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“"If You're Angry, That's Your Problem."”

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Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel
Reviewed 18 April 2014

This is what a man--some kind of a manager--at Kendwa Rocks Hotel said to me. Why? It's all because of this system they have of using a plastic card to buy drinks. (They don't accept cash).

The problem began at the Full Moon Party when my friend, having already ordered many drinks and having had his card handed back each time along with the drink he ordered, ordered a drink but didn't get it or the card back. He waited a few minutes and then became curious. He asked the bartenders where his drink was, and they didn't know. He asked them where his card was, and they said they didn't know. After arguing with them a bit, he went to reception and got a new card. The next day, he returned to reception to check his balance. It was 0--they told him his card had no balance. We thought he got a lucky break, and it seemed like he deserved one after the ordeal with the bartenders.

When we went to reception to check out 3 days later, they had "found" his first card, and wanted its balance in addition to the second card's balance. I'm sure the problem is obvious. There were drinks on the card that he didn't order. We tried explaining to the woman working there, who was very nice and had been all week, that the bartenders had possibly had his card but that somebody had clearly ordered drinks on it. Enter bad cop. This other manager refused to listen. The bill included a mixed drink I know my friend didn't order. I told the bartender that he hadn't ordered it and bartenders had probably ordered these drinks. He said it's impossible. "They have cameras everywhere." I told him (probably yelled, admittedly) that we weren't going to pay and he said "If you're angry, that's your problem."

Thankfully, my friend had every receipt and was able to prove the man wrong. If he hadn't, I don't know what would've happened.

The lesson I learned is that I can take a vacation in Africa, but I can't take one from Africa. A manager in the United States couldn't say that to me. His unprofessionalism makes everyone look bad and left a bad taste in our mouths, which is too bad because all the other staff at Kendwa Rocks are great, especially some servers at the restaurant, namely Arusha.

The beach is gorgeous and they were smart to put sand so far back so that even at the highest of tides people can lay out and play volleyball. They do need a rinse station at the top of the stairs on the way to the rooms though. The bathrooms are filthy just because of sandy feet. The staff do clean the bathrooms every day. They could also crank their refrigerators down 1.5 degrees Celsius. The beer in Kigali is much colder than it is at Kendwa Rocks, and Kigali isn't as hot.

If you stay vigilant with your card, you could stay here. It is relaxing (minus bad cop manager). Just be careful.

Room Tip: Banda room 6 or 7 is ideal for the combination of money, nearness to the beach, nearness to recepti...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Steve L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aino T, Front Office Manager at Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2014

Thank you for your feedback and I’m really sorry to hear you had a bad experience staying with us. We hope you will accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you have experienced during your stay at our hotel. We had around 800 people at our Full Moon Party, so the bartenders did get very busy.

The manager in question wants to send his personal apology to you and your friend for his actions and any misunderstandings.

We are happy to hear that you otherwise liked our hotel and will also consider your suggestion about the rinse station.

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246 - 252 of 642 reviews

Reviewed 8 April 2014

We were terribly disappointed by our stay here.

1) Rooms - we stayed in one of the forest lodges which was supposed to be one the most recently built lodges. Our airconditioning didn't have a remote control, the hairdryer did not work and when we asked them to fix it, the staff tried to fit a european plug into a UK plug! and another one of the powerpoints had sparks flying out of it, the safe was microscopic.

2) Beach and activities - the beach was nice and more isolated than nungwi but I actually thought the beach in nungwi was nicer than the one in kendwa. The excursions are double the price (40-45 for a full day of snorkelling compared to 20 in town). They take advantage of the isolated location to charge more!

3) Food - the breakfast was quite good, juice, fruit, eggs, pancakes, tea/coffee. The dinner however was very overpriced (again double the price for food in nungwi) and I would suggest trying Mangi's bar or Langi Langi in town which has incredible octopus and traditional zanzibar-prepared seafood and very reasonably priced compared to kendwa.

4) Transport - I booked a ferry transfer to the airport which I would suggest NOT to do, taxis offer $30 in town. We missed the 7am ferry from Dar so I rung them unsuccessfully to suggest we change the pick up. They eventually responded to our call around 2-3hours from arrival and the staff told me the driver was already waiting but we discussed with the staff that it would be ok to change the transfer to the return trip. We then spent the day in Stonetown and made our own way to Kendwa. The staff at reception on arrival confirmed it would be ok to change the transfer to our return to the ferry terminal. On the morning of our departure, despite being told a number of time by staff that it would be ok to get the transfer back, we were told that because the driver had been sent to pick us up on the first day we were forced to pay for the transport again!! The staff and manager Irene were very uncompromising and we were terribly disappointed about how they dealt with this, especially given the driver confirmed that they only left 1 hour before ferry arrival for pick up and would not have been waiting there 2-3 hours before like they were suggesting.

