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“Wonderful Hotel in Tropical Paradise Setting”

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Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Pingwe
Darlington
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Wonderful Hotel in Tropical Paradise Setting”
Reviewed August 8, 2010

Cannot understand why there are any bad reports about this hotel. We dont like concrete tower block hotels with stuffy corridors, but loved the thatched cottages scattered amongst palm trees, which each house a double room. Some have two doubles with a connecting door - ideal for a family. The rooms are clean, the mosquito nets very effective and the AC shouldnt be set too low or you will get too cold. Beds made every day and rooms cleaned. There were enough soaps, shampoos to last a week.

The hygiene standards were very high and none of us suffered any tummy bugs.

We all enjoyed the food (and our kids are very choosey) A different dinner menu each. night. It was nice having the option to eat al fresco, overlooking the ocean with the tropical moon sparkling on the water.The weekly barbeque was delightful . Every evening a different live entertainment rounded off the meal - local groups often with dancers or gymnasts.

The staff were extremely helpful and friendly, always greeting us with a smile and the inevitable "Jambo, how are you" . We thought many an English hotel could learn a lot about staff training from this hotel .

The pool was never crowded, and although the causway to the lagoon was a bit slippy (but quite manageable) in places, it was better than walking amonst the sea urchins. The swimming was safe, as long as the tide was out, and coral only presented a problem well away from the hotel. Wearing a mask, you can easily wend your way between the coral outcrops , a wonderful visual experience esp with so many tropical fish.
We enjoyed the sunset cruise to the mangrove swamps, in local out rigger fishing boat, but beware midge like biters when you put ashore for champagne and canapes. The snorkelling trip revealed even more spectcacular coral and tropical fish, but its not in the same league as the Red Sea coral reefs.

The dive centre offers a free SCUBA session in the pool. much enjoyed by our children .You can then go on a scuba dive out on the reef.

Ok the hotel gives you a lousy dollar exchange rate, but dont they all ? You can always get better rates on the high street. Remedy: have plenty of cash dollars.

To sum up, we had four heavenly days at the Karafuu

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MojoDarlington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Juba, South Sudan
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2010

From the moment we entered the resort, our stay at Karafuu was absolutely AWFUL!!!

I do not understand how this resort has one the awards that it has. Its awful and while I stayed there, NONE of the guests actually looked like they were having a good time.

Our experiences included the following:

- Condescending lecture on hotel rules upon our arrival
- We were given a room at the back corner of the resort and given a LOT of trouble when asked for an ocean view room
- We had to wait for over 2 hours for our room to be ready (we arrived at 12 noon AND the hotel was expecting us)
- The restaurant has flies and feels grungy. The food was gross and made us feel sick. The Buffet has lack of options and isn't refilled often so if you dont go at the beginning, you miss out.
- The bathroom in our room stunk like sewer and had cockroaches
- The bedsheets were dirty (smelled like body odour)
- The mosquito nets didn't reach the floor
- Construction beside the hotel ruins the experience of trying to relax and lie on the beach.

All and all I would NOT waste your time and/or money on this resort. ITS SO BAD!!!

  • Stayed June 2010
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Helpful?
5 Thank Lucy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayutthaya, Thailand
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2010

I consider myself lucky to have enjoyed the Karafuu when I did. June is the cool season and it is just before the July peak season. Thus the resort was about 50% occupancy.

The pool was not crowded - it was possible to swim laps without bothering anyone. By the way, the pool is a gem - about 35 to 40 meters and uses salt water instead of chlorine.

I was told that in July and December, the pool is packed as is the beach. Having to jostle for a place to swim or tan is not my idea of fun.

I stayed in a cottage room. The room is large, and the bedroom and the bath are separated by a 2 meter + hallway. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by two things - 1. House keeping did not replenish soap and shampoo, even after it was finished and (2) the A/C is under powered for the size of the room, and even with it being the cool season, the a/c could not cool the room. I do not like to think of what the heat in the room would be like in December.

The alternative to the A/C was to open the French doors/windows to the veranda, however, because this is unscreened, at night the insect population in the room is a sight. There is a good mosquito net around the bed, but the room is still filled with insects.

The restaurants were not crowded. One reason I chose to stay at the Karafuu is that local friends recommended it for having excellent food 2 or 3 years ago. For my taste, the present food is not exceptional. They did make an effort to have a different national menu each night.

