9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Stay somewhere else...
"This place absolutely blows. There are no "resort" facilities (scuba, day trips, spa, etc.). The place is fallling apart and the staff is totally overwhelmed. Stay in Stone Town 5 minutes away in a taxi and get a better hotel if you want something nice (or interesting).
Oh, and the power goes out ever night at this hotel with no backup generators. The place is so sprawled out that it would be impossible anyway - poor planning. So be prepared to sweat every night.
Stay somewhere else."
- Travel date: Thu 19th of February 2009
Worst hotel ever. Stay away!
"Our company decided to hold its regional meeting here. Awful experience all around. Some of the highlights:
* Air conditioning that worked either poorly or not at all
* Electricity outages that resulted from trying to have the bedroom and bathroom light on at the same time
* A shower head that put out a thin dribble of lukewarm water
* Wireless access in the lobby that worked maybe 10% of the time
* Meals that took forever to show up. A friend literally asked for coffee a total of five times from three different wait staff before just giving up.
* Staff who reacted to basic requests (can I please have electricity / air conditioning / a hot shower?) with a look of either annoyance or indifference
* A "beach" that is nothing but mud and rocks, and often smelled like sewage and rotting fish. The real sand beach does not start for several hundred meters down the coast.
Please please avoid this hotel. We could not have had a worse experience."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of February 2009
Very poor value
"Stayed here for a conference at 50% of published rate. with this reduction it was just about acceptable. while some of the staff are friendly, many are not. There is clearly no management in the hotel and our visit for a few days had a number of issues related to poor service, staff who seemed to find guests annoying and a general air of neglect.
The final insult was a credit card 5% charge and n attempt to round it up to the nearest dollar.
I certainly would not pay my own money to stay there on holiday."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of February 2009
Nice hotel but hopeless staff
"I have stayed in the Zanzibar Beach Resort a few times. It has always had nice rooms and facilities but the organisation and staffing is hopeless.
I first stayed in 2006 with a group and we had lots of problems. The reception gave us a room with no beds in it (YES, NO BEDS!) and then after locking our valuables in the main safe the receptionist took the key home and was having the next day off when we needed to pay up and leave! The staff were hopeless and made mistakes with food and drinks.
I returned in Dec 2008 (not my choice) to discover that nothing had changed. A friend ordered a cheeseburger and was given a bun with only cheese in it,the barman made a huge mess of the drinks bill and at midnight on New Year's Eve they managed to blow all the hotel fuses and leave us in complete darkness.
There are much better choices actually in the centre of Stone Town. I would recommend Chavda Hotel or Dhow Palace."
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of January 2009
Bad service...worse beach
"The service was consistent...consistently bad! The food was only average. The pool was too dirty to use. The beach was the worst I have ever seen. In fact, it is ironic given the hotels name.
I would avoid this hotel at all costs!"
- Travel date: Wed 14th of January 2009
Not a recommended option for beach holidays
"We were expecting to have a beach at the Zanzibar Beach resort. In face they have a beach but it is absolutely useless, no sand (just mud). The hotel is quite close to the capital (Stone Town) and therefore is more suitable for business meetings rather than holidays. The best beaches of the Island are in the North.
The service was below average, same with clealiness and food.
In particular the person in chair of the guest relations was a pain in the neck, just to give you an idea we could not book any trip or activity via the hotel because this person did not have any information (what a way of doing business here) and one day it took us several hours to get towels for the swimming pool (that was not very clean either).
The hotel may be OK for a day or two to visit Stone Town or Business and it depends on how much you pay. if not just avoid it."
- Travel date: Fri 14th of September 2007
Nice for a short break
"We stayed here for 3 nights at the end of a trip through Kenya and Tanzania. After camping for a few weeks the Zanzibar Beach Resort was a welcome break.
The room was fairly basic but a good size and clean with a nice balcony overlooking the gadens below and sea beyond.
The food was buffet style and OK with a reasonable selection, although some of the desserts were not to my taste (good for starting the post holiday diet!).
