7 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Zanzibar should be called Rimini and the Bellevue...
"was apart from the nice rooms and fellow guests quite dissappointing since the owners, Melanie and Dim, are all about money-making.
You can tell e.g. by the breakfast which is really small and if you dare to ask for some more the unfriendly staff (in the morning) brings you just a tiny bit more. The breakfast is also nearly always the same: pancakes with honey. In the evening the staff is much friendlier, the restaurant a nice area, and the food decent. But again, the portions are small.
Concerning the money-making: you get nothing for free. The ride to the next beach because the one in front of the hotel is dirty and uninviting is charged even they themselves are going. They made another solo traveller change her room nearly every day. This for the reason (as it appeared) to rent the room to more people in order to make more money per night. Although they have guaranteed a room to her when she booked in advance. So she slept in my room which was fine my me. Mel offered a dinner for free in exchange which I at first thought was a nice idea. I understand that when you offer someting like that that it means A DINNER: nice meal, a drink and even a dessert. It turned out all that was deducted from my bill was 6 euro....what a sham.
The other thing is that frist thingh you HAVE to do is to pay for your stay..not very charming because everywhere else you pay when you leave. This as many other small things just convey the impression that money is the only thing they are concerned with.
Overall both are very unprofessional: complaining about the dirt in the streets, their own staff and other citizens or earlier guests (and their entries in the guestbook) in front of their guests.
Apart from that I would not recommend Zanzibar for individual travellers since it is not african-like at all but full of disgusting beachboys and fake massais who speak better italian than their own language. On top of that, it is dominated by Charter Tourists from Italy and elsewhere. The beaches are white and the water turquoise but they are full of dirt, seaweed and seagrass. I suppose that there are better Islands, I heard Pemba just around the corner is nicer."
- Travel date: Sat 17th of October 2009
"I spent three weeks in Tanzania, climbing the Kilimanjaro and visiting the National Parks, spending the last week in Bwejuu, Zanzibar, staying at Bellevue and kitesurfing at the Kitecentre Zanzibar. Great place, friendly staff, good food and nice, clean rooms. The owners also own the Kitecentre Zanzibar, which is a great place to rent gear or take lessons. It has competent, friendly and encouraging instructors, and a nice spot on the beach. Both the guesthouse and the kitesurfing centre are definitely worth every penny. Highly recommended!"
- Travel date: Mon 31st of August 2009
good bye and thanks for all the fish.
"bellevue sits on a beautiful rock above the stunning beaches of bwejuu surrounded by attractive gardens hung with hammocks and scattered with sun beds. the rooms are clean and the doubles have huge comfortable doubles with tasteful simple swahili style decor. they have excellent nets (certainly the best we found in three weeks in tanzania) clean and fluffy towels and beach towels available to hire.
melanie and dim (the dutch couple who run it) are great fun and an excellent source of information. dim also runs the kitesurfing centre down the beach and so bellevue makes an excellent base for a kitesurfing holiday. they can also arrange diving trips and cultural expeditions for you from the hotel.
the hotel has a small restaurant that serves beautiful fresh seafood at reasonable prices for lunch and dinner. the decor is all local and the tables are laid with colourful kangas typical of the island. the whole hotel has experience delicate refurbishment under the three year tenure of mel and dim and continues to be updated as necessary.
chulla, the head chef, is becoming something of a celebrity on dutch tv and likewise among the guests. every other morning he produces pancakes with wild honey which he harvests himself before breakfast and without any protection from the bee stings (he says they ward off malaria). needless to say, the honey is superlative.
on some sunday nights they also host a swahili buffet for the guests which is delicious. we were told by other guests who had experienced such buffets elsewhere that this was by far the best they had had.
the restaurant also has a bar and plenty of comfortable seating and during the day serves proper coffee (something of a novelty on zanzibar) from percolators that melanie imported herself.
melanie and dim regularly eat in the restaurant themselves, often with friends and family members as well, and this lends a warm air of conviviality to meal times, without ever becoming intrusive or imposing.
all in all this a fantastic place to base yourself for a beach holiday on zanzibar. it has been described in the guides as the best value for money in its price range on zanzibar. that was certainly our experience and we are already plotting to return."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of July 2009
"We spent a few weeks in Bellevue, a couple of days in a standard room and the rest in the jungleroom which we enjoyed the most. The room is half open so a cool breeze gets in at nighttime and is great to sleep in because you can hear the sea, wind and the birds. A big mosquitonet keeps the insects away. The rooms with an African touch are spotless, the beds are big enough for European sized people and you get good quality for your money.
We especially loved the atmosphere of Bellevue, it's beautifully decorated, very cosy and very relaxing. This is also because it's small (6 rooms) and therefore personal. If you want, you can relax in one of the hammocks or swings in the garden or like us, enjoy playing games with other guest and the very friendly hostess.
The food is delicious and they sometimes organise a Swahilidiner so you can experience real African food.
The beach is nearby and pretty good for snorkelling. We are definitely coming back in the future and we can recommend it to everyone, whether you're travelling alone or together."
- Travel date: Sat 28th of March 2009
"Place is realy nice. This is the second time that i visit Bellevue.
Place were you can relax, have a drink with some of the quests and enjoy the beautiful beach. Bellevue give you for sure an holidayfeeling . Take a look at the new kitesurfcentre!!. The combination kitesurf (kite-lessons) and travel is what i think the most relaxing trip ever. Only book a ticket to Zanzibar, and enjoy
- Travel date: Thu 26th of March 2009
very clean room, very good diner, fantastic and friendly owners
"When you arrive you come in a very relaxed place, nice and kind employees, delicious an very tasteful food, the owners are very friendly, welcoming. It's very nice to stay there and feel the way of living in Zanzibar."
- Travel date: Thu 12th of March 2009
very reccomendable guesthouse and also good for kitesurfers
"I was with my husband in Bellevue this January. We stayed in both the standard room as the jungle room. The owners, a dutch couple were very helpfull and warm hosts too us.
The rooms are spotless clean, nicely decorated especially the jungle room, was fantastic. This room is half open and half decorated with wood and local materials.Big bed, colourfull fabrics, nice lamps etc.
The food at Bellevue was the best we good find in the area. Especially the crab dishes and beef stroganoff we enjoyed a lot. They also serve food three times a day and have also vegetarian dishes and yogurth and muesli. They serve nice cocktails too...
They work together with the hotel next door, so we could use the swimming pool next door for free. For the standard rooms this doesn't count.
This place is on a rock so you overvieuw the sea, they have beachbeds and a swing in the garden.
It's absolutely worth to visit for young and old that come for the ultimate relaxing!!!
We were no kitesurfers but we spoke with some that stayed there, that absolutely loved to go kitesurfing at there kitecentre called, kitecentre zanzibar."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of March 2009