9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
relaxing under the baobab
"A great end to our safari with 4 nights at Fumba Beach Lodge. We had adjoining rooms with a sea view straight our to beach complete with day neds and hammock. The kids loved the pool and we enjoyed relaxing in the shade of the beautiful boabab tree by the boat bar. The rock pools provided hours of entertainment but footwear is needed because of the sea urchins. We went snorkelling - highly recommended but the coral can t be reached straight from the beach."
- Travel date: Mon 13th of August 2007
Wedding Expectations Exceeded
"We stayed 5 nights in July and simply had a magical time. We don't know where to start, so we'll go through the key items:
1. Food: We have never been so continuously surprised at the quality of the food in any hotel we have stayed at. The food beautifully presented, stunningly tasty and varied. It is rare for us to put down cutlery during a course and savour the flavours. We did this on several occasions......
2. Accommodation: The rooms are simple, but reasonably appointed and in keeping with the 'tropical idyl' that Fumba clearly is. The bed and bathroom being decorated every night with flowers was touching. The room was extremely clean, and kept that way (despite my best efforts to trample sand in!)
3. Service: We found the staff universally helpful and friendly. Edwin runs as a well trained ship here and Rick keeps things running smoothly in the restaurant. The staff are immaculately clean and well turned out, and the whole machine runs very well without fuss or apparent drama.
4. Wedding: We got married whilst we were there. This was simpy magical and was beautifully organised with little input from us, and certainly no hystryonics. The event itself was everything we could have wished for and everybody seemed genuinely pleased we had chosen Fumba for this special day. The ceremony was well organised by Edwin and his team and they did an excellent job from the bower made from materials from in and around Fumba gardens, through to everyone joining in for photos on the beach. Simply stunning.
5. Going that extra bit further: The list of details where things were thoughtfully taken that bit further are legion, but include: getting flowers and photos collected from Stonetown (a 1.25 hour round trip over a challenging road), Swahilli lessons from the staff, genuine warmth of greetings etc. These things are not a thin veneer, but approaches than run deep.
Finally: When we decided to post our experiences here we obviously read the other posts and we were stunned by the 'Never Again' posting. We simply cannot understand the comments made and have to say with all sincerity that our experience was completely the opposite.
Would we go again? Yes. Unreservedly."
- Travel date: Sun 29th of July 2007
Fumba is a lovely romantic getaway
"This was the last stop of our honeymoon and the longest, fortunately it didn't disappoint. From our arrival greeting where we were presented with fresh coconuts to drink to us leaving a week later we were really looked after and completly left to do whatever we pleased.
We had a beachfacing villa with an outdoor shower and steps down to our own section of the beach - amazing. The only drawback was the sound of the waves when the tide was in but then thats what you'd expect when the sea is only 5 metres away!
Although there was little choice for dinner the food was really tasty and always freshly cooked. Being the only resort in the area there were no other choices for eating but this was not a problem and made the stay much more enjoyable as it was so quiet and relaxed.
There is a Padi dive centre on site which has the mostly friendly and experienced staff we've come across. You couldn't ask for a better diving buddy or divemaster and the reefs are pretty impressive too and no-one else is there to get in your way unlike the red sea.
All in all this is a lovely relaxing retreat ideal for lazing around all day not doing much and chilling out. Do not come here if you are looking for exciting nights out or wanting to see lots of the island unless you are prepared for an hour's commute to Stone Town every time."
- Travel date: Wed 25th of July 2007
What a Place ! ! !
"A friend and I stayed at Fumba Lodge in July 2007 and what a great place and stay it was. The vibe, staff, food and umbiance was out of this world. Edwin, the Dutch owner knows how to treat his guest. The food was excotic, well prepared and the presentation unusual.
The rooms and amenities ranks with the best on the island. We did a day tour to one of the islands for snorkeling and a picknic on a sand bank, this was an experience of a life time.
I will recommend this lodge to anyone that needs to spoil him or herself.
Thank you Edwin and good luck to you and your bright future on sunny Zanzibar.
Gino and Craig"
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of July 2007
"We stayed at Fumba at the end of our honeymoon for 5 nights. We had booked it intending a special and memorable climax, but we were sorely disappointed. We want to warn others not to go here! We are also very surprised at the glowing reviews here as they are the opposite from our experience.
The price we paid led us to believe Fumba would be luxurious. Our luxury suite was nice, and had a stunning location on the beach, but we felt it was overpriced and had seen better days - there was a huge hole in our door, for example, and it looked like the original seats on the upstairs terrace had been ripped out and replaced with funny boxes and stained cushions. We saw a big rat on our terrace one night and didn't go up after that.
However, these minor issues would have been insignificant were it not for the appalling service we received, pretty much throughout our stay. One offs would have been acceptable, but it just happened far too often.
Reception service was very slow every time we needed to use it, including it taking almost an hour to pay our bill (the amount they charged us was wrong as they tried to include a bill we hadn't signed). We were also told at the end of our stay that we needed to move rooms if we wanted a late check out - we lugged our suitcases through the sand to reception for them only to tell us we could stay in the same room after all!
The cleaners dumped their utensils (mops, sheets, towels etc) outside our room, on our terrace, every single day at 8.30am, and left it there till 12.30. This was annoying mostly because there was nowhere else for us to go - the whole place is designed pretty much so you sit outside your room, or on the beach below your room. The only other place is by the pool and bar. We were pleased we were in a suite as we were on a nice stretch of beach - the normal rooms had pretty much no beach and not much of a space to sit in. But like I say the cleaners were milling about all morning.
