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Unguja Lodge
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Reviews (282)
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Reviewed February 22, 2013

With my wife and 13 year old daughter we stayed in Unguja Lodge for about one week in the first half of Feb 2013.
It was amazing. The rooms (villa’s) with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms + the open bathroom were very nice. I could also appreciate the sea view very much.
Next to this we were very lucky to do the island trip with two nice couples from the UK. On the way to the snorkeling site we met some dolphins. So we jumped in the water and could swim with them. This was a unique moment. Afterwards we had lunch on our own white sand dune in the middle of the blue ocean. The complete day was a big success.
Another nice trip is the walk through Kizimkazi with Rachid. There you can see the real life and the small kids love it when you take a picture of them.
In the lodge Elies and Ralph gave us the best service. The food was very good and we could relax very much.
For sure when going back to Tanzania, Unguja lodge will be one of our stops.

Room Tip: Sea view is very nice.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Tom V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UngujaLodge, Owner at Unguja Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2013

Thank you very much for staying with us this month and for writing this very nice review on Trip Advisor. We also like to thank you for choosing to do the village walk with Rashid. By doing this you supported the village of Kizimkazi: we ask a donation of $5.00 per person for the village walk. Together with the Village development Committee we choose projects where to spend the money on. Now we are helping the school with English and Swahili literature books.
We look forward to seeing you back one day!

With warm regards from all of us at Unguja Lodge & Unguja Divers

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We stayed for 6 nights at Unguja Lodge, following a weeks safari in Tanzania - the accomodation was recommended by Imagine Africa, so well done to them.
We had a delay in getting picked up from the airport which was annoying and this came on top of other travel problems we had experienced earlier in the day so not the best start to our stay. The owners of Unguja Lodge and the manager of the transfer company were most apologetic and gave us a bottle of 'sparkly' which was nice.
We were, however, not disappointed with our stay at Unguja Lodge, infact it was a perfect place to stay and relax after a safari. We had a 'Baobab Villa', which had a plunge pool and was well appointed with various nice touches.
The owners Ralph, Elies were very friendly and attentive and often at the bar for a chat before dinner. All their staff were friendly, professional and a credit to Ralph and Elies
The food was excellent with enough choices for even the most critical of guests.
We took advantage of a day long boat trip, organised by the Dive Centre, located within the hotel complex. It was a fantastic day which included snorkelling with dolphins and visiting an amazing coral reef and finished off by lunch on a desert island - amazing and highly recommended !
Overall we had a great stay, would return and highly recommend the hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RWC1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UngujaLodge, Owner at Unguja Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2013

Thank you very much for staying in Unguja Lodge this month. We are glad you enjoyed your stay after the problems you had with transfers! Many thanks also for writing this nice review on Trip Advisor. It's highly appreciated.
Looking forward to seeing you back one day.

Warm greetings from all of us at Unguja Lodge & Unguja Divers

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Reviewed February 18, 2013

We have just returned from 7 nts at Unguja lodge. It was the most spectacular place I have stayed in. The villa bought tears to my eyes when we were shown around. Lots of nice touches. The staff were very helpful and the owners were always on hand. It was a most relaxing location. Only thing was the beach wasn't much but when the tide was in it was amazing just to go down the steps and into the warm, clear blue sea. A must for anyone visiting Zanzibar

Room Tip: A beach front villa as the view cleaning your teeth was spectatcular
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tubby210561
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UngujaLodge, Owner at Unguja Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2013

Thank you very much for staying with us this month and for sharing your experience with the world. . We very much enjoyed being your hosts!
The beach right in front of the lodge is tidal: with low tide the beach exposes, with high tide the water comes all the way to the cliff and yes indeed, it is beautiful to swim then. We often jump in the cool water ourselves for half an hour at the end of the afternoon!
To the left of the lodge we have a small permanent beach which is very interesting to visit: fishermen work on their boats, women make rope from cocnut husks.
We hope we see you back one day.

Warm greetings from all of us at Unguja Lodge

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Reviewed February 17, 2013

Having climbed Kilimanjaro, I was grateful that I was smart enough to book a trip to Zanzibar. Having spent 8 days peeing in bushes, not having access to a shower, sleeping in a tent; I was looking forward to hot water and a toilet that flushed. I got all I wanted and more. I was greeted by the owners. YEP. The owners greeted me with a cocktail and an overview of the lodge. They warned me about the monkey's, which I thought was hilarious. Monkey's !!! (there really were monkey's at the lodge (they were harmless).

Anyway, I was taken to my room, which was bigger than my two bedroom house. There was enough space for five but I had it all to myself. Its so hard to describe but all of the rooms apart from the main bedroom was outside. There were steps that led to two chairs and a sofa. I sat on the sofa in the afternoon, which overlooked the Indian Ocean and the most beautiful sunset.

