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“Beautiful Beach, But Not Much More” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Samaki Lodge & Spa

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Samaki Lodge & Spa
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Uroa
Certificate of Excellence
poway, ca
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful Beach, But Not Much More”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2011

We rely heavily on trip advisor, but in this instance it was wrong. We had originally been booked into Uroa Bay Beach Resort by our travel company, but after reading trip advisor reviews, we switched to Samaki Lodge. That was a mistake.

ROOM: We checked into Samaki Lodge for 1 night. We were offered 2 rooms -- a standard room on the 2nd floor overlooking the pool and a beachfront room at Palumbo Beach for a 20% surcharge. The beachfront room is barely large enough for the bed. It has an outside area that is enclosed by a metal fence and gate, that makes it feel like you are in a jail cell. And, it is very far removed from the rest of the property so it doesn't feel safe. We opted for the standard room in the lodge, overlooking the pool. It had a king-size, very firm (bordering on hard) bed, air conditioning, and salt water shower/sink. It did NOT have an in-room safe, which I consider to be mandatory for this type of resort and location. And, it had a very weird and persistent odor.

FOOD: As many of Uroa Bay's resorts are owned by Italians, so is Samaki Lodge. Therefore, the food is Italian-oriented. The quality of the food was okay, but nothing to write home about. The hours for each meal are very limited and all meals are buffet style. We had 1 dinner there and the "custom" pasta dish, prepared to order by a pasta cook, was a tuna ravioli. Not much customization. The breakfast was very basic and they didn't even have an omelette station, which is pretty unusual for a breakfast buffet.

LOCATION: The location is excellent for a beach resort. It is on Palumbo Beach, which is beautiful with a sand spit sticking out into the Indian Ocean for several hundred yards. Once you get past the constant hassling of the local touts trying to get you to buy tours and/or trinkets, you can enjoy the scenery and water. You can see the fishing dhows of the neighboring village as they go to and from the sea. A beautiful location and this is the strongest point of Samaki Lodge.

We walked down the beach from Samaki Lodge to visit Uroa Bay Beach Resort for lunch. Once we got there, we didn't leave and checked out of Samaki Lodge and into Uroa Bay. Please check our review of Uroa Bay for more information.

In our opinion, Uroa Bay Beach Resort deserves to be rated above Samaki Lodge. There really is no comparison between these 2 resorts. Uroa Bay is clearly superior on practically every level, except the beachfront of Samaki, which is a short walk from Uroa Bay.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank travelburger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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465 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
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English first
Netanya, Israel
Level Contributor
79 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2011

We spent 4 nights at Samaki Lodge during this August (2011). The stuff is great, food is very good and the swimming pool and beach are great. Do not take the rooms near the beach. They are too far from the lodge. We were in the lodge and we had some problems with the rooms: in one room there is a sticky floor (no solution to this problem). Also we had problems with electricity and the aircondition. In sum, we think it is a good place to stay and very good value for the money. Do not take transportaion and trips from the lodge. You can pay 50% less at least by hiring a local taxi driver

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gidrub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
73 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2011

Owned and run by Italians, this inexpensive hotel has a great beach, nice pool area, reliable security and staff, and unusually good, Italian-influenced food. There’s nothing fancy here but if you’re just craving a relaxing place to crash on the beach this is a great bet.

Food: The rates include an ordinary breakfast buffet. Lunch and dinner are 10 euros/person and include bread, a salad course, pasta course, seafood main dish, and fruit for desert. We found the food was so filling that a late lunch and some snacks in the evening was enough.

Service: The service is a bit odd. The staff are very friendly and helpful but a bit more talkative than we'd like. We probably would have given Samaki a 4 star rating but the staff was so helpful when we had a mishap our last day that we're going to rate them a five.

