We are back one week fro our trip to Zanzibar. We stayed our first three nights in Stone Town at Mahsharaki Palace Hotel, which I must say was just lovely.. Freindly, boutique feel with reasonably priced excursions which could be organised at the drop of a hat. So then we travelled on to the residence, and I must say we were expecting it to be perfect, and in some aspects it is. Beautiful secluded setting, fabulous villas with great private pools (some of the beach ones are a little exposed but we were lucky enough to be upgraded to villa 110 by the boat house which has some additional privacy), great breakfast and lovely beach. We actually liked the tides and the kelp and generally the natural seafront setting. The pool also is lovely and we loved our bikes for getting around and generally chilled out with our books and our pool. BUT, we were disappointed on many fronts also. Dinner for one was just not of the standard you would expect for a top five star resort. The curries were a little bland, the soup way overly spiced and when we ate from the a la carte, I can only say the Lobster Thermidore was without doubt the worst I have ever had, slabbered in cheese, minus claws and with only the littlest of actual lobster. I am not even convinced it was 100% fresh but it was difficult to tell as it was completely masked with cheese etc. I did however have an upset tummy the next day, which would say maybe not (If wanting Lobster whist inZanzibar I would recommend Livingstone's in Stone Town, fresh, simple and reasonable. On the other hand, my husband had the lamb chops which he really enjoyed but another night had veal which was also disappointing. So you could maybe get over this (especially as breakfast was just superb), but there's another BUT. Being off season there was just so little to do at the residence. We had been in stone town already and had been to Jozani forest, prison island etc (all fabulous and less than a third of the price when orgainsied from our hotel in stone town compared to residence prices) and thus we decided we would like to do the sunset dhow cruise and snorkel trip (which did run daily). Neither were possible. The dhow cruise was not going because the tide was low at Sunset and the staff were very unhelpful in even attempting to organise alternative times or possibilities (aside from a 300dollar speed boat trip which didnt appeal to our pockets in the least). When we tried to go snorkelling (on two occassions: the first time there was a mix up regarding time, first being told 9am but actually departing 8am and in fact being advertised reception as 2pm. The next day when we attempted to go again, we were rather rudely hijacked on our way back from dinner to be told the trip was "fully booked" despite the fact that the resort was at very low capacity, being low season. In fact, there was very little apology for any of this and on check out when we rang for a cart to collect us (only because it was raining) we waited fifteen minutes only for it not to arrive, so we walked with our brolly and our bags to reception, where an exscrutiatingly slow check out proceeded to take place, without even the slightest enquiry as to how our stay was or hint of apology for leaving us to walk in the rain. Having said all that, we were so chilled out (which one likes to be on holiday) we still left the residence with some fond memories. A few worth mentioning; Linda (French manageress at the dining room) was just charming, and breakfast as I mentioned earlier was a treat. The villa too was just lovely. But, there needs to be more when you are paying prices such as charged by the residence. It just did not live up to its billing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Residence Zanzibar lies within a lush, forested 32-hectare estate where five-star luxuries sit harmoniously alongside nature's untouched beauty. Feel your spirits soar amid extensive tropical gardens that meet with powder-soft white sand lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Inspired by the island's eclectic cultures, our luxury Zanzibar resort blends modern comforts with Swahili, Omani, British and Indian influences. Indulge in the privacy of the spacious villas, attended on if you wish by your own personal butler. Enjoy carefree days relaxing by your private pool, on the beach, or exploring the gardens on foot or by bicycle. Savour a taste of the Spice Island's unique blend of cultures and cuisines, and the pleasure of sensational spa treatments. Discover more of the island and the waters that surround it in a myriad of activities, from visiting historic sites and rare natural wonders to deep sea fishing and diving with dolphins. Whether you dream of a quiet couple's retreat or fun in the sun for the whole family, embrace all the delights of our island life at The Residence Zanzibar. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Residence Zanzibar Hotel Kizimkazi
- The Residence Zanzibar Zanzibar Island/Kizimkazi