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“memorable, restful and superb”

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Chapwani Private Island
Ranked #118 of 168 Hotels in Zanzibar Island
Warkworth, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“memorable, restful and superb”
Reviewed 3 January 2011

I have to admit that I stayed on Chapwani in July 2008 and thought I had placed a review here. I loved the island and the hotel and the food and the staff and of course the lovely Maura. I came there alone straight from climbing Kilimanjaro, exhausted and having suffered from the altitude, etc., and it was such a warm friendly welcome and the peacefulness and the excellent food (for me I have to say I have never tasted better as it was so fresh and well-prepared) and the sound of the waves on the beach at my doorstep and the gentle warm winds and the views of the fishermen as they sail by in thier dows. A cinematic feast. Then to top it all the herons arriving in the morning and the bats leaving at dusk. I have to pinch myself even now when I think about the sheer beauty of it all. And I live in a spectacularly beautiful place in New Zealalnd so it is really something for me to say how lovely and beautiful it all is. As for the cemetery next door to the villa that I had, I loved it, it is truly an historical and beautiful little place and I felt it an honour to go to sleep at night in a villa on a beautiful white sand beach next to the long buried remains of brave saiilors who gave thier lives over 150 years ago fighting slavery. The headstones are engraved with poignant messages and the great baobob trees grow up among the stones. very romantic. My only negative was that for the first 2 nights I happened to be there during the final days of the Dow Film Festival and the noise from the celebrations over on the Stone Town venue made it impossible to sleep. Once that had ended though it was just the sound of the waves which I heard and sleeping was no problem at all.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank lilli95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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English first
dubaï
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2010

Zanzibar has been a great experience for us but not doubt Chawani Island will be the accomadation we will remember above all other. The island itself, service, rooms, swimingpool & food are just the best we experienced during our vacations. No doubt it is the place to stay in Zanzibar!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ryaddubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marseille, France
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2010

As a tour operator specialized in that area, I travel twice a year to Eastern Africa.
Chapwani is my retreat : dramatic view (the beach where the bungalows are settled are facing Stone Town), best food in Zanzibar, perfect service (special mention to Ali & Kathy), relaxing place... I try to start all my visits to Eastern Africa with 2 days in Chapwani, to relax, regenerate and be ready to negociate with my supplyer for 7/10 days.
Obviously, if you are "bling bling style", want plasma screen or pool games, avoid !

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank islands_lover75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paris
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2010

green stuff floating in the pool not nice for kids, rats on the roof. very expensive. no credit cards.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank mogen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barcelona, Spain
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2010

I traveled to Tanzania with my husband and four friends (2 couples) in August, and we did a safari in Northern Tanzania and finalized our wonderful trip with a beach stay in Chapwani Island. I have no words to describe how beautiful and special the place is: a private island, untouched, unspoilt, with a small hotel built with just 10 rooms right on the beach, litterally, a cozy bar & restaurant serving the freshest food. Fish dishes were my favorite, and among them, the delicious red snapper.We were just some 15 people on the island, feeling so privileged in our little paradise, observing from our beach beds the old Zanzibar town and seeing the lazy dhows sail. We were able to visit Stone Town often, do some shopping and enjoy the evening entertainment in nice bars, especially Livingstone!Thanks to Ali and his team for their wonderful job! They are attentive and professional yet they leave you enjoy and do things at your own timings. They gave us very good ideas on things to do, and we enjoyed the fish & corals doing snorkelling around the islands, and we visited the giant tortoises in Prison Island. A fantastic experience and a wonderful cozy island

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank crisstina04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frankfurt
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2009

My wife and I booked one week in advance and expected a nice, secluded island close to paradise due to so many good critics. But what we experienced was quite different.

Let's start with the nice points - lovely beach, comfortable accomodation, clear and warm water which invites for swimming and snorkling. The food was fresh and varied. Being close to ancient and lively Stone Town is convenient and offers great activities besides relaxation on the island.

What we didn't enjoy was the sound at night from various night clubs at the mainland preventing good sleep. Staff and management despite being friendly didn't give us a warm welcome feeling. The pool, or let's call it pit with warm greenish water, was not worth the name, see photo.
Our last day turned into hell. We were short 100 USD on cash for drinks and extras. Due to technical problems our credit cards didn't work whereupon the femal italian manager told us that we could not leave the island despite knowing that we had to get our flight in a few hours. After endless discussions she agreed on getting money from an ATM on the mainland, sending an escort of three guards with us - how degrading is this? Racing from ATM to ATM we still could not manage to get cash, there seemed to be a generall problem to the bank system at this time. So we finally got to the airport telling the manager that we would transfer the money by internet being home - which we offered her right from the start. Well, what can you say - welcome to Chapwani Island!

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank snejr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chapwani, Manager at Chapwani Private Island, responded to this review, 4 September 2010
We would like to inform all Trip Advisor readers regarding this negative comment dated in November 2009, that a new filter for the pool was installed in January 2010.

From then, the pool is kept clean, but please bear in mind that it is fed with sea water, so when the tide is high new water may come in the pool straight from the sea at times.

Our Team keeps a close eye at the status of the pools at all times and hence the same is kept clean and in the right conditions for guests to swim.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2009

Chapwani was the first stay of our Honeymoon and it was a perfect start. It was an excellent place to relax, unwind and watch the sun set.

It does have what some may see as "limitations" - a salt water pool, limited electricity supply and fresh water piped across from the main island. However, this in no way detracted from our stay.

We found all the staff to be friendly, attentive and accommodating and more than happy to help us with our Swahili. Our first night we were surprised as they had set-up a table for us by the pool for dinner and on our last night we had dinner on the beach, again something set-up with no request.

The food was excellent. There was no dinner menu as such and each meal was a surprise. For us this was great as we like to experience new tastes and dishes. However, on the odd occasion that we did require something different, our requirements were catered for.

It is a small island, although activities are not limited. Whilst there, we took a trip to Stonetown, went on a Spice tour, kayaked around the island, went snorkelling at nearby Prison (Changuu) island where we also visited the old prison and saw the huge Giant Tortoises that are bred there. The island itself is interesting with a small and historic grave yard as well as some wildlife - the fruit bats are quite a sight when they all wake at 18:30!

Probably not a place for those who need "luxuries" or to be surrounded by lots of other people. For us, it was ideal.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank thefunkypoultry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chapwani Private Island

Property: Chapwani Private Island
Address: Chapwani, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#88 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Chapwani Private Island 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chapwani Private island is the perfect spot for those seeking a small quiet lodge with good food on a beautiful peaceful beach with Stone Town (Zanzibar main town) and all its facilities just 15 minutes away by boat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chapwani Private Island Zanzibar

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