9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Kichanga - Great holiday
"We stayed at Kichanga Lodge for one week. The resort is quite small so we found it very relaxing and really enjoyed our stay. Kichanga is on the quieter side of the island and has a private section of beach so you are able to take a walk without being hounded by hawkers. The bar and restaurant area is housed in a wooden building which is inkeeping with the environment and creates a very romantic atmosphere in the evenings. The staff are very friendly and really helpful. The bungalow we stayed in was very clean and comfortable with a fantastic sea view. The food was also very good with a buffet for breakfast and dinner. We would recommend this resort to couples and families who are looking for a really relaxing break in a great location."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of August 2009
"We stayed at Kichanga for 6 nights in January. The dining area and lounge/bar areas are very relaxed and made of natural materials. Lots of chill out music played and the sounds of the waves crashing on the reef. We moved rooms from number 17, the VIP suite, which was huge but had dodgy electricity and was very dark. High winds also made it very windy. We swapped to a bungalow which had a beautiful verandah complete with hammock. Bed was great , really firm. Bathroom is basic and had some problems flushing. Food was what was disappointing. The first night was great - a buffet with lots of choices. Breakfast similarly. But then a large party checked out and there were about 6 of us left in the hotel so no buffet, just the same menu almost every night - grilled fish or meat with rice or potatoes and a salad plus fruit. We didnt take lunch as it was $15. Instead we did get a platter of tropical fruit every afternoon which was delicious.
Overall a nice place to stay but not very good if the hotel has few guests as the food choices go downhill and the staff get very relaxed."
- Travel date: Sun 1st of February 2009
"oslo, september 2008
we stayed at Kichanga Lodge for our honeymoon. we had 9 days at Kichanga and we loved evey second of it. it was great, the managment and staff was so friendly and professional and the food was magnificient.
it is a very small hotel with only 20 bungalows it is so quite , nature is still untouched . every thing has been buit in harmony with the place. Kichanga in swahili means "small" keep your small number , keep looking after your guest so well. we loved our honeymoon we will never forget you all . hope to come back one day with our children. Jambo"
- Travel date: Tue 16th of September 2008
Fantastic - Kichanga Lodge
"thankyou all for a fantastic stay here at kichanga lodge. The week was full of wonderful people, food, service and the faboulous house we were staying in. we will be back soon.
thank you so much . we love you all"
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of August 2008
Beautiful setting and beach, but the rooms are fairly basic for the price
"The setting for Kichanga is absolutely beautiful. The huts are up on the hillside overlooking a stunning beach with brilliant turquoise water and a long stretch of coral. The food is probably one of the major strengths of this hotel, with a wonderful buffet for all meals, which means there is a huge selection for each meal. The rooms are nice, although they are fairly basic for what you are paying (just a fan and no air-con or a TV) and our toilet door didn't close properly and the shower wasn't the best (not always that hot). Also, the resort is quite expensive by Zanzibar standards (e.g. transfers to and from the hotel, drinks). The pool is quite small and you have to be careful walking up and down the beach if you have anything valuable (although this is normal for Tanzania). You can't fault the stunning location and the relaxing atmosphere. So you will have an amazing time here, but it is perhaps not what you would expect for what you are paying (not too bad for UK standards but certainly not cheap by Tanzanian!). It is also quite isolated (which is what a lot of people want) and they do accept credit cards, which is useful for Zanzibar!"
- Travel date: Thu 31st of July 2008
"we stayed in Kichanga Lodge ( you call it resort) but it's called Kichanga Lodge from the 20 june 2008 for 7 nights.
For us it's one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to.
The beach is incredible, the nature and the style of the lodge is what we were looking for . All the staff is so nice always smiling always very helpful. We did many excursions aound the island but in no place we found the atmosphere that we found in Kichanga. Our bungalow was very clean, the food always very fresh and very good.
I travel a lot and I enjoy gooing to new places but for sure I will come back to Kichanga Lodge. Keep it as it is because it's really beautifull."
- Travel date: Sun 27th of July 2008
Little Italy on Zanzibar -not a choice for those looking for something authentic
"We had booked 5 nights at the Kichanga resort through our agency. After a week on safari (with very simple tented camps that still gave us a wonderful feeling of being in the wild nature but at the same time with care of the managers/staff around us) our arrival at Kichanga was already quite a disappointment: it takes you a 1.5 km long road, that is partially sided by garbage dumps, to get you to the hotel and which does not invite you to leave the hotel on your own by foot. So more or less, you know from your arrival that you will have to stay on the hotel's areal (if not getting on a paid organized trip somewhere on the island).
