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“Sultan sands with an 11 year old”

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Sultan Sands Island Resort
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Kiwengwa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 11, 2013

We stayed in Sultan sands in June 2013. The hotel is clean and well kept. Our room had an issue with the AC but after I went to reception someone was there within 5 minutes to mend it and they did. Food fairly similar each evening but it was very nice and they did different themed night with American /italian / oriental to name a few. The sea they recommend sea shoes to protect your feet from coral and shells but we did not find this to be necessary. The locals were kept away from you on the beach by the Masai warriors who kept guard. A lot of sprot can be played here and my son enjoyed a great game of water polo. The balcony on the hut was small and not in the sun but others did get the sun

Room Tip: I would pay the extra to get the larger rooms.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Nyladd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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97 - 103 of 593 reviews

Reviewed May 29, 2013

Our room was clean, modern, and had good A/C, and the beach and ocean were nice. The food was about average. The staff were polite and reasonably efficient. Also, as a vacationing family, we appreciated the lack of a pulsating disco beat at night. On the other hand, the drinks were overpriced (the "special" that week actually cost 2000 shillings MORE than normal) and Sultan Sands shares with its far better sister resort Bluebay the obnoxious practice of pricing services in shillings but forcing customers to pay in foreign currency at the resort's artificially bad exchange rates. Also, a word of caution about the Blue Safari excursion. We enjoyed the outing, but it bore little resemblance to what was advertised. It began with a 90-minute wait at the beach while the crew slowly got organized and laboriously loaded all the boats, followed by a goat-grab as 80 or 90 people simultaneously tried to find the right size fins. You may ask why they didn't use the 90-minute wait to hand out fins at leisure, but this is Africa. The promised "85% chance" of sighting or swimming with dolphins turned out to be zero percent. There wasn't even any mention of dolphins, much less an attempt to find them. Lastly, the three separate snorkeling dives turned out to be one dive.

Room Tip: Ask for a room not too far from the main building. We had quite an uphill hike to reach our room.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Brian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

The hotel employees, with the exception of a select few, were rude and had no customer service skills. If you go, expect to get your own drinks by the pool. No one walks around and asks you if you want a drink. Many times when I went to the restaurants, no one greeted me at the table. I had to flag a waitress down and ask them for drinks or a menu. The Masai guards that are supposed to be watching the beach area sit around and stare at the people in the pool and kick the soccer ball around rather than doing their jobs. There is another employee (I think he was the pool cleaner, not sure) who stands by the pool all day long and just stares at all the guests. While we were sitting by the pool relaxing, the waiters/waitresses were goofing around and yelling in the restaurant like little kids. Not very peaceful. First night we were there, they served dinner on the beach which was nice, until a group of waiters and waitresses started arguing right in front of our table. When taking my luggage to the front desk to pay my bill and go home, I had to drag my bag across the gravel driveway. The people standing at the front door just watched me instead of assisting me. I don't know if this was the "B" team since this is the low season, but the staff are definitely in need of a customer service training.

On the bright side, it's a nice looking hotel with nice rooms. The food was just "ok". One night they had seafood night which was excellent. Beers are $5 each. If you want to actually go in the ocean, be prepared to be swarmed by the beach boy vultures. The ride from the airport takes about an hour. I will not go back to this hotel.

Room Tip: Best to get a premium room closer to the pool. To get to the economy rooms in the back of the resor...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank greg4444444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

This is an average resort with its strength being that it is on the beautiful white sand beach. The cottages / rooms on the beach front are rather small with a balcony.The amenities are limited. At night there is no telephone operator on duty. The service leaves much to be desired.Sitting in the open in the evenings is certainly painful because of the mosquito's and with no anti mosquito coils etc.
I was surprised and aghast to see the TRIP ADVISOR Plaque displayed rating this property as a 2013 winner.
The address of this resort as on their printed material is P.O.Box 3156, Zanzibar

Room Tip: Choose another resort in the area if available as this particular resort is barely a 4 star property...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Akbar S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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3  Thank Charlotta409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank Raffy1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank anetthoe
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

Address: Zanzibar, 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 Romantic Hotel in Kiwengwa
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Kiwengwa
#5 Spa Hotel in Kiwengwa
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Kiwengwa
#7 Family Hotel in Kiwengwa
Price Range: $174 - $622 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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