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Dream of Zanzibar
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Reviews (1,896)
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Reviewed 14 April 2014

My wife and I were looking for an ideal holiday location and Zanzibar came up as a preferred destination. I had browsed through the websites of almost all resorts in our budget and decided to choose Dream of Zanzibar because of the variety and value for money - all inclusive

We stayed at this resort for 7 days and now we wish we could have spent another week there.

I have traveled to alot of places around the world more especially South Africa (where I live) and I cannot think of any hotel or resort that can complete with Diamonds Dream of Zanzibar in terms of the following:

-5 Star Service
-Unbelievable Cuisine
-Value for Money - All inclusive

Due to us visiting during the off-peak season, every request of ours was honored thanks to Riyab and his team of dedicated staff. Riyab is a star. Already missing you my friend.

Chef Sebastian and Daya also needs to be thanked for their excellent cuisine and making special provisions for us during "vegetarian days".

My wife and I are Sushi addicts and the Sakura Sushi bar was able to accommodate all our requests. The bars ie. kokunuss and Mama paw paw stock a wide variety of cocktails and drinks and I was able to sample all of them - all were excellent. The themed supper every night is amazing - especially the beach bbq night. The entertainment is off the charts. Really loved it.

If you love variety of different cuisine and the option to choose from different restaurants during lunch and supper then this is the place for you. If you the type that feels for a snack in between meals then you wont have a problem here as there is quite a spread of snacks before and after lunch.

The resort has many different activity rooms which you can use but we didn't make full use of them.

I have read all the other reviews of this resort and cannot believe how people can ever have a bad experience at Dream of Zanzibar. My wife and I never experienced anything of that sort except for the person responsible for the canoe's and kayaks telling us that these cannot be used when the tide is low. By the way, this is also provided as a free service.

Those travelling to Zanzibar for the first time should be aware that this is a very poor 3rd world island so do not try and compare the 5 star resorts in your country to this resort.

We also enjoyed a couples massage which also was 1st class.

First time travelers to Zanzibar need to know the following:
-Yellow Fever Vaccines
-Malaria tablets
-Very Humid conditions
-The beach cannot be enjoyed because the constant pestering of "beach boys" and fake Masai who want you to buy things from them
-The trips to Stone Town and Spice Farm are extremely expensive. Try as much as possible to negotiate a better price with the tour operator who performs the airport transfers.
-Almost everything is priced in Euro's / Dollars. Everything is overpriced during specialist tours and "Tourist Price" applies everywhere. Remember that this Islands economy relies solely on tourism. Rather get all your stuff from the Stone Town market and remember to bargain.

In conclusion I cannot fault Dream of Zanzibar. This is the best resort I have ever been to. I always though that Mauritius was a dream holiday destination but I was wrong. I will visit Dream of Zanzibar very soon again.

Room Tip: Sea facing rooms are the best.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Nikhil_Bhoola_01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2014

The upper management would be less obnoxious,more efficient and friendlier
Rooms would be cleaned correctly upon arrival. We had to take the dust off the shelves before we could unpack.
Furniture would not be worn out and totally outdated.
One would not have to walk through a sewer smell in order to go to the restaurant.
The food would not be so bland and untasteful. After all one gets all the time "The same under a different name"
Beach mattresses were not totally worn out and flat.
Airconditioner in the room would be reliable and not cause short circuit time and again.
Wifi would not be so extremely expensive.

A few positive things also :
Garden is beautiful and very well maintained better than the rooms.
Servicing personnel is extremely friendly, sometimes even overdone.
Environment is gorgeous and beach is fabulous.

Gilbert van Gils.
Belgium.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank gilvangils
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

My husband and I travelled from December 2013. We stayed at the resort for a week, it was absolutely amazing. The beautiful pool, beach... Very nice people, excellent staff, very Greetings Diana...Thanks for making our holiday.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jirinka123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

Great Hotel with very friendly staff. Our stay at the resort was amazing. I truly recommend this resort if you want relaxed holiday and indulge in luxury. Hotel staff makes every effort to pamper you. Unlimited drinks to never ending variety of food . Thanks for making our holiday so memorable.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank sapnasood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2014

