Breezes Beach Club & Spa, Zanzibar
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Zanzibar - This is a fantastic country,...
"Zanzibar - This is a fantastic country, fascinating.
The resort however, leaves much to be desired - dirty beach, flies on food (as uncovered) not picked up at airport by transfers etc, room at resort "basic" - this is meant to be 5 star!
I appreciate it's Africa but still, it isn't worth 3. The staff did the best they could, all superficially looks fine, dark wood, vibrant silks covering the furniture.
Then you go down to the sewage, oh sorry, beach and have to get your own sun bed off a pile, sign your towels in and out (not actually Egyptian cotton) you are badgered to buy drinks (when want to be left alone).
No choice of food 5* - a Swahili buffet 1 night, no choice of desert etc - hardly 5* stuff.
It is behind gates (security being an issue there) on the way to the place, when they finally pick you up from the "airport" (tin hut) you are badgered to buy tours, its a long trip over part built pot hole roads.
I spoke to some Brits I met in Stone Town they were staying at Blue Bay. Said it was fine, also there's something owned by Canadians supposedly much nicer than this.
In short my 40th birthday present from my partner was a dream holiday in a place we will never be able to afford again and it was everything BUT.
I have written to ABTA and await them taking up my case. Debbie 11.2.07"
- Travel date: Sun 11th of February 2007
The worst experience in my life!
"I went to Zanzibar on March and stayed in Stonetown where it was OK. Actually the muslin feeling in the whole island was a bit too much for my taste but it was OK. Still, I had a group of friends who had made a reservation at the Breezes Beach Club for this summer and had asked me if I had time to go there to visit and check it out.
What a terrible experience. Me and my husband were never treated like that. The reception was very pretentious and dark with a depressive feeling. The staff looked like they didn't care and the rooms were definitely not worth the price.
Overpriced, depressive ambience and over dressed staff who was more worried about looking fancy on their uniform than actually being nice.
My husband is American and was convinced that the treatment was based on the fact that he was an American citizen. We mentioned to the staff that they were not being nice and that our friend would probably cancel their reservation and their reply was that they really didn't care...My friends did cancel their reservationsâ¦
Anyway, if you really need to go to Zanzibar, which is an island that i wasn't particularly impressed, Breezes is defineltey not the hotel to stay. Don't get fooled by their glossy brochure, which it really doesn't reflect the hotel we visited."
- Travel date: Thu 4th of May 2006
"What can I say - the hotel is great! I understand people's concerns about not being able to find any free places on the beach - we had that same problem. You have to get up very early to reserve a place. Also, it was very irritating when people would put their towels on the sun-beds and simple be gone for the entire day! No one else could use the free, but "taken" sun-beds and none of the management seemed to care.
Otherwise, the hotel is just perfect! We adored the food, especially the themed dinners. Every night we'd get something new, and the entire restaraunt would be decorated accordingly to the theme of the food. We felt like "million dollars", and we really got spoilt at Breezes!
We'll be definetely back, and we'll recommend this hotel to everyone!"
- Travel date: Sun 26th of February 2006
'Lovely but could have been better'
"We arrived at the breezes looking for a rest after a 6 day safari in Tanzania. It certainly is a beautiful place to look at, the pool is very clean, the bars beautifully decked out, the rooms very comfortable and clean, however sadly it is not of a 5 star standard. So what is wrong with the breezes? From my own perspective I believe that the management could indeed make major improvements by firstly listening to their customers concerns rather than just making the right sounds but not acting upon them. I have to agree with others on this site that there are firstly no umbrella's around the pool area, which would be fine if there were enough sunloungers complete with umbrellas on the beach. I did actually mention this to the management as I guess so have many others that have stayed here, but there was no real explanation given and not really any concern that there was no where to shield yourself from the intense sun, unless you wanted to sit in a bar or in your room, which is not what i wanted to do on holiday! However if you did manage to get up extra early and indulge yourself in the most fantastic breakfast you have ever seen (and tasted) and plonked yourself on a sunlounger by the beach at 8, you were guaranteed a wonderful view of people tooing and frooing from the dive center, beautiful views over the coral reef, and the most pretty shells you have ever seen! (However you can't take them home as its illegal)! The lunch menu was very good, however the evening buffet was rather average. However this may well be due to the fact I found most of the food in Tanzania and Zanzibar rather strange, all a bit of a mish mash of tastes that I would rather avoid. The food is extrememly salty. I have to say also that whilst the majority of the staff were polite and professional, some were sadly rude and as others have mentioned quite defensive. Sadly the management seem to believe that "welcome to paradise" which they spout at the welcome meetings isnt all its cracked up to be. On a brighter note the spa was truly amazing, as a couple you have to take the sultans bath, a wonderful experience. Breezes is still beautiful but maybe just a little too pricey!"
- Travel date: Sun 19th of February 2006
"I just took a quick 3 night trip to Zanzibar amd stayed at Breezes. I really, really loved it. As a regular business traveller it was so great to get away from the chain hotel feel and stay in such a unique place. The beach is amazing, The decor is really gorgeous...and the food was surprisingly good. We ate at Tides...the restaurant for 2 which was lovely. I really enjoyed my stay and would recomend Breezes in Zanzibar highly. The atmosphere is definitely chilled...with a relaxed but efficient approach. Will definitely go back!"
