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“Beautiful setting but a few flaws”
Review of Sunset Kendwa

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Sunset Kendwa
Ranked #140 of 169 Hotels in Zanzibar Island
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting but a few flaws”
Reviewed 13 April 2014

Sunset Bungalows was a fantastic break for us.

After weeks on an overland truck we arrived to be amazed by the large clean rooms with four poster beds and big bathrooms. Each room also had a large balcony with nice outdoor furniture. We had several plumbing problems with our room. The hot water hose to the sink burst twice and we saw flooding in other rooms.

The beach that belongs to the hotel is stunning. Possibly the best beach that I have ever been too. But the rooms aren't on the beach, most of them are set up on the hill.

There is no wifi in the hotel but you can get it from the scuba shop next door and it works from the hotels restaurant. The restaurant is ok, I had one good meal there but the rest were very disappointing. I would recommend eating at the restaurants down the beach. Having said that the bar does have a good night life and is a fun place for a few drinks.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank AmesAbout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New Delhi, India
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Me and my colleague were on a business trip to Dar Es Salam....went to Zanzibar island on a weekend....we enquired about the best beaches in Zanzibar...Most locals suggested this place...It was one among the best beaches I have seen...the hotel is just average but the beach was amazing...the restaurant in the beach called bikini bar served drinks and food on the beach ...totally an amazing place...one of closest experience to the nature...three stars for the hotel but five stars for the beach...

Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank vikkyhyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lusaka, Zambia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 March 2014

First let me start off by saying, ''When the deal is too good, think twice"! We wish we did. Rooms are nothing to write home about, nothing fancy. Breakfast, the worst we have ever come across. The coffee was tasteless and just looked like coloured water. Our rooms had a terrible stench from the bathroom. The staff are permanently in a trance, every time was story time, too lazy for our liking thus service was very poor. We cut short our stay by two days to a better place. There are better places just next door.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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1 Thank jipenda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Zanzibar Island hotels

Edmonton, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2014

The reception at the beach bungalows makes you expect that the rooms will be incredible. The room, while nice, and very spacious, had the huge four poster bed in an area which left one side of the bed searing hot at night because the fan does not cool it. We had to move the bed to a more central fan oriented location ourselves. Our bungalow was alongside the main path to and from reception (and other rooms) and so we got a lot of noise every single morning/night from both other guests and staff.

There was a storm one night and the water stopped working for almost 24 hours. When we went to ask at reception when the water would be back on we were mostly ignored. The beach bathrooms for the restaurant were decently clean, but certainly not while the water was off!!! Yikes....!!!!

The sunset bungalows restaurant is really poor. The food is decent, but the service is abhorrent. Up to a 45 minute wait some days and there was hardly anyone else in the restaurant. Other days the food came suspiciously quickly. The breakfast is nothing to write home about, hard toast, serve yourself tea coffee and juice, and a mediocre egg. The fruit was nice, but that was about it. They have a nice selection of cocktails, but be prepared to wait. We ordered at the bar for two papagena, and it took about 15 minutes for them to make.

Overall for the price (originally quoted at 98USD a night) it wasn't really worth it. A fan cooled room cost us $60 USD/night for a double, which was alright, but to be honest, you could probably get better value elsewhere.

Be warned of rolling blackouts. If that happens, the rooms are like a sauna. The power was off frequently while we were there, but we were never told why or when we could expect it back. It also goes off frequently in the night.

Overall, I wouldn't excitedly recommend the sunset bungalows. They were decent, and beautiful from the outside, but nothing really to get excited about service wise. I'd go with the other reviews and check out an alternative restaurant on the beach. (And the Kendwa Rocks beach bar is cheaper for drinks and you get them quicker)

Room Tip: Go to Kendwa Rocks or another place for drinks and food. Consider spending money for a full english...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank EirinnMandrusiak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
71 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2014

For reference, I am a 30 year old female, travelled with a group tour and stayed here from 22-25 Dec 2013. Unfortunately for that reason I can't tell you how much it cost per night!

Staying at Sunset Bungalows gave me a great first impression of the accommodation standards in Africa.
This place is set on a massive piece of property about ~40min-1hr (?) drive from Stone Town.
The entrance doesn't have much impact but walk down to the beachfront to meet a few kilometres of direct access to the Indian Ocean.
Being a resort, it is set far from shops and villages so it has its own bar (with TV) and restaurant offering a variety of western food.
Breakfast will be included in room rate - small fruit platter, eggs cooked to your liking (quite bland) + toast and coffee/tea/juice.
Alcoholic drinks will range from 2500TZS for a local beer to 6000TZS for a Cider called Savanna (~AUD$2-5) and food was ~10 000TZS for entrée to ~30 000TZS for a steak (~AUD$6-30).

