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“Nice place for a vacation”

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Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Pingwe
Reviewed August 3, 2011

Karafuu is a very good place. The service was excellent, cleanness very good and the resort itself well maintained and in a good shape.

A few things on the negative side: There is absolutely no facilities outside the resort, so everything you need must be bought here. We did not have all inclusive, so we had to pay restaurant prices even for the water used for tooth brushing.
They have computers with internet connection for rent, but the connection was very slow and unstable.
The buffet had an enormous diversity of fruit, vegetables and desserts. However, meat and fish was not abundant. Zanzibar is known as the spice island, but we found the food to be strangely tasteless. Maybe not to offend our delicate taste buds.
Shellfish had to be bought from the a la carte restaurant, even for the all inclusive lot.
The trips organized by the resort was also ridiculously expensive.

The beach has sand above high tide and below low tide. The zone in between consists of dead corals with lots of spiny sea urchins. There is however a causeway to be used from the beach to the sand bottom further out. Karafuu has a great pool, so you can have your swim anyway.
Except for these things, Karafuu is just perfect.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank BjornT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 29, 2011

Staff very courteous and resort well looked after, so what's the problem? Unfortunately they have the management style of a Spanish or Italian hotel in the 1970s. Add in power cuts, faulty air con, and misleading room descriptions to complete the picture - the garden rooms are awful & gloomy stuck in the back of the resort with the mosquitoes and generators. We immediately upgraded to a junior suite which is lovely & spacious on the front row overlooking the sea. The 'cottages' are the same as the junior suites but instead of a sea view, you have a view of...the junior suites. Great pool bar. The evenings in the bar can be spoilt by more throwbacks - bingo, over the worlds loudest PA system. Nobody really wanted to take part but the sad guy on the mic eventually cajoled a few people to play. Reading the numbers out in about 5 languages meant the game was not without confusion, nobody called bingo in the end. The same bloke did the various activities during the day, "aquagyyyym!" etc. Nice chap but this tired concept would be more at home in a package tour in 1974. Excellent dive centre, totally recommended - run by a Danish guy I think. To complete the 1970s experience, expect lots of little additions to your bill at the end, the people next to me were being charged full room service breakfast charge when all they had delivered was a cup of milk. They said my credit card wasn't going through, so I rang my bank on their phone - my bank proved it was their machine at fault, but they wanted to charge me for the phone call! Couldn't be bothered to argue with them in the end, won't be going back. Also you may see the polite management responses to their other bad reviews here, but this is all a sham. They're brutish when you're there.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank thughes59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2011

The hotel is on a private beach, they have themed dinners every evening. The dinners were great, from Masai village experience to Italian, to seafood etc.tHEY CAN ALSO BOOK TOURS FOR YOU-sAFARI bLUE WAS JUST ANOTHER EXPERIENCE

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank mmadi888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

This is a nice place to relax after a safari. The rooms are spacious and nice. The staff is very friendly and the place is very relaxed. It's a place to relax and not for partying. The food is excellent. The beach looks fantastic. The problem is that there are dead corals close to the beach. You can't swim at high tide. You can walk out at low tide if you want to get out to the water. They sell trips at the hotel. They're quite expensive. You can buy cheaper trips at the guys at the beach. You will have to pay quite a lot if you want to expore Zanzibar on these trips. Snorkelling on Zanzibar is quite good as well. the dive center and the spa is good, but expensive. The drinks at the hotel is a lot more expensive than the rest of the island.

I would recommend you to get outside the resort, because it is nothing like the rest of Zanzibar. I liked the place but wouldn't go there again beacuse of the location. There's not that much to see around the hotel. Here's my recommendation for a week in Zanzibar: Stay two nights in Stone town and enjoy this nice town.Stay at Nungwi for the rest of the week. The beach is a lot better and the trips are the same wherever you stay at Zanzibar. If you stay at Karafuu: Don't forget to visit the Rock further down the beach. It's an amazing restaurant with an amazing view..

