11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
food poison for their Christmas dinner
"Worst resort we’ve ever stayed. We got food poison for their Christmas dinner, but their reaction was denial, denial, denial. Even nobody asked how we are feeling.
We first reported i to the Italian food manager. He just laughed at me suffering on the table facing down and holding my mouth table napkin. We kindly stated the appreciation to the dinner and politely addressed the issue we had at the dinner. But all he said is, by looking at a glass of wine, which is even not mine – for my husband, it’s not wise to drink alcohol when I’m feeling sick in the stomach. And he laughed again and left. He never came back to check us during our stay even we bumped into to him more than 10 times. He was hiding away from us.
So, we escalated to the customer relationship manager through the reception. The call our family received at 8:30am and all they told them was ‘it’s not from the dinner’. The doctor was useless too, but he never talked to me. He only talked to my husband. So if you stayed this place without men and you got sick, you should know nobody will help you!! All again, all this guy did was just provide us the pink antibiotic pills which you would never be able to purchase off the counter in any developed country. For sure, it’ll kill everything including yourself! We stayed away from this hotel food as much as we can, and eat at other hotel and in the town. We had no problem eating anywhere but not the hotel. If you wanna enjoy your holiday. Don’t pick this place!! The whole family suffered for a week even after retuned in our own country!!"
- Travel date: Sat 1st of December 2018
simply don't stay here
"yes, the rooms are very nice but the location is horrible - on the wrong side of the island where there's not much of a beach (high tide sends waves all the way up to the property / low tide and the water retreats 200 metres to reveal seaweed farms in front of the hotel).
plus, you're too far away from stone town to really enjoy zanzibar. if all you want to do is sit in front of a swimming pool all day, then do stay here. don't expect much more than that.
the staff also seemed quite unprofessional - it takes them forever to sort out overbookings (seems to happen every night) and they pin the blame on each other rather than anyone accepting responsibility."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of January 2006
"We recently stayed at the Ocean Paradise resort for Xmas and were completely blown away from the moment we arrived to the time we left.
From reading all the reviews on this website you will somewhat know what to expect when you arrive and should therefore not be surprised, or disappointed, that there are a number of stairs within the resort and that there is a little bit of seeweed in the area. Given that, when you arrive you will probably be amazed by the views overlooking the resort and the sea. We have stayed in many resorts around the world and nothing has come close to the picturesque greeting we received at the Ocean Paradise resort.
Like many resorts we have stayed in, it is never a given that because you have booked as a couple that you will receive a double room. We now always confirm our room direct with the resort before arrival to ensure we are not disappointed. For us, it seems very hard to believe that you could be disappoined no matter what room you receive in this resort as they are so lovely in design. We do recommend that you request a room on the ground however, as they are possibly easier to access from the beach during the day.
With regards to service, we could not fault one single employee during our entire stay. What we came to appreciate is that all staff generally work from 8am to 11pm and travel and hour and half back each way from Stone Town per day for minimum wage. Despite this, the confident English speakers among them are so excited to talk to you and those that aren't are just so happy to say Jambo and ensure you have a pleasant stay.
We were also extremely impressed with the food that was on offer during our stay. Every night the buffet was set up with different foods and the selection was extremely extensive, from salads, entrees, seafood and meats on the grill to deserts all served overlooking the pool and ocean. During our stay the entertainment provided during the meal times was well thought out and we experienced traditional music, singing, dancing as well as a snake shows, acrobatics, Masai jumping, etc.
All in all for a country that is prodominately Muslam and that does not celebrate Christmas we felt the level of enthusiam and effort put into the time leading up and around the day was so lovely to see.
With anything, experiences and opinions are subjective however, given the amount of trouble we had with our booking (through our tour agent)before we arrived it was going to take a lot for us to be bowled over on this holiday. As you can see, it didn't really take that much except for the hotel and its staff to be themselves.
We hope you enjoy the resort as much as we did."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of January 2006
Great place to relax after your safari!
"We stayed in Ocean Paradise after our safari and found it to be a great place to relax. We had a nice clean room, friendly staff, nice lunch menu and a very extensive buffet for dinner. Even though I'm usually not a big fan of buffets I found this one very nice.
I did notice that some tiles were missing from the pool but further is was clean and same goes for the poolbar. We saw no insects worth mentioning, except for the mosquitos at night. The beach was clean and the seaweed farm was to the left and the right of the hotel but the ocean just in front was cleared and therefore you could swim there.
On the downside I would say that the hotel is very isolated and excursion possibilities are very expensive. The hotel gets very quiet at night and if you feel like partying this might not be the right location. On the other hand it was very easy to meet people and all and all I would definitely return!"
