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“Friendliest place in Zanzibar”

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Paje by Night Hotel
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Paje
George, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Friendliest place in Zanzibar”
Reviewed August 13, 2010

We loved this place. We went with a couple of mates to celebrate my birthday and could not have chosen a better place! Marco went out of his way to make the whole event special (even baking a cake with candles!). The bar staff and hotel staff were awesome, the food is by far the best in the area and the best thing is it is absolute value for money! We will not stay anywhere else!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank africaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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288 reviews from our community

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Africa
Level Contributor
265 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2010

Paje by night is one of the few places we visit frequently because it has something so few hotels in Zanzibar have - atmosphere, life & soul. The food is good and the owner Marco is a Natural host. We've seen Paje by Night bloom over the years. It may not be the place for those seeking sensory depravation, but if you're young or young at heart and are looking for more than just a place to stay - then this is a great choice.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JambianiNeil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2010

At a first glance, the place looks nice.
There is a well decorated lounge bar with music, the atmosphere is young and laid back.
Indeed it is a pleasant place for having a drink and meeting up people.

BUT be aware that the other services offered by Paje by Night, i.e. restaurant and hotel, are a shame. Staff is rude and the owner, Marco, is like an old teenager who is more interested in partying than making sure his guess are happy. I've backpacked quite a lot as a student in very cheap guest houses and must admit that very few of these places were worst than the Paje by Night.
We were supposed to stay there 5 nights but decided to leave after only two (even though we paid for 5) as we did not want our honey moon to turn into a nightmare.

- About the restaurant:
I recognize that the Pizza's are good (but who could miss a pizza?). All the rest we tried was crap: I had the worst lasagna of my life (well described by "safaristeve" on this forum, I couldn't agree more with his description) and the pana cotta was terrible... what a shame for a place run by italians!
Also the breakfast is the worst we experienced in Tanzania. The first day we got an orange juice but not the second one... We had to queue to toast ourself our slices of bread in a small toaster while our eggs were getting cold... We asked to get 2 pancakes instead of 1 pancake + 1 slice of bread but it was not possible.

- About the hotel:
Rooms decoration was not bad in warm tons but as there were only 2 very small windows, the sun light couldn't get in and it was very dark. Bathroom was rather crappy and the flow rate of the shower extremely low. The second night we were forced to endure a rave party. Indeed Paje by Night becomes a night club every Friday evening. Marco, the owner is trying to run two businesses at the same time: a hotel and a night club. I like partying a lot but if I pay for a hotel room, I want to be able to go to sleep when I feel tired and not when the hotel manager decides to stop his techno music! Marco just doesn't care since the night club business brings him fresh $...

We discussed with other people staying at Paje by Night and they were very desappointed as well. After leaving the hotel, we got to know from people in the hotel business in Zanzibar that the reputation of the Paje by Night is quite bad: customers often complaint, ask to leave earlier and be reimbursed but Marco never agrees to refund the room. Apparently, they've also been brought to court more than once,...

So STAY AWAY from this place except if you just want to have a drink at the bar!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank alexaldo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pajebynightadmin, Public Relations Manager at Paje by Night Hotel, responded to this review, August 11, 2010
I shall try and address the points in order and as courteously as i can.

- Marco is like an old teenager, but this is what makes him special, perhaps if
more of us could hold onto the fun side of our personalities instead of being so
angry and bitter at 24! we might all get along a little better, ..however, ..the
happiness of his guests is the most important thing to him, for over 11 years,
..but in this time you learn there is just no pleasing some people.

- We are sorry you booked PBN for you honeymoon, your tour operator should have
told you, or perhaps you should have looked on our website where it clearly
states that this is the life of Paje beach, where things happen and where the
weeklies parties are part of who we are.

- the pizza is good, you are right :) ...try some other pizzas along the beach
and you will realise this is mostly never the case, ..as for the rest of the
food, the owner may be Italian, but he does not have a full compliment of
Italian culinary staff, this is Africa, your food is cooked by Africans, we are
in Africa, ..we do our utmost best, often we also pull our hair out ..but
sometimes you just have to smile and say Hakuna Matata.

- Queue for the toaster at breakfast :) ...I had to smile, ..a 21 room hotel,
..lets assume every single room is full, and everyone wants to toast there toast
at the same time you are still going to have to wait for about 4 minutes,
...kind of like a large hotels buffet system, ...relax, ..take a coffe, ..sit
down until the toaster is available, ..your on your honeymoon after all.

- All hotels in Paje offer pretty much the same breakfast, ..coming from the UK
i would love a full english, but we are in Zanzibar, ..freshly squeezed juice,
fruit, bread, eggs, pancakes, .. this is how things are done here. ...and sorry
you didn't get freshly squeezed orange juice everyday, we do hope the freshly
squeezed mango or passion fruit juice was not too much to bear.

