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“Jumbo 2010”

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Diamonds Mapenzi Beach
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mahonda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 January 2010

Lovely hotel with plenty of detached bungalows. We got one of those just in front of the beach. The best all inclusive hotel in Zanzibar with a nice local color. The only thing we did not like is that during low tide you have to walk half an hour to reach the Ocean and the sand is full of sea urchins so don't forget your diving shoes. The Beach Boys will show you the way for sure!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Bala78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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208 - 214 of 811 reviews

Reviewed 2 January 2010

Awesome time, lovely hotel with friendly and effecient staff. Always got the impression customer comes first - from green papino to pull out a piece of coral in my foot to drinks around the pool side. Lots to do at the hotel - free watersportts and the opportunity to learn new stuff like archery. Take the time to chat to the beach boys and get to understand the culture of the island and the people. If possible and you can find it in your heart, take some blank A4 / A5 Croxley type books and pens and pencils for the children at the school close to the hotel. Ask to take a village walk and visit the school. They really have so little and are so grateful for anything to learn to read and write in.
Hint on dealing with the beach boys - NEVER say I will buy tomorrow. They remember and hound you down tomorrow or the day after!!! Rather buy now if it appeals to you or say no thank you. Learn a bit of basic Kiswahili before you go and greet everybody. So much different from SA where eye contact is not made.
Verimark and Solomon / Suleiman (the beach based tour operators) live up to their reputation of organising exceptional tours and excursions. We had fun everytime we went out with them. All the excursions were controlled, with permits and check points to ensure safety to all.
Plan your trip before you go, know what you want to see and what you want to do - there is so much. I would recommend an excursion off the hotel premises every second day - the roads are a bit rough (all are tarred) and the taxi drivers a bit hectic - but all is safe. Police road blocks all over the island to check road worthiness of taxis and "legality" of tours conducted. Spend the days at the hotel relaxing, walking on the beach or meeting other people. Pole pole (meaning slowly slowly).
Purchase stuff like beaded sandals and sarongs on the beach or if in Stonetown ask your guide to take you to shops off the high road - they are cheaper. And if you find that you did not buy sometime and badly want to take a memento back home, the airport has a good shop at affordable prices (like the board game of Bao).
In true Zanzibari fashion I can only say: Hakuna Matata (no problems).

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Jambo_Mamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2009

What an incredible attitude to service, the staff were excellent. Our room was spotless, the food was really good and we would definitely recommend this hotel. We could have stayed another 2-3 days quite happily. Snorkelling at Mnembe reef was definitely the best I have seen anywhere in the world. We organised our trip outside the hotel, paid $50 each for 1/2 day snorkelling and it felt like exceptional value for money given the experience.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jambo60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2009

stunning location hotel staff went out of their way to make it an unforgettable experience
"Hakuna Matata" and they mean it !!!! "Santi Sana" To all the staff at Mapenzi !!!!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sharkeySouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2009

The best ever..... Sept/Oct best time to go. The service was great.
The hotel offers some deals but your best option is to go down to the beach and ask for
Solomon Verimark or James Bond they offer you great deals on snorkling, going to Stone town or swimming with the dolphins. They charge 1/3 of the hotel prices and is just as good if not better. This is highly recomended

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank chandre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2009

This was the best value for money that we ever experienced. We were a little bit apprehensive before we got to Mapenzi (we read a few negative reviews), but our fears were unfounded.

The staff is friendly, service at the hotel is great, rooms are clean & spacious & the food is decent. The only thing that needed getting used to is the beach boys that kept wanting to do business.

If you want to do touring activities, organise this with Verimark & Suleiman on the beach - they are a LOT cheaper than the hotel & are just as dependable.

I recommend that a trip to Stonetown should be one of the first outings. You get a basic idea of the island live & what one can shop for. Remember to haggle about prices - otherwise you will be taken advantage of.

From a currency perspective, don't bother with Tanzanian shillings or travellers cheques. Take cash - USD preferably as this is quoted everywhere. Remember to take SUFFICIENT small currency (USD1, 5 etc) as you need to tip taxi drivers, tour guides etc.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank CapeTownBoertjie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2009

I'll admit that I read some of the reviews the night before we left, and it left me feeling sick and not wanting to go anymore. I gladly eat humble pie. What a terrific trip. If you looking for a smaller type hotel that isn't going to be over run by thousands of holiday makers, then this is most definately the place for you. There were 8 of us in our group and there wasn't a negative remark from anyone. The management staff are on the ball, as are all the hospitality and kitchen/bar staff. They really go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Rooms were great, myself and a friend had a twin room that was joined to the neighbouring room but most rooms were individual buildings with a porch and chairs to relax on. Swimming pool and dinning room is very central with the bar within easy reach. The buildings in general are very open plan and spacious. Dinning room is very big, and the selection of food on offer was great. Not a lot of red meat, but loads of fish and other exotic dishes. Besides, you need to try the traditional foods. I'm sure you'll survive one or two nights without red meat. Desserts are amazing, fresh fruit etc always available and prepared while you wait, so you know its 100% fresh. Be prepared to be swamped by locals the first time you step foot on the beach. Once they know you've been attended to they leave you alone. "Verimark" is one of the locals that organises tours and pretty much anything else you might need at very competitive prices compared to the same tours offered through the hotel. He was wearing a red Ferrari cap when we were there. We did most of our tours through him. Because everything is generally in USD, it pays to go throug him, otherwise you'll be paying through your nose for tours. During high tide, the waves reach right up to the wall, during low tide, its quite a walk to the reef for some snorkeling. Yes, there are loads of urchins, so wear some shoes, but there's plenty of other stuff to see in the shallow water on the way to the reef, so don't let the distance stop you from going. You'll also meet the very friendly seaweed farmers on the way.
There is always something going on at the hotel, activities are organised by the entertainment staff, sports in the afternoon, shows in the evening etc. Do yourself a favour, and extend your stay at Mapenzi if you are able to do so. Excellent holiday, would go back tomorrow if I could.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
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8  Thank ZanzibarbarianTour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Diamonds Mapenzi Beach

Address: PO Box 100, Mahonda, Tanzania (Formerly Sandies Mapenzi Beach Club)
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Mahonda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mahonda
Price Range: £160 - £311 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Diamonds Mapenzi Beach 4*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the east coast of Zanzibar on the Kiwengwa shoreline, Diamonds Mapenzi Beach perfectly blends in the natural environment of the surrounding landscape, covering an area of 4 hectares blessed with a long white beach and lush tropical gardens of palms and colourful bougainvillea. The Resort is just 40 minutes from Zanzibar international airport and is a perfect choice for guests in search of a retreat that offers a nice mixture of relax,fun and extensive all inclusive services ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandies Mapenzi Beach Club Hotel Mahonda
Mapenzi Beach Hotel
Mapenzi Beach Zanzibar
Diamonds Mapenzi Beach Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

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