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank skrutrekkeren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2011

This resort has been well reviewed & I wont repeat what has already been said. This is a well run large resort that shows off Zanzibar's beautiful coastline at its best. The beach is protected by a reef and the water is generally calm with good visibility. It is possible to snorkel straight off the beach at low tide. More energetic guests can swim out to the reef wile others and while one of the local boats.

We had some fairly picky kids with us but everyone enjoyed the buffet breakfasts and dinners. We occasionally had lunch in the beach restaurant which the kids enjoyed. The staff make a real effort to provide a variety of themed dinners dressing to match the occasion.

The pool is large clean and safe with attentive staff sorting loungers, towels and drinks. The dive centre is well run and they are able to include even complete novices.

our two families had cottages (56 and 57) that shared an adjoining door. They were back from the beach but were large, clean and accommodated us well. Bedding, nets, tv and bathroom were high quality and the rooms were cleaned daily with a turning down/ net checking visit in the pm.

There were lots of activities for the kids and we all felt welcomed and well looked after.

It is important to realise that this is a largish resort and so the small army of staff are kept on their toes with all the coming and going. In particular mr Muhummad has the difficult job of finding tables at dinner to please the crowds and occasionally guest's enthusiasm at the buffet can become a bit undignified.

We really liked our 10 days at the beach. I would recommend Karafuu and hope to go back some day. It caters well for a range of age groups from babies to older people however if you are in search of bright lights and noisy night life this may not be the place for you.

Room Tip: We were happy with a cottage room on half board basis. A bit more money will get you close to the wa...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank lRlSHR0VER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

This resort is very quiet, perfect for couples,or for anybody trying to escape the rat race.
We enjoyed the beach, the pool,long lunches with great views,and chilling on our balcony,the monkeys in the trees,,the cold beers in the bar and dinner with the moon shining high in the sky.
The staff were all very helpful,and can't be praised enough for their hard work and attitude.
The meals were simple but we really enjoyed the grilled fish or the pasta. You have to get in early for a good out-door table,and a better buffet choice.
Visit the hotel shop for a good selection of souvenirs at reasonable prices-with no hassle.
There are a small number of negative reviews on this site-everybody has a different holiday experience.
We loved it here and would not hesitate to return!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Faeforfar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2011

Karafuu Hotel, Zanzibar (Virgin Holidays).

We took an extension to our Virgin Holidays - A Taste of Kenya (see separate review) and stayed All-Inclusive at the above resort. The flight was from Nairobi, Kenya on a small propeller plane. The flight was with Precision Air. Good on-board service. Modern and not as scary as we thought. On arrival at Zanzibar we walked off the plane into the very small terminal. At the entrance you presented your Yellow Fever Certificates before being allowed further. You then pay for your Visa (unless you done this pre-arranged). This took no time. One blue form and your fingers scanned and US$50 later you were done. No photographs needed. Baggage collection was a breeze and then you were out! In total 12-15mins. The ATMs were not working but our driver (on Virgin's behalf), who greeted us, quickly took us and our bags and we stopped of to a local Barclays Bank to draw out some Tanzanian Shillings (approx. 2450TZS = 1 GB£ 13/06/11). They like either TZS or US$ but if shopping you'll get a better deal using TZS. The drive to the hotel was quick and comfortable 1h20mins. We tipped our driver.

