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“An out of this world experience!”

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Dolphin Bay Resort Zanzibar
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Kizimkazi
Bengaluru, India
Level 5 Contributor
37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“An out of this world experience!”
Reviewed December 11, 2013

Visited Dolphin Bay Resort in December 2011 - January 2012 along with 2 other friends. This property is at the extreme South corner of the main island, a good 2.0 hour drive from the airport. First look of the resort was imprssive. Huge entrance gate, guarded by the Masai warrior clan. we were welcomed by the manager and offerred welcome drinks.

We had booked two weeks in advance and paid the peak time charges due to New Years booking rush. Upon reaching the resort we realised that the staff goofed up the booking and now we were left with no rooms. This resort is so secluded and away from the ferry stop or airport that you are left with no other choice but to accept the option that is offered by the staff. Three of us were left with no choice to but to let go off our booking and stay at three different villas.

We had booked for the ocean facing villas with a private pool clsoe to the jetty. The jetty is another magical place. So, now we were accomodated in 3 different villas and to our shock the we had to share the villa with another bunch of guys from Europe. The villas at Dolphin bay basically consists of either 2/3 bedrooms with indivisual bathrooms, a shared kitchen and the first flooor lounge area. We were later on our second day moved into a single Villa, but to into our original paid private villa. The manager offered us free dinner due to the error on their part.

This is one of the best resorts on the island. We had previously stayed at another resort close to Dolhin Bay but the experience here was magical due to the clear blue waters and the jetty. The jetty extends a good 100 meters into the ocean and is a magical place to spend time. The resort offers dolphin trips.The beauty of Zanzibar is in its ocean. I've never come across such serene and magical landscape, pristine reefs and clear waters. We spent hours at the jetty and even tried our luck swimming in the area under the jetty. But beware of the reef below as some of them do have spikes that might injure you as happened with my friend. We spent hours at the jetty looking at the horizon and listening to the ocean and wind completely mesmerized!

The food at the resort was expensive and tasty, maybe not value for money. Good choice of wine. The service at the restaurant and bar is good but cannot say the same thing about the room service which is slow due to the distance from the kitchen and other main area to the villa. Cleanliness in the common areas of the shared villa too isn't very great. The lounge was shabby with some broken furniture. The rooms and toilet is well kept and is cleaned everyday.

Would definately recommmend this place for its sheer beauty, the jetty and the location. Please confirm your booking multiple times with the resort and have a geat time clicking the best shots of your life.

Room Tip: Choose the rooms that are ocean facing towards the jetty. A view to kill for! Ask for upgrades.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sarin N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
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English first
Pretoria, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2012

The first impression of this lodge was fairly good, nice view, huge chalets/houses, private pools... The feeling however deteriorated fairly quickly. There isn't much to do, can't swim in the ocean due to the reef, not much of a beach to walk on, electrical and water issues, nothing but cupboards in the kitchen and reception staff who overcharges at every opportunity he gets. Would not recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank LillyS99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Kizimkazi hotels

Pretoria, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2012

We spent 8 days there from 28 Dec 2011 to 4 Jan 2012. It has the potential to be a good resort but is lacking in many areas. The buildings are in dire need of maintenance. Our baths and basins did not have plugs. The basin overflowed back into the bath. There were electrical problems with parts of the cottage going without power at short notice.
The beach is not comparable to those on the eastern shores. Although there is a jetty, there are no facilities such as snorkling equipment, canoes etc.
To top it all, the resort is repeatedly trying to debit my credit card more than once for the final payment. o my advice - don't go there.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Karl E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 6 Contributor
61 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2012

New name of this resort is 'Dolphin Bay Resort'.

Although we have paid for our accommodation almost 3 months in advance, upon arrival we were told that the hotel is overbooked (oversold in fact!!!) and that we have to share the villa with another family for the first 2 nights of our 5 nights stay. This was attributed to old management and reservation staff, allegedly responsible for all this mess (even though we are convinced that the reason lies in bad management generally). Fortunately, our unexpected roommates were nice and friendly. To compensate for this discomfort we agreed on couple of free dinners at the average hotel buffet restaurant and villa with the private pool for the rest of our stay. Apart from that, potential of this resort is huge, views are amazing and villas are large, clean, nicely decorated and offer a lot of privacy. They even have kitchen but completely useless since there is a fridge but not a single glass or cup. The hotel staff is very nice, kind, friendly, available but unobtrusive. However, in most cases they still have a lot to learn about their jobs. If the way this place is managed improves it will be simply great! Resort is excellent choice for all those who want to avoid well established top-end and somehow sterile tourist destinations on the island and to experience more authentic and laid back atmosphere. We hope this uncut diamond will shine soon. Good luck!
Since the resort is secluded and remote from almost everything rent a car is highly recommended. It is much better solution than taxi or local transport, especially if you are a kind of a person who wants to explore. There are some great places and beaches within 30 minutes drive.
Kizimkazi Mkunguni is a small and beautiful fisherman village well worth of exploring a bit. It is amazing in the early morning hours when the tide is still high and it is packed with fishermen, children and frantic dolphin chasing tourists. Beaches on the south east coast of the island are also beautiful.

Room Tip: All villas are large and have at least two bed rooms on the ground floor. Large living area is locat...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sinatg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2012

Although a beautiful hotel there were some glaring issues.An uncleaned room was given to us with dirty nappies on the floor, it took 4 requests for the room to be cleaned. That was a real theme for us - there was no sense of urgency to get things done by the hotel staff.
A stunning infinity pool but no parasols to protect you from the sun,hence was rarely used on our stay.

