A few months on but very happy memories. Reading over the few negative reviews I would point out that this is not a hotel or location for anyone expecting the National Grid and all staff and fellow guests' first language to be English. But if you are prepared to consider the infrastructure and dedication necessary to provide a genuine 5 star establishment on the edge of paradise then I have no hesitation in recommending this place.
A spotless hotel in immaculate condition, virtually empty when we first arrived. The staff were genuinely welcoming and took great pride in providing that extra mile of individual service. Personally I was pleased to discover that English was not the mother tongue of nearly all the staff - but this was never a problem.
Regarding the other guests: as Brits who like to escape from the stereotypical fellow countrymen on holiday, we were not sure what to expect from the reviews on our European counterparts. Even at the busier end of the week, we saw plenty of people, met a few, and were troubled by no-one. Everybody we did meet was a total credit to their country. (Locals included.)
Rooms were gorgeous. I'm picky and I have only one tip for Brits, not a criticism - take European travel adaptors - the hotel was designed for Italians and although the island - and main hotel system - runs on 3 pin plugs you'll need adaptors for the rooms.
This brings me on to the power supply and other negative reviews. I see things this way. Most places in the world have no electricity, and very few enjoy a National Grid system. Those in between do their best - and this place does well. Yes there may be a couple of power cuts - lasting a few minutes, on occasional evenings (?2/10 day stay). Living in London, I can honestly say the power supply has been considerably less unreliable at home. For any loss of power you will be fully equipped for lighting, water, food and live music (heating obviously not an issue and by the evening when only cuts occurred not a problem either). Things seamlessly carry on - if you cant cope without your hair straighteners for a couple of minutes...
Bringing me on to entertainment & food. As a couple of doctors who are well travelled but been very unwell elsewhere all I can say is we were very pleased! My very unadventurous other half was genuinely delighted and I was very impressed. The quality of meat - as we have found across East Africa - was very high and we enjoyed the buffet as well as the Italian and Chinese restaurants. (Didn't try others.) Good quality drinks on tap. Entertainment was low-key, homely and endearing - from someone who normally runs a mile...
Incidentally - I noted the Yanks' review of the "Kilimanjaro Hill" back to the rooms... I'm very unfit but if you can cope with the equivalent of a couple of flights of - beautifully torchlit - low rise stairs please don't worry.
Activities & excursions
All I can say is a week in Zanzibar isn't enough, especially if you have come from a safari - the r&r is top notch and if following a game drive itinerary you will enjoy every minute of it. Yet the beautiful island has a lot to offer. There are numerous trips touted, as packages via tour companies or the hotel, or by the beach boys. I was keen to see Stone Town and the Spice Tour, and my other half wanted snorkelling. We looked carefully at all the options, and went for a selection of tours organised by Mr Brown, ?chief beach boy outside dreams Zanzibar. All I can say was we had a fantastic time and received a service and experience far more professional than many we have received from most UK based companies, and never once felt any threat to our safety. We negotiated on price and paid at the end of the trip. Our guide Mohammed was multilingual, conducting our tour in both English and Italian. A real highlight.
Hope you have as fantastic a time as we had. Wish we were there!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC