Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Cloves on the Beach
"This was an impressive hotel on the edge of the Indian Ocean. The key to the success of the trip had a great deal to do with ambiance. Walking into the place is like walking into an Omani palace. Its design has clearly stood the test of time. The management especially the GM Zach offered us the run of the place. This was especially important given the size of our group which was 25. Our post trip meetings have been filled with little, charming stories of what the hotel did for individuals in a quiet and unassuming way. One young lady needed help with private affairs, another some direction for mail and communications. Another was allergeric and needed help from the cooks. Each of these problems was addressed with taste and class.
There were a few drunken yabbos in the hotel during our stay. What impressed me was the way in which the staff was able to address these folks without causing general disarray. It is a skill to handle a drunk without disturbing the general tenor of the room. The folks running this place are obviously well trained in the art of managing.
Food struck me as quite impressive. The salad plates were particularly impressive. We did have to train our waiter to bring a single bill at the end of the meal or evening instead of one per drink but even this was a funny rather than annoying excursion into trust building.
The all inclusive choice here was the right one as it is easy to while away the hours under the palms with an occasional pint. The beach is talc sand pure white with tides across a two mile lagoon. The charm of this place lies somewhat in its being an established sort of hotel. However, the faciltiies, employees and omnipresent Zach are to be congratulated with doing the best with a hotel."
- Travel date: Fri 11th of April 2008
rocky rocky beach
"We had the pleasure of going to have a look at this hotel while on holiday in Zanzibar but did not stay there.
The hotel is really spaced out nicely and has very friendly reception staff.
The only downside to this hotel is the really rocky beach.The hotel to its credit has built paths through the rocks for people to use during low tide to walk towards the reef.Carry your reef shoes if you wanna stay here and visit the beach at some point during your holiday
The junior suites were quite nice but the standard rooms are not really worth the money they charge.
Would recommend this hotel for a holiday but the beach is better at other parts of the island."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of March 2008
"We stayed there for a week after Kilimanjaro climbing and Safari. Hotel is a 3* and not 5* as advertised on its doors. Resort certainly needs an overhaul; some tiles on the floor in our bathroom were broken and the pool needs a refurbishment, too (missing tiles, sharp edges that can cut you etc.). Beach is ok but you will find better places everywhere in the Mediterranean See. Due to rocks and tides, swimming at the beach is not possible (not family friendly), one needs to pass a slippery path 200 m of concrete to get to the water. Prices for activities and drinks are high (5 USD for a small beer), evening program is poor (unless you fancy an old broken pool billard table). Food is repetitive and greasy. Staff is friendly but the cashier tried to rip us off twice at the bar and at the check out."
- Travel date: Wed 20th of February 2008
Manager destroys our holiday
"8 of us spent a week at Karafuu in December 2007.
On arrival, you are greeted by the manager Zachariah, who gives you an overview of the hotel. He tells you if you have any problems or questions, to speak to him and he would help in any way. THIS WOULD PROOF TO BE A TOTAL LIE.
Two of the guys in our group were sharing a room and requested 2 single beds, weeks before our arrival. They were given a double bed. The safes in 2 of our rooms were also not working.
We immediately reported the broken safes to the hotel manager (Zachariah), who did nothing during our stay to fix any of the broken safes in the rooms. We eventually all ended up sharing one safe. At the end of our trip, they actually charged us 50 dollars for the broken safe, even though we told the manager Zachariah on day 1 that it was broken, but he had the Mesai guards stand around us to intimidate us, and as we did not want to miss our flight, we reluctantly paid.
We also spoke to Zachariah about the double bed in the room and he rudely told us nothing could be done about it and that he was not informed of this before hand, although we confirmed at least twice before our arrival that we required 2 single beds. After much arguing with him (he who claimed to be so helpful in his speech on the 1st day) an extra mattress was reluctantly put into the room 2 days after our request (one of our friends had to sleep on a couch for 2 nights).
This man should not never be in a managing position anywhere, and definitely not in the hotel business.
Here is my review of the hotel itself:
Rooms: We had sea view rooms on the hill. The rooms are spacious and clean, although something broke in each of our rooms during our stay. They need to do some maintenance in the rooms. Aircon was not working, safes broken, funny smell from the shower, etc.
Pool area: The pool area is really nice. We always managed to get sunbeds around the pool and on the beach and we really got on well with the pool bar staff.
Restaurant: The food is OK, but gets a bit monotonous. They serve a lot of red meat and very little seafood. I found the meat to be tough in general. Overall it wasnât great, wasnât bad. There is a seafood restaurant on the premises, but you have to pay and the seafood was not at all impressive for the price.
Entertainment: There really is very little entertainment for the guests. They do have shows on every alternate night, i.e. acrobatic show, Mesai dancing, etc. Once the show is over, thatâs it. We had to make our own entertainment in the bar. There is no entertainment during the day for the guests, although we did see water aerobics about twice during our 7 day stay.
Dive Centre: The staff at the dive centre are really rude and unpleasant. They are also very expensive. I would not recommend you arrange any snorkeling with the Dive Centre.
