it's otherwise difficult to find a negative comment.

Overall the grounds, though small, are very clean and well kept.

We walked to Kendwa and felt the beach there was too open and wide, had a cold, rugged feel to it. And to be honest, in this heat, a pool to cool off in is a definite must. Not one that we could see of in Kendwa.

Curious about the east coast beaches, and next time will likely spend half time there and here at the Z hotel.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mangotree42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestCountry
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2011

Had a 2 week stay,and we where looked after like royalty.This was more than a holiday,a truly pampered experience,The young co-owner Keith,and his Zed-ett's, Julia,Aoife,and Sophie, who the staff call her by her given Swahili name"Rinner",made this a fantastic chilled out and laid back holiday.The food and service provided and overseen by Mbarka,the restaurant manager was of the highest quality.As this was the first time that we had traveled to a African country,personnel security was a fear,but we had nothing to worry about,Donald,head of security, who's motto"surveillance not intrusion"made the grounds and beach a pester free zone,This hotels strongest point is its staff,from the owner down to Ali the painter,who's smile and greeting never let you start your day with out a smile yourself .

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank OLDSPOTS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2011

The best thing about this hotel is its location. The beach is perfect, and although the territory is really tiny, everything is organized so smartly that you really don't feel it. It's nice that the hotel is not secluded - you see many locals and have all chances to communicate with them if you wish... A little village is very close to the hotel so you can see how these people actually live.
On the other hand, the food and the rooms were a little disappointing. The food is OK, but it's far from being delicious. I always expected something completly different from what I actually got... As for the rooms, they are SO tiny and a bit ascetic... You don't have place to put any of your creams and bottles in the bathroom...
Overall, a nice experience and I would actually recommend this place... but there's a field for improvement...

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Oktya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2011

I’m not usually one to write reviews but for the Z Hotel I have made an exception. The hotel was recommend to me by a friend, and so I knew that it would be good, but I must say that it completely exceeded all of my expectations and more than lived up to it’s reputation. The hotel itself is simply stunning and idyllically situated on the most beautiful beach that I have ever seen (and I have travelled quite extensively). My room was gorgeous and the pool with views of the beach was absolute heaven! I am quite particular with cleanliness and this can sometimes let hotels down, but I must say that I always found the place to be exceptionally clean and well maintained. The atmosphere here is second to none with amazing staff who were very friendly and relaxed. The food is lovely too and I thought it to be very reasonably priced. I really had an amazing holiday and completely fell in love with the Island and The Z Hotel. Needless to say I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anybody.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KimberleyRudman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norway
Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2011

We had a nice stay at the Hotel Z. It is located on one of the bests stretches of beach in Nungwi. Nungwi is not as affected by the tide as other beaches on Zanzibar, but it is still somewhat affected. The hotel is very nice, but you also pay the price. We found it too expensive.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MsLittleNorway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Z Hotel Zanzibar

Property: The Z Hotel Zanzibar
Address: PO Box 4807, Nungwi, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
#4 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
#9 Family Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Z Hotel Zanzibar 4*
Number of rooms: 39
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

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