We booked the Blue Bay Beach Resort for the last leg of our honeymoon to relax after 8 days roughing it on safari, we were greeted immediately on arrival and we were told we were being upgraded to a honeymoon / sea view suite, we were immediatly impressed with such a warm and positive welcome , little did we know thats were the service begun and ended.
1ST Thing we noticed on arrival at the room was it was covered in flower petals and there was a complimentary bottle of German bubbly thrown in! But other than this there was an overwhelming smell of damp throughout the room despite it had “just went through a refurbishment” – throughout the stay overall cleanliness of the room and bed linen was not great (i.e holes in sheets and bed linen , mouldy shower curtain , very dirty tile grout – see my pictures of the property)
We booked our honeymoon through Virgin Holidays and the brochure informed us that there were three restaurants to choose from in our hotel and that there was as also two more next door in the sister hotel which we could also avail of. (We were in the hotel on a Half Board Basis – and we were told should we wish to dine anywhere else on the premises other than the main dining room that there may be a local charge – to which we had no problem with).
The reality turned out to be that in the evening you could only dine on the terrace in the main dining room (all other restaurants were closed) – and the only choice of food being Luke warm – cold buffet and Luke warm bbq food while being entertained by cheesy 2 man bands with drum machines. Needless to say for our honeymoon we were pretty peed off and all our good clothes never got an outing.
We would have gone somewhere else to eat but as the blue bay is out in the sticks this was not an option If we had have know the real dining options at this hotel before we booked we would not have booked this premises as having only a buffet option / one restaraunt for eveing dining is not something we would ever go for as dining always forms parts of our evening activities.
Sunbathing / Bathing on the adjoining beach was not an option as the local hustlers and pests made it very uncomfortable to even look at the beach let alone walk on it ! Sunbathing around the pool was ok except when they would evict you mid-day or early every afternoon as they wanted to prepare the terrace for dinner or use the sun lounger terrace for sports activities.
One sting in the tail with this place was you could not pay cash or card for anything onsite everything could only be billed to your room. All charges in the hotel spa, restaurants hotel shop and water sports were in Tanzanian Shillings and had to be paid for on your departure. So on checking out we were presented with a bill in Tanzanian Shillings which we checked through and all expenditure matched what we had signed for. So as we had a lot of local currency we decide we would pay with that only to be told that even though your bill is in shillings you can only pay in USD calculated at the hotels own exchange rate (which was about 15% above the current rate) – we also asked about paying by card and this was also the same story (Billed in TSH but must pay in USD as hotels rate). This was a horrible scam by the hotel which we were not told about from the start we seen other guests complaining as like us and we were pretty shocked at their appalling attitude to this fraudulent and hidden scam.
On a final note – I would take all good reviews of this hotel with a pinch of salt as each time we went to use the internet in the hotel office we would catch the office administrator on the hotels page on trip advisor – one day we even went to use the pc and trip advisor was open with a half completed review and it also had a box on the right hand side saying Tripadvisor has reasons to believe that the reviews may not be true.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A luxury beachfront resort with traditional Swahili charm, Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa is situated on the finest white beach on the east coast of Zanzibar. The resort is one of the island’s most prestigious properties offering the ultimate in beach comfort: excellent accommodation; fine wining and dining; a host of sports and leisure facilities; the famous Oasis Spa; and our award-winning service. Bluebay’s rooms and suites are set within 30-acres of tropical gardens with over 1,000 palm trees, some right at the ocean’s edge. All rooms are spacious, bright and beautifully decorated in Zanzibari style. Dining at Bluebay showcases Zanzibar’s celebrated local ingredients with an emphasis on fresh seafood and contemporary cuisine. As well as being a magical destination for holidaymakers wishing to soak up the sun and absorb the enchanting culture of Zanzibar, the resort offers excellent facilities for meetings, conferences and group incentives. And our weddings and events team can help you plan a private party, a wedding and, of course, a honeymoon! Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa is Bluebay’s premier brand. The resort shares a 500m stretch of beach with its sister property – Sultan Sands Island Resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bluebay Beach Hotel Kiwengwa
- Bluebay Beach Resort And Spa Zanzibar Island/Kiwengwa