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“Great eco-tourism concept on beautiful island” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chumbe Island Coral Park

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Chumbe Island Coral Park
Ranked #5 of 173 Hotels in Zanzibar Island
Certificate of Excellence
Copenhagen
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great eco-tourism concept on beautiful island”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2014 via mobile

we stayed three nights on the Chumbe Island and had a remarkable fine experience.
the pick-up on Zanzibar main island was well organized and we were received by extremely friendly and competent staff when we arrived following 45 minutes sail trip.
we got the two huts furthest away from the restaurant, very well placed and very close to the beach.
the service and food was superb, with lots of fresh sea food every evening for dinner. the coral reefs were very nice and we were well assisted by the instructors. highlights were the many crabs, incl the amazing coconut crabs, the plentitude of colorful fish at the reef , the paradise fly catchers and most surprising the colony of roseate terns breeding on one of the two small islets just outside Chumbe. The difference between high and low tide is around two meters and will determine the activities you plan - fine info on the timing of the tide on the board at the center.
only drawback was the eco-toilets that were not free of odors, but still a great concept with the full eco-approach

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Peter Bonne E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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584 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (141)
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English first
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
155 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

I wished I'd stayed longer than the 2 nights, but the price is slightly prohibitive (I think the other reviewer who talks about $90 was probably a day-tripper). I loved it here, very peaceful and lots of seats and day beds to enjoy the island and views of the ocean. The Eco-bungalows are ingenious with an amazing attention to detail to make it all Eco, like the coconut shell lamp shades. Be aware this isn't a 5 star hotel, so don't expect a jacuzzi bathtub, or air con and satellite TV! But it is a great place to feel like you're on a desert island for a couple of days, watching the waves, seeing hermit crabs, and coconut crabs, snorkelling over the coral and generally relaxing. Loved lying in bed with the wall lowered looking out to sea, and hearing the waves. Food was delicious.

Room Tip: Bungalows 6 and 7 are nearer the sea. 1 is closest to the main lodge, but still private.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Worldroamer4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014 via mobile

This is an island you absolutely must visit! Even if you stay here for one day, you are treated like a king/queen. For only 90dollars, you'll get a private bungalow with shower and a magnificent view over the beach, really good food (chocolate dessert!!), drinks, a snorkel gear and guide and a tour round the island.
you should definately try the snorkeling!
.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank InezVh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2014

My friend and I stayed here for 2 nights in July 2014 and it was AMAZING!! After our camping safari it was strange to be in such exclusivity and luxury but we certainly loved it!! This tiny island has everything you could want for a private and unique experience in Zanzibar. The eco friendly lodges are stunning and very comfortable with fabulous beach front views. The snorkelling is incredible and some of the most diverse and highly populated reefs I've ever seen. All of the staff were so wonderful and friendly and the food was divine!! At night there is the unique guarantee of seeing the huge coconut crabs up close and personal right outside the main lodge! They really make an effort to make your stay feel as exclusive an private as possible, although of course there are lots of grow activities you can partake in if you wish. It was also great to see such a commitment to education of local people and a sense of community here to really work to protect the reef. I would definitely recommend Chumbe if you are in Zanzibar.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mop22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedminster, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

This place is unique and magical. Never been anywhere else like it. Rooms are like enchanted tree houses, food is delicious, staff is amazing, but best of all...the snorkeling. I have never experienced such fantastic snorkeling in my life. A truly unforgettable experience.

Room Tip: We had the larger room with living area which we loved.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Phoebe W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erdenheim, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2014

We arrived by boat (the only way possible) from Zanzibar on rather choppy seas after several hours of flight from the Selous. My mobility impaired spouse required a lot of assistance from the very gracious staff and, exhausted, we were greeted at reception by other friendly, enthusiastic staff. Although it was after lunch time, we were seated looking on the Indian Ocean and served a fabulous lunch including octopus marsala. We were shown to our thatched bungalow which was so beautiful in construction & furnishings, and very comfortable. We had no problem with the composting toilet, solar hot water shower (well, warm water shower). We fell asleep to the sound of the ocean.
The chef was very talented, and the fare was inventive, delicious and bountiful.
I had a ranger who was an expert bird-spotter lead me on a forest walk, where he showed me Coconut Crabs, the largest crustacean in the world, which can grow to 3 feet! Also snorkeled (with very good equipment provided) with the help of an intern, Sarah, who identified many of the species of fish & coral beneath us.
Chumbe provides a wonderful opportunity to teach schoolchildren and adults, including fishermen, the importance of respecting the environment and promoting sustainable practices. Our 2 nights on the island were too short. I'd rate this 6 stars, beyond excellent!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LaurieZiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014

Having read all the amazing reviews about this place we were extremely excited about staying on Chumbe for two nights and unfortunately ended up being disappointed by the place.

The island is indeed very beautiful as it is entirely made out of coral and has a beautiful little forest that has developed in the middle of it. Although the scenery is beautiful you can't really get in and out of the sea at any time as the ground is pretty edgy since it's all made out of coral. The rooms are simple but very pretty and the opening sides of the roofs on the top levels is really beautiful. The compost toilets were a huge problem for us, since the odors coming out were really unbearable. I understand the ecological approach and really appreciate it, however for me this was really disappointing. Furthermore the shower was barely running (more so dripping), so taking a shower in that smelly bathroom really took a while. The food was nice, although when it was buffet style it tended to run out if you were not quick enough. The beers, that were charged for an extra $3.00 were always barely cool, as where all the drinks on the island. The reef itself was indeed very beautiful with a really stunning variety of corals, however we did not manage to enjoy it, since the snorkeling equipment we were given was in a dreadful condition. All the equipment was extremely old, worn and quite dirty.

One thing that has to be mentioned is that all the people working on the island were very nice and extremely helpful and helped us make the most of our stay.

We did not find this place cheap at all and although, as the managers claim the funds go towards the preservation of the island, we do believe that they could offer much better level of service, mostly by investing some of these funds in the touristic infrastructure (e.g. new snorkeling equipment, more advanced odor free compost toilets and eco friendly fridge for drinks, etc.).

As the island is right now, I would strongly urge anyone visiting Zanzibar to go to Chumbe on a day trip for snorkeling and bring their own gear.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank PidaHa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chumbe Island Coral Park

Property: Chumbe Island Coral Park
Address: Chumbe Island, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Zanzibar Island
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Chumbe Island Coral Park 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award-winning exclusive private island, fully managed nature reserve and marine park. Guided tours included through spectacular coral reef, forest and mangrove nature trails, historic lighthouse and visitors' centre. State-of-the-art zero-footprint eco-architecture (photovoltaic energy, rainwater harvesting, solar water heating, composting toilets). Free environmental education programs for local schools. Winner of British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow award 1999, UNEP Global500 award 2000, National Geographic Geotourism Challenge award 2008, finalist Aga Khan award for architecture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chumbe Island Coral Park Hotel Zanzibar
Chumbe Island Coral Park Zanzibar

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