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“Nice but drinks too expensive” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sultan Sands Island Resort

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Sultan Sands Island Resort
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Kiwengwa
Certificate of Excellence
Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Nice but drinks too expensive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

It all depends on what you are looking for. Sultan Sands is a nice small resort, quiet, clean and modern rooms with good beds/sheets and air condition. Food was on average very good, even if my husband got food poisoning from eating from the buffet. If you fly in from a hectic working life in Europe and need a good rest for a week or two, all inclusive, lying by the swimming pool reading books all day, this is probably the best resort in Zanzibar.

However, Sultans Sands had tripled the prices on beer, wine and doubled the prices on the lunch menu. Zanzibar is extremely overpriced in general, but in the five different places we stayed, we never paid as much for the beer as we had to in Sultan Sands. A less costly pricelist would probably have given us an urge to go back, or stay longer than the three nights we stayed. Now, the stay left us with a suspicion that we were being ripped off.

Also, some more effort should have been made to keep youghurt, cheese and milk cold at the breakfast buffet. And some whole wheat bread would have been great.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Charlotta409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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476 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
Viterbo, Italy
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

We spent a week at Sultan Sand. It 'was a very pleasant holiday.
First of all, for those looking for disco, night life, many people ..... please do not go otherwise you would write that it is a lovely place.
For those looking for a good hotel, a very good food and also a beautiful beach atmosphere of relaxation.
We start from the hotel. is in style with the African environment. The rooms? Simple, spacious, suitable for those who must live more outside than inside the room. But in the end is all that is needed.
Food: the management and staff are committed a lot in making each meal something different. We had the dinner for the Chinese New Year, Valentine's dinner, dinner, typical of Zanzibar, the beautiful dinner on the beach with a tuna on the grill and made ​​us all with your feet in the sand, dinner, Indian style ... In short .... I have to say that they were really nice to all guests. Do not be angry with the waiters if they are a bit slow, it's their way of life, then what you need to do so urgently?? Just a smile and a little solicitation and everything, maybe it resolves. All the staff are always smiling and helpful. Ah sorry, we were talking about the food. There are food stations Dovio I have always found very good and delicious. Cooked plate / grill both meat and fish. If you want more spicy ..... just ask.
Food: the management and staff undertake a lot in making each meal something different. We had the dinner for the Chinese New Year, Valentine's dinner, dinner, typical of Zanzibar, the beautiful dinner on the beach with a tuna on the grill and made us all with your feet in the sand, dinner, Indian style ... In short .... I have to say that they were really nice to all guests. Do not be angry with the waiters if they are a bit slow, it's their way of life, then what you need to do so urgently?? Just a smile and a little stress and everything, maybe it resolves. All the staff are always smiling and helpful. Ah sorry, we were talking about the food. There are food stations. Just go and be served. I have always found very good and delicious. Cooked plate / grill both meat and fish. If you want more spicy ..... just ask. A little show of the evening entertainment. Then it is very pleasant to talk with the other guests with something to drink and maybe be able to exchange some advice on tours of the day.
Let's now talk of the beach boys: they are not bad. They try to sell the island tour. I can say that we have a preference for Italian but then they are nice with everyone. They look a bit like glue but suffice to say that you are not interested and after a while they leave. We did 2 tours with Bruno Conti (name invented by them) but the group of guys have their "office" on the beach to the left of the sea. Bruno Conti with us was very reliable and helpful. It 'picked us up right on time and with a van and clean with air conditioning and driver.
We asked him to also transfer to the airport. Saved 20 Euro from the hotel. This savings we gift to the boy. Then the Beach Boys are reliable. If you bring something from Europe (notebooks, paper, pens) he takes you to a school where the poets leave direttemente children. Sometimes just a little ... for a smile that fills your heart.
Thanks for reading this my review, I hope you find it useful.

Sergio e Raffaella (Italy)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Raffy1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moelv
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Stayed here one night to check out the beach as the north east coast. Very good place, but too expencive. Paid 150$ pr night pr person. The bungalows were clean and modern, however, some maintenance is needed in the bathroom. The door into the shower was broken (and the cleaners could not have been able to celan the shower..) Luckily my fiance can fix everything, so he fixed the door. The pool is good and the beach is good, but it is almost impossible to swim in the ocean when tide. Can walk fror 30 minutes.. We liked the beach at the north end better. On the east you get the sun rise and not the sunset. The buffet for dinner and breakfast are nice. To buy lunch and drinks are way too expencive! Overpriced. The saff tries to do more-sales and offers you to buy drinks for "special price" (which is actually no special price but just a trick to sell more). Not good for a hotel that prices itself so high.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank anetthoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

