Protea Hotel Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins
About Protea Hotel Zanzibar Mbweni Ruins
- high speed internet in room
- swimming pool
- free internet
- bar lounge
- free parking
- free wireless internet in room
- room service
- air conditioning
- dry cleaning
- non smoking rooms
- non smoking hotel
- laundry service
- flatscreen tv
- concierge desk
- bath shower
- family rooms
- multilingual staff
- seating area
- airport transportation
- breakfast buffet
- outdoor pool
- currency exchange
- english amenities
- 24 hour front desk
- free breakfast
- private balcony
- bicycle rental
- wake up service alarm clock
- facilities for disabled guests
- poolside bar
- clothes rack
- mosquito net
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Pretty good experience, food was OK, service was average, beach was pretty but you can only use it when the tide is in. In a strange location really but reasonable close to Stone Town."
- Travel date: Mon 8th of September 2008
great view from restaurant terrace
"We stayed for a night as it's close to the airport. It was fine - nice staff, good people at front desk, OK food .
A couple of tips - the Baobab suite might seem like a treat from the website, but probably a less expensive room closer to the sea with a balcony would have had a better view (and been cheaper). Baobab has a rather tired decor, and though it has its own terrace, the view doesn't make it very attractive..
Half board which we'd booked in advance turned out to be more expensive (an extra $22 for 2) than simply buying the dinner (which was a fixed price buffet) on arrival .Although this got sorted out when we we checked out, it did seem a bit odd. Might be cheaper to book the whole thing through one of the agents rather than via the website, as we did."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of August 2008
Great stay....apart from the food poisoning
"We spent a few days at Mbweni while on our honeymoon. The location is excellent: nice private beach (although small and doesn't have enough sun loungers), only 10 mins drive from Stone Town (there are three free shuttles there every day). The restaurant/bar area is attractively decorated with beautiful views over the ocean and the food is pretty good: breakfast is the usual combination of hot stuff (bacon, sausage, eggs, etc) and cereal, yogurt, fruit; lunch menu is same every day but has a lot of choice (although they often don't have everything in stock); dinner is different every day and usually pretty good. However, on our last day my wife came down with severe food poisoning and ended up in hospital. It could only have been caused by the hotel given that we'd eaten every meal there for the previous 3 days. Of course you expect a few stomach problems as a European in Africa, but this was the sickest she's ever been in her life. We'd seen the hotel's dogs licking plates and there were various animals wandering around, so hygiene may not have been great.
Without the food-poisoning incident the hotel would definitely have got a 4-star rating from us."
- Travel date: Mon 25th of August 2008
"I just spent 5 days at Mbweni Ruins. I am pleased to say I made the right choice. I was a single traveler, so I wanted to be close to Stone Town, but still have resort-like surroundings and Mbweni provided this. The property is amazing and the rooms couldn't be nicer or more well-maintained and the location just 10 min drive from Stone Town was great. The staff is very helpful in assisting with information and booking other excursions such as snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, etc.
I had a snorkeling/diving excursion arranged through One Ocean through the hotel, which I didn't find all that terrific, but only by merit of the places we went. Otherwise, it was a good value for $25. The most desirable snorkeling location seems to be Chumbe, a protected island, where you must make reservations in advance. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get in there. Either way, it was a pleasant day and the front desk staff (Pascal) was helpful in arranging everything. Their free shuttles to and from Stone Town were helpful, too.
I booked a Spice Tour/Stone Town tour through the hotel, which in retrospect, I found to be a bit of a rip off at $80. The "tour" is essentially a hired driver for the day, who takes you to a spice farm where then, staff from the spice farm take over to provide the tour and expect to be tipped. Then, on to Stone Town to visit the House of Wonders and other attractions whereby again, you are guided through by their own guides, again expecting a tip. Many of the places also charge an admission fee. All of the tips and admission fees are more than reasonable, at no more than $5/each, but in addition to the $80, it can become costly. I would highly recommend the spice tour, but rather just hiring a cab with a pre-negotiated rate to and from the farm and saving the Stone Town tour to do on your own while in town. I'm sure the cost would be half of the $80 for this supposed-tour. That said, the driver was very nice and was more than willing to take me more places and await my return.
