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“Affordable Luxury”

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DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 26, 2012

My wife, 18 year old son and I stayed at the DoubleTree Hilton Zanzibar from the 16 Dec – 23 December 2012 on the all-inclusive package. We travelled from Johannesburg, South Africa. My general rule when travelling, especially in Africa, is to have low expectations and hope that I will be pleasantly surprised!

We had never been to Zanzibar before and had no point of reference other than the web site. We were pleasantly surprised! The photo gallery on the website is what awaited us, other than the beach and pool loungers which were different from the pictures shown, but not materially so.

We had two rooms, a beachfront room for us and a pool view room for our son. Both rooms were identical save for the location and view. A nicely appointed room, plenty of cupboard space, a stocked bar fridge, a small balcony, a flat screen TV, mosquito nets, air conditioning, fan and a generous bathroom (shower only).

The upgrade to the beachfront room is worth the extra money. We had room 126 which is on the ground floor, right on the beach with a double door opening onto the patio from the room. You could walk from the patio straight onto the beach not more than 3 steps away. We loved it! There were several other beach front blocks but these were a slightly different design with the entrance door to the room being the same door from the patio which meant that one did not have double access, nor as nice a view from inside the room.

The pool was clean and featured a pool bar with stools from which one could order cocktail’s from the pool side. There was also a lunch / snack menu that featured toasted sandwiches and pizza’s which could be ordered from the pool. The pool is about 1.5m deep at the deep end and features a sloping entrance so plenty of space for smaller kids. The water was warm though (about 28° C) and didn’t offer too much respite from the sun.

There was a small gym that had a few barbells, medicine balls, Pilates balls and an aerobic cross trainer – but who goes to gym on holiday!? If you need the exercise, rather take a brisk walk on the beach!

The hotel also featured a small SPA with the usual treatments. We had 3 SPA treatments which were at best average and being US dollar based, on the expensive side.

The general restaurant (breakfast and dinner) was large with fans and pleasant sea views. Being at the hotel for 7 breakfasts, lunches and dinners can be a bit monotonous. The hotel did however try to mix it up, especially at dinner time, where a different themed buffet evening was held every night. But a buffet is a buffet, no matter how it is disguised! There was a separate al a carte restaurant but we didn’t eat there, for no other reason than we had the inclusive package and it was unnecessary.

The upside of the inclusive package is that all the food (other than the a la carte) and local drinks were included. When you have a teenage son, this is a huge plus. We did not have to be concerned about budget or anything else. We ate and drank our fill and at the end of the 7 days there was not one query on our account. Well done Hilton! The downside is that because you have paid for it, there is a tendency to eat and drink at the hotel although there are a multitude of little beach side restaurants and pubs a short walk away which would have been fun to explore. Of course you can still explore these but obviously it is for your own account, and most of the standalone beachfront restaurants only accepted cash.

The Beach is Zanzibar picture postcard. Palm trees. White sand. Azure sea. Permanent fronded umbrella’s. Plenty of loungers. The hotel puts out towels on the pool and beach loungers daily.
The hotel grounds run to the beach and to ensure the integrity of the land on which the hotel is built, a concrete sea wall has been erected, separating the hotel from the sea. The sea is then accessed by steps down through the beach wall. This accomplishes a number of positives; the hotel effectively has a private beach area that is only accessed by hotel residents. The permanent umbrella structures and palm trees are not in danger of being washed away. The area for lounging on the sand / under the umbrellas is level and clean. The hotel employs security guards to keep vendors at bay. Your belongings are safe while swimming.
At Spring tides, the tide can go out significantly meaning there are urchins if you try to walk out. But at normal tides or at high tide, urchins were not a problem.

Although there is a tendency for “Hakuna Matata” service (ie not as snappy as one would like) we always had friendly waiters. Be advised that there was no ATM (automatic teller machine) in Nungwi and the closest one is Stone Town some 70 minutes away by car. The hotel will change cash for you at the going rate and also against a credit card which attracts a premium. Generally the use of a credit card attracts a 5% premium.