For the first breakfast, they served crisp, streaky bacon. The bacon was not greasy becasue the cook had put bread slices on the bottom of the pan to soak up the grease. Obviously I like crispy and non-greasy bacon. Unfortunately, for the rest of the mornings, the bacon was only slighly crisp and they did not line the pan with bread slices.

The wine list is not bad.

My biggest disappointment may seem petty to many, but I did not like it that the resort did not provide free bottled water every day. A bottle was provided on the 1st day and thereafter it had to be purchased. To me a resort is supposed to be a place to minimize thought and to relax. While minor, having to remember to purchase water before returning to the room at night detracts from the carefree time that a resort is supposed to provide.



forgot to line the theme change the - although the food was not In matters of taste

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Putachesnik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 19, 2010

I have worked in a famous hotel for two years, and our family has visited many great hotels, but the Karafuu hotel really went beyond any expectations. The staff is so amazingly friendly, and not just because this is the standard, they really treat you like family and friends. The accommodation is beautiful, spectacular views, fully cleaned and made up twice a day with flowers and everything, and really spacious with also a beautiful big balcony! The food was actually great, they had a different themed buffet every evening with lots and lots of choices, among which live cooking by different chefs. Also the breakfast was amazing, sitting on the beautiful terrace, sipping African tea or coffee, while watching over the beautiful see with all the changing colors. Also Karafuu has a lot to offer for recreation. In the morning you can make a beautiful walk along the beach and watch the locals fishing in their colorful clothes. If you like sports, there's a tennis court, you can play beachvolleyball, swim in the pool with ocean view or join the aqua aerobics lesson. If you like leisure: lie yourself down on one of the soft beds at the beautiful soft sanded beach while reading a good book that you can also get at the hotels bar (they have a lot of choices of books in many languages), have a relaxing and soothing massage or take a course Swahili: Jambo! If you like adventure: the hotel offers a lot of different excursions in Zanzibar and you can learn scuba diving by Lars and go out to see the beautiful fish from a real close distance. If you like games more: there's soccer and pool table at the bar where you can also get good cocktails and snacks and you can use the internet 24 hours a day. Also, if you are lucky, the Colombo monkey will visit you're accommodation. These really sweet and social creatures only live in Zanzibar. I recommend Hotel Karafuu to everyone!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Karel01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 17, 2010

I have worked in a big and famous Hotel for two years, and I've seen a lot of Hotels in my live. But my experience with Karafuu hotel went beyond any expactations that I made of a good hotel. The staf is so friendly and not just because it is the standard. They really treat you as family and friends. The rooms are beautiful, with spectacular views, and are fully cleaned and made up twice a day. The food is delicious, a different themed buffet every day, with a lot of choises (among which live cooking by different chefs). Also the breakfast is great, sitting on the terrace, sipping from a lovely African tea or coffee while watching over the sea with its beautiful colours, amazing! Also at Karafuu you'll never be bored, you have the beautiful pool with seaview, the colourful sea with its many many beautiful fish and soft sand, beach volleybal, a scuba diving centre with a great manager: Lars, tennis courts, a childrens playground, a soccer-, pool- and tabletennis table. Also the hotel organizes a lot of excursions and activities like boattrips, aquaearobics and even a course swahili. You can get a relaxing massage at Karafuu a henna tattoo and you can check your emails 24 hours online. At the bar you'll find books in different languages and nice fingerfoods, cocktails and snacks. So you see, there really is something for everybody. If you are lucky you'll even see the Colombo monkey at Karafuu, this sweet and social monkey only lives at Zanzibar island. I really recommend this beautiful resort to you!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank foogel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampala, Uganda
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2010

Stayed five days at Karafuu Hotel holiday with my family of four persons.
A holiday that could have been reasonably if not for the food tat will bring bad memories for a long time. The reason is shortly that both me and my daughter been diagnosed with dysentery. Since we did not eat any meals at all outside the hotel we most likely picked it up at the Karafuu. Something that coming guests definitely should know about. I have tried to contact the Hotel management for an explanation but there has been no reply.
Have to admit that it feels strange after living almost two years in Africa to be infected at a so-called first class Hotel
But it has to be said that the diving centre was a good. A clear light in the darkness.

Bo Johansson
Journalist
Kampala, Uganda.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank bojoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed April 21, 2010

What impessed us mos was the friendliness of the staff not to mention how incredibly helpful they were - really 10/10 service wth smiles all round. The hotel was also beautifully decorated and incredibly clean! The rooms are stunning and has everything a guest could ask for!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank lourentia
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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