Excursions: We arranged a trip to Stone Town with the Hotel. They were really very expensive and the guides they arranged for us were not very knowledgeable about Stone Town. I would have expected a more professional service from the hotel, so was quite disappointed
We decided not to arrange anymore excursions with the hotel, and went on the Safari Blue tour with a gentlemen we met in Zanzibar on a previous occasion.
My view is if they get rid of Zachariah, the hotel service will increase ten fold. We were not the only guests who had problems with Zachariah, even hearing him tell one of the guests to get out of his office.
I hope the owners read this review and take it up seriously, as they are definitely losing repeat business from many guests, including our group. We will definitely return to Zanzibar, but as long as Zachariah is manager (we later found out he is only the assistant manager), we will never return to Karafuu again."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of January 2008
Management At Karafuu Treated Us As Criminals
"The Hotel is great, but the management is rude and abnoxious.
They have not got a clue about how to treat customers.
The manager/assistant manager named Zach called the police to have us arrested when we broke a chair by accident.
The owners of this Hotel should be ashamed of themselves for employing such incompetant staff!
I will never go there again, and I will tell everybody I know not to go there.
I hope that people who are thinking of going there will choose somewhere else where people are treated as human beings and not Animals."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of January 2008
biggest rip off and rudness
"Be Warned! the worst experience in our entire life. resort is advertised as 5* but its not even near 3*. we booked through african encounters 10 days half board. we were put in a room with building works behind us starting at 7.30 in the morning. when we complained we were told that there are no other rooms available. the resort is run by Italian management and very badly. we were asked to pay all 10 days up front and therefore resort refused to give the money back to us when we wanted to leave after 3 days. we were told to take it up with an agency we booked. we checked few resorts but unfortunately all were full. duty manager who was from zanzibar did not have any respect towards my wife when she complained about the noise that did not stop at all during our stay. the food was awful, buffet was never replenished and if you did not rush to be the first you would not get table nor any dinner only left overs. african encounters did not help us either, they pretended to be in touch with mgt in Italy but it was all false. Until now noone has replied to my letters nor calls, either from the resort or an agency."
- Travel date: Thu 27th of December 2007
an excellent resort
"I travel from Germany and I've been at Karafuu Hotel for 1 week last June. Excellent resort, excellent beach and really wonderful service! All people working there are very nice and friendly always smiling to clients and very very polite.
The rooms of the hotel are almost hidden into the nature and built with coral and makuti, on the respect of local vegetation. Yhe rooms are very clean, food is international food and local food also. I will for sure recommend Karafuu Hotel to everybody who want to spend their holiday in an excellent 5 stars resort but very friendly, safe and clean.
I will never forget this holiday!"
- Travel date: Sun 8th of July 2007
Execelent as a 4* hotel, not much to do as 5* as they say they are...
"Service - EXCELENT!! friendly, helpful and all of them are all the time very nice people. Because of the sevice i give them 6 stars, Food 4,5* - VERY tasty, congratulations for the chef of the kitchen. But not enough of different kinds of food as this is a 5* hotel (i'd like to eat more local types of food - there was not much things from local cussine), the view of a dishes is like 3* hotel, simply on 2 tables. Room very clean , enough space and furniture. Good water, you can drink from a tap - i did it, my 2 years old baby also did (accidenty when having shower). View to a sea marvelous!! Very important for people who are affraid to swim in a pool because of bacterias - they are filtering a sea water, each week a new water from ocean - this is a brilliant idea :) Hotel is protected by Masai warriors - all day, all night (they dont sleep) they watch if anybody can get inside the hotel terrain, discretly (they are also very nice) but permamently watching if everything is ok. Our baby need to sleep 2hrs during each day and we where sure it is safe sleeping in the room when we enjoyed an ocean bath 'cause the masai where looking :). oh, ... in the restaurant they have plastic chairs... looking nice, but plastic - Q: in 5* hotel??"
- Travel date: Wed 20th of June 2007
"The Karafuu resort is a gem of a find. I spent a week there in May of 2007. They had been closed for upgrades and I arrived on the day they reopened. They kept the kitchen open 'til 10 p.m. just for me because my flight from Nairobi had been delayed. And that set the tone for the rest of the week which was quite enjoyable.
The staff are very responsive to your every need. They're always looking for ways to make your stay pleasant and comfortable. You like to dive? There's a great dive shop right in the hotel.
The location is gorgeous. A wonderful beach with great snorkeling right out front. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. I had the junior suite with an ocean view from the veranda.
It's quite a drive to get to Stonetown, but there are plenty of opportunitites to travel all over the island if you wish. If you like lounging at the pool, there's a very nice one, with a bar on one side so you don't even need to leave the pool to get your favorite drink.
The food was pretty good. And the price for the week was simply amazing. With breakfast and dinner included I stayed a whole week for less than the cost of the Taj President hotel in Bombay for two days!
If I were to head back to Zanzibar, the Karafuu would definitely be where I would stay!
- Travel date: Mon 4th of June 2007
a real 2 star hotel
"We have stayed at Karafu in FEb.2007. This hotel is not good - it is not clean, not friendly, not honest, not anything you want to have during your vacation.
The beach is good, and snorkelling is also good, but not the hotel itself.
Don't go there - choose Breezes, or Ocean Paradise or BlueBay instead - they are in the same price category.
- Travel date: Thu 29th of March 2007