- Travel date: Wed 1st of February 2006
Good but not that good
"I think the earlier reviews- especially the longer ones - are very accurate so I won't repeat the details. The place is between two stools in my opinion - calls itself 'boutique' but actually feels a bit 'large holiday village'. No real weak spots - just not 5 star in international terms. However, if you want a spa - and this one is very good - Breezes is apparently your only choice. I don't know about the other boutique hotels in ZNZ but cetainly Peponi in Lamu (Kenya) is on a different plane altogether, and is where I shall be returning on my next trip. If you are planning anything more complicated than a stay at Breezes, I can recommend Zantours in Stone Town- they also have an airline, Zanair, and handled my own rather complex holiday with 7 people, safaris, excursions and air charters very well."
- Travel date: Thu 19th of January 2006
"We stayed at Breezes for 5 nights. The setting is great and the staff couldn't have been more helpful and polite.
The beach is beautiful but on occasions litter was visible and did spoil the effect somewhat.
Rooms were very comfortable but the bathrooms were in need of refurbishment.
The food here is excellent. There were a couple of other options where you could eat in the evenings at extra cost but the main restaurant was so good it seemed pointless paying extra."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of November 2005
Doesn't quite fulfil its promise...
"The glossy publications promise sumptuous accommodation and every whim indulged in an idyllic setting. The veneer was there - the look of the place, the impeccably polite staff lined up to greet us on arrival and the complimentary bottle of champagne waiting in our room seemed to promise a fantastic experience.
Scratch a little below the surface, however, and the sparkle began to fade.
The good points - the room was great and kept meticulously clean by fantastic grounds and buildings staff. The beach beds, pool and bars were great and the architecture, setting and atmosphere were stunning.
The biggest let down was the food and beverage service. During the day at the beach and at the pool ordering food and drink was an absolutely excruciating affair. Orders often took half an hour to arrive (in the case of drinks - much longer for food), and when they did were often incorrect or missing an item or two. On one occassion nothing turned up whatsoever. Plates and cups were left to attract flies in the afternoon sun, and I resorted to returining the dirty dishes myself on a number of occassions. It's just not something I expected to encounter from a hotel that trumpets itself as five star and the best in Zanzibar.
Although I am an easygoing chap not given to getting worked up, it was often annoying to see four or five staff gathered chatting in the pool bar while guests got up to order or collect drinks. Complaints or expressions of exasperation at non-existent service or wrong orders/bills (of which there were many) were frequently met with unwarranted defensiveness.
The other slight qualm was with the beach - although lovely and with a stunning barier reef that is easily accessible at low tide, the beach itself was strewn with litter and debris and the unbelievable profusion of sea urchins (overlooked in the brochure but mentioned immediately on arrival) in the shallows meant that reef shoes (hire charge TSH 2000pp/pd) were a necessity.
I had a great time there. I am sure you will too. However, be forewarned that while Breezes is a great place, it's not quite 5 star."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of November 2005
"We started our honeymoon at Breezes and could not have chosen a better place. The staff were fantastic nothing was too much effort and the food out of this world.
The rooms were lovely and the setting exactly what you hoped it would be. Cannot recommend the place enough. Will definately be back and sooner rather than later!"
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of November 2005
"We stayed at Breezes for 5 nights after a safari in Kenya.
We booked a deluxe room as the suites were all full. The deluxe rooms are spacious, on the ground floor and have a terrace but no view of the sea. Suites are on the second floor and have huge balconies some with tremendous views of the sea.
Overall we were pleased with the hotel. The pool area is nice (but note no brollies over the sun loungers so it can get very hot baking there all day and there is no real shade). There are also sunloungers on the private beach area though which have brollies and this was the area we chose to spend our time in. The views out towards the beach and the reef are beautiful. A waiter wanders round the loungers every hour or so asking for drink orders and there is also a limited but good snack menu you can order from your lounger.
We went half board like most people. Breakfast is good but not amazing. Lunch (not included) you have 2 choices. The bar which serves a snack menu or Breakers restauarant. Breakers is right on the beach and has a good menu with catch of the day, seafood and the usual other stuff (burgers etc).
Dinner is in the main restauarant and alternates between a buffet night and then a table d'hote night. Food is good but the queues at the buffet were irritating and not really what you expect in a really good quality hotel.
Also although there seems no shortage of staff service can be amazingly slow (eg getting a bottle of wine to have with your meal in the evening)and we waited nearly 40 minutes for lunch one day but I guess you're on holiday so have time to spare!
We went to the Indian/Swahili restaurant one night (bizarrrely you have to book the day before AND hand in your menu choices - even side orders- which is a bit odd). Food there was v good.You get a 15% discount if on HB.
On the last night we went to The Tides restauarant. The service here was faultless and the food great. the lobster is ginormaous and it's great value as you can choose any bottle of wine from the list and it is included. highly recommend doing this but book before you go by emailing the resort as it gets booked up fast.
Overall very nice but don't expect the same sort of service you get in 4star resorts in Asia/ maldives etc"
- Travel date: Tue 25th of October 2005
Best place we've ever stayed
"The food was amazing, the rooms large, comfortable, and decorated very tastefully with really comfortable, huge beds.
The bedrooms are all the same size, the more expensive ones are just nearer the pool, beach and restaurant which isn't always an advantage if there's a disco or entertainment till late.
Usually entertainment at these places is a bit cheesy and in your face, but here it was understated and tasteful. The communal areas of the hotel are really comfortable and there's a great sense of space and tranquility even if the hotel is full.
One of the best 5 hotels in Africa apparently! The beach isn't fantastic to swim in all the time because the tide exposes rock an urchins. But good diving and diving school.
Goodness knows how good it is now they've opened the spa."
- Travel date: Fri 14th of October 2005