Only thing I did find (and also others in our group) was that maths didn't seem to be the strongest point of the bar staff ....so worth always double checking the addition as it didn't tend to work out in our favour!
As others have mentioned the beach isn't the world's best, in my opinion if beaches are your thing you would be better staying elsewhere or taking some day trips to beaches elsewhere on the island. We found the pool was OK, large, clean, nice temperature with a swim up bar.
The sunsets from the hotel are lovely, and the location is good for trips into Stone Town.
Probably wouldn't be my first choice for a long holiday, but was good for a 3 night break."
- Travel date: Sun 9th of September 2007
Interesting - though out of the way....
"We stayed at the Zanzibar Beach Resort for 7 days, in early Sept 2006. The resort is located approx 10mins drive out of Stone Town. It is set in a Bay, with a local fishing village right beside it.
We arrived in Zanzibar on the night of the 10th Sept. (note: You can purchase your entry visa at the airport, for approx. USD$70, if you are flying in internationally). Zanzibar airport is a very small airport, nothing flash. We were picked up by the Resort in a minibus.
Our first impression of the resort as we drove up, was "this isn't too bad", the foyer looked quite exotic with billowing curtains, the sound of fountains, and those beautiful Zanzibar chests.
Reception is tucked down to the right as you work in...took us a couple of seconds to work that out...as we went straight to guest relations guest, assuming that it was Reception.
Check in was not a hassle. The Porters were very helpful and friendly (please be advised that tipping is not a requirement in Zanzibar- which we found out later).
Our room was ok, but at the rate of USD$106 per night, we were expecting something better then the basic, no view, back of the kitchen, accommodation that we were given.
The lamp beside the bed did not work, the hot water took almost 5mins to heat up and there was no tea/coffee making facilities in the room (when we asked reception about this, their response was â âUse the dining roomâ).
The Room itself was large enough and the bathroom was big â though it did need a lot of work- a slap of paint does not cover up major building defects- there was a large crack down the side of the bath tub wall.
Housekeeping was very friendly and the rooms were kept very clean. At night a guy would go around and spray the all rooms and hallways with insecticide (malaria is a problem â donât forget to get tablets before travelling). Mozzies are a problem at the hotel, sitting on our balcony at dusk, you are almost carried away â take mozzie coils if you intend on doing this.
The hotel advertised a full resort gym....hmmm....only the rower worked...everything else was pushed into a corner...
The buffet breakfast was good, with a wide selection of fruit, and hot and cold food. Though they could make a bit of effort and serve decent coffee instead of instant.
On the last day of our stay, breakfast was terrible. It consisted of what looked like âleft oversâ from the big function the hotel had the pervious evening.
A travelling companion, who was staying in another room in the resort, had $300USD stolen from his room - there are no hotel safes. We looked our valuables in our bags and locked the bags in the closet - rather then putting them in the hotel safe.
Getting from the Resort from Stone Town can get a bit expensive. Use the taxis which are located just outside the hotel gate, they are a lot cheaper then the hotel ones. Remember to barter with the driver, from memory we were paying AUD$6 one way.
If you are planning on going to Zanzibar, stay at one of the nicer hotels/resorts in stone town."
- Travel date: Sun 18th of February 2007
Well located for stone town
"Stayed here as a five night package with Kuoni. The welcome by the staff was very warm. If you are staying in a standard room, I would recommend asking for a first floor room, you might get to see the sea. The sunset seen from the balcony is mesmerising but watch our for the plethora of mossies!!
The rooms are basic but are decorated in Zanzibar style with iroko wood four poster beds.
I found the meals a little ropey and breakfast was particularly inedible, but if you are looking for somewhere near a beach but not to far from town this is you place! Granted the beach here is not the best but it is a great base to explore.
Rather than signing up for the excursions they sell, try hiring a car/ minivan and doing it with a driver ( approx $80 dollars) for the day and split between three/ four can work out cheaper - we managed to see the spice plantations/ jozani and nungwi in a day (what an experience!)
Only ten minutes from the airport but there is really no disruption!"
- Travel date: Sat 6th of January 2007