My husband and I travelled with our 2 year old son from 25th Feb 2014 to 1 March 2014. Our tour was organized by Discover Travel Spectrum (Anton Olivier). I had tried so many numerous quotes since Nov but Anton was able to organize our 4 night stay, all inclusive with flights at an awesome price and he did it with a week or so. He also even checked up on us at 5 in the morning to ensure we checked in etc :)
At our arrival in Zanzibar, Anton had organized Fisherman Tours (Transfers) to take us on the 45 minute drive to the hotel. This was comfortable ride and our driver was great in giving us some info on the basic knowledge of the country, essential vocab etc. He also drove us around till we found a working ATM so I could withdraw some cash.
The hotel itself is really pretty.
Friendly reception at arrival with juice and cool towels (much appreciated as Zanzibar is HOT and you sweat a lot). They had juice ready for us even when we were waiting for our taxis for tours etc.
Our room was literally on one end of the resort (it was a garden facing as I read the rooms are all about the same). We were in 406. We decided to stick it out as there was a pool right behind us and a bar (though the bar is only open from 10 to 6). I think we may have had this room as its baby friendly in that there is a hook above the cot for a cot mosquito net.
The room itself is ok, nothing wow. Its clean though, they have nicest flower arrangements on the beds and cots everyday (Aziza cleaned our room). Great having a nice AC :) and there's a mosquito screen on the balcony door. The only other issues we had were that the TV initially didn't work (they got this fixed once we called them), the door lock got jammed on night and we waited for over 30 minutes before someone came to fix it (we were on our way to dinner so not a nice wait with a 2 year old). The door frame itself was also broken but they knew about it and fixed it while we were there. The walkway light in front of our block didn't work so it was pretty dark at night when we made our way back from dinner. The shower is not so nice just because it has no door and results in splatter on the bathroom floor. And finally we had two twin beds pushed together which wasn't great for when our little one came to snuggle between us and ended up in a mattress gap. Otherwise nothing to complain about and as long as you're there to spend time outdoors, you'll be able to over look most of these little issues.
The one biggish issue I had was just the positioning of the room. It was far from the main amenities including the beach, restaurants, main pool etc. There was a number of stairs on the walkway down which is difficult with a 2 year old who insists on being carried in the sweltering heat. We resorted to using the provided umbrella in rooms whenever we had to go for lunches etc. Eventually we just packed everything to spend the day till lunch at the pool or beach before returning for afternoon naps. The issue with this was packing nappies and changing him in the common bathrooms (of which none have baby changing facilities). But I consoled myself that we were safe from tsunamis :)
Which brings me to the fact that this is not necessarily the most "toddler or infant" friendly resort. They are very accommodating though and the staff are so friendly and approachable. But the rest of the guests were older and tend to talk in hushed tones and we felt really bad for them when our toddler would scream in joy while in the pool or on the beach or at the restaurants (though no one complained). The meals are later (lunches only start at 13:30 and dinners at 19:30) which as a bit late for our little one. They did have high chairs though :) and really the staff make up for all of that. Patima, Mudihin, Shyams, Reyad were all so very helpful and made our stay so much more fun and comfortable. The all inclusive option was great. Quiet a bit of options in terms of restaurants and bars in comparison to other similarly priced options in Zanzibar. We like spicy food but unfortunately, the cuisine is more for European taste. But there was lots of great breads and fruits and deserts which we thoroughly enjoyed. The one night was an outdoor barbeque but you paid extra for the prawns (Euro 4.5 I think it was tiger) and Lobster (Euro 19 to 24). We had all our breakfasts and lunches at the main buffet restaurant. Otherwise they have set menu's for all the otherrestaurants for a week so you can check the menus before booking (booking happens at main restaurant and do it early rather than later as we couldn't get in at Blue Valley (not in the all inclusive) with less than 24 hour notice). At Golden Bridge make sure you book for outside or don't take the corner seats inside as its super hot. We also tried Chopsticks which had some nice seafood options in their set menu. On the last night we went to African Boma which was surprisingly nice as it had a variety of options that we really enjoyed (being of Indian origin and South African) and it was a buffet so we got through the meal relatively early before our child got cranky. They were also having an outdoor african show by the pool with items for sale but we skipped it. We did enjoy shesha and you can get them at any of the bars (though they have a lounge for it too which you can get to yourself). Each is Euro 3.50 and can take a bit of time to set up but we enjoyed it under the starry night. The alcohol is ok, my hubby didn't enjoy the available beers and not all the usual cocktails are included but there's enough to keep you entertained.
Now for the best part. The pools and the beach. The main pool is lovely and blue and pretty cool. Also has a childrens 0.5m side. There are enough sun beds with umbrellas and pool side bar service. I just noticed that people tend to book the good beds early in the day with towels but will chill at the beach instead of letting others enjoy those spots while they aren't around. Same happened with the beds on the beach. But otherwise its lovely and relaxing :) The beach, the low tide means there is quiet a bit of seaweed in the morning but if you walk far out to the reef you can supposedly see star fishes and so forth. By afternoon the water is back up and pretty warm and shallow and blue and clear and with soft white sand and its just wonderful. The seaweed still remains on the edges. There are lots of beds on the beach but getting one with shade can be difficult if you're later in the day. As others mentioned, there are a lot of beach boys as soon as you leave the barrier that the hotel security guard has drawn. They do seem to disperse later in the day though, its just a bit uncomfortable to tell them you're not interested in a nice way over and over again and they are a lot of them. You can get bar service at the beach as well which is great.The garden pool is also nice, warm with beds around. Towels are available near all the pools (each guest gets a card to use to collect and swap towels).Don't loose the cards or the towels (it costs Euro 25).
And that's pretty much all of it. We got exactly wanted, pure relaxation!
We did do two tours. Not via the hotel. We got a recommendation of a driver who took us near stone town for a spice tour. We opted for the 1 hour one (there was a 3 hour option). It was lots of fun, they made us all these things with coconut palm leaves. We also got to eat a ton of fruit at the end with the fruit tasting which completely filled us and my boy loved. We then went on for a quick walk through Stone Town. It wasn't really a tour but still nice (though hot). All this cost TZS100 000. We then ate at Pagoda (Chinese food) which has a feel of an old colonized building with breezy windows and foreigners smoking indoors. Food was nice and they take credit card. Prawns cost about TZS 10000 and Lobster 35000 which is pretty well priced. We had hoped to take a dolphin tour or a sunset cruise but the hotel nor any of the other tour operators we talked to do could do anything for less than half day but we did hear great reviews on Safari Blue (which is a full day tour).
I got our return flight times wrong but Fisherman Tours came and notified us of the mistake and got us to the airport in time. The airport is pretty old school so give yourself enough time for check in (at least 90 minutes I'd say). You also have to open your check in luggage as they don't have baggage scanning.
Overall we had a wonderful trip and enjoyed our stay. Its slightly more rustic and laid back but you'll forget all that after a day at the beach!

Room Tip: Don't go for
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank elizabeth_mathew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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