- Travel date: Thu 8th of December 2005
Beautiful Setting - Food and Service touch and go
"I returned a week ago from Ocean Paradise after a week on Safari in Tanzania and then a week chilling in Zanzibar.
The Hotel is situated on the most wonderful beach and one of the best I have seen on my world travels...
The Hotel is very clean and the pool massive with plenty of room for everyone. Usually only one or two people in at any one time.
There were a couple of tiles missing but nothing to write home about!!
As other Travellers have stated:- I didn't find the seaweed farm at all a problem, at the end of the day it is for the locals to earn a living and it is their beach and were there long before the Hotel!!
The Beach Boys will leave you alone if you learn a few words of Swahili but I wouldnt walk alone on the beach (being a woman) - would feel a bit indimidated. But it is safe - as long as you are sensible!
The Hotels private beach is well secured with Massai Security and the Beach Boys know not to over step the mark!! So you will not be hassled at all.
The service in the hotel overall was poor compared to the Sopa and Serena Lodges in Tanzania.
I had to ask 5 times one morning for milk for my coffee at breakfast and still didnt get it!! The breakfast was ok, the lunch menu the better one and the pizzas were the best!! As for the dinner menu - nothing that appealing to the taste buds!
The service pretty bad and a few waiters were friendly and chatty but most didnt smile!
The girls in the bar were efficient but not that smiley either!!
The only guys I would praise were the animation team - Ally, Mohammed, Sylvester and Alex... All very friendly and without them to organise Volley Ball etc etc - they hotel would have no atmosphere or smiles!!
The Management didnt once come around to ask if all was ok - even though they were seen having breakfast and lunch at their private table!! They have a lot to learn off Sopa Lodges.
Apart from that - it is a great place to chill - I was with a friend and not on a honeymoon and didnt feel out of place at all... and met other travellers whilst playing volley ball - pretty friendly place all in all.
Enjoy your stay - Hakuna Wasi Wasi!!"
- Travel date: Mon 17th of October 2005
Great resort to relax (bit quiet if not a couple)
"We arrived at the hotel after safaris in Kenya, Tanzanai and Uganda - so it was like paradise when we arrived. Everything is clean and new and the look of the resort is lovely. In particular the pool was awesome and the rooms very spacious.
I agree with some of the comments about the food.
We are from Australia so maybe have high expectations about fresh and modern food, but it really was pretty drab. I was dreaming of fresh seafood or some local dishes.
The staff service was inconsistent. Some great, so really ordinary. The tour people were hopeless. We practically had to beg to them to book a tour one day.
I have no idea what the issues about a seaweed farm were about. The beach was pretty nice. Certainly better than anything in europe or america.
A word of warning though. The place is couples ville. We were two girl friends travelling together and found the whole experience a bit strange. Everyone really stuck in their couples or groups. So if you are hoping to meet some fellow travellers, stay somewhere a bit less 'resorty'.
Overall, if you want to just chill out and not think about a thing and improve your tan - this is a great place."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of October 2005
paradise except the food
"We have just spent a week at ocean paradise resort after a weeks safari in kenya.We had read a few mixed reviews before we went so didn't know what to expect.The 45min journey down a very bumpy track to the hotel is the first hurdle! (although if like us you'd just been on safari this road was nothing!) When we arrived we gasped, the place is beautiful and in a beautiful setting.we were met by a very friendly member of staff who gave us a drink and checked us in while we relaxed,we were not allowed to do a thing! we were then taken to our room which was a beach front chalet, they are very pretty and comfortable.we then decided to explore. we went to the beach first,the hotel has its own beach in the resort which is fenced so the beach sellers can't get in, this was very peaceful and well staffed, over the fence is the rest of the beach and the sea, the view is picture postcard! we went on it, the beach sellers do come up to you but all you have to say is no and they leave you alone and they were friendly,The seaweed farm by the way which someone had complained about we don't see the problem with, the tide goes right out every day so the seaweed would be visible anyway its just nature!'
The pool is very impressive(no missing tiles)i do not swim but my partner who is a real water baby said it was the best pool he had ever been in!It never seemed to be busy either.
now to my only complaint! The breakfast was okay,the lunchtime menu was excellent(the service is quite slow but thats africa!)The only thing that put a downer on my stay was the evening meal,there is only one restaraunt and it is buffet,now we have no problem with buffet we'd eaten it all week on safari and were fine but here we were dissapointed,for a 5 star hotel we expected much more.The selection was very small and although they changed the theme every night the food seemed to be the same,the starter selection was okay as was the dessert but the main course was poor,we even asked if we could pay extra and have food off the lunchtime menu but they would not do that.It is advertised as having 2 restaraunts but we were told they have yet to build the 2nd one!
