15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Unforgettable Trip To Zanzibar Island
"I was on a trip to Zanzibar Island from last few months. It was amazing to be there, and there are many places to visit having the wonderful views, this trip was one of the best trip in my life. All it credits goes to flights.worldmapsinfo.com that makes my travel so wonderful. I visited all around the Zanzibar Island and finally compiled a list which can be helpful to anyone if planning to visit Zanzibar Island.
Here are some of the most popular destinations in the Zanzibar Island:
I would recommend this site to all, just take a glimpse of it before planning your visit to Zanzibar Island. It is really a great place to visit and i will never forgot that place in my life...
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of April 2009
Very good beach resort
"We stayed at the Mapenzi Beach resort for 6 nights following our safari in Tanzania and it was a great way to end the trip.
The staff is very helpful and attentive. Check-in was a breeze.
The rooms are good sized and well laid out. Everything is very clean. Our only complaint was that there was no tub in the bathroom only a shower. The room had a patio with a daybed.
The food at the buffet was pretty good and there was always at least one new dish to try.
The beach is fantastic. The staff sweeps up all the seaweed on daily. The hotel was about 70% full when we were there, but there were always enough loungers. The local vendors on the beach are a bit aggressive, but will leave you alone if you say no.
There was not much nightlife at the resort, but there are a few good shows.
This is a great place for a quiet holiday."
- Travel date: Thu 11th of September 2008
We stayed in Mapenzi Beach club for a we...
"We stayed in Mapenzi Beach club for a week in August 2008. The hotel was very clean and well laid out. We were greeted at reception and made to feel welcome. We had a beach front room with a fantastic view of the ocean. Our room was clean and had air conditioning, a mini bar which was stocked daily with beer and soft drinks, coffee and tea making facilities, a ceiling fan, a safe and a hairdryer. There was no TV which was lovely. Each night while we were up at the restaurant staff would come in and lower the mosquito nets and spray them. The room had a little path leading to a privet beach with sun loungers. There is a very low wall between the sun loungers and the actual beach.
We were a little put off by some of the negative reviews posted on various sights. However the hotel was well maintained and all the staff was very attentive, nothing was too much trouble for them and they were always smiling.
Our only negative, and it is probably being a little picky, was the food. Each meal is buffet style which is fine but repetitive. The food was not quite hot enough either and although there is plenty of choice we were struggling to find something at the end of the week. The night entertainment was a little hit and miss but the guys really do put so much energy in to everything they do! We used to go to the pool bar before dinner and have drinks. The bar had a lovely atmosphere and the barmen kept the drinks flowing. Staff was very attentive and loves to teach you Swahili.
There are various activities available to you to get involved in during the day, from volleyball to wind surfing. Though it seemed most people were happy just to chill out by the pool or down on the beach. The tide goes out very far and when it does you can walk out to the reef and see loads of sea urchins, sea horses, spectacularly beautiful shells, and star fish among other things. You must wear shoes though as the sea urchins are spiky.
Don't be put off by the 'beach boys' who hang around on the beach. Mostly they're just trying to sell you stuff, but just make it clear you're not interested and often they're happy just to chat or leave you alone if that's what you want.
Mapenzi beach organizes tours to the various places. There's also a blue safari organized by one of the locals (Dr. Verimark) on the beach which I heard was very good. We went swimming with the dolphins in the south of Zanzibar, it was fantastic.
Mapenzi Beach club is a tropical beach paradise and lives up to those picture-postcard notions people have of such places.
All in all we had a fantastic stay at Mapenzi and would love to go back there again.
- Travel date: Wed 10th of September 2008
Great Place For a Honeymoon
"We stayed at Mapenzi for 8 nights following our wedding on Bawe Island.
The hotel was very clean and well laid out, we were greeted at reception with a cocktail and cool flannel and made to feel really welcome, Our room wasn't quite ready as we were early so we were directed to the pool bar to relax and unwind with a drink, We didn't have to wait long before we were escorted to our room, a beach front with a fantastic view of the ocean. Our room was a good size, spotlessly clean and had air conditioning and a mini bar which was stocked daily with beer, soft drinks and water, there was also coffee and tea making facilities, a ceiling fan, a safe as well as a hairdryer.
There was a seated patio area to the front of our bungalow which led directly to the beach, the gardeners kept the flowers and plants well tended and we were brought fresh flowers everyday.
All the staff were very attentive, nothing was too much trouble for them and they were always smiling.
The restaurant was a buffet style, and although the food was a bit repetitive there was still a number of different dishes each day to choose from.
The bar area where we were serenaded before dinner whilst having a pre dinner drink had a lovely atmosphere and the barmen Godfrey and Francis kept the drinks flowing nicely.
