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“Great hotel with a fantastic beach”
Review of Dream of Zanzibar

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Dream of Zanzibar
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Mahonda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 December 2013

We just got back on 23 December from a 2-week vacation at Diamonds Dream.

The good:
The staff were amazing and really friendly
The grounds are really well kept
Our room was huge and equipped with everything you need: king size bed with mosquito net, hair dryer, TV (but very few channels) and DVD-player, mini-bar (refreshed daily), free safety box, air conditioning (with individual control)... The cleaning lady was truly doing a great job and our room was kept very clean every days (free of any kind of insect and bug).
The Indian Ocean is beautiful and the beach large and well maintained. There is enough shadow with the palapas and the palm trees combined.
The whole resort itself looked brand new (no broken things here and there like it is sometimes the case when a resort has been running for a number of years)
The Managers were involved. They were always around, helping their teams - in my view this contributes to the good atmosphere of the resort. I do not like to see Managers shouting orders to the personnel in front of the guests.
The alcoholic drinks were well prepared and the wines were better than we have been used to in other all-in resorts.

What we think could be improved:
I found the entertainment at night quite minimalist and repetitive - if you stay 2 weeks, the program is exactly the same from one week to the other. While there is no need to have a completely different program, a little variety should be introduced. I also considered the entertaining program during the day quite poor - not a problem for me but still...
The buffet was not bad but very small as compared to the resort size, with little selection and the same things being served every two days.
We found that many places were lacking shadow. The pool, for instance, was well laid out but it is extremely hot there due to the lack of shadow! Another example is the long stairs leading to the rooms. It was so hot even late in the afternoon that going up was a challenge (it would make sense to have some over-head veil). Same thing at the sushi bar on the beach, most people can't stay seated there because there is very little shadow and who wants to eat sushi in the sun?
For those who like to spend the nights on the dance floor, there is no disco in the resort.
The wifi costs €40/week (for one single device!) and it is only available in the public amenities. It is possible to connect with a cable in the rooms but we tried several times and it wouldn't work.

Now remember that you are in Africa, meaning the service is not as quick as we are used to in Europe. It is also true that the waiters do not have any strategy and barely serve the ones who shout the loudest. We did not mind as we considered this to be part of the local adventure but noticed that some other guests were annoyed. Also note that it is not always possible to swim in the ocean or do water sports depending on the tides.

Overall we had a fantastic time at Diamond Dreams. It's a great hotel and I would recommend it.

Room Tip: We were in building 19, which is the closest to the main amenities with a great ocean view. The othe...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Gaëlle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 December 2013 via mobile

The pictures on the internet looked fantastic. The real thing is even better.

The grounds are well kept and there's a lot of open space. The gardeners are doing a remarkable job. The buildings are modern with a genuine african look. The rooms are big enough, clean (cleaned on a daily basis) and decorated very nice. The pool is nice and big with plenty of beds around, the beach is majestic. White sand, tall palmtrees and a blue ocean.

The main restaurant (buffet) is of good quality. The food is fresh and what needs to be hot is hot! The other restaurants are fine as well, especially Boma, the african restaurant. Pay attention to the wood carvings in this place. The italian restaurant is mediocre if your used to fine italian dining, but we're in Zanzibar so who cares... We went to Blue Vanilla once. It's the seafoodrestaurant on the beach. It's not in the all inclusive, but certainly worth a visit if you like fresh seafood.

Our biggest compliment is for all the staff. They realy made our stay relaxing. Everything you ask is possible, you don't have to worry about a thing and always with a big smile.

If you want to go for excursions you can trust mr. Brown on the beach and he's a lot cheaper than the hotel or tour operators. Don't forget to visit the shops nextto the hotel for souvenirs, a laugh and pleasant conversation with the locals.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Willem M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2013

We went there for our honeymoon in March 2012. On our 2nd night we were woken up by a load noise coming from the door. When I reach the door I saw a screw driver coming in from the other side to try and break open the lock. Managed to bang loudly from my side and it scared "them" away.