The greeting at the hotel was great. The hotel was very plush and tastefully decorated. We arrived late but they still reserved a small supper for us bought to our room. We stayed in one of the cottages. The location was only one house away from the pool, beach, restaurant, lobby and bar. The room is nice with good sized but firm bed. Only two pillows. We requested a few more - no problem. The bed had a net. Use it. There are mosquitos here. It had a mini-bar (not stocked, but useful nevertheless) which wasn't working, but it was swiftly fixed as was the phone in room which was also faulty. There was a TV with good sports and movie channels in English. Only one concern was the electricity supply. It had European plugs! We checked out before travel and Tanzania uses UK 3-Pin style points apparently, so we didn't pack any adaptors. We assumed this would be the case here. Disaster, we thought, but they supplied a 4-Way gang UK adaptor. Impressive. Oh, power cuts are frequent here but the hotel has a backup generator. Power cuts didn't last long in our stay. The bathroom a nice size with hot shower, bidet and hairdryer. A safe is also supplied. It was comfortable with air-conditioning and a fan.

While we stayed it was rather humid but there is a welcome breeze. Breadfast was bufffet style and had all you'd expect. Bacon wasn't available due to supply problems. Lunch too was buffet and a good range of healthy stuff on offer and chips (if you really miss them). The AI option for drinks is marked and comprises of wine (by the glass), all soft drinks, locally produced spirits and beers. It was fairly limited but OK. The cocktails are good too. No ice-cream or other snacks through the day - only downside, but otherwise all was free.

There is a nice shop that stock some locally produced items (at good priced) and essentials (shampoo and very importantly mosquito sprays). Lobby has books. A large pool/snooker table and there are other optional/payable activities - scuba, boat trips etc... We booked to spend a day visiting both Stone Town (sightseeing and shopping. The Market was very good) and the Spice Trail (Very educational) with the Virgin Rep. Price US$90 per person, but you get your own personal guide for the day and it is not a 'group' thing. You go at your pace and see the things you want to see and stop when you want! Lunch was included at one of the posh Serena Hotels. The guide will also help when buying with reguard to if the price on offer and whether it is good so you don't get 'screwed'. Beware, all will try to drag you into their shops and here, again, you barter. Only pay the price you want to pay. The general rule is pay no more than 20% of the initial price they offer. There are locals that will tout their services and other excursions but be aware that local law dictates they must be licence to speak to you. It is apparently illegal for locals to harass you without having a licence and you can complain to the police if you feel strongly about it and they are not licenced.

The pool is great with a pool bar. Pool music was very repetitive after not long. The pool was a good size. The resort is mainly occupied by Germans with a few French and Spanish. Very few English so great if you don't like those 'social' type holidays and if you plan a get-away-from-it-all break and spend some quality time with your loved one like we did. It was great. Yes, the German do get to the pool early with their towels so beware, but there are plenty of loungers about. There is non-stop service on offer so you're never far from a drink and they'll be quick to clear your table if allowed (annoying at times).

I can't describe the beach. You'll only have to see it and lots to explore. It is all very picturesque with a beautiful blue sea.

So, that is it. A great place and highly recommended.

Don't forget to pack your Maleria tablets, Repel 55 and UK adaptor plugs. The sun is deceptive with the sea breeze so be careful not getting burnt. You are very close to the equator so make sure you pack a suitable sun cream and aftersun and avoid the midday sun (11am to 2pm). Tipping is customary. Usually 2000TZS for waiters and porters as you go. Guides and drivers maybe 10000TZS. Being AI you may wish to tip at the end of your stay - just be more generous.

9/10, and well worth it. Let down only by service being over-eager and too helpful and lack of music variety at the pool, but I'm really being picky here. The hotel management were exceptional.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Jaq1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa

Address: PO Box 71 | MIchamwi area, Pingwe, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Pingwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Pingwe
Price Range: $145 - $423 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 134
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On a deserted white sandy beach, at 65 km from Stone Town, lies Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa, an international five-star hotel, winner of the World Travel Awards as Tanzania Leading Resort and Africa Leading Beach Resort 2011 .It is one of the most luxurious hotels on the east coast of Zanzibar, where, even during low tide, it’s possible to enjoy a comfortable swim in the ocean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Karafuu Beach Hotel Pingwe
Karafuu Hotel Beach
Karafuu Resort Beach
Karafuu Beach Resort And Spa Zanzibar Island/Pingwe

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