The hotel is advertised as having a disco when in fact this was once a week, but on the other hand they had some brilliant live acts notably acrobats, the African night is one not to be missed great atmosphere, great entertainment and barbeque on the beach.
All in all we had a fantastic stay at Mapenzi and would love to go back there again"
- Travel date: Sun 3rd of August 2008
"We stayed at Mapenzie for 9 nights as the last stop on our honeymoon. It was a lovely haven after 3 days in Dubai and eight nights on safari in Northern Tanzania.
We were a little put off by some of the negative reviews posted on various sights which we spotted after we had booked. However the hotel was really well maintained and the staff are very helpful and accommodating.
We had booked a sea front room and the room opened out on to a garden area which then leads to a private beach area with small steps down on to the beach. The beach is separated by a small wall which stops the beach boys from coming into to complex. The view from our room was amazing and cleaned to a very high standard. The gardener brought us flowers on a few occasions which were a lovely touch.
The rooms are spacious with air con and a ceiling fan. The window has a mosquito mesh so if needed you could have your window open at night. The room also has a mini bar which unlike some hotels in included in the price and is kept well stocked with larger, pop and water.
On our first day we also had a complementary bottle bubbly and a fruit platter delivered to the room as we were on our honeymoon.
The night entertainment was a little hit and miss but the guys really do put so much energy in to everything they do!
Our only negative and it is probably being a little picky was the food. Each meal is buffet style which is fine but after three weeks (Dubai and Safari) for us it was a little repetitive. The food was not quite hot enough either and although there is plenty of choice we were struggling to find something at the tail end of the week. We felt they didnât really cater for children and a couple of home comforts every now and then would have made a massive difference. The pizza restaurant is well worth a visit too."
- Travel date: Thu 31st of July 2008
What a fantastic place!
"We stayed at Mapenzi Beach Club after a week long safari on the Tanzanian mainland. After the dust and bustle of a safari this was the perfect place in which to chill out.
It is located about 45 minutes - 1 hour drive from Zanzibar's tiny airport.
The fact that Mapenzi is an all inclusive hotel is fantastic, although you may find yourself putting that to the test by ordering drinks and eating food until your stomach begs for mercy. I know I did!
The staff were immensely friendly and very helpful and proactive (eg regularly approaching you by the pool to make sure you're OK for drinks).
The rooms are wonderful thatched cottage-style constructions complete with verandah and beautifully-tended front garden! And I've never stayed in a hotel room with such a cavernous bathroom attached. In fact the construction of the hotel generally is quite extraordinary - the main body of the hotel is covered by an immense and intricate thatched roof, criss-crossed with supporting wooden beams like some kind of huge wooden spider web.
The food is absolutely top notch and there is a huge amount of choice for every meal. There is also normally some evening entertainment laid on after dinner. Though when it gets dark it pays to carry a torch around as brief cuts in power 3-4 times a night are common.
There are various activities available to you to get involved in during the day, from volleyball to wind surfing. Though it seemed most people were happy just to chill out by the pool or down on the beach.
To my mind the best thing about the hotel is the beach and clear sea beyond it, which is like stepping into a warm bath. During the day the tide goes out (and subsequently comes back in) very far indeed and it's great to walk out to the reef during low tide, but make sure you wear some waterproof shoes (eg Crocs) as there are some sea urchins.
Don't be put off by the 'beach boys' who hang around on the tiny (practically non-existent at high tide) strip of beach between the end of the hotel's bopundary and the sea. Mostly they're just trying to sell you stuff, but just make it clear you're not interested and often they're happy just to chat or leave you alone if that's what you want.
Apparently you're not meant to take shells from the beach home with you, but people find that hard when there are some spectacularly beautiful shells dotted along the shore.
Effectively, the Mapenzi Beach club is a tropical beach paradise and lives up to those picture-postcard notions people have of such places.
Whilst on Zanazibar, it's such a beautiful island that it's well worth doing at least one trip. We did half a day tour in Stone Town which was absolutely fantastic.
I just have one word of warning, which is nothing to do with the actual hotel, but to do with flying in to Zanzibar on Precision Air (from Nairobi in any case). And that is there is a possibility that your hold luggage will arrive after you do. I still don't understand why this happens and why it seemingly happens so often, but it's a bit of a pain. I was in a group of six and whilst the others got their bags on arrival, mine arrived 24 hours later and was driven on to the hotel for me. So make sure you pack a change of clothes in your hand luggage just in case.
But don't let that put you off visiting Zanzibar or this magnificent hotel."