Waiting service was very patchy. Dinner was mostly good. Breakfast and lunch however were not. For our first breakfast we ordered eggs (which we hadn't necessarily expected to be on offer but which were being served to everybody else). We waited half an hour before giving up and walking out. In that time, the waiter who took our order came and said they were on their way (15 minutes in); we then waited 10 more minutes before asking someone else, who disappeared; we waited 5 minutes for him to come back before giving up.
One lunchtime typifies the shoddy service we received. When we sat down a waiter came over and pulled a chair out for my husband, then pushed it in straight away, jabbing my husband in the leg. No apology. Then we were unable to order what we wanted to. The previous day my husband had a sandwich with chicken, meat and cheese - 3 of the 6 choices available. We asked our waiter for the same and he said we couldn't have meat AND chicken, it was either/or. this is not what it said on the menu, and not our experience, which we explained as we thought maybe this guy had the wrong end of the stick. He quite rudely told us we didn't understand and were wrong, whereupon we asked to speak to another member of staff. He refused to get anyone else.
These are just a couple of examples but there are plenty more. It was not a relaxing experience, to the extent that we dreaded mealtimes as we wondered what was going to go wrong next. 3 days into our stay we both got ill - on our last day, just before we left we noticed that the complimentary bottled water in our room had a broken seal. Was it being filled up from the tap, is that what made us ill? Or was it the food?
The food at dinner was generally ok. We did have a Swahili buffet one night in which there was a beef stew - there were lumps of raw, uncooked beef in mine. It looked like raw meat had just been thrown in. This isn't what I usually expect from stew! We were also expecting a sit down meal every night for the price. We had a Swahili meal at another hotel we stayed at (which was a quarter of the price) and it was a sit down meal, and much nicer.
Lunch was pretty bad, there were only 6 things on the main menu at $10 each, and 4 had chips accompanying them. On 3 occasions the chips were cold. The day we were refused chicken and meat together my husband had a ham sandwich - for $10.
The other thing that should be mentioned is that whilst it appears to be marketed towards honeymooners, there were many large groups at Fumba so it didn't feel very exclusive. While we were there there were at least 4 groups of 6 or more people.
Fumba had a nice location (if you were in a suite) and the beach was nice. All in all the continuous bad service let Fumba (and us) down. We didn't let it spoil our honeymoon but it could easily have done so. When we left our Zanzibari driver asked what we thought, and smiled a knowing smile when we said the service wasn't good. We wouldn't go back if you paid us, and really hope this review puts some prospective honeymooners off. Go to Pongwe instead, it's wonderful!"
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of July 2007
Relaxing time at Fumba beach
"My husband and I have just come back from a great three centre holiday through Audley travel, our third destination was Fumba Beach Lodge in Zanzibar. We stayed in a suite which was beautiful (no tv, no phone, safe and daily supply of mineral water) with a stunning view, the food was of an great standard (all extras billed in USD) as were all of the facilities. There is an excellent dive centre is located in the resort, very professionally run by Lauren and Daveed but not without forgetting that people are on holiday. A number of excursions are available through reception including Safari Blue as well as massages through the spa. There is a laundry service as well internet access available at reception on request (at a charge). In summary, a wonderful relaxing resort especially after a number of days safari, just remember insect repellent as there are Mosquitoes."
- Travel date: Wed 4th of July 2007
Honeymoon in Fumba
"We were looking for a rare combination; a first class hotel, excellent food, pristine white beaches, spectacular diving on the doorstep but it had to still be informal, friendly and with plenty of privacy (after all, this was our honeymoon!). An almost impossible
task one might think. We searched all the usual places which were either too expensive, too far away (we live in Johannesburg) or too commercial.
A friend recommended Zanzibar and after a lot of internet searching we located Fumba.
We arrived to find that we were staying at a fabulous place that met our requirements 100%! The other guests (and because Fumba is not too big there are not too many of them) were very friendly and seemed
to come from all around the world.
The chalet that we stayed in was wrapped around a baobab tree with the bathroom on a wooden deck amongst the branches under the stars. The bed was a net draped four poster - very romantic. We had our own private steps down onto a white beach which was perfectly groomed every day. The staff were friendly but gave us our space. The food was fantastic and there was a great dive centre which wasn't at all busy. We virtually has the reefs to ourselves.
All in all it was the best holiday we has ever had and we were so sorry when we had to return home. If you are looking for what we were I would wholeheartedly recommend Fumba. We will be back!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 17th of May 2007
"Having spent a wonderful 2 weeks at Fumba in early March we can't wait to return - and can only praise its splendid isolation and atmosphere and yet it is within half an hour journey to the exoticism of Stonetown. [treat the road as an African adventure!]
The Lodge has a truly African feel with plenty of luxurious touches which make you think you have landed in Paradise. I am a professional Artist [---] and Zanzibar was a dream for me inspirationally.
Fumba beach has it all - very friendly staff and a great General Manager who cannot do enough to make your stay truly relaxing and memorable - we highly recommend it."
- Travel date: Sat 12th of May 2007
Tropical paradise for a careless life and delicious food and drinks
"Period: April 17th â 23rd, 2007.
We have had a very enjoyable stay at Fumba Beach after a fantastic, impressive, but exhausting 17-day safari in Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. Fumba Beach Lodge, indeed is a tropical paradise and it was great to stay in a suite with its marvellous, romantic atmosphere and its stunning view. We were happily surprised with the very personal attention from the staff and the quietness in and around the Lodge. We really enjoyed the hospitality, the careless life and the delicious food and drinks. Thank you very, very much for an outstanding 7 days!"
- Travel date: Fri 11th of May 2007