All up, I would not recommend staying here to anyone. It is overpriced and you can get much better places to stay and nicer places to eat in town.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank CapuMEOdo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irene L, Front Office Manager at Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2014

Thank you for your feedback and I’m really sorry to hear you had a bad experience staying with us. I’m sorry to hear that your room was missing the A/C remote. Next time please let us know at the reception, so we can fix the issue immediately. We will make sure now that all our rooms have A/C remotes and all our electric appliances are working and are plugged in.

Actually in price comparison our restaurant prices are more or less the same than the restaurants you mentioned. Most of our main course prices vary between 8,000 – 14,000 Tanzanian shillings, which is the case in most restaurants located on the beach in Kendwa and Nungwi.

According to our cancellation policy, our customers need to cancel the ordered pick-up transport at least one day before in order to get a full refund. This is because we need to plan all our transport logistics for the entire hotel well in advance. Our driver is sent to town already the night before for the 7 am ferry pick-up, so that we can guarantee for him to be there on time. In such cases we have already paid for the fuel and salary for him in advance.

I’m sorry you felt that we were uncompromising regarding the refund of the pre-arranged transport. Our driver was willing to wait for you at the ferry terminal for your arrival with the next boat, even if it meant a long waiting time for our driver. However, you chose to take another means of transportation instead and not use this option. We also only charged you half of the amount for the pick-up, which only covered the fuel but not the driver’s salary, even though it is not in line with our cancellation policy. We are very sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with these compromises offered and also about any misunderstanding and miscommunication from our behalf.

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A TripAdvisor Member
52
Reviewed 4 April 2014 via mobile

Pros
- Amazing atmosphere and vibe- especially during sunset
- Gorgeous beach, spectacular sunset views
- Kiwayuu chalet was awesome
- Staff was super friendly
- Food was really tasty (besides for their breakfast)
- lovely ambience for dinner on the beach around a large bonfire
- Warm welcome and beautifully decorated room for our first wedding anniversary with a private dinner and champagne.

Cons
- Breakfasts are the same every morning and are quite bland.
- Our bath was cracked and thus unusable

Conclusion:
We will definately recommend Kendwa Rocks to prospective travelors as we were by friends and wouldn't mind coming back ourselves!

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2014

Amazing hotel on the beach in the most beautiful part of Kendwa.
Great for those travelling in large groups.

Restaurant is good as well, pizzas are excellent. And you can't beat the cocktails, especially at happy hour!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Jessica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2014

This is the first hotel built here, 1996, and the rooms seems to need more renovation. The location is great, the staff is great and the restaurant is great BUT the rooms are too expensive in comparison to what you get next door, at Kendwa Sunset.
We stayed three nights at Kendwa Sunset but as we liked the restaurant better at Kendwa Rocks we moved and that we regretted.... because of the bad standard of the beach bungalow, it had an AC but it didn't work and it was very warm when we were there.

Room Tip: Make sure that the AC works!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Barbro E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Hi everyone!Stayed in the hotel for 9 nights in coconut bungalow! there are 2 tipes of coconut bungalows : separate and 2 or 3 rooms. Better take the separate one, because there is no soundproofing in the rooms, and better to live without neighbours. The rooms are clean, there was no troubles with a/c, electricity and hot water. Staff is friendly and helpfull. Good restaurant with italian/ tanzanian/ european and japanese food! It is safety to leave your things on the sun- beds for the time you are swimming or walking, there are enough security. The beach is great, doesn't metter it is morning or evening, you can swim any time you want. Breakfast is normal. But it is very noizy in coconut bungalows at the party time ( on sundays), no chance to sleep!i think in stone bungalows the situation is the same.Good value for money!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank DMax D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014

Among the different places I have been to in Zanzibar, this has definitely the best white-sand beach and amazing sunsets. Food is good but pricy and the whole bracelet (no cash) system is perfect to make you spend more money you would like to. We stayed in the banana banda (or something like that), the cheap rooms without toilet inside, which are basically very much camping style, but we didn’t mind. And it was cheap.
I would definitely recommend Kendwa to young people, travelling on budget (not too small budget, though, or leave the hotel to eat and don’t drink too much), who would be happy to meet other fellow travelers or who just like having people around. This being said, I have been once with my parents, to have sushi at the sunset (although we were staying at another place) and they loved it too.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DanielaGr2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel

Address: Kendwa Beach, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 263 Speciality Lodging in Zanzibar Island
Price Range: £75 - £207 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
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Also Known As:
Kendwarocks Bungalows Hotel Zanzibar

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