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“Beautiful Jambiani, but stay away from the 1st floor rooms!”
Review of Vanilla House

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Vanilla House
Ranked #26 of 38 Jambiani B&B and Inns
Reviewed July 13, 2013

We have just left Vanilla House, where we stayed 1 night in the 1st floor room, in the terrace. We have few comments. Jambiani is amazing, the view from the terrace of Vanilla is wonderful. However, we were not satisfied at all about the room and, above all, the toilet! We know that we are in Africa, but we walked trough the village and we could see with our eyes that local people use fountains and so on. How is it possible that no water was available for us? Neither the WC, nor the shower, nor the lavabo.
We read the the owner always says that Vanilla is a real Zanzibar experience, so we shouldn't complain about the fact that the shower was a dirty tube close to the WC, with a dirty floor etc. We answer that, if the standard offered is so low, then why paying almost 50USD? It doesn't need that much improvement. Just a decent toilet, and maybe the glass at the room windows.
And also, please fix the steps of the stairs, because it was dangerous.

We can't say anything about the room at the ground floor. Maybe they seemed better.

Finally, few suggestions. Put signs on the road!! It took 30mins to us to find it! Second, no one of the staff is checking the identity of the guests. Next time, I can go without booking, tell to the staff that I booked and spend a free night there.

Besides that, again, Jambiani is really worth the trip!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Stefano H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dorota30, Owner at Vanilla House, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2013

I personally also love this place. Jambiani with its beaches is but a paradise. We do our best to provide a nice atmosphere also in Vanilla House itself. Most of our guests are very pleased when staying with us.
We are very thankful for your remarks. Our guests' opinion is always valuable for us. Unfortunately, the very day of your arriving to Vanilla House we had some breakdown upstairs, and this was the reason of water problems. But our guests can use the whole house, also the bathroom and toilet downstairs, as well as the kitchen there. We are sorry for this inconvenience.
And the stairs are already repaired :)
We understand that it may be a little difficult to find our house just from the road, but we assure you that we had put the sign on the road but it was damaged, so we ordered a new one. But all people there know exactly where is Vanilla House, so you can always ask someone. Our neighbours are so kind that they would for sure help you to find us.
We pass all needed information to Vanilla House manager, along with list of ordered services, that's why there is no need to check the bookings of our guests. We are always ready for their arrivals and welcome them very warmly.

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6 - 12 of 32 reviews

Reviewed May 24, 2013

My family together with our friends were there during 3rd week of May this year. Vanilla house was under general refurbishment so we were placed in the semi-detached hour next to Vanilla.
House we stayed in looks almost the same like Vanilla (you can find that on the pictures).

The place is just unreal. The sound of waves wakes you up, sea disappears during the
morning and then comes back in the afternoon and gets very strong hitting the wall and
splashing water in front of the house. Garden or balcony let´s you rest in the shadow
listening to the sea sound or local people life. There are local people walking nearby from
time to time (it is not annoying) what lets you meet very interesting people and learn
something more about local life. Our son played with local kids too, amazing experience.

Breakfast is simple but very good and having very tasty fruits every day you do not get bored.
You can also order your dinner which could be prepared by house cook - Kongue, who knows
how to use local Zanzibar spices in his dishes - very tasty. You shall not expect hotel service
and blankets changed daily but you shall get everything what you need to rest in good
atmosphere. It is clean, you have a hot water and able to take shower with good water
pressure.

If you want to experience local trips, snorkeling or taxi service it can be arranged by Duwa who
is helping in the house too (very good guide who speaks English who knows where to take
you - recommended!)

During our stay in the house we met Jacek and Julia who were helping in the Vanilla house
refurbishment and made our stay even better helping sharing additional local tips and tricks.

Hard to express and sum up 7 days we stayed there, unforgettable time, we want to come
back for sure.

Thanks to all who helped us to have such a great time there.
Cheers
Pawel

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank pavforall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dorota30, Owner at Vanilla House, responded to this reviewResponded June 12, 2013

It is very nice to read that our Clients felt with us like at home. It is our main goal to make your vacation unforgettable and unique.
As you said, it is not a hotel, and you will not experience here hotel-service and every amenities connected with it, but you can experience here a real Zanzibar life – and this is what makes staying in Vanilla House so amazing and one-off its kind.
You are warmly welcomed in our House together with your family and friends.

Thank you for your opinion.

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Reviewed January 9, 2013

I stayed here at the end of the year 2012 and the first day o new year (3 nights)
The house is just close to jambiani village (nice to take a walk in village to see real life of jambini).
My room was on second floor, I think better that the first floor so you can see the sea and the beach.
The house is not a 5 stars hotel but is clean and well built. The house has rooms with shared bathroom (1 for 2 rooms). 2 rooms for floor, and on the second floor a great terrace from where you can relaxe and see the sea.

The housekeeper is very nice and always available for everythings.

My room was not so large but enough for 2 people.
Bathroom is large with hotshower.

price was 48$ per room per day with breakfast.
There is a refigerator that can be used by guests to keep water and beer and some food.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank daquaro
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dorota30, Owner at Vanilla House, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2013

Vanilla House is indeed rather like a homelike place, and not as a hotel. I am sure that all those who wants to exeprience real Africa's life will appreciate the atmosphere of Vanilla House. It is small but nice and friendly place. I am sure you have already noticed this.
I invite you again to Vanilla House. You are always warmly welcome.

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Reviewed September 12, 2017
Google Translation

  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
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14  Thank Krzysztof Ć
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2016
Google Translation

Room Tip: Dom jest położony przy samy ocenie, spokój jak i widoki są bez cenne!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled solo
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1  Thank Piotr C
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dorota30, Właściciel at Vanilla House, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2016
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Reviewed April 17, 2016
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  • Stayed: March 2016, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 154pacop
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dorota30, Owner at Vanilla House, responded to this reviewResponded April 22, 2016
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Reviewed March 17, 2016
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  • Stayed: March 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Monika S
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dorota30, Właściciel at Vanilla House, responded to this reviewResponded September 12, 2016
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Additional Information about Vanilla House

Address: | Jambi Village, Jambiani, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Jambiani
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 38 B&Bs / Inns in Jambiani
Price Range: $52 - $58 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vanilla House is a small 4 room house of a local nature situated on the shores of the Indian Ocean ! Vanilla House has been built by Dorota Katende, an African Safari & Zanzibar Island guide and author of two books: "Dom na Zanzibarze" ("The House on Zanzibar") and "Kobiety na Zanzibarze" ("Woman on Zanzibar"). The house is decorated in Swahili style with elements woven from the palm leaves (makuti) with typical Zanzibar furniture such as carved large sultan's beds or chairs made from cow skin by local people. Apart from rooms all other places are to be shared with all guests. There should not be more than 8 guests in the house. To fully enjoy your stay here you should be tolerant, willing to understand different culture and cooperative in the organization of time and order. On the terrace above the house in the makuti shade you can admire the breathtaking ocean view. There are 4 rooms, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen where the cook bustles about. Everything is very simple, but sufficient enough to rest from the civilization. In the Vanilla House you can, if you want or even sometimes by chance, become a witness or even a creator of a history - the content of third Dorota's Katende book! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vanilla House Zanzibar Island/Jambiani

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