17 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
5 star Cristal
"Cristal Resort was fantastic - absolutely idyllic. We stayed in both the eco bungalows ($50 pn) and the deluxe rooms. Personally I preferred the bungalows but absolutely nothing amiss with the deluxe rooms. We also had the seafood buffet for 2 and it was amazing - huge lobsters, crab, tuna - it had it all. The staff were fantastic, very accommodating and the place was spotless. Its just steps away from the beach and if you have enough of the beach it has its own pool. Breakfast was gorgeous too!"
- Travel date: 21st December 2007
Beware the Poisoned Dwarf
"We could have had a pleasant stay at Cristal Resort. The location is fantastic, the rooms are fine and the prices are reasonable. But the owners are a nightmare. In particular the woman, named Deva. She is constantly dressing down her staff in front of guests. She asked my 3 year old son to leave the swimming pool because he had brought a friend whom he had made on the beach earlier in the day to swim with him!! And she didn't ask directly but sent her manager to ask and they then shouted back and forth to each other in French. These are the most unbelievably rude people I have ever encountered in the tourist industry. Avoid staying at Cristal if you can. There are plenty of places in Paje with the same standard of accommodation and pleasant management. Deva should find another job."
- Travel date: 10th September 2007
we have been twice
"After staying 10 days in March 2006 we decided to spend 1 week in March 2007 thinking to move out for the second week of our holiday. We did not, and decided to spend another week after it. The location is very good. The hotel is definitely the best value in the whole island (for what we have checked). Occasional problems with electricity and plumbing are not enough to spoil the experience especially because you are in Africa and many of the competitors have the same problems, sometimes worse.... With the swimming pool in place now this place would be absolute value. Definitely the establishment s not perfect: but still is it perfection that you are after in your holiday travel? Certainly there are a few letdowns: even though the breakfast is good standard the service is not very efficient; the food ( lunch and dinner) is definitely not at the level of some other establishments in Paje ( top of the list for great food is Japanese owned Paradise Beach ). Management of Cristal Resort is ok besides some misunderstandings that may occur since they are young people new to the business. You cannot say that they do not try to meet your needs. If they are not successful it could be or not excused...up to people's choice and expectations. If we will go back again to Zanzibar we will definitely stay at Cristal Resort again."
- Travel date: 29th June 2007
The best beach and hotel!!
"My boyfriend and I have traveled a lot and we loved, loved, loved this place! We spent five weeks there and I felt so at home. The beach is beyond beautiful with that out of this world blue and the baby powder white beach. The hotel was great because everyone has their own bunglow which looks out at the Indian Ocean and your not trapped in a box hotel. The people that ran it were so nice to us, we fell in love with the people who worked there and the hotel dog named Jazz! I liked it because you could be social and talk to the other guests who would hang out in (what I called it) the great house that had the bar and restaurent; or you could walk up and down the beach and feel pretty alone. The rooms were very clean (they cleaned them every day) . The hotel wasn't pretentious and it kind of feels rustic, but fancy at the same time. We are definitly going back I heard that the pool is finished which is nice if you get bored swimming in the ocean! Make sure you take Ujudi a snickers bar its his favorite, he will love you forever!! Leslie Clark , Seattle Washington . U.S.A."
- Travel date: 21st June 2007
House of fear!
"Firstly hotel has great location, the beach was just what we were searching for. Paje really has a special charm. The whole strech of beach was incredible not over run with tourists. We walked the length of this part of coast down to end of Jambiani and upto Bweju vilage. Searching for somewhere to escape to incidentally! We found this place after staying 1 night at Paje Bungalows, they hadn't vacancies so we moved to Cristal. The room was fine and decent value but bare, few plumbing and electric issues and damned noisy generator. However we decided to make a sharp exit after witnessing some truly awful scenes. The owners/ mangers were a young french couple with serious attitude problems towards their hotel staff and guests. Some staff seemed a little out of their depth but hey maybe poor training is to blame. We had seen enough when we witnessed the young female owner freak out over a bill at the guest on next table at breakfast and order her to leave the hotel immediately. I'm not joking the lady was really distressed and must have spolit her holiday. It certainly left a nasty impression and we were not the only guests to cut short our stay."
- Travel date: 12th February 2007
ok if u dont want to shower
"Had a good stay, however , we had real problems with the plumbing. We both thought that at the price we were paying these should have been foreseen and dealt with more efficiently. It is a beautiful location tho'."