Pro's:
Rooms are of normal size with 'princess-like' beds using mosquito nets- not too firm/soft. (I stayed in a 3person room)
Bathroom was spacious and bright - no notable leaking or mould.
Showerhead with enough water pressure
In-room safe
Air Conditioning that works
Nice balcony and rooms set in nice resort style gardens
The beach lounges are free
Beach water is clean however children will need supervision as it gets deep suddenly
Beach sand is clean
The nightlife is surprisingly vibrant. Bar stays open until late and bar staff are always happy to chat.
There is another resort on the left if you want to try another menu or there is another awesome beach bar

Cons:
Check in/out takes a few minutes more than necessary
Food at the restaurant takes longer than necessary (order when you're peckish because you'll be starving when it comes out)
Huge ants around the grounds - clearly this point is uncontrollable being nature
Depending on your room location, it may take a few minutes to get to the beach

Remember if something doesn't go to plan - TIA = This is Africa.
Travel safe!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nat K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney Olympic Park, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2014

Initially my opinion of Sunset Bungalows was quite high, decent rooms, nice beach, things seemed alright. A group of us were booked to stay two nights and on the afternoon of the second day 3 of our rooms were broken into and our belongings searched through. Overall approximately $500 US was stolen and two mobile phones.

The rooms were locked prior to and after the robbery, as such it must have been someone who had a key into all the rooms. It also didnt help that the safe's in a number of the rooms were not operable. When the robbery was reported to reception staff they simply initially ignored it and blamed the occupants of the rooms. They refused to contact the police saying "they dont know the number" and the police "are too far away". We persisted and took a taxi to the police which was less then 1km away. The reception staff then showed up at the police station and told the police that nothing had been stolen and that we made the whole story up.

The staff were extremely rude through out the entire episode and continually laughed at the people who had things stolen. They claim to have security however they wee not present at the time of the robbery and the security camera's were "not working that day".

I would not recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mike3065485
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Appiano sulla Strada del Vino, Italy
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2014

Sunset Bungalows in Kendwa is one of the worst accommodation I have ever seen . We came from a one-week safari in Tanzania mainland and slept there in tents , but that was better than this "hotel" by far. It was the last stop on our Tanzania trip , before we visited the east coast of Zanzibar and Stone Town - a different world.
What we saw at Sunset Bungalows was just gruesome and I have been traveling in several countries in Asia and in Australia as a backpacker . We paid $ 100 for a Deluxe bungalow right on the beach (but we coulden't see the sea from there, because it wasn't on the beach).
Even the entrance to the resort is not inviting, the hotel's reception was handling us like animals and then we got our room. It was really bad. A broken roof on the porch , dirty sheets, extremely dirty curtains, dark room , dirty bathroom with loose cables ecc. We said : ok, hopefully the beach is better. But there came the next nasty surprise . Where were the hammocks and the relaxed atmosphere? The sunbeds were to 80% broken, everything was criss-crossed as if a bomb had struck. The beach and the water is not bad, but I have seen much better beach in other parts..
We had booked and paid for , so we would stay 2 nights. The bar on the beach was an other flop, extremely rude staff , long waits even if there were just 10 people.

Just a few words to the night ... incredible .... till 5 clock in the morning the music of Kendwa Rocks was on and it was extremly loud - impossible to sleep. Incomprehensible , as we were at the party too before and there were just about a 100 guys - no party people. So it's not even a paradies for partylovers or backpackers. And for a couple holiday there it is the very last. Finally the breakfast: the waitress gave us a nice welcome saying: "What do you want?" we got 2 pieces of fruit, tea and a inedible egg... the rest was not for free. So no breakfast included.

So to stay the final judgment, Sunset Bungalows and also Kendwa was the worst place of Zanzibar we saw. 0% authentic Zanzibar or Africa, 80% of Italians for which I myself am ashamed as I'm Italian too, 80% of Hotel Club tourists even the animators of this outrageously expensive Italian clubs Kendwa are Italians and didnt speak a word of English ... what a shame. If you want to see the real Zanzibar to the East Coast to Jambiani or Paje or Kiwengwa ... beautiful places with the friendliest locals. In addition,stay about two days in Stone Town and you will soon understand how beautiful this island is.. Forget Kendwa or Nungwi - never ever again.

Room Tip: Just don't go there....if you must: don't book the Beach Bungalows.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank chris0084
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sunset Kendwa

Property: Sunset Kendwa
Address: P.O. Box 3546, 3546, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#102 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunset Kendwa 3*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Sunset Kendwa, your place to stay in the tropical paradise of Zanzibar's north coast. Fringed by powdery-white sand beaches, azure waters, and thriving coral reefs, the exotic spice island of Zanzibar is the most idyllic of tropical destinations. We offer a wide range of brightly decorated traditional rooms and bungalows, as well as all the facilities you will need to help you ease into Zanzibar's relaxed pace of life. Right on the perfect sands of Kendwa beach on Zanzibar's north coast, this is the perfect place to unwind, spend your days swimming or sun-bathing, snorkelling, scuba diving with our award winning on site water sports centre Scuba Do Zanzibar ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunset Bungalows Hotel Zanzibar
Sunset Hotel Zanzibar
Sunset Beach Hotel Zanzibar

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