- the rooms, ...are for sleeping in, ...it gets very hot here, .you do not want
big windows, in the summer season you will cook, and it is a bigger invitation
for mosquitos. As for water pressure, again, one walk into the village of Paje
to see what 'facilities' the locals have should make you very grateful that the
water comes out when the tap is turned and there is electricity coming form the
sockets.

- the party, ..what can i say, ..you are 24, ..and the party is one night a
week, ..and ends between 2 and 3am ...for the 2-4 people that do not like there
party, ..there are over 100 that do, ...when for the occasional reason there is
no party, ..a lot of people ring and ring and ring and complain. We put the information
about the party on the website, we tell you the day before, ...you can't please
everyone all the time.

Finally, ..we reimbursed you for the night you did not stay (although our
cancellation policy does not state we have to) through your tour operator so
please direct your anger at them in their direction. ...and, ..we have never
been taken to court in our lives, ..this is completely untrue and it saddens us
to have you say this.

We are sorry you did not properly research where you were going and were perhaps
led into your choices by your tour operator, ....we wish you both all the best
for the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
61 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2010

Just returned from Zanzibar and ended up staying at Paje By Night for one night - thank goodness for one night only. They had the audacity to charge me USD10 for a hand towel since it got stained from my henna - yes, I do feel bad it got stained, but seriously - $10?!?!
They were supposedly imported from Italy - what a joke. Easy way to make extra cash. If I broke a glass, would you charge me for that?!?! Rude.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank nycgirl0729
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pajebynightadmin, Public Relations Manager at Paje by Night Hotel, responded to this review, August 10, 2010
May we pose a question here, ...what would your review have been if we had of furnished your room with a lovely henna stained brown towel ?
We provide clean towels AND a polite note in the rooms requesting that you do not use the towels to clean fresh henna as it ruins the towels and you will be charged.

The towels are actually imported from Egypt, ..and cost us $14, so apologies if you were misled in this aspect.

..and no, ..broken glasses do not have to be paid for ;)

We do hope you didn't let a $10 towel ruin your time in paradise.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitwe, Zambia
2 reviews
Reviewed July 10, 2010

Please do not go there! Reason......if everyone finds out that Paje by Night is absolute heaven, it will be fully booked every day of the year and then I will not be able to get a booking there anymore! This place is absolutely great and Marco is the perfect host. This is the only place I will ever stay at this idyllic island. Feet full of sand and having one of Marco's cocktails (that leads to many more....) in the bar. The rooms are great too, but who wants to be in a room in Zanzibar? The Paje by Night vibe (especially on a Friday evening) makes me want to party all night (and I am already in my 40's). Well done Marco, you've made Paje Beach the only place to stay in Zanzibar. Early morning walk on the beach to see the sun rise....the best place to be!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Makkie_Anton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2010

Very rude owners and filthy place to sleep. Those rooms not worth the money. Owners they are arrogant and unprofessional. Beware of this place - it's all about taking your money. There is a better service and standard in the other places of beautiful zanzibar island. Look around Paje for other hotels before to even to think about this place.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank FrancoMC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pajebynightadmin, Public Relations Manager at Paje by Night Hotel, responded to this review, August 10, 2010
I can only respond to your comment about being filthy, the rest i think is best left as 'your opinion' ...the rooms are meticulously cleaned daily to a very high standard, ...any complaints about this standard if addressed to the management during your stay would have been dealt with.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice, Italy
Level Contributor
156 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2010

Great service, Marco is always ready to make fun with the costumer. A lot of sports can be played in the beach like Kitesurf (the goods can be rent in pajeByNight village).

The rooms are very comfortable and clean, air conditioning works good.

A lot of trip starts from PajeByNight I've discovered the REAL zanzibar.

FOOD: GREAT GREAT FREASH fish, always cooked in the best way. also PIZZA is good (not a very zanzibar-tradition food).

BEST: THE BEST BEACH IN THE WORLD. a lot of night party in pajeByNight. SWIMMINGPOOL very very large. i can only advise PajeByNight.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank wuwuzela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paje by Night Hotel

Property: Paje by Night Hotel
Address: Paje by Night Street, Paje, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Paje
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Paje
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Paje by Night Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paje By Night is located in Paje, along the south-east coast of the island. We are unlike any other hotel in Zanzibar. While we have white sand, palm trees and many traditional building techniques in the hotel, that is where it ends as you will find our unique personality in everything from the lamps, to light switches all the way to our very unique pool. Since Paje is one of the best kitesurfing spot on the island, most of our guests are kitesurfers however we also have some leisure travelers appreciating both the beauty of the lagoon and our eclectic style. The best months for kitesurfers go from June to September and then again from mid of December to February and at that time the beach can be quite busy. October, November, beginning of December, end of February and March are non-windy months hence perfect for leisure travelers. Beginning of June can be windy but yet not busy. Important to know we are not located right on the beach but just a minute's walk, through a path of fine white sand, will lead you there and it’s a great beach with stunning turquoise, emerald and aquamarine colours. Our kite centre and kite school are however located straight on the beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paje By Night Hotel Zanzibar Island

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