- Travel date: Mon 30th of June 2008
Perfect hotel to get away from it all
"We stayed in Mapenzi Beach blub for a week over new year 2007/2008. It was amazing. We had a beach front room with a little path leading to the area with the sunloungers. There is a very low wall between the sunloungers and the actual beach (a couple of steps down) which is great because my husband has a terrible habit of chatting to ALL of the beach boys. They know not to come into the resort and they respect that rule. The beach boys were great. We loved them. They all speak English and Italian (my husband in Italian and I am Scottish). We'd be having a conversation with one of the men (they sell key rings, art etc) and there would always be 3 or 4 young boys listening and learning our languages. The were amazing!
We both love the sun so we'd sunbathe and take showers to cool down. There are showers every few metres. The water on the beach is about knee length all the way out to the coral reef so no prober swimming. You just lie and float which is nice if you're a bit scared of the sea. The tide goes out very far and when it does you can walk out to the reek and see loads of sea urchins, sea horses and star fish among other things. You must wear shoes though as the sea urchins are spiky. Make sure you're back before the tide starts to come in as it's tiring wading!
Our room was huge! I'd never been to an all inclusive before and loved the fact that the mini bar was free! Only soft drinks and beer though.
There was no TV which was lovely. It was nice and cool with the air conditioning and the bed was lovely and big. Each night while we were up at the restaurant staff would come in and lower the mosquito nets and spray them.
The shower was also massive.
There was a vast choice of food. We at like pigs. They had all the usual breakfast stuff for brits plus the continental stuff. The omlette station was great too. Lunch and dinner were never a dissappointment. There was always a choice of local curries, barbequed fish or meat, Italian food (the head chef is Italian) and different veg, rice and potatoes. Although the head chef is Italian he obviously has local chefs too as there's a big local influence.
Staff are very attentive and love to teach you Swahili. You can order wine, beer soft drinks etc with your meal.
We used to go to the pool bar before dinner and have drinks.
The guests were a mixture of Italian, South African, Norwegian and British as far as I could see. The South Africans and Italians made up the bulk of them.
There are games that you can take part in if you wish *volleyball, football, bouls, archery etc) but never more than one thing at a time. It's so laid back and not franticly organised like some of the Italian places I've been to.
There was evening entertainment almost every night. African dancing, Masai show, Live band, acrobats, Music quiz.
You don't need to go to these things and if you just want to sit in the bar you are not disturbed by the noise.
Night time is very calm. The adults chill out and have a few drinks, play pool or ping pong and chat with the bar staff. The teenagers (who were all south african) seemed to make make friends and I spied a bit of teenage romance hand-holding on the beach out of the view of the parents.
All in all I would say this is a great place with lovely food, really nice staff, very relaxed atmosphere. I wouldn't recommend it for famillies with children under 10 as there didn't seem to be anything organised for them. With such a choice of places to stay on Zanzibar it's nice that there are places like this too.
We were happy to relax inMapenzi as we'd spent 3 nights in stone town and done all the various tours that are to be done. Otherwise, Mapenzi beach organises tours to the various places. There's also a blue safari organised by one of the locals on the beach which I heard was very good. The Zanzibari people are very trustworthy and will not rip you off.
The weather was gorgious while we were there. Blue skies all day every day and starry nights."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of April 2008
On the Beach!
"Stayed here for four nights following a safari in Tanzania and a night in Stone Town. Booked whole trip through Travelbag whose advice we'd found good in the past but not this time.
Firstly, if you want to see anything of Zanzibar, this is not the hotel for you. It is over an hour from Stone Town down a bumpy dirt track so trips take longer and are much more expensive than to do from here. The hotel is one of a row of similar hotels along this part of the coast and they are all that are there. There is no point in going out of the hotel on the road side - there is NOTHING there - no local towns, shops, markets, just nothing! There is a bit more to look at on the beach where locals collect seaweed or offer to sell you trinkets - but they are warm and friendly, little hassle in comparison to other places and will be happy to talk.
Our main gripe with the hotel was that having read various reviews, we booked (and paid a supplement for) a beach front room. Having done this we expected it would be - how can I put this - at the front of the beach. We therefore expected that we would look out and see the sea! But no - we looked out onto the backs of other "beach front rooms". In fact, the garden rooms up the slope behind us would have had a better view.
The manager was very unhelpful and told us that this was what he sold as beach front rooms and that our travel agent would have known this. After more fuss he did move us into a room on the front row for the last two nights which was much better - bigger, without the smell of damp and with a stunning view to the edge of the hotel sand and to the public beach beyond. (Travelbag were equally unhelpful on our return over this and a couple of other issues - we will not be travelling with them again.)