- Travel date: 16th September 2006
Paradise on the East Coast
"We stayed for three nights at the delightful Cristal Resort after our safari trip on the mainland. The bungalows are beautiful - the best in Paje by far! We could lie in bed and look out at the beautiful beach. The place is run by a charming French couple who are obviously putting a lot of effort into ensuring that this new hotel is a success. The food was of a high standard and the breakfast was the best that we experienced on Zanzibar - with a gorgeous view of the beach to top it off! I would recommend it as a great place to recover from a hectic safari. There isn't much to do in Paje but relax! The only downside were the electrical problems - with the hot water not lasting too long and the lights being a little dim at night."
- Travel date: 29th August 2006
"The 'resort' is small scale and situated at a beautiful piece of beach on the south east coast of Zanzibar. It presents itself as a four star holiday resort. However, the warm water in the airconditoned rooms (but no possibility to open a window!!!) is only sufficient for one person to take a shower, let alone sufficient to fill the bath tub every room has and the resort brags about. Water pressure also not guaranteed at all times. Pool has been under construction for some time (concluding after the wealth of plants growing in the current construction) and it looks it will probably be under construction for quite some more time since the focus is now on establishing more room accomodation. During the day construction work is being performed for the new wooden huts, not adding to a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Quality of kitchen/food is pretty good, prices reasonable but staff has little experience in serving customers (drinks in wrong glasses, tables prepared wrongly, breakfast served in random order). Rooms are clean. All rooms are claimed to have sea view. But the (beautiful) restaurant area was between our room and the sea (same for some other rooms). The set up of the cabins is wrong: other guests (and the owners)have to pass in front of the cabins to get their own cabin. Result: no way to e.g. watch the sea or sun rise from your bed or walk around freely in your room after showering and/or dressing with your curtains open. The owners are French and definitely have a bad attitude. The man does not pay any attention at all to the guests. The women (named Deva) is beautiful but unable to make a proper calculation or have a decent conversation with the guests. Guests are at no time informed about facilities or possibilities in or around the resort. Overall: nice beach location of the resort, beautiful restaurant area, good kitchen, reasonable prices of food, good willing but definitely not 4-star service, lack of privacy in rooms, lack of a quiet atmosphere and uninterested French owners."
- Travel date: 31st July 2006
Hotel not paradise but beach superb
"Maybe will be better when is finished to be build and maybe new manager. They say in advertistment has swimming pool but is not being build. Air condition in room don't work. We were not happy here, the owners is not very friendly for Italian people. The room was ok but a lot of problem for electricitiy. Beach is very good, white sand blua and green clear water. After 2 night we move to other hotel but the owner don't want to give refund our money. We can reccommend the Arabian Nights Hotel for great kindness to us and making our holiday so happy eventualy. Paje is very beautiful beach and people very friendly. It is worth to visit but the Cristal Hotel is unnecesary, stay cheaper in many place or pay for Arabian Night!"
- Travel date: 3rd July 2006
Good on its way to being Great~!
"While incredibly new, and therefore not quite finished, the private bungalow rooms are the nicest and classiest that we have seen anywhere in TZ. With floor to ceiling windows, white draperies which you can pull accross for privacy, an elegant four poster bed, and a luxurious bathroom with an actual bathtub!, this hotel was a spectacular retreat. The owners are young and new at the business, but were polite and accommodating. The resuraunt is a fabulous design, open and elegant, and the bar is the shape of a large sailboat, complete with sail. All in all, although the newness means the kinks are still being worked out, this hotel promises to be one of the most exclusive and nicest in Paje, and even in its nascent stages, it offered us delightful meals with high qulaity and unusual ingredients creatively combined, cool refreshments, and the most comfortable room and bath we'd had in months of travel."
