Kena Beach Hotel (Formerly Azanzi Beach Hotel)
About Kena Beach Hotel (Formerly Azanzi Beach Hotel)
- high speed internet in room
- swimming pool
- shuttle bus service
- free internet
- bar lounge
- free parking
- public wifi
- wheelchair access
- free wireless internet in room
- air conditioning
- room service
- non smoking rooms
- non smoking hotel
- laundry service
- concierge desk
- family rooms
- multilingual staff
- breakfast buffet
- airport transportation
- outdoor pool
- baggage storage
- english amenities
- ironing service
- sun loungers beach chairs
- free breakfast
- german amenities
- bridal suite
- pool beach towels
- table tennis
- poolside bar
- chinese amenities
- private beach
- snorkeling amenities
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Good hotel in a great location!
"We did a lot of research on hotels on Zanzibar before choosing to spend our honeymoon at the Azanzi. Generally our stay was very good and had a great time in a fantastically beautiful location - the beach is straight out of paradise and stretches for miles!
Arrival was somewhat puzzling as nothing was explained about our room and the confirmation - or otherwise - of our room upgrade. We only realised we had been upgraded when we saw the spa pool on our deck - which was empty. We were told it was broken and would be repaired the next day, which we weren't too happy about as there were plenty of other rooms available! We were subsequently told later in the day by Brian, the manager, that there was a problem with the water supply. We had an empty spa for our entire stay.
The front desk manager was totally bewildered when we made enquiries about a couple of the tours the hotel runs. He seemed to be unaware of the tours and the itineries!
The hotel advertises internet availability, but when we wanted to use it on the last day to check in on-line for our flight home, we were told there was no PC available.
OK, so having got the minor complaints out of the way, our stay otherwise was very pleasant, even allowing for seven power cuts on our first evening, which was probably just unlucky as we never experienced any others during our week.
The room was large, very clean and well furnished with a large, extremely comfortable bed. The service was vey good, but with only 8-10 other guests for most of our week, we would not have expected anything else!
The food was good and this seemed to be bourn out by the fact that numerous people from other hotels frequently came for lunch and dinner.
I would agree with one of the other reviews which mentions the quirky management style, although they are extremely friendly! Michelle was great and was really a warm, friendly bubbly character and is a real asset to the management team!
Azanzi is still quite new and needs to establish itself in the market, but offers great value on it's current all-inclusive deal of US$125pppn and is located on an extremely beautiful part of the island."
- Travel date: Sun 19th of July 2009
Best deal in Zanzibar right now. Great honeymoon option!
"I did extensive research to find the ideal place in Zanzibar for our honeymoon. This is hands down the best option right now. I considered Palms, Mnemba, Baraza, Chumbe, Shooting Star, Fairmont, Blue Bay, Matemwe Lodge, and Grand Kempinski. Azanzi is on Matemwe beach, one of the best on the island with powder fine, white sands, and aqua blue water. They have a great deal going through Nov 09 that I simply couldn't pass up - $125 per person all inclusive (airport transfers, food, even some drinks). We were upgraded to a deluxe villa with deep soaking stand alone tub, outdoor shower, indoor shower, deck with hot tub, decorated in a modern Zanzibari/Omani style. When compared to the $1100/nt at Baraza, $1400/nt at Palms, or $2500/nt at Mnemba, it was an easy choice. Food was decent, better than expencted but not memorable, pretty good. The resort is very new and in some ways they are rough around the edges - there is no soap dish in the showers or sink area, no trash can in the bathroom, the hot tub would not get hot, there were not enough loungers on the beach for everyone and the hotel was at 25% occupancy. The "spa" was a converted guest room, but the massages were only $30 - I would try aday trip to Anantara Spa at Kempinski next time. Turn down service came every day at 6pm while we were trying to relax in the room before dinner - better to do this while guests are dining. These are minor gripes which will be worked out over time I'm sure. One annoyance is that the beach is covered in seaweed and the water is infested with sea urchins - not the hotel's fault and the staff does rake the seaweed in front of the hotel, but still not super inviting for guests. Also, the pool for some strange reason is totally covered in thatch roofing so it is shaded - strange because usually people like to swim in the sun, but maybe it gets too hot in summer?!? Also management was a little unconventional and eccentric though well meaning. Louis is a character. One strange thing was that it seemed like management had friends over to hang out - they monopolized the entire TV lounge for a day watching rugby - wasn't too much of a bother, but was strange."
