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Family hotel in Zanzibar

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Family hotel in Zanzibar

I am looking for high quality accommodation for 6 nights in August for 2 adults and 3 children,15,13 and 8.Different travel agents have recommended Unguja Lodge,Ras Nungwi,Breezes.I am struggling to decide between them and would welcome any advice or alternatives.We like to dive/snorkel and the kids would like various activities to keep them happy.I did like sound of Unguja as seemed more personal but have since learnt that the beach is not great there.Breezes I felt might be too large and impersonal.Ras Nungwi has a number of bad reports.Help!

Saint Paul...
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1. Re: Family hotel in Zanzibar

Never been to Unguja Lodge, but have visited the other two. For me, Breezes is fabulous for high-end travelers with distinct taste for fine wine and spa services. Am I setting it's image? Ras Nungwi is similar price range to Breezes but much more laid-back atmosphere with great comfort but little pretense. Am I setting the image? This would be much better, in my opinion, for young people.

Let me add one: Blue Bay. This would be my #1 choice of the 3 that I've visited for what you've described. Similar price-range but a very 'fun' vibe about it, even more so than Ras Nungwi. So for a family I would lean towards Blue Bay. That said, some of the activities/services available at Blue Bay are for younger kids.

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2. Re: Family hotel in Zanzibar

Bluebay and Ocean Paradise are another options.

But if wilI need various activities to make them happy I do recommend La Gemma De`ll Est

For Small property I do reccommend Diamond Star of the East

Located on the best location for Diving and Snorkeling because North Coast and North East Coast are closed to the best reefs and famous Mnemba Atoll.

Some water Sports which available in La Gemma De`ll Est and Diamond Star of the East are:


In Search of Dolphin:

Turtle Aquarium

Speed boat rent


Dhow trip

Sunset Cruise

Bottom fish

Full Day by Dhow boat

Dhow rent: Snorkeling to Tumbatu

Snorkeling to Kendwa

Full day Snorkeling to Mnemba


Departures directly from the Watersports Center



Private Lesson


Banana Riding

Tube Riding



Private lesson


Catamaran Rent

Catamaran Taxi

Laser Rent

Trident Rent

Trident Taxi


Catamaran / Trident / Laser


(All-inclusive for in house guest)


Alternatively, The Residence Zanzibar (www.theresidence.com) the new property which is going to be opened next Month



Stanley, Falkland...
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3. Re: Family hotel in Zanzibar

I've been to Unguja twice, so you could say I like it. (I don;t know Ras Nungwi, and I wouldn't stay at Breezes - too impersnal for me, but it has lots of facilities(and people)).

The owners of Unguja have raised 3 young children there, so are well-placed to suggest things to keep your kids happy. One highlight is a guided walk around the nearby village or a visit to the school. I think it might educate your kids into how other children manage to study within view of the ocean and dolphins.

The beach is not the best in Zanzibar, I agree, but it is probably better than most beaches in the world.

At low tide you can walk along it to where the fishermen sell their catch in the morning, or where the tourists head out to find the dolphins. (Did I mention the dolphins? We saw them twice from our room).

At high tide fishermen paddle their outrigger a few yards from the coral cliff, or sail their dhows in front of the sunset (not something you will see in Breezes!).

Added to that, the accommodation is stunning. And the food is good.

Arusha, Tanzania
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4. Re: Family hotel in Zanzibar

If Nungwi on the Northern tip of the island appeals to you, then check out the new suites they have built at 'The Zanzibari' specifically for families; “Sleeps up to 5 people (families: 2 adults and 3 children)”.

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5. Re: Family hotel in Zanzibar

I've visited all the properties you mention. Breezes is nice, as is Unguja, but their beaches aren't the best. La Gemma has a nice beachand a lot of activities but is very much a big hotel experience - nothing wrong if that's what you're looking for. Ras Nungwi also has a nice beach, and excellent food to boot. In terms of things to do, they have table tennis, pool table, a flood-lit tennis court but I think the on-site watersports centre will probably be more of interest to the kids. There are courses such as discover scuba diving which is popular with teenagers. The atmosphere is laid back and the attention is personal but not 'in your face'. That would be my recommendation. I hope this helps.

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6. Re: Family hotel in Zanzibar

Many thanks for your advice.Its looking like Ras Nungwi may well be our best option.The only concern that I now have is about the relatively high cost of watersports activities at this hotel which seem to be included at other hotels.Does anyone have any comments on how easy it is to arrange snorkelling trips etc outside of the hotel please?

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7. Re: Family hotel in Zanzibar


I'm trying to decide between Pongwe and Unguja can I ask you a few questions about Unguja? We are a young 60 year old couple, first time to Zanzibar. We are doing a Selus safari followed by a beach stay.

I like the look of Unguja but I'm confused after reading reviews about the beach. Are the rooms actually on the beach or up above on a cliff? Reviews say the beach is not too good? Is it busy with lots of trips coming to see the dolphins? I would really appreciate your help.



Stanley, Falkland...
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8. Re: Family hotel in Zanzibar

The villas at Unguja are on a low cliff, about 20 feet above the beach. At high tide, the water comes up to the base of the cliff (which is coral, by the way).

The visitors are about 300 yards away at the local village where they get boats out to the dolphins. Unguja's boat goes out from the resort, yards from your villa, at about 7am, to avoid the day-trippers.

The only people I saw on the beach were local fishermen or school-children playing. No other tourists.

You can snorkel at high tide, or at other times if you walk out further. Much of the island has a reef around it, and a lagoon within the reef which is about 3-6 feet deep at high tide and between 1 and 3 feet deep at low tide.

Pongwe is slightly deeper. Tides tables will be provided so you can plan your activities, or you can look up the tides online.

We took a couple of excursions in a small boat to snorkel at a nearby coral reef in the marine park. Amazing fish. Also snorkelled with dolphins which was incredible. And saw dolphins swim by from our room. (Choose a sea-facing villa!)

Pongwe is beautiful and rightly popular. Both have good food. (I'd go back to Pongwe too, so it was probably the dolphins that swung it for me.)

As to the beach...almost anywhere in the world, it would be regarded as very good. But most of the beaches on Zanzibar are superb. So if its palm-fringed white sandy beach you want, Unguja is not for you.

I also loved the local village tour, and visiting the school, but that's me. Some people just want to collapse and go brown. Nothing wrong with that.

Hope this helps,

9. Re: Family hotel in Zanzibar

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