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“Seven days in paradise”

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Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Pingwe
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Seven days in paradise”
Reviewed January 17, 2014

My husband and I had such an amazing 7 days in Karafuu and we loved every minute of it. We were spoiled to the bone. The view of the Indian Ocean from our room was out of this world. The food and the hospitality of staff made our stay there unforgettable. Special mention to Freddie and Moses Dida amongst others who made every effort to make all the guests comfortable during meal times. Hotel reception and management (Beatrice amongst others) also made our stay memorable. Everything was very good and I encourage people to visit the beach hotel and experience this for themselves.

Room Tip: Choose a room that faces the sea.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Esther M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Stayed 7 nights january 2014.

Positive things: fantastic weather, nice view from the resort, nice food (all though I am not personal a fan of this all-inclusive-concept) and a nice pool.

Negative things: the gym which they advertises they have - it does not exist?! The beach - to much waste; we simply did not understand why the hotel didn't make sure to clean the beach every morning. Instead we were walking between plasticbottles, shoes and other leftovers from the shore.

The reception/employees here - hmm. Not very serviceminded. Basically we got the feeling that they really do not care. For example we asked for some clothes we delivered for laundry-service. After 2,5 days with no return of our clothes (the hotel advertises with 24 hour delieveryservice) I had to insist to get our clothes back. The reaction from the reception were very "hakuna matata". No excuse, no explanation or understanding.

The rooms. Clean but with a lot of details lacking. The shower - what a joke. The toiletseat - joke. Aircon - be aware you have to get up in the night turning it on every time the power falls out. Which it does very often. Doors to the terrace - no efficient locks on these.

Internet - total rib-off. The hotel charges 50$/pr week. Pr. device. We bought 3 vouchers for this. What a shame. First of all - it works as the wind blowing. And when it works you have to be very patient.

Summary: the Hotel calls itself a 5* hotel. It's not. Its 3* star and nothing more.

Anders

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank andcand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergamo, Italy
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2014

I stayed 4 nights at Karafuu hotel and the first 4 days were pretty nice although it is not a 5 star hotel. The last night before our departure i was walking on the beach at 10pm with my girlfriend and we were assaulted by 2 black men which were armed with butcher knives! They belonged to the village right NEXT to the hotel. One of them lived on the beach of the hotel!
As soon as i was robbed, my girlfriend was traumatized and shaking. I went to the reception explaining the fact and they said that it was dangerouse to go on the beach at night but they said it after they robbed me NOT BEFORE, no one informed us before hand.
I was so scared about what happened and i got so mad because there are obviously SECURITY ISSUES.
My room was on the beach and for the whole stay i kept the windows open not knowing that someone from the VILLAGE RIGHT NEXT TO THE HOTEL could very easily walk inside the room and WHO KNOWS!?!?!?!
FAMILY AND COUPLES PLEASE WATCH OUT IT IS DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
14 Thank Freddo c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carmeloZanzibar, Direttore at Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa, responded to this review, April 18, 2014
Gentile cliente
Nel rispondere alla sua recensione la informo che ai clienti del Resort viene riferito al momento dell’arrivo in loco, dei probabili pericoli di furto al di fuori delle zone del Resort ed in orari notturni così come è stato riferito ciò nella specifica circostanza della richiesta del taxi per raggiungere il ristorante che si trova fuori e abbastanza lontano dal nostro Resort.
La informo dell’assoluta protezione e video sorveglianza dell’area del resort a mezzo di guardie private che proteggono l’area intera del resort e la spiaggia privata del Karafuu.
Da quel che consta il verbale della Polizia del posto riferisce quale luogo dell’aggressione un posto molto lontano dal resort e quindi non sotto la sorveglianza delle guardie del Karafuu.
In ogni caso, la direzione, nel rammaricarsi per il fatto spiacevole, si scusa per l’inconveniente occorso e dichiara la propria assoluta esenzione da responsabilità in merito al fatto verificatosi.
In tal senso la pregherei di modificare la non corretta recensione fatta mettendola al corrente che una affermazione scorretta ci danneggia in modo irreparabile.
Nel ringraziarla si porgono cordiali saluti
Amministrazione Karafuu


Dear Guest,
I would like to reply to your review informing you that all clients are advised during the briefing, about some security procedures to follow during their stay in Zanzibar. All clients are informed about the possibility to be victim of theft if they go alone outside the compound of the Resort during the night. This was a precise warning that you received when our Manager suggested you to take a taxi to reach the Restaurant located along the desert dark beach and outside our Resort. I am declaring that our Resort and its beach is protected by private police. Moreover, the report issued by the Police of Zanzibar is clearly stating that the fact happened far from our property and therefore it was not protected by our private police. Anyway, we are very sorry for what happened to you but, in the same time we are declaring our total exemption of responsibility regarding the theft occurred.
For this reason, we are kindly asking you to modify your incorrect review since it could prejudice our reputation irreparably.
Thank you and kind regards
Karafuu Administration
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2013