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of July 2009
Trip to Paradise
"The service we received from both management and the staff at the Hotel was above all expectation. The rooms were beautifully decorated and very spacious. Cleanliness of the rooms are remarkeble. The food was outstanding and the presentation was great. The hotel is situated on the North Eastern side of Zanzibar. The white beaches and blue waters is a true must for all that want some peace and serenity. Management at the hotel went all out to arrange excursions for us to go on and the Blue Bay Tour is a definite must! You can also visit the Spice Farm and Stone Town Tour which is much enjoyable. The sun comes up on the North Eastern side of the island so for those who enjoy the early morning it is a definite must see. Azanzi is definitely a place to go to."
- Travel date: Fri 5th of June 2009
Amazing hotel in a perfect location
"We booked the Azanzi hotel for 5 nights but unfortunately Precision Air cancelled the flight from Mwanza and we therefore missed the first night. Louie the manager generously offered to refund this night which was really kind.
The room we stayed in was a deluxe villa and was very spacious and bright. The bed was huge and was very comfortable. We've travelled to a few places around the world and this was one of the best rooms we've stayed in.
The bathroom has his 'n' hers sinks and a deep bathtub. There is an indoor and outdoor shower and we had our own private jacuzzi on a decked terrace.
The food was brilliant at this hotel. Never have we had so many fresh fruits. The meats and fish were also of a very high quality and everything was presented well. There was plenty of choice and the food was that good, that many people from neighbouring hotels were eating here.
Unfortunately the pool was out of service during our stay, but Louie and Brian offered free soft drinks and beer for the duration of our stay as a kind gesture.
The management and staff were very friendly and accomodating. Anything we requested they were more than happy to help. They arranged a couple of trips for us to Nungwi and Stone town.
On our last day it was my birthday and the chef's made me a cake! All the waiters and chef's were singing in Swahelli and wishing me a happy birthday which made it special and memorable.
Overall, if you are looking for a picture perfect location in paradise, and a relaxing break in a stunning hotel, then we can definitely recommend the Azanzi. We hope to visit again in the future.
Thanks to Brian, Louie, Michelle and all the fantastic staff at the Azanzi. Asante Sana!"
- Travel date: Mon 27th of April 2009
Amazing hotel--lovely rooms, great views, world-class food, friendly staff and management
"My wife and I stayed at an INCREDIBLE place at Mtemwe beach (eastern Zanzibar beach) called Azanzi, with superb food (the chef made a chocolate cake specially for us!), airy, relaxing rooms, impeccably polite (but still friendly) staff and absolutely incredible views. We met the great management team (ask to talk with "King Louie" or Michael the Chef) and had drinks and dinner with them - twice! The hospitality is top notch and the food is the best on the island, at a reasonable price.
The hotel is in a very quiet little beach village - much quieter than some of the noisy backpacker beaches further north, making it perfect for a quiet, romantic or laid back holiday. The hotel is right on the beach and within easy walking distance from a local fish market and scuba/snorkeling dive center.