Location: The hotel is right on a long white sand beach. Locals fish from their dhows just offshore. Beautiful

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tangointahiti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2011

Nice folks running the place. The rooms are pretty sparse by our standards and dinner was kinda a first come first serve thing, so if you were late, you may not get much of the main course. The place really caters to the Italian vacationer and the beach kids selling tourist trash all know basic Italian and the staff is fluent. Cash only.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank douglasm90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stow, MA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2011

Tanzania Journeys found us this incredibly welcoming lodge that was a perfect relaxing end to our trip after being out on safari and climbing Kilimanjaro. The lodge combines the charm of an Italian villa with the beach décor of Zanzibar. We arrived to a room filled with bougainvillea and hibiscus blossoms. On the sweeping white beaches you can watch the local fishmen set sail in their dhows. Our teenage sons had a great time talking with locals, finding coral and shells, climbing coconut palms, and playing soccer on the beach. The excellent food is an interesting fusion of Italian country cooking and tropical influence, with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. The food is served buffet style and the Chef Abdul serves a special pasta dishes each night. Breakfast is included, while lunch a dinner was a flat $15/pp charge, very reasonable for the quality of food served. The friendly staff speak English, Italian and Swahili. The Maasi security guards provide an interesting cultural attraction. Day trips to Stonetown and nearby islands for snorkeling are easily arranged. We went snorkeling and saw the giant tortoises at Prison Island. Also recommended is a spice plantation tour.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KornDIckson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
99 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2011

The best thing about this place is the value and super friendly and accommodating service. The food was great and there was lots. The staff was also very friendly and always willing to help. For example, we arrive just after breakfast was done being served yet a few hours before lunch was to be served. Asked for something to eat since we were quite hungry and the chef whipped us up a meal...no problem.

The rooms are comfortable yet basic. You will get a fan and air condition, towels, and soap. Don't expect a lot and you will be quite happy. This is not a 5 star resort by any means, but a super comfortable lodge with a great family atmosphere.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank nep1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2011

I stayed at the Samaki Lodge for three nights during third week of June. I'll preface this all by saying that I had been traveling for work for about 4 weeks and this was the last leg of my trip in Dar-es-Salaam, so I just wanted to relax and enjoy the environment. I chose Samaki because it seemed to be a place well suited for this. I opted not to stay in Stone town where there would be many more tourists. I was met by one of the hotel staff upon my arrival and he gave me a run down of the hotel and the services. The hotel only had a family staying there as this was a few weeks prior to the actual vacation season began.

Room:
The room was nice and comfortable. I had a lovely balcony where i was able to sit and read. There was no television or phone in the room. The mattress wasn't plush by any means, and was firm, which suited my back fine. The bathroom and everything else was fine.

Staff:
The staff were extremely helpful and diligent in being attentive to the needs of the guests at all times and looked to help in anyway that they good.

Food:
The food had its days. For the most part I would say that it was very good and it was a nice variety of things. The seafood was fresh, having been caught the same day, and was prepared in a variety of ways. There was quite a lot of food and I was often full. If you are looking for typical american food this is definitely not the case here, but everything was tasty. Having meals at specific times was a bit of a bother and I would have liked to be able to get something at different times during the day.

Beach:
The beach was absolutely gorgeous! Clean, beautiful definitely the best thing.

Travel/Tours:
I wanted to venture into stone town and there weren't many people for a tour so I was charged about $50 to go and come back. The to and from the ferry was $90 which was rather expensive. The village is about 45min from the port.

I would recommend this place if you are looking to get away and spend some time on a beautiful beach and aren't expecting the hilton.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kz_matr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Samaki Lodge & Spa

Property: Samaki Lodge & Spa
Address: Main Road, Uroa 458-928, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Uroa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Uroa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Samaki Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Samaki Lodge is a "boutique hotel" located on the beautiful Uroa beach, 30 km from the international airport.Samaki Lodge comprises 19 rooms, elegantly and originally furnished while retaining the style of old Zanzibar.A private beach, equipped with beds, tables and umbrellas is ideal for sunbathing and relaxing under the hot African sun.During their stay guests can make long walks on the beach, meet and socialize with the friendly local people, discovering the uses and customs. The area of sea that lies between the reef and the beach allows you to swim in a safe and wonderful language of coral sand that goes for dozens of meters into the turquoise waters. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samaki Lodge & Spa Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

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