10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Steeling money out of the pocket of quests, Quality equal to 3 star not 5 star
"At Zanzibar we decided to stay at Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel and had to pay all 3 days in advance (cash!! no credit cards accepted). Due to business problems we had to cancel the 2nd and 3rd day just on arrival. We claimed for at least a partial refund. No way - not even a glass of wine. So we lost USD 820.00 for two nights.
It was the the only hotel in Tanzania/Zanzibar where they treat all guests like criminels (taking photocopies of passport on entrance, checking every dollar ticket, not trust the guests declaration of minibar etc.).
Price of USD 410.00 per person and night (halfboard) is absolutely excessive compared with the price of Matemwe Beach (USD 210.00 per person, Fullboard, beautiful cottage with ocean view and fantastic garden, friendly service etc.)"
- Travel date: Thu 16th of March 2006
Honeymoon at Ras Nungwi
"After a blissfull and fantastic 4 nights at Little Governor's Camp in the Masai Mara, my lovely wife and I were transferred to the exotic island of Zanzibar where we were to spend 5 nights at Ras Nungwi hotel for the remainder of our Honeymoon holiday; 25th February - 2nd March 2006.
Following an hours journey from the airport to the resort at the Northern tip of the island over very rough roads, we were greeted in a friendly manner by the courteous Staff and given a much-appreciated welcome drink and learned that they had asked the Chef to remain on duty as we were late due to a very delayed transfer. A hearty thanks to the Ras Nungwi Staff for that.
We had opted for a Garden View room which turned out to be quite satisfactory with its very large bed and ensuite. The airconditioning proved to be very good but, unfortunately, our arrival seemingly heralded a night of intense thunderstorm activity and the main line power and generator took a beating and power was intermittent for the remainder of our stay.
The resort's public facilities including restaurant, bar, pool and general seating areas were very nice, indeed the meals were generally good: the chef is particularly good at preparing dishes using the local spices and fruits to great effect. The only food that proved a bit dodgy was a lunch that my wife took that subsequently gave her an upset stomach for a day.
The beach was the main reason for our going to Zanzibar and we weren't disappointed, the local stretch of coast upon which Ras Nungwi is situated is pristine and idyllic. We thoroughly rested and enjoyed the light blue Indian Ocean water.
We would have liked to go snorkelling but the weather was against us sadly albeit it was still fine for sunbathing and swimming. Exploring the rest of the island from Ras Nungwi is possible but we declined given that the roads were rough and travel to Stone Town etc would need an hour + each way.
Chris, the Manager, proved to be friendly and likeable - a very good windsurfer too! - and the Staff were friendly and approachable. I will, however, state that after the sublime service we received at Little Governor's Camp in Kenya that the Ras Nungwi Staff could take a leaf out of their book for that added personal touch; while adequate and mostly good, we couldn't help but to compare and missed the service we received in Kenya. The most disappointing aspect of this was the relatively frosty reception we received when settling our final bill; goodbyes, how-was-your-stay etc are not their strong point it would seem.
We had an enjoyable time at Ras Nungwi on the whole but felt the service could have been a bit better at times in terms of their being more attentive and not needing to be chased after. We were offered a free bottle of wine by our Waiter and told as Honeymooner's it would be given to us on the last evening we were there but this never materialised. We also felt some compensation would have been nice for the lack of electricity at times - no torch or candles in our room and pitch nights were not good combinations; fortunately I had packed a torch for the earlier safari. The faulty generator ought to have had spares on hand so as to prevent this problem in our opinion.
Finally, if it is sun and beach you are after, I would venture that you could do a lot worse than Ras Nungwi and Zanzibar is indeed lovely but next time we will probably conclude our safari holiday with a trip to Mombasa."
- Travel date: Sat 4th of March 2006
Not the best.........
"Given that we stayed here after 4 nights on Mnemba Island, which is paradise, it was always going to be a hard act to follow, however, here's just a brief summary of our thoughts:
1. We stayed in the Ocean Suite which is pretty expensive but very, very nice. It is practically like having your own villa within the hotel - with a small private plunge pool, airy living room and nice ensuite double bedroom (with one of the only baths on the island!!). It also has an amazing upstairs open air living space with wonderful sofas etc. and great views.
2. The biggest problem was the food - we thought it was pretty shocking really although other guests seemed quite satisfied. Generally speaking, there was plenty of it but it just wasn't of great quality.
3. The staff are very friendly and sweet. Service is not always 100% but that's Zanzibar, as with French Polynesia, it's part of the charm of the people.
4. The resort has one of the very few pools on the island but it needs it, as the beach is really not up to much and it's practically impossible to swim as it's so shallow for such a long way out.
5. Raz Nungwi is on the northernmost tip of the island so is quite a long way from Stone Town etc. if you want to have a look around.
Overall, we would not rate this as value for money and would recommend that you try somewhere else. That said, we went to escape from the intense heat and thunderstorms, so the aircon was a big draw for us and a lot of the guests seem to enjoy it but we found it distinctly lacking in charm."