We stayed in one of the two bedroom villas - I couldn't figure anyway to book this other than direct so I booked directly through the hotel and the email on their website. It was a bit hinky from the get-go. I had to wire the full amount in advance. That was a bit disconcerting - I like the protection of a credit card and it was a pain in the butt. I think they are running a bit of a tax dodge here. The booking office is in Italy, then you are wiring cash to the Bahamas to eventually end up in Switzerland. It took me two trips to the bank before we got it down right since we had two swift codes (Bahamian bank and Swiss bank). If you want to run a tax dodge - that is between you and the local tax man - don't make it my problem. If you can book through a tour provider or something like Expedia, I guess you can avoid these hassles

Questionable billing practice #2 - we settled the bill at the end for incidentals, drinks, stuff from the shop etc. I paid with my credit card - they hit you with a fee off the top for this -5 or 10%. I've seen this before basically they make you pay the credit card fee and then some. Then they charged me in US $ using an exchange rate that was another 15-20% hit. I should have made them charge me in Tanzanian Shillings but at that point I was done and ready to get out of there.

Would I stay there again? Never. Would I recommended it to a friend? Not without a lot of caveats.

My take on the place -
The Two Bedroom Villa - awesome space and great for our family

The Beach - A lot of the reviews talk about the beach - at low tide it is about as bad as it sounds - when we got there the tide was out and I thought we were looking at the surface of the moon - plenty of sea urchins and you need to walk the cement walkway to get to a suitable place to swim. At high tide the beach was very nice and you could swim away. (the sea urchins are farther out and in deep water at high tide)

The pool - nice

The pool and restaurant staff - they ranged from awesome to average. We didn't have any issues

The area - I don't like being 'trapped' on property when I travel. Here there really wasn't anything to see outside the resort. The towns we drove through on the way in from the airport were really nothing. We walked the beach and that was ok but one of the staff members told us a guest was robbed at knife point and stabbed in the hand trying to keep his camera (he lost it and it had all his safari photos...)

Good luck if you choose to stay here. It could be great or it could be horrible

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank wayfarerblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South West UK
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2013

The one thing which makes this hotel great is the staff..
At every meal time Moses and Freddie made sure our every need was catered for, Jacqueline and Happiness made sure our glasses were never empty and always always with a big smile.
When we first arrived after an overnight flight we were presented with cooling towels and a cold drink. The first room which they took us too was to near the bar so we asked for another one, this was no problem and within half an hour we were shown a lovely room with sea view.
We then spent the next two weeks relaxing by the pools probably eating far too much at the buffet restaurants.
Most of the guests were French, German or Italian but all the staff spoke english ( and we did try and learn a little swahili ).
Do please tip the staff they don't earn much and remember this is Africa 5 star there isn't the same as 5 star in England.

Mark

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank butlerboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milan, Italy
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2013

This is not a real 5***** hotel, compared with local standards. Too expensive considering the service. Look at the view from our room!

None cloths and towels hanger in the bathroom & room; no chairs, only one stool.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank set p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
swift33
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2013

We stayed for 7 days after a weeks safari in Kenya. It was a wonderful place to unwind. We had a garden room which overlooked the swimming pool/ bar at the back of the hotel, it was great because unless your room was here the guests didn't know about this other pool so, we had it ourselves most of the time. The main pool was a little busier but still room to swim. The gardens here are well cared for - stunningg
The beach had lovely soft white sand BUT there was a lot of seaweed most of the time, also you could not swim here unless you walked down the walkway to the lagoon, where there were no rocks. It is quiet and very few locals selling their handicraft, in fact we enjoyed looking at their products and it was easy and friendly to haggle.
We booked a tour plus English speaking guide for a morning in Stone Town ( an hours drive away)to see all the interesting places, like the slaves museum / church, the Sultans Palace, Freddie Mercury's house, the Fort, with a guy on the beach, we trusted him, and we did not have to pay until we returned, it was excellent and good value for money.

We found all the staff at the Karafuu very helpful, friendly and spoke excellent English although we learned some Swahili. The cottage had everything we need including a kettle and a fridge, it was cleaned every day before lunchtime which we like because when its hot we like to have a siesta. We found the breakfast restaurant by the garden swimming pool very quiet, usually we were on our own, however there were a lot of flies here. The patio by the main restaurant was lovely to eat lunch, again the flies were around but no problems eating in doors. I would say plenty of choice, pasta was always cooked fresh, and so was the fish of the day. We had booked 'all inclusive' but really it is FB + the so called inclusive cocktails are limited and the best or most popular you have to pay for.

We also booked an evening meal at The Rock restaurant which is about half a mile away - you can see it from the beach. We got a taxi there and the driver waited to take us back later. Again friendly staff and good food its certainly worth going to The Rock, probably best early evening and watch the sun set b4 eating.
We both had a pedicure, and enjoyed the Jacuzzi prior, paradise views from the Spa.
If Zanzibar was not so far away fro the UK we would definitely go again.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank swift33
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

Property: Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa
Address: PO Box 71, 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 #3 of 5 Hotels in Pingwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 94
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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