Struggled for two hours to get hold of reception as I was scared to go outside. Management told us it was the first time that this had happened but if you have a look in the rooms, most of the locks are damaged. We were given the best room on the resort but we constantly slept in fear.

As for the terrible rating, if it was not for the break in incident, this resort would have gotten 5 stars from me. Food and staff were brilliant and we were treated like Kings.

Travel tip - If you do decide to go there, do all your excursions trough a guy (beach boy) you can find on the Diamond Dreams beach called "Bigfoot". By a long shot cheaper than the hotel and don't let the price fool you!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank W1l6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2013

Dec 7th-19th 2013.
We booked D.O.Z as part of our honeymoon and were expecting a great holiday.
The resort is about an hour from the airport and is a fascinating drive through the villages and local population. Passing spice farms and vast jungle/greenery en-route.
We arrived late at night about 2230 and the staff seemed friendly enough and everyone spoke English.
We were shown to our room (207)which was clean and tidy but quite far from the main area resort area. The resort were kind enough to bring us some sandwiches as we had been travelling all day.
We got settled in and were told as we were on honeymoon we would get a bottle of champagne and fruit plate. This didn't materialise and we had to ask for it. We spoke to Pamela the reception manager who apologised and the same day we had it in the room along with a voucher to Blue Vanilla the paid restaurant which was a pleasant surprise and gratefully accepted.
The resort itself is amazing and very clean and the grounds are immaculate and the staff are constantly cleaning a gardening and are all very friendly.

The resort has one main pool which is a nice temperature and large enough to accommodate everyone. The beech has golden sands and a warm sea several shade umbrellas and trees.
There are several restaurants including Italian, African, Chinese as well as the main buffet style area. You need to book all but the main one and normally the day before can get you a table.
The resort is mostly Italians, French, German & South African tourists. Very few English/ Americans which was a change for us and quite different.

Resort Learning Points:
The resort is sooooo close to being perfect but not quite there. I would like to list some areas of our holiday that frustrated us to give the resort some constructive feedback to make it better.

The staff are all incredibly friendly but don't seem to know what they are doing with regards to drink orders. It was very frustrating to be having lunch/dinner and not be asked or served drinks. We couldn't work out why our table wouldn't be served and on several occasions were ignored by staff. Nearly every day.
Not sure why, we thought maybe we were too polite as the British tend to be and as such the staff thought we were ok and didn't need anything. The Europeans tend to bit a bit more vocal in ordering and we thought that is what the staff think is the way to serve customers. If a wine glass is empty then fill it up or at least ask.

The Coconut bar stays open late but is far to small to cope with the amount of people needing drinks. The staff do table service and more often than not they either took our drinks to another table or couldn't remember where we sat or forgot completely. We resorted to ordering at the bar and waiting for them so they didn't get lost.
Having watched the bar operate is was no wonder the drinks got lost as the 1 barman who actually made the drinks wrote drinks on scraps of paper and they were stuck to the counter and then once made given to the waiters. If a drink was spilt whilst making it all the orders were lost.

There doesn't appear to be any table order or numbers to assist the staff and I was told they generally work areas but seemed to just take orders from all around the pool area and get lost on the way back. Especially at breakfast/lunch in the main buffet the staff are dealing with hundreds of guests and there doesn't seem to be any order.

All of the restaurants could do with ceiling fans especially the golden bridge as once the chef's start cooking in the restaurants with woks we measured the temp as 37degrees and had to ask to sit outside in the bar area to finish our meal.

Blue Vanilla restaurant (paid) served amazing sea food but once again the service was lacking. There were only 3 couples in the restaurant and one member of waiting staff who seemed to go awol until the food was ready and she would bring it out. We re-filled our own drinks from the wine bucket and were not offered any water or bread. Shame as the food was amazing.