Sultan Sands is in a nice setting by the beach and the rooms are adequate though not as described in the brochure. We stayed here for 8 nights on All Inclusive. Food hygiene and quality were abysmal. At the live cooking stations raw and cooked food was being handled with the same utensils so cross-contamination was inevitable as were the stomach problems we encountered throughout our stay. Once I saw the girl preparing fruit on the buffet swat a fly with the knife she was using and then continue to cut fruit with it! In general the food was at best lukewarm and very often undercooked, especially the breakfast sausages, although to be fair the vegetables were usually somewhere approaching hot. All the red meat we tried was tough and I was served ‘cooked to order’ chicken that was raw inside. The variety of food on offer was not very good, appearing to be different versions of the same thing on different days. The kindest general description I can give the food is poor to inedible. With only one exception, which was Salma, the female staff were rude, indifferent and unhelpful and the male staff were in the main, lazy and uninterested. All are in need of some serious training both in waiting table and customer service. The bar staff made it look as though it was a real inconvenience to them to serve you a drink – that is if they didn’t ignore your presence which they often did! Staff service in the restaurant was extremely bad. Often we had to ask three times before we were served drinks with our meal which meant that we had almost finished eating before they arrived. More often than not we only had to ask twice but this still meant a long wait every mealtime for drinks. Drinks orders were also very often wrong which further delayed getting what you wanted. Tea and coffee at breakfast did not escape from this inefficiency either, taking a long time to be brought to the table and then the water was not hot enough to make a decent cup of tea and on one occasion we were served with sour milk which the waiter thought was very funny! In the bar we were very often ignored for several minutes because the staff were too busy chatting and had to go to the counter to ask to be served and then the staff became rude because we had not waited for them to come to us. We were both quite pleased when our stay at the Sultan Sands Island Resort was over and we did complete the customer survey before we left but I don’t expect we shall receive a response from them. The exchange rate offered is extortionate compared to the other 4 hotels we stayed in this trip, as was the price of wi-fi connection which in the other hotels was either free or considerably cheaper than Sultan Sands. We most definitely will not be returning to Sultan Sands and will not be recommending it either! By the way ladies, forget your hair-do here - no-one tells you about the incessant wind blowing off the sea - you need concrete, not hairspray, to keep your style!

Room Tip: If you must go to this hotel try to get a Bahari room otherwise you could find yourself with a steep...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank HelenJM66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bochum, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We have been in sultan sands island in january 2013 and it was very nice! The service is first class, the staff super friendly and attentive. Dinner was excellent and every evening special. The rooms are beautiful and we enjoy the whole week.
We would come back.
Bochum, Germany

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Stoltenberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Overall impressions were good at first, until I was hit by food poisoning (they use the same utensils for raw and cooked food at the "live cooking stations" I subsequently observed!), and then hit for three extra bottles of wine i hadn't drunk on check out. Drink prices are outrageously high - a single glass on wine costs more than half a bottle - And it is a battle to get a parasol by the pool or beach as hey are thin on the ground. However, the staff are lovely and the rooms of a good standard.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jason H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

A very nice resort at the east coast of Zanzibar, right at the beach. We stayed for 8 nights and enjoyed the comfort of small appartment houses with a spacious bedroom, bathroom, balcony and not at least air conditioning (which was very necessary due to the high temparatures and air humidity). The Sultan Sands resort resides next to the Bluebay hotel, those two belong together and one can use both hotels' facilities (apart from the included meals). The dinner buffet was of real high quality with a variety of choices and high quality food. Every day of the week had a special food motto, and there were several dishes every night that were prepared or grilled just at the buffet. The staff was very nice and friendly, sometimes a bit limited when it comes to conversation in English. The hotel holds a high standard, but also a high price level. A small bottle of beer (33cl) e.g. costs 8500 TSH (appr. 5,5 USD) - and there are no free beverages during the day (not even water) or dinner (if you do not book all-inclusive).

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alexander S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sultan Sands Island Resort

Property: Sultan Sands Island Resort
Address: Kiwengwa, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Kiwengwa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Kiwengwa
#4 Romantic Hotel in Kiwengwa
#5 Spa Hotel in Kiwengwa
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Kiwengwa
#7 Family Hotel in Kiwengwa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sultan Sands Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sultan Sands Island Resort is situated on the wide, sparkling beaches of Kiwengwa on the East Coast of Zanzibar Island. Sultan Sands is a resort with a unique character: an inspired blend of Swahili and Arab architecture and decor creates a relaxed ambience, while first-class amenities and facilities ensure complete comfort. The spacious rooms at Sultan Sands are built in the style of traditional African rondavels, each tastefully decorated with hand-carved Zanzibari furniture. All rooms are ocean-facing with some situated just metres from the beach. The resort's wining and dining venues are equally impressive, offering delicious local specialities as well as Far-Eastern and European favourites. Sultan Sands shares a 500m stretch of beach with its sister property - Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa. Guests of the two resorts also share many facilities and amenities, including the famous Oasis Spa and the One Ocean Dive Centre. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sultan Sands Island Hotel Kiwengwa
Sultan Sands Island Resort Zanzibar Island/Kiwengwa

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