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“Terrible hotel, bad beds, shared bathrooms, not on the beach”

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Fairytale Villa & Guesthouse
Ranked #25 of 33 Jambiani B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Terrible hotel, bad beds, shared bathrooms, not on the beach”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

We were extremely disappointed by our stay at Fairy Tale Villas, especially given all the good reviews I found on TripAdvisor and the Lonely Planet endorsement, which I do not understand.
In a word, I would recommend to stay away from this hotel - there are a lot of better hotels in Jambiani (including some cheaper options!).
Here are the main issues we encountered:
- Hotel is NOT on the beach - most other hotels are (including cheaper hotels)
- Shared bathrooms: 2 bathrooms for 3 rooms. Only one bathroom has hot water. The tap was disgusting - covered by rust. Another guest had left his laundry and belongings in the bathroom. It felt like a hostel (but at hotel prices). You will not have much privacy in this hotel.
- Holes in mosquito nets (on windows): mosquitoes and ants were getting into the room
- Terrible mattresses: we hardly slept
- No air conditioning, no ceiling fans
- Tiny parking: it took us 15 minutes to get out of the property

We had booked 3 nights and the manager was kind enough to let us cancel the remaining 2 nights at no cost, which we really appreciated. He was clearly the best part of the hotel - friendly, welcoming and accommodating. It is unfortunate that the property he is managing is so run down.

Note however that Jambiani is an amazing village, with few tourists, and a lot of great hotels and restaurants. The warm and turquoise waters, dotted with fishing dhows, will be hard to forget. I highly recommend a stay in Jambiani - just stay elsewhere.

Room Tip: All rooms have shared bathrooms... No good room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank EdmondDantes_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Fairytale lodge felt to us like a home away from home. We stayed just under week and found the owner and caretaker to be extremely accommodating. Whether it was with information on local places to eat, scuba trips or taxis into Stone Town, we were always given friendly advice and information. The lodge itself is not a luxury place, but we loved the homey feel it had. It is a few meters from the beach, which had very few tourists when we were there. Finally, the food was fantastic, the room spacious and the roof terrace was a great place to hang out and relax.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Lily C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed June 4, 2013

You immediately feel at home when you arrive at the villa, where the rooms are spacious with big beds and the kitchen inviting. The villa has an porch on the second floor and also a big garden.
The house manager chagua is helpful in any matter and he makes a killer Spanish omelet!
The Jambiani area is not overflowed with tourists and hotels like Paje, which makes fairytale villa quite suitable for a relaxing vacation. In addition, couples don't have to be married in order to share a room.
Overall perfect!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank khurambas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolton, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2012

We landed at Jambiani after spending some time in Dar & South West Tanzania, Ruaha & Mikumi National Parks. So we were more than ready for some much needed beach time. Fairytale Villa was ideal for our group, lots of space, just off the beach, with the village just at the back. Large airy rooms and plenty of relaxing space both in the garden & on the upper terrace. Chagua (the manager) was lovely and helpful and an excellent cook. We quickly decided not to bother eating at the beach restaurants as Chagua's cooking was so much better, we had a seafood frenzy: crab, calamari, jumbo prawns, coconut fish curry. Chagua will also arrange your Jozani Forest trips, snorkelling etc.
The beach itself is tidal with clear shallow waters, there's a little hassle from beach vendors but generally I think Jambiani is a quieter stretch of beach than Pave & the Northern beaches. Great for beach combing for shells & lovely to walk along, probably 3 kms or so maybe more.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Janice L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2012

We had a wonderful week staying in this no frills guest house. Very good value for money and incredibly friendly owner and caretaker. Actually, Chagua is MUCH more than a caretaker - his cooking is superb and he can sort anything. The beach is stunning and unspoilt. Not to be missed!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Polly_B_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Colorado
Level Contributor
90 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2012

We went at the end of May, when the town is pretty empty of tourists, and so we had the house all to ourselves (married couple with a friend). The porch is a lovely spot to read, nap, or watch the rain storms in our case. I would live in a house like this! It's not right on the beach, but it's only 30 seconds away by foot. In the peak season I think this would be a good spot, away from the bigger touristy hotels. In the low season, it was almost too isolated- hard to find a spot for dinner. Very nice, big, clean bathrooms and beautiful bed rooms. Chagua, the house keeper/manager, made us a very nice breakfast and helped us with travel plans. This would be great for a family or two sharing.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MountainSunSea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Faaborg, Denmark
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2011

Stayed there for three nights. Very nice place and helpfull people. Perfect for relaxing and getting litle closer to the locals. Remember cash before you go, there is no "moneymaschine".

  • Stayed July 2011
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank OleWor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairytale Villa & Guesthouse

Property: Fairytale Villa & Guesthouse
Address: Jambiani, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Jambiani
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 33 B&Bs / Inns in Jambiani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Fairytale Villa & Guesthouse Zanzibar Island/Jambiani

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