We (a couple) stayed 5 nights in the Sunshine Hotel between the June the 13th and June the 19th. We arrived from Stone Town where we spent 2 nights in a wonderful hotel, quite traditional. A huge contrast with the Sunshine hotel which is (voluntarily) really international, too much for us.
Let's begin with the good points of the hotel:
- situation in Matemwe: easy access and possibility to visit the village of Matemwe where the locals are leaving, a huge contrast with the really clean hotels along the beach.
- beach in front the hotel: perfect to swim and discover the coral reef (by walking or swimming according to the tight). Plus, there are some locals in the beach offering differents types of services/ attractions: massages, snorkling tours, transfer to the airport or Stone Town, all at really good prices in comparison with the prices of the same services/attractions delivered by the hotel.
- Facilities of the hotel: 2 nice swimming pools (when the tight is low!), bikes available to visit the surroundings, palms and tuba for snorkling
- Room: we had a room in a bungalow in the first floor, with a nice balcony. The room was big and nice, including the bathroom. Only problem in the room, there is not enough light, so difficult to read or do anaything after the sunset (between 6:00 and 6:30 PM).
- Employees at the bar and restaurant really professional : nice and efficient.
Now the bad points:
- Restaurant of the hotel: we took the half board, huge mistake! The food has no taste, from the breakfast (at least there are some fresh fruit at breakfast to save us) to the dinner. The menu is really international, with 80% of the meals served with chips. We only had fresh fish one night (in 5 dinners!), even thought the hotel is located next to the local fish market of Matemwe. For lunch, it is worth than all: international food only at prohibitive costs: US$ 15 for a sub, where you can eat for 16000 Shillings some amazing fresh seafood in the small restaurants around (fortunately we discovered those small places around to enjoy a meal per day). The choices of wine for dinner is poor too (in comparison with the other places we have been in Tanzania, including in Safari in the Serengeti).
- The ambiance in the restaurant is ‘boring’: no local music, just some ambient music so relaxing than everybody is half asleep in the table at 8:30 PM. Consequence, everybody leaves the restaurant to go back to their room at 9:00 PM (I stayed one night a little bit later, the bar was closed and a armed guard with a huge gun welcomed me when I was on my way back to my room (quiet scary actually in the dark!).
- I can’t say that the owners (European people, not locals) are really friendly: they never talked to us (we stayed 5 nights, quiet a long stay), and were difficult to find, even at the end of our stay when we intended to pay our bill. To leave the place and go to the airport (we had to leave at 7:00 AM), we missed the last night the locals in the beach, to book a taxi. Result: the locals offered us the day before a price at US$ 35, the hotel charged us US$ 50, a huge difference according to the cost of living in Zanzibar.
So our advice will be this one: the Sunshine hotel is a really nice place to stay if you don’t mind to be in a really international environment (don’t come here to find the ‘true’ spirit of Zanzibar). And avoid the restaurant, really too expensive and poor in quality (prefer the local places along the beach).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Sunshine Hotel is a 15 rooms beach hotel, located in Matemwe on the north-east coast of Zanzibar. Eco friendly, stylish and cozy, carefully designed by professional designers, creates a unique chill-out ambiance to make you feel happy and relaxed. Set right on the unspoiled white sandy beach, lined with palm trees and washed by warm, turquoise waters of Indian Ocean, it's a perfect gateway from everyday life. All the rooms feature with king size bed with mosquito net, desk, safe box, bathroom with shower and closed toilet, stone bench, 3 fans, private outdoor space to relax. All rooms have garden view, some of them partial sea view. 2 rooms in a private bungalow are located directly on the beach, perfect retreat for couples, honeymooners or just a romantic surprise. The 2 pools are suitable for everybody, also kids that can swim in the shallow water area. The own Diving Centre Dive Point Zanzibar, organizes daily trips for divers and snorkelers to Mnemba. The Restaurant and Bar are available from 7,30am to 9,30pm to everybody (outsiders are welcome too) for the main meals on a' la carte basis. Half Board and Full Board are also offered. The Reception is at guest disposal 12h each day to assist them also for excursions around the island. USD is the main hotel currency, credit/debit cards are welcome (+5% bank fee on each transaction) as well as Euro/Tshilling (hotel exchange rate only). ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sunshine Hotel Matemwe, Zanzibar Island