This is a spacious and interestingly decorated villa, clad in the local coral under a palm leaf roof, typical of eastern Africa coastal properties. The garden was immaculately kept and the pool area was delightful with most welcome shaded areas. The beach was just a steep flight of steps away.
The villa staff were kind and helpful, with George being a thoughtful and resourceful host. The chefs worked hard, making almost everything from scratch, but we were surprised at how hard we had to work to coax some seafood out of the kitchen, despite watching bucket loads of freshly caught fish being unloaded daily on the beach. The South African wines and local beer were great accompaniments to the meals.
We enjoyed snorkelling and a beach BBQ lunch on a stunning nearby beach and a second trip on a sailing boat was a particular highlight.
However, we were alarmed at the frequency of unannounced and rather intimidating visits from the local government officials (10 in one visit) which felt like an invasion of privacy. No doubt these visits are made to all villas but they will have the effect of deterring tourist from Zanzibar if they are not careful. Perhaps they could apply their resources to improving the appalling road which serves the beachside properties.
The wiring in the villa was infuriating with most sockets being of the extra large 3 pin circular variety which were incompatible with all travel chargers so we were obliged to raid the living areas for the limited supply of useable adapters.
There were one or two other niggles which make this a 4 rather than 5 star review but overall we all enjoyed ourselves in this beautifully located villa.
Stayed in this wonderful villa for 4 nights after a safari holiday, perfect place to relax. We were a group of 2 families with 4 children between 10 - 14yrs, pool area is lovely, beach great, though do need to be careful of sea urchins. Kids loved playing in the waves on the beach when tide was in. All the staff were really lovely and looked after us very well without us feeling they were around all the time. Food excellent, had a great snorkelling trip with delicious seafood bbq. Made good use of the excellent pool room and bar!
Visited Zanzibar for the first time in a 2 family group - loved the island, history and people and the house is truly rustic and out of the way. This was a large part of the charm for us, but may feel a little isolated for others.
The people at the house (George, Sam et al) were wonderful and made the holiday truly special.
Views from the Master Bedroom terrace over Mnemba island were spectacular, so it was strange not to have seating up there from which to admire this, but that is a minor quibble ...
One major tip: don't exchange USD at the airport as the exchange rate is a rip off and almost everyone takes USD freely.
Do visit Mnemba Island, Prison Island, Jozani forest and a spice farm - most of these also help local communities.
Do yourself a favour and go visit this piece of heaven on earth! Staff is friendly, food delicious, relaxing stay with a beautiful view!
We chose Zi Villa for a holiday bringing the extended family together (10 adults and 4 kids) and it was the perfect choice.
The villa itself is superb - really spacious and nicely furnished (quite south African in style). The place was spotlessly clean throughout, and after a brief family argument over who got the incredible sultan room (what a room!) we settled straight in.
The villa is quite off the beaten track - which adds to the charm. The beach is really good, the pool is lovely and quite large considering it is just for the villa. The food is really good too - just make sure you ask for what you want and the cooks will happily oblige. We were a slightly tricky group with several kids, a couple of vegetarians, and a couple of non seafood eaters, but the cooks catered to all of this well.
A special mention must go to George and Samuel who are the most brilliant hosts and helpers. Nothing was too much trouble - George's catchphrase being "Everything is possible"! Between the two of them they ensured that any trips we wanted were booked, various pick-ups and drop-offs were sorted, and additional supplies were brought from town when needed.
Zi Villa is the ideal choice for anyone who wants all the convenience of a hotel, bit with all the flexibility of a villa. Perfect for families or groups of friends.
Amazing stay, close to perfection! We were very skeptical when we read the most recent review before our stay, which stated: Avoid at all cost"! Well, we didn't find any of his complaints present with our stay! The rooms are so huge and are all en-suite! All air conditioned with huge beds! The staff were so friendly and helpful, from serving us to arranging trips. It's like having your own exclusive hotel! Menu's was suggested by the chef, but we could change it to out taste and to spoil our 2 littlies! Overall the food was good to very good! Fishermen are using the beach in front of the villa, but the house is higher than the beach, so they are not in your face! After all the beach is a public place! We had an incident where money was stolen, BUT on our side we forgot the back pack outside on the verandah with the money in it! My suggestion is to keep valuables in the safe provided in the rooms! If i have to complain, I'll suggest more prompt email communication while we were booking and requested info regarding Zi Villa. I would also suggest that Zi Villa owners answers guests on tripadvisor, for future guests and to state their side of reviews! Overall a marvelous stay and place, will recommend it any day!