The beach boys as friendly as they were had their favourite guests and they reserved sunbeds and shaded areas for them and most days we were under trees or furthest away from the pool area and the guests would turn up after lunch for their reserved spots which was frustrating.
Once again getting a drink on the beach and actually getting it was nearly impossible.
We liked the beach as the breeze kept us cooler in the 35degree heat.

The beach is kept clean and there are 2 security guards keeping the hawkers from getting too close which was good but they can't stop them from shouting at guests to try get their attention.
We found when we did venture onto the beach if you are firm with the hawkers and we would say no we're just walking they would generally leave you alone. Some don't but just ignoring them soon works.
Don't be scared of wandering into the little market off the beach to the left of the resort as they will try sell you things but understand no for an answer. Sarong's are over half the price of the resort shop.
The resort shop was very expensive and a medium size bottle of sun cream was 30euros and they don't sell basics like paracetamol and were told by reception if we needed it they would call the doctor. Not really needed for a headache.

The entertainment is standard for this kind of resort and the acrobatics troop were very good and the Italian guitar/lounge singer could do with a few more songs in his play list but generally we enjoyed most nights in the resort once we got our drinks.

We found charging 3 euros to use the gym in an all inclusive resort is a bit cheeky

We got a private taxi to Stone Town ($80) to have a look around and he took us to a supermarket and we bought sun cream very cheaply. Stone town was interesting and the small side streets are like a bazaar and worth a look.

People of note to mention who made our holiday are:
Shams who once we complained about the service being poor listened to our complaint and made sure every time he saw us he checked we were ok and even though it wasn't his job he got drinks and cleared plates for us. He strives to make the resort run smoothly and obviously takes pride in his work and has lots of ideas to make it better and the management should listen to him.
Pamela at reception was very helpful and assisted with the few problems we had and was worth speaking to when we weren't enjoying our stay.

Generally we had a lovely stay but the service is just not good enough for a resort of this standard. I would say more positives than negatives but wanted to pass feedback to the resort.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank johnbutler613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2013

The standards in Zanzibar are not great but Diamonds is among the best there is on the island.
The staff are friendly and whilst the rooms are a bit run down (lamp shades torn), they are clean and comfortable. Quality of the food is good. Nice Beach - pity that you are constantly hassled. by the locals trying to sell you something . Nice pool though . Water in the shower was somewhat sporadic. Air cons fantastic.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jeff L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2013

We stayed there in Aug 2013, the hotel is very nice, the people working there very nice, the views from the room very nice. It's an all included hotel, but it still is a luxury hotel, fortunately people don't go crazy to eat and drink as much as possible, which is highly appreciated. But the beach is a fail, with the tides you cannot swim most of the day, no watersports, no snorkel... It's a real pity, not what one would expect from Zanzibar.

Stayed: August 2013
1  Thank Silvux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2013

great indian upon request from indian chef Daya. Food manager Smams always there to assist and General Manager interacts with guest. Chef Sabastian also warm to quest. Staff always willing to serve quest. Full board package good value for money . Entertainment good!From Vish Maharaj ...Johannesburg

Room Tip: toilet seperate to shower.kingsize bed with nets.furniture in good condition,however mnet tv receipt...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank vishmedical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dream of Zanzibar

Address: Kiwengwa, Mahonda, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Mahonda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Mahonda
Price Range: £179 - £432 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Dream of Zanzibar 5*
Number of rooms: 157
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dream of Zanzibar is a superb 5 star all inclusive Resort, proud member of The Emerald Collection. The Resort is nestled in the midst of exotic gardens on the beach front at Pwani Machangani overlooking the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean. Dream of Zanzibar offers 104 deluxe gardens rooms, 40 ocean view junior suites, 10 additional junior suites with Jacuzzi and 3 beach villas with private pool. The 5 Restaurants offer guests an exceptional variety of dining options and 3 bars feature relaxing environments to enjoy refreshing drinks and cocktails. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Diamonds Dream Of Zanzibar Hotel Kiwengwa
Dream Of Zanzibar Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

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