The son of my sister, who also stayed at the Hilton at the same time, got sick and the hotel had 2 doctors on hand within 45 minutes, despite it being a Saturday night. The problem was dehydration and a saline drip later, the problem was solved. Make sure you drink plenty of water, especially if you are doing water sports.

The dress code is casual but shirts and slops are always required for breakfast and dinners.
The Hilton was not perfect. There were some things that needed maintenance. The service was not always there but in summary, we had a great week.

If you are looking for affordable luxury in the Nungwi region of Zanzibar, based on our experience, we would certainly recommend the DoubleTree Hilton.

Room Tip: Beachfront Room Number 126. ground Floor. Doors open onto beach. close to pool but far away from res...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Neil C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephan S, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi, responded to this reviewResponded January 11, 2013

Dear Neil C,

the whole team and myself are really appreciating the effort you have taken to describe your
experience here in Zanzibar at Doubletree by Hilton Resort. Thank you so much!!!

All the best to all of you and hope to see you again!

Sunny regards to South Africa

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979 - 985 of 1,633 reviews

Reviewed December 14, 2012

After a 2+ week safari (Kenya and Tanzania) we flew to Zanzibar and ended up at the Doubletree. We originally planned to stay only in the Spice City but then saw the Doubletree and decided to try a resort on the island as well. We are so happy we did. The GM, the front desk staff and everyone else that worked there were kind, sincere and just wanted to make sure our stay was enjoyable. The food was incredible, every meal had something unique and brought in local flavors. The rooms were luxury. The beds were wonderful to sleep in. The pool was a delight and the property has access to one of the most amazing beaches. We were there right before the busy season and even though the hotel was not fully booked everything still operated as if it was peak season. I love when that happens. I would stay here again and again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank sightseeing123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephan S, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi, responded to this reviewResponded December 30, 2012

Dear sightseeing123 ,

thank you very much for your nice comment. We really enjoyed to have you with us and
we are delighted that you loved your stay. We are looking forward to welcome you again soon.
Happy Holidays and a fantastic 2013!!!!

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Reviewed December 13, 2012

very beautiful hotel and it has a very nice and clean beach it has also a big swimming pool with a bar in the pool..so you can sit in the water and order what ever you want and the restaurant it has nice food .. i have take a sweet room it was very nice and very clean ... so its a very good place to go for honey moon or relaxing and good price

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank fatin2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

I stayed here for 3 days with my boyfriend and it was beautiful. Staff were really friendly, the room was beautiful and place was stunning. We needed a doctor and they had one call to our room. Room was always tidy. The only issue was the food in the bar wasn't great, but there was now where that we found that did amazing food. We booked directly with the hotel and it was only $169 per night incl. breakfast.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jennifer171
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

We wanted to stay at Double Tree Hotel on Zanzibar for 6 nights, but we left after the first night. And we were so happy to do so.

Day of arrival: we checked in around 22:30 - the receptionist told us that the restaurant already closed; but there is room service. So we went to our room. After a short while we found out that the room service is only operated between 09:00 am and 10:00 pm. So I went to the reception asking if we can have anything to eat (we did not eat the whole day because of a long travel that day). The receptionist apoligized but informed us that everything is closed at that time (it was shortly after 11:00 pm). So it was impossible to get anything to eat at that time of the day. But then something very nice happened: One employee took us to a local place where we could buy some fried banana and some chicken (we also bought some coke) to take away. This was so nice, because so we had something to eat. As we retured to the hotel room I had a look to the mini bar - which was empty. Only portable water was in the room. I called the reception: the told me that there are no drinks available on the room and there is no possibility to buy something somewhere in the resort. Unbeliefable but true!

Next day in the morning: 08:30 am the hotel startet construction next to our room. The built a new decoration roof. That was so loud that sleeping was impossible (see photos). They check you in in the evening knowing that construction will start in the moring next to your room - and the best: it was low season, the hotel was empty - there where hundrets of other rooms the could give us - no exactly the one next to the construction work was ours!