When I managed to pluck myself away from the sunset I realised that the owners of the lodge had remembered that it was my birthday (September 2012) and they had left fruit, a card and a bottle of champagne ;o)

I had a massage on day two. The masseuse came to my room and as the room was open I was able to see the Ocean - Bliss ;O)

Dinner was part of the package and was gorgeous and on real plates ;o) (Kilimanjaro !!!) Every night that I returned to the room there was a note from the owners, which was such a lovely touch. There were 12 rooms (I think) in the lodge so it was very intimate and by the end of the 4 nights I knew everyone, including the guests. I therefore learnt some words in the local language; Karibu - Welcome; which I was. Hakuna Matata - No worries no problem; nothing was to much to ask Lala Salama- Sleep tight; which I did - A fantastic end to a wonderful journey ;o)

Room Tip: I think I had one of the smallest rooms and it was as big as a house, which suggests all the rooms are stunning.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank L0vetravelling2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UngujaLodge, Owner at Unguja Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2013

Thank you very much for staying with us this month and for writing this nice review. It was really nice getting to know you!
By the way: all our villas have the same size, only the lay out differs a bit: the aobab villas have no sea view but they have a private plunge pool. All villas have and anclosed bedroom downstairs and a loft with Zanzibar bed upstairs. The two sea view family houses have 3 enclosed bedrooms: one bigger one downstairs and two smaller ones upstairs.
We look forward to seeing you back one day!

Warm greetings from all of us at Unguja Lodge

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Reviewed February 11, 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights post a mainland safari in January 2012. This isn't our usual type of holiday destination but we felt we would need some down-time post our safari.

The welcome was very friendly and personal, with both owners sitting down to chat with us and providing a welcome drink.

There are about a dozen lodges and we chose one without a seaview because these do not have air conditioning. We were very glad of the air con in our bedroom as the temperature was hot and humid.

The lodges are very traditional Zanzibari architecture and sympathetic to their environment. There is a lot of greenery and it is very rustic rather than manicured. Monkeys, bats and lizards were all witnesses in the lodges and public areas.

Our lodge had an enclosed bedroom with double sink and storage areas. Surprisinly the rest of the bathroom was outside in the open area. Personally, I don't mind the outdoor shower but I wouldn't have booked if I had realisefd the toiliet was not en suite. Having to go out into the dark (and open) outside area to the bathroom in the middle of the night was not for me.

The outside area was nicely done with seating area, plunge pool and sun longers plus a traditional Zanzibari bed on the first floor above the enclosed bedroom. Unfortunately the advertised sea view from here was now blanked out by the greenery that had clearly grown. Additionally the bed was not usable because the monkeys interfere with anything left out so the bed could not be made up and parts were broken.

You couldn't afford to leave anything outside as the monkeys would steal sunglasses, clothing and tolietries etc. and so we did feel we couldn't relax with our belongings.

We were disappointed with the cleaning standards of our room and noticed that stains in the bathroom from day 1 remained there on day 3.

The pool area was nice but the greenery often made its way into the pool and seemed to attract ants and bees.

We didn't use the dive centre or go on any offered trips.

Food was generally very good but service was a bit hit and miss. Breakfast and dinner were buffet style and dinner offered a choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts. We were told that if we din't like the day's menu choice we could order off a bar menu but the night I tried to do that my waitress refused me. Lunch generally offered 2 choices but was table service.

Bar drinks were reasonable and the waiters made good (and strong) cocktails. I wasn't keen on either white wine I tried and felt quality was poor.

We enjoyed our stay well enough but wouldn't re-book.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sarah O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UngujaLodge, Owner at Unguja Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2013

Thank you very much for staying with us last month and for taking the time to write your review. I understand that generally you enjoyed your stay with us but you were disappointed in a few things. We highly value this feedback to be able to constantly guard and improve the quality of the service we offer.
Regarding the cleanliness of the villa: we checked with house keeping and you might have found stains from the berries the monkeys eat and can not be removed with water and soap. This is why we paint the villas very regularly (after every busy period and at least 4 times per year). You comments made us extra alert though about the cleanliness of the villas.
The black tail monkeys are usually very entertaining.Over the generations they have become more used to us and the teen agers have also become more naughty. We tell our guests not to leave valuables like glasses or phones unattended in the open plan areas of the villas but rather put them in the enclosed bedroom. If guests prefer to sleep in the upstairs loft we invite them to tell us: we then prepare the bed in the evening. We don't do that during day time because sometimes the monkeys like to use the mosquito net as a trampoline! In the evening they go to sleep.
Finally our restaurant: For breakfast we put all fresh things on the buffet table and the warm things can be ordered with the waiters and are served to the table.
For lunch we have a three course chef's proposal, sometimes buffet sometimes from the kitchen. If you'd rather eat something else, we have a lunch card with different options.
For dinner you can choose from two starters, three main courses (something from the sea, something with meat, something vegetarian) and two deserts. All is served from the kitchen. Sometimes we break the routine with a swahili evening which is a buffet or a barbeque.
We have a nice selection of wines. Most are of south african origin but we do also have some french. One of the challenges on Zanzibar is to have a reliable supply of the same wine. We have now solved this by changing the winlist according to availability. This way it now rarely happens that we cannot serve a wine that is on the list.

Warm greetings from all of us at Unguja Lodge

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