The rest of the hotel is OK of its type - the staff are friendly, there is a variety of entertainment. We learned to play Bao one afternoon which we've watch people playing many times in Africa but never really understood. The bar is generous, the buffet a bit monotonous despite there being lots of choice. Our main disappointment was that Zanzibar is a fascinating country with charming people and a vibrant history and it was difficult to do it justice from this base - you could be anywhere in the world at the Mapenzi Beach Club.
Zanzibar airport is an experience! Be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen and to have US dollars for the departure tax - and bring your sense of humour along! As in many places paying a little for a porter will help you through the scrum!"
- Travel date: Mon 25th of February 2008
"my wife and i stayed here at the end of July in one the beachfront bungalows. The hotel, grounds and the staff were excellant. The weather was a little bit cloudy and rainy at this time of the year.
The only bad thing which put my wife off was the beach boys. They didnt bother me but made her very uncomfortableto the point that she wouldnt go in the sea.
There is nothing to do outside the hotel, no bars or restaurants."
- Travel date: Tue 9th of October 2007
Robbed at the hotel
"Do not stay at this resort. I stayed here in Sept of 2007 and was locked in the bathroom in my room and had all my money stolen. Yes they have locks on the outside of the bathroom door. As the door to the room was locked it had to have been staff as they would have access. I reported to the manager and he was very unhelpful. I could handle money being stolen but locked in the bathroom is another story. Also the staff were allowed to drink in the bar which I have never seen in any other resort which resulted in a fist fight between a guest and a staff member. There were reports of other guests having things like IPODs etc being stolen.
I would think twice about staying at this hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of October 2007
Do not stay at this resort. I stayed her...
"Do not stay at this resort. I stayed here in Sept of 2007 and was locked in the bathroom in my room and had all my money stolen. Yes they have locks on the outside of the bathroom door. As the door to the room was locked I presume it had to have been staff as they would have access. I reported to the manager and he was very unhelpful. I could handle money being stolen but locked in the bathroom is another story. Also the staff were allowed to drink in the bar which I have never seen in any other resort which resulted in a fist fight between a guest and a staff member. There were reports of other guests having things like IPODs etc being stolen.
I would think twice about staying at this hotel."
- Travel date: Mon 1st of October 2007
"In order to get to Zanzibar we flew from Nairobi within Precision Air, who are useless, they are a subsidary company of Kenya Airways so we thought they would be good. Our flight out was cancelled and were put up in a shoddy hotel (680) in Nairobi and on the way back they had one Check-in desk open (you queue for it in the road in front of the terminal building in full sunlight - nearly 90 minutes for us) and 25 people did not get on the flight as it was overbooked.
The Mapenzi Beach Hotel is a nice hotel and we upgraded from a standard room, which was nice, to seaview room which was very nice but the bathroom suffered with a damp problem and the window could not be left open due to the mossies. The beach is blindingly white sand (recommend very dark tint sunglasses) and the beach is very flat which mean when the tide goes out you can walk a long way out - all the way to the reef if you have shoes due to the sea urchins as you get near to it.
The hotel was quite quiet when we were there and there appeared to be more than enough sun loungers on the beach and by the pool for when the hotel is full.
The food was good but very repetitive and it was a real shame there was not much in the way of local food as Zanzibar is famed for being the spice island - I had high hopes of trying lots of local type dishes but instead they generally served international cuisine - plenty of pasta, potatoes, fish and vegetables but not much in the way of meat.
The staff were very welcoming but the main problem with them is that everything seemed to be a bit of an effort - trying to get their attention for drinks (in an empty restaurant), asked for an extra pillow and got "yes that's possible" but it never arrived. I think one of the problems is that there are both european and African members of staff at the hotel and the African members of staff were getting a raw deal compared to the european staff (ie saw the General Manager having meals with the european staff but never the African staff - not suprised a few of them seemed disgruntled).
Some of the staff also seemed to be on the look out for tips, on the penultimate day the maid knocked on our door and said you are going home tommorow? and then hung around outside as we got ready to go down on the beach and when we checked out to come home the female porter who carried my bag to the bus snatched the tip out of my hand as I offered it to her as if it would be withdrawn at any moment.
To sum up then Zanzibar was a nice place to relax but initially couldn't wait to get there due to the flight problems, then after 7 days began to get restless and after the chaos at the airport to come home couldn't wait to leave. If you want to go to Zanzibar I would recommend either Zan Air or try and ensure it is with Kenya Airways and not Precision Air and maybe have an umbrella with you to keep the sun off whilst you stand in the check-in queue."
- Travel date: Thu 27th of September 2007