No mention that evening meals were buffet style (very over priced, though there is an a la carte menu they don't provide this at "busy times" we went to a different hotel for our dinner(Karamba - which was lovely) - a missed opporunity for Dolphin View Paradise.

The local hotel manager isnt transparent about taxi prices - we enquired about the cost of an airport transfer, he stated was $80, however I heard him quote $50 dollars to another guest and when challenged could offer no explanation. In the end we negotiated our own price of $45 separately with a cab driver.

More worringly is the cleanliness of the individual pools - one of our party picked up a serious ear infection from the infected water in the pool and had to seek intervention from the Hotel Doctor - no apology provided by the hotel!

Room Tip: Stay at a different hotel. Negotiate your own prices with different nearby hotels on the trips as y...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank carolinem137
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tortola
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2012

We booked a '3 bedroom prime pool villa' for our family of four, for 4 nights on a bed + breakfast basis for the New Year. We had our first problem on arrival, as we were given a villa with an empty pool at the back of the resort - we were told it was the only villa available and they could fill the pool with water the next day. We refused and asked to speak to the manager - we were told that this was not necessary and we were then moved to a villa in a great position close to the beach, complete with pool already filled with water - they told us this was reserved for someone arriving the following day who had paid in advance (as had we!) The villas are spacious and the bedrooms are air-conditioned, but mirrors and light fittings were missing and the bathrooms and wardrobes needed updating. There was no water available in any of the bathrooms, but a maintenance guy fixed the water pump late on the first night and, although the water pressure wasn’t great, we learned to live with it. The fridge and a couple of bedside lamps were not working, and there were no lounger cushions on 2 of the 4 wooden sunbeds by the pool. After much hassle - with the manager eventually involved, these were fixed by the end of the second day. We did not enjoy spending precious holiday time having to deal with such complaints though and were there to supposedly relax. Service was horrendous - there are so many staff on duty, who are friendly, but just totally inept - they seem to spend half their time sorting out copies of bills at the bar. Staff continually ignored guests and we always had to ask to be served - they rarely cleared up tables and there were often broken glasses by the main pool. We waited way too long for drink/food orders, then the order would be wrong, or the items were frequently not available - we came to dread ordering lunch/drinks every day and going to the bar in the evening, as we knew it was going to be a frustrating and maddening experience - other guests were seen complaining too. We also had to use the indoor buffet every night, as we were not allowed to order from the 'a la carte/bar menu', even though we had been initially told we could by staff, including the manager (who acknowledged that he had problems at the resort, particularly with staff, and had only taken over a couple of months ago). Apart from the special New Years Eve buffet, which was surprisingly good and held outdoors for a change, the rest of the time the buffet was dreadful and not worth the expense. The jetty was not used at all during our stay and seemed to house empty tables and chairs and more broken glasses. We paid $80 to the resort for arranging our taxi from the airport on arrival - on our return trip we negotiated a trip to Stonetown for a few hours at the same cost. We had a great lunch (and service!) at the Serena Inn, had a tour around Stonetown and the taxi driver then collected us to take us to the airport for our evening flight - all for the same $80. Also, we were warned off the 'swim with dolphins trip' by several resort guests who had been on it - there were just too many boats in the water ‘chasing’ the dolphins and it was unsafe to swim amongst the 'scrum' of outboard engines – a great shame, as it was one of the reasons we chose the resort in the first place. All in all, the resort looks great on their website, but does not match this in reality - we have stayed in other resorts in Zanzibar and on the Kenyan coast, which have been far better than this and not as expensive too - we would not return.
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Room Tip: 3 bedroom prime pool villas are spacious and private - the ones near the beach are best, rather than...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SMJ5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 4, 2011

My husband and I just returned from one week's excellent holiday at the Dolphin Bay Resort (new name). The Resort consists of 30 large, two-storeyed villas each containing three bedrooms ensuite, two large verandas, private swimming-pool and a beautiful garden. Furthermore there is a small beach, a jetty and a magnificent large pool overlooking the ocean. The housekeeping is thorough and supplied the villa with new flowers evert day. The flod was good and during our stay dinner was served in the restaurant, the courtyard, near the pool, and on the jetty. The staff was smiling and helpful and the new management very competent. It is a nice and quiet place where you may fully relax and enjoy life.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lonegle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Bay Resort Zanzibar

Property: Dolphin Bay Resort Zanzibar
Address: P. O. Box 2622, Kizimkazi, Tanzania (Formerly Zanzibar Dolphin View Paradise)
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Kizimkazi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Kizimkazi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Dolphin Bay Resort Zanzibar 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dolphin Paradise is designed in respect of the Zanzibari culture to meet the increasing demand of travelers seeking for an authentic atmosphere within comfort, leisure and intimacy.The resort offers 30 stunning Zanzibari Villas with a perfect view on the Indian Ocean. The place remain simple, incense the natural treasure of Zanzibar, friendliness, amazing scenery, historical architecture and offers the advantages of a service minded boutique hotel combined with the extended facilities of classic Resorts. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Zanzibar Dolphin View Paradise Hotel Kizimkazi
Dolphin Bay Resort Zanzibar Zanzibar Island/Kizimkazi

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