- Travel date: 23rd June 2006
Warm and homely atmosphere
"We have spent 9 wonderful days at Cristal Resort in May 2006. Already at the booking we got a very good impression of the hotel and its owners. Prompt replies in fluent English to our requests by email and on the phone gave us a totally different experience from all other contacts we had tried in Tanzania, and Zanzibar in particular. Still, you never know what a place is like before you actually arrive. The hotel arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport. He was waiting for us and took us safely across the island to Paje. Arriving at the hotel we were welcomed warmly by the young owners, Deva and Ivan. There are 5 bungalows in a neat row behind the main house. The bungalows are equipped with both air con and a fan which gives you a choice depending on your preference. The bathroom is very spacious and far beyond our expectations. The room was kept clean and tidy throughout our stay and the mosquito net was draped and the air around our bed sprayed with repellent every evening. Cristal Resort is set on the most beautiful part of the Paje beach, much due to daily raking and cleaning by the hotel. From the main house you have a wonderful view of the Indian Ocean through the palm trees. The beach has beautiful white coral sand and the water is crystal clear giving an appropriate name to the place. We enjoyed lying relaxing and reading in the hammocks that were tied to palm trees. On our long walks along the beach we came across numerous exotic shells, and we were watching the daily work of the local women collecting sea weeds or preparing coconut fibres and the men fishing on upcoming tide. Being there at the end of the rainy season we also spent quite some time in the open and spacious main house where there are comfortable coaches and chairs. There is a restaurant in the same space where we had our meals. Every morning we were welcomed with freshly squashed juice and delicious tropical fruit salad as a starter. and the restaurant was visited frequently by guests from other hotels, many came back night after night. Our favourite dishes were their Papillotte Fish of the Day and the Chicken Curry with bananas. We went on excursions to Zanzibar Town and to a farm where they grow spices. The same reliable driver took us anywhere we desired and could even tell us a few good stories along the road. The hotel arranged a local outrigger boat for us to go snorkelling. We have been to the Great Barrier Reef, to Fiji and Samoa in the Pacific and had very few expectations for this excursion. We were taken totally by surprise at the diversity of species at this place right behind the outer reef. We also liked the fact that the hotel uses local people to take the tourists to the attractions. Since we were in the low season we were actually all alone behalf another couple from the hotel. We highly recommend snorkelling in Paje! The owners of Cristal Resort are astonishingly young and in our opinion very courageous. They have moved to a new continent, followed their dream and managed to build up this resort in a short time. At the moment they are working at upgrading the garden. They are also waiting for their swimming pool to be finished as soon as possible. We enjoyed every day of our stay. The atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and homely. The staff is helpful and eager to make you feel comfortable. You can be so private or familiar as you choose yourself â there is always someone there if you need a meal, a drink or just a chat. The waiter who is working there is local and gave us lots of information about the community and even helped us when we were shopping in the village. He also arranged for us to visit the local primary school when he understood we were interested. When we had to return home we felt like leaving good friends behind. We will certainly come back to this hotel if we ever go to Zanzibar again. We can recommend it most warmly. AS&P, Trondheim, Norway"
- Travel date: 17th June 2006
Just Loved It !!
"My husband and I stayed for 8-fabulous days at the Cristal Resort, Paje Beach, S.E. Zanzibar last February 2006. Lazy lazy days â sprawl in a hammock â swim in the ocean - walk on the beautiful white sand beach for kilometers on end all lacing the edge of that stunningly lovely Indian Ocean of azure blue. The sparkling white sand is cool on the feet â what a surprise !! Shoes not needed. Nap under a Makuti roof on the beach â when the tide is out, walk for 2 k through small pools of water and clean sand to where the women harvest their sea weed. Or walk out just a little bit and sit in the small pools and have a snooze :) There are no sea urchins, no rip tide nor garbage to worry about. Then of course there are numerous tours to take and diving/snorkeling/fishing expeditions galore. Rent a bike. On Paje Beach at The Cristal - âRush Hourâ can honestly be described as one fellow riding his bike on the white sands and possibly 2 local women harvesting sea weed â and thatâs it. It is that peaceful at The Cristal. The food and service, was so good, that travellers from other accommodations made a point of walking down the beach to eat at the Cristal. And Deva, Owner/Manageress, would make a point of individually welcoming all. I spent a good part of my mornings diddling over breakfast in their large, airy and well appointed restaurant and was being continuously spoiled by various staff concerned as to what I might want for breakfast â¦ âHave I had enough ?â - - - Enough of what ? I ask myself . . . . as I soak in the spectacular view and the peace and quiet. Nooooo â I donât think I shall ever have had enough :)"
- Travel date: 16th June 2006
Cristal Resort is also called
- Cristal Resort Ltd
- cristal hotel zanzibar
- cristal hotel ltd