After several weeks with no hot water and bug-infested tents on our African honeymoon, Azanzi was a welcome and amazing change. It was like a little mini-vacation from our honeymoon! If planning a trip to Zanzibar, think about staying at Azanzi - azanzibeachhotel.com"
- Travel date: Sun 29th of March 2009
"Heaven on earth! Our family (2 adults, 2 teenage children) were visiting Zanzibar for some well earned R&R after climbing Kilimanjaro. We were looking for a week of relaxation in Paradise but we were on a budget. We spent the first 4 days near Stone Town but after renting a car one day to explore the Island further, we found the Azanzi Beach Hotel on Matemwe beach. Until this point, we had enjoyed Zanzibar but we weren't overly impressed. Arriving at Matemwe changed that. Matemwe is a postcard perfect beach with everything you imagine in paradise. Long palm fringed stretch of pure white sand, water so warm it felt like bath water (no where have I felt water this warm before), local fishing dhows bobbing off shore, women in traditional African dress wading through the water in low tide harvesting seaweed singing swahili songs - and all of this virtually to yourself! We were seeking out Azanzi as some fellow travelers had just stayed and had good things to say, and we were hoping for a good rate as the hotel is newly opened. We were greeted by one of the convivial South African managers, Brian and a price was quoted for our family that was too good to turn down so we decided to spend the remainder of our time on Zanzibar (4 days) at Azanzi. Brian was friendly but soon proved to be even more helpful. Our rental car wouldn't start - we were parked at another resort down the beach - Brian spent almost an hour with us trying to get it to start. When we couildn't, he offered us a ride in the staff bus to return to Stone Town. As it turned out, the rental company eventually sent someone to help us but we were very appreciative of Brian's assistance. Our 4 days at Azanzi were 5 star. The resort was very quiet while we were there and the staff very attentive, but they appeared to be well trained so I have no doubt as things pick up the service will remain high quality. The hotel itself has a boutique feel to it and is very well appointed. The rooms are huge and beautifully decorated in a Zanzibar style. We stayed on the ground floor as we had 2 connecting rooms. The rooms didn't have a sea view but instead a patio looking over a lovely garden. We didn't find this to be a negative - we were not in our rooms very much during the day anyway! The bathroom was also huge, with separate toilet closet and a lovely tiled walk in shower and separate soaker tub. The hotel gardens are obviously new but already lush and will become more so as the plants mature. The pool is in the central area of the open plan and is a welcoming cool temperature (needed since the sea water is so warm). The lounge is filled with groupings of deep, cushioned chairs and couches. The restaurant areas (upstairs and down) are welcoming. There is a pool table and entertainment room with a flat screen TV (if you need a fix). The beach lounge chairs are plentiful and comfortable. We had breakfast and dinner included in the room price and the food was excellent. We are both foodies and felt the chef did an outstanding job. While we could have tried other resort restaurants along the beach for lunch, we choose to eat at Azanzi as the prices were so good (1/2 of what we were paying at the resort near Stone Town). Drink prices were also far less than other places. We loved being able to walk down towards the village and interact with the children on the beach. One day we even helped the children who were harvesting seaweed. We did take a local fishing dhow trip to nearby Mnemba island to snorkel (we opted for the budget version, against the advice of friendly Louie, another hotel manager who recommended a more expensive but more reliable operation) and this proved to be a mistake - communication was a problem, it was windy and we were put in the water quite far off shore and quickly drifted far away from the boat, there was little to see (very disappointing) and then we had to head home early as we were running out of gas! Our advice is to go with someone the hotel recommends. Overall, I'd say that Azanzi is one of the best hotels we have stayed at (and we are well traveled). The photos on the hotel website are accurate."
- Travel date: Sat 21st of March 2009
"This hotel is most definitely the best in Zanzibar! New, luxurious, (not yet crowded) boutique resort it is on the wide, long white sand beach at Matemwe. The location is close to the best diving Zanzibar has to offer.
The large rooms are all air conditioned and have ceiling fans. The pool is huge, with a swim-up bar, lounges around the pool and on the sand beach and lots of shade! The decoration and finishing all over the hotel are exquisite, with such details as hand carved pedestals under the tubs, carving around the doorways, good lighting, fashionable fabrics and quality linens. The hotel is immaculate; -service in the dining room and 2 bars is fast and courteous. Food was fresh, creative and plentiful and cocktails were under $4.00. Try the Peanut Butter Martini!
