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Reviewed November 18, 2012

We stayed at Sazani for three nights in November. As seasoned travellers/African enthusiasts in our early 40s from London it is fair to say that "we've been around the block" and as Trip Advisor followers I do feel that some of the comments on here are misleading.

Yes - the staff are friendly, the food is great, rooms have incredible views of beach and ocean and it's a lovely 30 minute walk (tide dependent) to the main drag. This makes Sazani both wonderfully accessible and beautifully secluded.

That said however we left disappointed. Nikki does what she can but the owner (who was visiting during our stay) by her own admission is a reluctant hotelier and the lack of maintenance is apparent throughout the site. Bathrooms badly need upgrading (our loo cistern fell off the wall) our mosquito net did not reach the floor and the promised early morning tea only reached us on one out of three mornings. Bottled water was only left with us on day one, an issue when we were left struggling without water on our second evening having discovered that the bar had closed and all staff disappeared at 9.30pm.

Sazani and its sister organisation, Sazani Associates, makes much of its environmental and sustainable credentials but little of this is yet apparent at Sazani. An environmentally friendly and sustainable hotel is a great idea but shouldn't be used as an excuse for basic service. If this is a key driver then why not publicise it?

I don't enjoy writing these type of reviews, and rarely have to, but on this occasion I feel it is only fair to fellow travellers based on our experience and the price paid. It does however remain a lovely spot on the beach.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Jedward97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sazanibeach, Manager at Sazani Beach Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded June 30, 2013

Dear Jedward
Thank you for taking the time to post a review on our Hotel .
We at Sazani value honest and constructive reviews and take Guests comments both good and bad very seriously.Hence we have just been awarded the Tripadvisor @Travellors choice@award for 2013.

In reply directly to your review .I have recently taken over from Nikki as manager at Sazani Beach and find Cathryn ,the owner, far from a " reluctant Hotelier".Indeed she takes the smooth operation and guest experience here at Sazani very personally ,including the staff moral and development.
Even if she doesn't get to spend as much time as she would like at the Hotel itself.

I agree with You that Sazani is an excellent secluded yet accessible location and the food in the
restaurant is top notch.

Since my arrival at Sazani a refurbishment program of the bathrooms has just been completed.

We do have a policy of supplying guests with a bottle of water on their arrival and then leave it to them to purchase further bottles,as they need, either in Nungwi village,on their excursions or indeed here at the Hotel.There is always some one in attendance 24hrs a day that can deal with any Guest request.
Tea is served outside each room every morning at 7am. If however it has not been taken,after the second day we desist so as not to intrude into your personal space .

Regarding our participation in the Climate change Adaptation Sustainability Award(CASA) scheme,we are now fully powered by solar PV and have solar hot water heaters also.
Part of our commitment to CASA involves a lot of subtle things such as keeping our sandy paths for use by the local hermit crab community at night., managing our gardens in a way which gives the local fauna a good habitat to live and breed successfully and reducing our water usage/wastage as good clean water is a scarce resource here on the Island .
We only recruit locally and in coalition with local colleges provide training for the young people of Zanzibar .We source our products from the local producers in nearby Nungwi.

I do agree you that is important that we have to make more of an effort to to bring this to peoples attention and ensure that this policy has little impact on services and standards here at Sazani .

Once again Thank you for taking the time to review our Hotel I will ensure that we continue to maintain high standards here at Sazani Beach Hotel

Thanking You
David Lee
(Manager Sazani Beach Hotel)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Stayed here for a week and found it very agreeable. Cottages have a great sea view, are set on a nicely nice landscaped grass area and lead down to an idyllic stretch of beach. There is a decent dive shop (Zanzibar Dive Adventures) situated in the hotel next door. Breakfast was good although, if you wish to eat lunch or dinner at the hotel, there is only one option of food and we felt it was a little overpriced. This wouldn’t be an issue at all but the hotel is a 25 minute walk to the beach area by the village (and other dining options – including amazing, cheap seafood) as, surprisingly, the other (top end) hotels on the way also seemed to offer only a restricted choice. The hotel is not cheap to stay at and offers pretty basic accommodation when you consider the price tag, but the general price of accommodation is Nungwi is extortionate (except in the village area where music from nearby bars could be an issue); with almost zero mid-range options available. This is all the more painfully juxtaposed when you walk though the village and see the absolute grinding poverty that the inhabitants live in, no wonder it’s not safe to walk home after sunset. I think the place would greatly benefit by having a few decent budget or mid-range Tanzanian owned hotels.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank johnny_5_bellys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2012

I had a wonderful 3 night stay at Sazani and was so impressed with the staff who really went out of their way to make it a lovely experience. It's not a good place to stay if you have trouble with steps but once on the beach it is gorgeous and very isolated. Thanks to the "boys" who walked us along the beach at night so we could enjoy Nungwi night life. I loved the hibiscus decorating the bungalow when I arrived-a nice touch. The food was great!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank DeeDeeArusha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2012

We stayed in two hotels in Nungwi (Amaan Bungalows with a group trip and Sazani). By far, Sazani was perfect. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. We did not get to meet the famous Nikki because she was not there when we stayed, but Bokari and Mwanzi were both incredibly hospitable and lovely.

The hotel is on the quieter side compared to some of the others, but the busier west side of Nungwi is very close and accessible if you choose to venture out. Also, Sazani's beach was less affected by the tides in comparison to the west side of Nungwe when we stayed at Amaan.

Each morning we had delicious breakfasts with homemade jams and fresh mixed juices that were out of this world. The jams were so amazing that I asked the kitchen if they could sell us a couple jars to take home with us.

This is not a huge luxury resort. Rather, it is a quiet and quaint oasis that you will find total relaxation (another tip is the massages, which I did not take but my two friends who did raved about).

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank AtaraAQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2012

Me and my three friends had a really good time at Sazani!
Paradise beach, lovely rooms and a great host (Thanks Pippa) - everything for a great value.

Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
Thank Marta B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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