Anyway that was our only complaint,the hotel is paradise in a beautiful setting and very relaxing atmosphere,its a shame the evening meal just let it down, a few other guests did complain about the same thing so hopefully they have taken action. Our advice is its worth going but just don't expect a huge dinner! I certainly wouldn't complain about some of the other petty things certain other people have complained about. Enjoy you're stay!"
- Travel date: Sat 1st of October 2005
Hit and Miss
"This place is hit and miss. The resort is very well landscape and the views are picture postcard, the seaweed farm is not a problem although the tide goes very far out during the day, which is a pleasant stroll out to the sea but you will not use it for swimming. The pool is excellent.
On a downside the food is a real let down. The menu is very limited and very bland. It consists of a buffet everynight which has the likes of hotpot and stews on offer, there was very little fish and the cuts of meat were very cheap. The service is quiet slow which isn't a huge problem as no one is any particular rush anyway."
- Travel date: Tue 27th of September 2005
First, if you are on honeymoon, do let the hotel itself know beforehand that you are. Upon arrival we got shown to our room, only to find 2 single beds miles apart from each other. Not very cosy for a honeymoon! Furthermore, you are suppose to get a honeymoon arrangement, well, they forgot ours 3 times! Eventually we only got half of it - and this was after much nagging which sort of took the shine off it...
Second, if you are expecting a proper watersport centre, think again, there were 2 windsurf boards when we were there, both very poor quality. Same for the sailing equipment... The seaweed farms are also seriously annoying when trying to do any proper surfing and sailing. The diving was excellent though.
All in all, I wouldn't recommend this place to my friends, but that's my personal opinion..."
- Travel date: Thu 1st of September 2005
Quiet & Relaxing
We loved Ocean Paradise although have some qualms about Virgin Holidays whom we booked through, as they seemed to inform no-one that it was our Honeymoon. Fortunately we had predicted this much and emailed the hotel directly and on arrival were lucky enough to be upgraded and warmly welcomed by the staff.
The Resort is very large but very well landscaped and in keeping with the environment. It has some lovely spaces in which to relax and drink, which were all surprisingly quiet considering the resort was fully booked.
Drinks prices were very reasonable even after adding add the 5% credit card charge. Day trips weren't cheap, but this must be to maintain the transport battered by the bumpy roads!
Our Garden Cottage was spacious, cosy, clean and cool. And being much closer to the beach and amenities it would be well worth the extra cost. We had a huge decking to relax on with space for our hammock and comfortable seating in the quiet gardens.
The Swimming Pool was huge and was somehow always empty. And fortunately there weren't too many children staying even though it was during European school holidays. I can't say I particularly noticed missing tiles in the pool. The swim up bar is a nice idea, but order well before you are ready!
The Service was very friendly but admittedly slow. After starting our honeymoon on an African safari, my husband and I had already become accustomed to this and accepted it as part of the African way.
The Diving was great, we saw turtles and plenty of fish.
However it was a bit of a long bumpy ride, by land and by sea. It sounded like the boat visited the same dive sites pretty frequently so I'm not sure if it would be worth doing more than one trip out.
The Beach was beautiful but I guess not perfection. It is a public beach so there are a few touts, but the sand continues into the resort so you can still enjoy it from within and these boundaries are respected.
The Seaweed Farms aren't a great problem. The area of sea directly in-front of the resort was clear, it was only at either side and only showed at low-tide. Tide times are displayed in Reception. As a previous review says, this forms part of the life on the island and adds interest and insight into local life. There is seaweed on the beach and it would be nicer if this was raked up, but it's still a gorgeous stretch of sand and calm turquoise waters.
We have travelled extensively and find it is best to accept that some countries work differently to the West and you come on holiday to experience these differences. If you are looking for American Service then try the Caribbean instead!"
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of August 2005
Very Nice Place
"This resort was described on this website earlier and not very positive. I visited the place end of June 2005 and can only say there is nothing wrong. It is a very well managed hotel, especially if you consider it is in a remote part of Africa. Staff is friendly and helpful, and the rooms are kept clean and tidy.
The location is rather remote, and it is a long drive from the airport. The last 6 km to the resort are over an unpaved road which can be an unpleasant experience, also since you have to take this road as well on day trips.
There is a PADI school and snorkling trips to Mnemba island are available. I did the trip but I found it not recommendable, since it takes a 45 minute drive over tough roads and another long journey on the boat before you get there. The snorkling is not comparable to places like the Red Sea or the Caribbean due to the tide and the wind. So forget about it.
The Spice Tour and the trip to Stonetown are nice, but make sure your guide is good."
- Travel date: Tue 12th of July 2005