- Travel date: Fri 3rd of March 2006
A deceptive and shoddy hotel
"This is a very deveptive hotel. It positions itself as an up market hotel but the reality is far from the truth. It is run by extremely unprofessional management that refuse to refund and demand payment in advance.
For the first time visitor to Zanzibar they would be fooled by the decor of the hotel as authentic but in fact the hotel was built on a shoestring budget and represents little of local culture or design. It is the most expensive hotel on the island and we had executive rooms 11 and 12 that had limited sea views (though we paid extra for it), the furniture was very 1 star standard and the bathroom was inadequate and uncomfortable (see pictures).
Dinner was pleasant though the choice was extremely restrictive as it was table d'hote, yet breakfast was shambolic with unconvered plates of fruit that swarmed with flies.
Better value hotels exist on the island that represent more of zanzibari experience and value."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of February 2006
A rare haven of complete paradise in this stressed out world!
"We stayed at this hotel after an exhilarating but exhausting week long safari on the mainland, Tanzania. We came here to completely unwind, rest and chill out and that is exactly what this hotel enabled us to do!
We were greeted on arrival by the manager and given a welcoming cocktail and a briefing of the hotel.
We stayed in a garden lodge room nestled amongst wonderful landscaped gardens and colourful flowers and we could even see the turqoise ocean (room 25). The room had all the amenities including air-con, a ceiling fan but no TV. The bathroom had a shower. The suite was cleaned to a high standard every day.
The winelist and restaurant were top class, with very interesting and somewhat daring fusion cuisine including dishes such as fillet of beef with chilli-chocolate sauce! The fish dishes were delicious.
Very friendly local staff and a lively bar until about 1030pm then everybody hits the sack!
The beach was spotless and of soft white sand. The ocean was very warm. The shore line was rocky -would advise jelly shoes.
We stayed 4 nights at this haven of paradise - not suitable for young children (too quiet). Fantastic diving available with PADI 5 star instructors. Went on a sunset dhow cruise that was also great fun!
Had a wonderful time!"
- Travel date: Thu 19th of January 2006
"After an enjoyable yet busy safari we were very happy to kick back and relax and Ras Nungwi. It's such a peaceful place - uncrowded, and relaxed. Unfortunately our first choice of room wasn't available and so we had to use one of the garden lodges. Actually this turned out for the better as we saved money and anyway, alot of the chalets didn't have sea views.
Best wine list we've ever seen and the dinners were out of this world. We could have stayed for another week! The local village staff and the chef were particularly good.
Great place to end out honeymoon and wish we had booked for another week!"
- Travel date: Sun 13th of November 2005
"I didn't stay at this hotel (although my friend did two weeks before and had a great stay) but went there for dinner. Found the staff to be just great and the general manager (Chris) to be very friendly, professional and helpful."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of November 2005
Hotel management should be sacked
"We won't return here. It isn't a bad hotel, and on first sight it looks very nice indeed. But for $240 anight, one expects more than a lousy $20 matress, showers with hardly any water, old, broken-down beach chairs and a mediocre kitchen at best; going home with diarhea is not my idea of a great 5 star hotel... This hotel is definitely not run by hospitality professionals."
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of November 2005
A True Oasis!
"A TRUE OASIS! I have just returned from my third visit to Ras Nungwi and it was as restful and relaxing as ever! Aside from the natural beauty one of the things that has kept me coming back is its consistency. Perhaps because it has remained under the same thoughtful ownership/management for the six years since my first visit, but whatever the reason, I have come to enjoy the first class experience I know I will have there and to look forward to discovering what's new since my last stay; be it a better wine list, a new bungalow, or a new adventure on offer. I am already looking forward for my next stay!"
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of November 2005
Its a must...
"I stayed at Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel during October with my husband. We are newly married and this was our honeymoon. We stayed in a chalet adjacent to the beach for 7 nights and were very happy with our choice. The room was bright and airy although we made considerable use of the air-conditioner. The furnishings were traditional African and blended in very well with the rest of the hotel. The view was amazing and we sat outside our room each morning just soaking it in before wandering up for breakfast. The restaurant had an interesting a-la-carte menu which made good use of local dishes and every meal was a new experience â highly recommended. The bar has a good range of South African wines and some interesting cocktails â all very reasonably priced! My husband is a scuba diver and said that the diving was the best he had ever experienced - I preferred the swimming pool area, though the white sandy beach and the massage lady did tempt me down on several occasions! The service was good, a little slow at times, but this was more than made up for by the warm and friendly manner in which we were served. The management were also friendly and quietly efficient. We were greeted personally by the General Manager himself (Chris) upon check-in and each member of management made a point of introducing themselves during our stay to make sure we were happy. If you are looking for a honeymoon destination in a great location with warm and personal service, or simply a place to relax and step out of the world I highly recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of November 2005