So we got up informed the reception that we are not really happy with the situation (they offered a different room on the other side of the hotel - intresting: why not the day before when checking in?) and went for breakfast. Breakfast was quiet poor; the saussage/cheese/joghurt were not cooled properly, the choice was poor, so all in all disappointing.

Then we went to the beach - but there is no beach. A two meter high wall seperates you from the real beach, which is not there when high tide comes. And if there is low tide there is no water to swim.
And the best - the sumbeds were completely torn (see also photos).
That is really not what you expect from a Double Tree by Hilton.

So we decided to check-out and found a wonderful small resort on Matemwe Beach. Matemwe Bandas Boutique Hotel. It was like paradise there - and we were really happy to leave the Double Tree.

Once we checked out we had the chance to speak to Stephan (the general manager). He apologized for everything and stated that there is still a lot of work to do. We wish him and his wife the best to bring the hotel up to a Double Tree standard one day. But it seems to be a long long way.

But:
The STAFF: at Double Tree is excellent; they are friendly, competent and helpful, Double Tree Zanzibar can be really proud of having such great staff working for them.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank magstk72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephan S, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi, responded to this reviewResponded December 3, 2012

Dear magstk72,

as I did already personally I will apologize again for the experience you had at our resort.
In the meantime the new cushions for the sunbeds arrived finally.

Anyway we hope to see you again to proof that we can do better as it is mentioned in the other reviews.

Sunny regards!!!

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Reviewed November 23, 2012

Located at the northernmost point of Zanzibar, right next to Nungwi village, with a view on all the fishing activity. Comfortable and clean room, kind and professional staff, very tasteful food -both buffet and set menu's: fresh fish, excellent curries... we're spoiled Belgians, and we loved it. We passed a very nice and peaceful week there. Recommended!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank WomPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

The Doubletree Hotel accompanies a white sandy beach on the tip of Zanzibar. The entire experience is first class with attentive staff, luxurious furnishings, and great food. Although Stone Town is interesting to visit, stay at this hotel for a very memorable experience. Taxi driver Yousef Juma at 255 777 419 127 is reliable for transportation around the island.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Traveldudeworldwide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephan S, General Manager at DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Dear Traveldudworldwide,

Congratulations!! You posted review Number 200 thank you so much!!! We are delighted that you have enjoyed your stay so much. Please visit us again, you're always welcome.
On the round number, a drink is of course on us :-)

Sunny regards!!!

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Additional Information about DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi

Address: Nungwi Village P.O. Box 2651, Nungwi, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#5 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#6 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
#9 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range: $120 - $375 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — DoubleTree by Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi 4*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unwind at DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Zanzibar-Nungwi, set on the most northern tip of Zanzibar in Tanzania. Feel valued and cared for on arrival with a freshly baked DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie. Relax in a spacious guest room with a private balcony and ocean panoramas or upgrade to a two-room suite and feel pampered with a 30-minute house massage, fully stocked mini bar, and daily fruit basket.Boasting a traditional Zanzibar style with Makuti palm leaf roofs, this Nungwi hotel offers spectacular sea views and direct beach access. Relax on pristine, white sand with sun beds and parasols and explore the tropical waters while scuba diving or snorkeling. Plunge into the outdoor, freshwater pool or sip on cocktails and fresh fruit juices from Dolphin’s pool bar. Continue your exercise routine in the modern fitness center or enjoy morning yoga on the beach.Savor innovative international and fusion specialties at Fisherman Bar & Grill before admiring the Zanzibar sunset and trying authentic Shisha aromatic tobacco. Enjoy traditional, live entertainment at Ngalawa Restaurant and savor delicious local cuisine next to the beach.Celebrate your dream wedding with stunning, exotic backdrops, host your special event on the beach, or choose from three flexible function rooms for your next corporate meeting of up to 100 guests. Stay productive in the well-equipped business center and enjoy complimentary parking and WiFi throughout the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Doubletree By Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi Hotel Nungwi
DoubleTree By Hilton Resort Zanzibar - Nungwi Zanzibar Island

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