At the front desk we had a very nice welcome but we noticed immediately: the staff speaks fluent Italian, the food announcement for the evening was Italian and all other guests that we saw at the first moment were Italians. Definitely not what one expects when he goes on holiday south of the Equator!
(If we want to go to Italy, then we go there. We have lots of friends in Italy and love it; but it's just not what we were looking for after our safari.)
The cottage was disappointing: very spare furniture, the bed was not clean (the sheets were nicely placed but when we had a closer look, it was clear they weren't clean.). Of course they changed that immediately but still, for 230 US $ per night, it's not what one might expect. There was not even space to place your clothes from the day (except one chair and a tiny desk - not much in a double room). The windows had no glass (we could live without that), but the moskito nets in them were also not covering well. The bathroom was in a rather shabby condition. No a/c in the rooms. The door key was so simple, you could just have not had a key at all. In fact, the first thing they asked us for was to put all our valuables in a small key looked safe next to the front desk that we could access anytime). Definitely not ok.
The garden was big but not well looked after. It looked rather like an old meadow with some sad plants on it.
The food was good, yes, it was Italian, but if we didn't know, we could have really thought we were in Italy.
The beach is quite small, depending on the tides. There is no possibility for long walks on the beach at high tide. So you're more or less stuck at the hotel.
The beach chairs were so simple, they were just flat; no chance to lay down comfy and read a book.
Though the staff was indeed very very friendly and nice, we decided to leave Kichanga after one night. We found a place in the North of Zanzibar, the Flame Tree Cottages, where we spent the next 4 nights. The difference between the two hotels is huge. The Flame Tree Cottages cost much less, the service was better, there was AC in the rooms, the beach was nice and clean as well, but you could walk along the beach at any tide...
We don't recommend the Kichanga to anybody who is looking for a simple, nice and cared for place. All in all: The Kichanga Beach Hotel is a cheap package holiday hotel. It rather had the atmosphere of a place that the owner uses to laundry money, than of nice and simple place to relax. It is not well kept and certainly not worth the money we paid for it. There are better places on Zanzibar that even cost much less."
- Travel date: Sun 9th of March 2008
A lovely setting with very friendly staff
"The Kichanga Resort is set in well-tended natural gardens fronting on to a really fabulous beach. The sand is white and soft and the sea is warm, clear and calm. The tides on this east coast of Zanzibar are very large, i.e.; the sea goes out a long way from the beach at low tide - this is not necessarily a hardship because with the aid of beach shoes (provided by the hotel if required) one can wade out and check out the rock pools and look at the various flora and fauna. The snorkelling trips are also well worth going on.
Our room was spacious and clean with a very comfortable bed, and the most wonderful view of the beach/sea from our large veranda - which had a really cool hammock - great for relaxing. Also the main bar/sitting area had a lovely laid-back ambience and was somewhere very enjoyable to sit in the evening and enjoy the warm breeze.
The hotel seems to cater mainly for Italians on package tours - but don't let this put you off. At the time of our stay I think we were the only non-Italians staying there, but we were made to feel more than welcome. The hotel staff were terrific, very friendly, efficient and kind - and they made a real effort to ensure we had a good time. The food was great - all served buffet style, but with plenty of choice for everyone."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of March 2008
"The bungalows have been built in 2005, but are in a horrible state. The furniture is absolutely cheap, the bathroom is filthy and dirty.
The hotel is owned by Italians, that's why the guests are 90% Italians, that have obviously no idea about how to behave in an islamic country.
Apart from the fact that there was a mass of ants and lizzards on the terrace, we had a rat living in our cottage. As the roof is holey, the rat kept running in and out the whole night. The only explanation we got was "well we are in the nature" - well, that's why we accepted the ants and lizzards, but we definitely don't accept rats in a hotel that costs 230 Dollars per night.
Dinner is served as a buffet from 8 - 9 pm, which is quite short, the dishes used to be cold. Drinks are quite expensive.
Although the beach is ok, there are definitely much nicer places on this beautiful island, that are not as expensive as Kichanga.
If your are looking for a nice, calm place, and if you don't fly to Africa to eat pizza and pasta, then we would recommend to go somewhere else."
- Travel date: Wed 16th of January 2008