Hans & Jana, the hotel managers, were terrific as well.
The food was more than decent, but I wish they offered more local fare as the food served is very European. There is a lot of fresh seafood used, though, which is nice and service is exceptional.
If you're not a pet lover or hate cats, this may not be the place for you though. I loved having dogs and cats around, but some people might find it annoying or unsanitary, I suppose. The restaurant is not enclosed, so there are a number of cats on the property who take to begging around the tables. There are 3 or so dogs on the property that are around, but don't really interact w/ the guests. I found it all very charming, but I know others who wouldn't prefer it.
The hotel also has very reasonable internet access at $2/hr.
Overall, I found my stay at Mbweni to be excellent and the staff and service to be superb and a relative bargain at about $100 per day w/ half board (breakfast & lunch).
It's good for a single traveler, couples or families.
I booked directly with the hotel by visiting their website: www.mbweni.com and dealt with Boniface, who was a terrific help and even allowed me to select the room I wanted!"
- Travel date: Wed 5th of March 2008
"I loved this place! It was well designed and worth the high price. The beach was nice and the pool was great. It was a tranquil place and the staff was great. The only thing is that they could make the shuttle more convenient as I got tired of shelling out ~$8 every time I needed to go to the town."
- Travel date: Wed 20th of February 2008
Relaxing Stay in a Convenient Location
"I spent a long weekend at the Mbweni Ruins Hotel. The hotel is located on the water midway between the airport and Stone's Town. It has a small number of rooms, and mine was very nicely furnished and has a lovely balcony seating area. They have a small pool in a nice setting close to the beach. While it is true that swimming in the ocean is not an option for most of the day, I did see one teenager swim a bit at high tide. The breakfast buffet was good, although not very varied. Dinners were good, a bit pricey but in range with restaurants in town. My only major disappointments were finding that a) the spa was limited and hard to book with, and b) hotel to airport transfers were not free (in fact slightly more expensive than a taxi) but they never told me the fee while booking my pick-up or drop-offs. There is nothing else to do around the hotel, but it is very convenient to Stone's Town and they will arrange various tour pick-ups from the hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of January 2008
A wonderful relaxation!
"We stayed here for three nights after Safari. It was a very peaceful and calm place with nice rooms and quiet seaside. The staff was helpful. I loved the botanic garden which separated the hotel from the outside world."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of December 2007
Peace and Good Food
"What a lovely chilled out place - the beach is not great but it's nice that they have left the mangroves for most of the length of the coast and there is great swimming off the pier. Rooms are clean and quiet and the hotel was really flexible in giving me a late check out to conicide with my flight"
- Travel date: Mon 8th of October 2007
Wonderful hotel in a beautful quiet location by the Indian Ocean.
"We came here to end our honeymoon traveling around Tanzania. It was in such an amazing location. Miles from any noise and bustle and fantastic vegetation and nature trail planted by the hotel. Beach guards meant that the only two people that may pass you in the day are kept a bay and the beach was cleaned twice daily of shells and seaweed that had been washed up on. The rooms were small but very clean with a spacious and working bathroom and a separate study and cloakroom/cupboard. Water and tea and coffee were supplied twice daily and the bed prepared for you whilst at dinner. The food was the best we tasted and with fantastic views over the Indian ocean. All drinks and food were very reasonable at Â£1 a beer and Â£3 an excellent prawn curry. The pool was clean and inviting with a range of different loungers to suit your mood whether it be on the beach or two food away on hard land by the pool. Just idilic and worth the money."
- Travel date: Tue 14th of August 2007
great set-up and very neat with pleasant staff.
"We stayed at Mbweni Ruins for 2 nights as we wanted to be close to Stone town. The place has a forest like atmosphere and is on the beach. Clean bedding, towels, airconditioned. Great for relaxation after the spice and stone town tours. Mbweni was everything it's website offered, although we had a bit of bad luck the first day we spent there. Our camera was stolen on the beach table as we were playing with the kids in the water.(All in eyesight). We were very dissappointed as it was our first day and needed the camera. It could have been staff or day visitors, we don't know. The manager was very kind to lend us his camera for the day until we replaced our one. We would definitely go back, but be more careful with our belongings. Definitely recommended!"
- Travel date: Fri 10th of August 2007