The manager, Bryan, personally arranged many details for snorkeling, tours and hotel transfer and followed up each evening to make sure we had a great time. He arranged for the honeymooners to have a private dinner on their garden deck. Did I mention the lush gardens, the upstairs bar and dining room with fantastic sea views and breezes? â¦ and the air conditioned room off the pool with a pool table and big screen TV?
Maybe you will want to request a room with a private plunge pool...just look at the pics on their site.. www.azanzibeachhotel.com We travel extensively and this would be a 4+ hotel by any standard, in any country!"
- Travel date: Wed 11th of March 2009
5* accommodation - great food/drink
"I can only echo LS13 review. Location was fantastic - right on the beach. And the swimming pool was great for a cool-down / relax. The room was one of the best rooms I have stayed in - was incredibly spacious, with a huge bed , luxurious bathroom, and there was full attention to detail on all the decor throughout (obviously very well planned). There was a significant sized balcony (not that you will spend much time there with all other amenities however!). Although we only stayed one night (due to schedule/plans) we had a fully relaxing day /night and were waited on hand and foot by the attentive staff. The food was excellent (and we had lunch/evening meal and breakfast) - and the food and drink were of high quality standard yet very cheap compared to all other bars/restaurants that we visited in Zanzibar (infact drinks were half the price of all other bars). To us, staying here was luxury for the night - and this was certainly the experience we received. All the staff we came into contact with were incredibly friendly/helpful and the manager(s) invited us to share a pre-dinner drink with them during the evening.
We had originally arrived by car and did not realise that Azanzi existed until we had booked elsewhere and found when walking along the beach. Signposts when arriving may help."
- Travel date: Fri 6th of March 2009
"We arrived at Azanzi walking on the beach. The premises were new, but once we got in, it felt like a haunt of drunkards.
The manager himself had a dubious and not always sober attitude. He spoke but evil of the neighbouring hotelkeepers. We rushed out nastily, getting away from him. Our holiday was great, but the memory of this disgusting character still remains. Besides, he didnât even seem to know the beauties of the place."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of March 2009
5 Star standard-Treat yourself!
"The hotel is right on the beach at Matemwe which has the finest white sand in Zanzibar (according to the guide books and I'm not arguing). We were staying further down the beach and after a few hot and sweaty nights without A/C we decided to try and find somewhere to get a cool nights sleep. We entered the property via the beach and were escorted by a security guard to the reception which seemed like a 10 minute walk through the open plan, wooden decked corridors, with a stream running through the middle of the hotel.
Our impression was that the hotel would be well beyond our price range but we managed to negotiate a rate with the manager which was more expensive than we had been paying but included dinner. We were debating whether to stay but seeing the room made our decision. It was huge and had a very large balcony (more like a patio) overlooking the sea. The room was tastefully decorated and everything seemed brand new (the hotel only opened in Dec 08). We agreed that the room was probably in the top 5 of any we've stayed in around the world.
There is a nice pool with a couple of bars and restaurant overlooking th beach--the food was good and surprisingly the drinks were some of the cheapest we had in Zanzibar. The managers were friendly (from South Africa) and we had a drink with them before dinner -they're obviously proud of the hotel and were keen to show off features such as rooms with outdoor showers. When we stayed we were actually the only guests which enhanced the '5 star' experience, and we had a very relaxing 24 hours at the hotel.
A couple of small negatives-- the road to the hotel is pretty rough as the hotel is one of the last along the beach at Matemwe. You'll probably need a 4wd to reach the hotel. Also, I think the room we had was one of the only ones with a sea view. Many of the rooms have a private garden but its unlikely you'd be able to see the sea from a lot of them, which could be frustrating being so close to a lovely beach.
In summary, this is a fantastic hotel in a great location. Pricing is 'top end' but its well worth giving yourself a treat and staying for a night or two."
- Travel date: Sat 28th of February 2009