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“Nice hotel, friendly staff”

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Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 19 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 June 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Royal Zanzibar for seven nights and had a pretty good time but also did have mixed feelings about it.

Pros
The hotel is about an 80 minute drive from the airport/stone town. The drive there appears rural but the hotel is located by possibly the best beach in Zanzibar. Nungwi beach is magnificent. It has soft white sand and crystal clear water made up of several different shades of turquoise and blue. It was truly stunning. My wife and I have traveled to many of the worlds most amazing islands and Nungwi beach is up there with the best. The hotel grounds are beautiful with palm trees, lawns and lush vegetation. The buildings are all white and have an Arab touch. The staff were by far the best part of the hotel, right from check in which is really efficient, to the waiters, cleaners, bar staff, porters etc. It's unbelievable how truly lovely they were. The dinner and lunch at Spices restaurant had flavours of India, Arabia, Africa and of course Zanzibar and the meals on the whole was very tasty. We loved the pizza station as well (tip - the pizza at night is way better than the day because of the evening pizza cook being fantastic). Another thing we loved about this hotels were the pools and swim up bar - fantastic..

Cons
The rooms were nice with an Arabic touch, be it rather bare and dated with a TV from 1985 (or there about) but the bathrooms were bad. They looked really tired and are in desperate need of a refurbishment. There were cracked walls, the paint was peeling, the window frames had rusty edges. The tub was ok though. The balcony was nice with great views. The worst part of the experience though was the choice of alcohol provided as part of the all inclusive package - the King Robert II range I.e. Vodka, gin, rum etc. This was vile. I have never tasted anything worse in my life. We actually googled this range at its bulk price was US$4 per bottle. We felt cheated and stuck to beer. The wine was equally bad as they use cheap South African box wine (coral reef and Namaqua) that we wouldn't touch routinely. This was a major let down and we felt cheated. Another major con was that the breakfast at Spices was mundane. There seemed to be almost 100% daily repetition. It was disappointing that the Samaki restaurant was closed - we heard 5-6 different reasons for it not being open so I'm not sure what the truth is. They had the beach bar serving food but I'd stay away as the food here is really bad. The burgers and hot dogs are burned into submission, the fish sandwich contains macerated fish soaked in Mayo and the French fries were drenched in oil. The staff were very friendly though.

On the whole, this hotel is OK. We're certainly used to better but we did have a nice time. While this hotel is fine for a general vacation I'd recommend staying elsewhere if you are going to Zanzibar for a special occasion such as a honeymoon etc.

Another tip - if you're going for seven nights, try and stay in stone town for at least one of them as traveling to stone town (or prison island) from nungwi costs more than the tour itself.

I would however like to spend a special shout out to some members of staff who were truly awesome - Tanda the shisha man, James the barman and Juma the porter thanks so much for everything.

Room Tip: Get a room higher up with ocean views
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank SweetAzNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post your kind review of Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort.

We're delighted to hear that you enjoyed our beautiful beach, pools and staff. We're most fortunate to have all three!

I am sorry that you found the rooms and bathrooms in poor shape. Unfortunately this rainy season has been particularly rough with incredibly heavy rains causing a lot of leaks, resulting in paint and wall problems in some of our rooms. I know that there isn't an acceptable excuse for these problems, but unfortunately we have had a challenging time staying ahead of them.

I was also sorry to hear that you had a number of different stories regarding the Samaki Restaurant as I'm really not sure where the confusion lies. The entire roof structure was destroyed in what many locals tell me was the worst storm they've ever experienced. We were able to continue running the restaurant for a while with umbrellas shielding the tables on the open deck, however when the heavy rains kicked in, the kitchen that had been protected by the makuti roof over the concrete roof leaked very badly once the makuti was gone, rendering the kitchen unusable. We have a contractor working on it now, but I'm very sorry that it wasn't available while you were here.

We're glad that you had a nice time and will be sure to share your shout out with Tanda, James and Juma, I know they'll be thrilled to have been mentioned individually.

Thank you once again for choosing Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi. Should you be returning to Zanzibar, please do contact me directly. We would very much appreciate the opportunity to ensure a better experience if you were to trust us with your next stay.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

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Reviewed 9 June 2014

Wow what a wonderful experience!, my family and I had a most amazing time at the Royal Zanzibar Beach Hotel. The staff we some of the friendliest and helpful I've come across. Entertainment was 5 star! The beach party was my fav evening, band vib and food was out of this world. Beaches were so clean and clear, snorkelled every day for Shells and saw some beautiful fish and sea urchins. Cocktails were very tasty and they didn't hold back on the hard stuff!. Beach boys were a bit of a pain but after a few days you get used to them and just ignore them, they get the picture in the end. Pools were so clear, clean and refreshing. We went for the all inclusive package and was DIFFINATLY worth while. I must do for anyone who loves sea, sun and the beach :)

Room Tip: Choose a room not to close to the bar, if you want some quiet time
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Candice S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2014

Dear Candice,

Thank you so much for your lovely review of Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort and for your kind recommendation!

We're so glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and even happier that you enjoyed the beach party! It's one of our favourite events too and so nice when the guests join in the fun. I never cease to be proud of our staff, their warm friendliness is such an asset for us, we'll be sure to thank them for delivering another successful guest stay!

Thank you once again for choosing Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi. We hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

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Reviewed 5 June 2014

Our entire family and a few close friends spent a week at this resort. It was one of the highlights of our holidays over recent years. So we flew into Zanzibar International airport, transferred by bus to the hotel, about 1,5 hours journey towards the North West of the island.

On arrival we were allocated rooms and assisted in getting the luggage into the rooms. Off for our first luncheon in the main restaurant. A buffet with a range of options to satisfy most any taste sensation, curries, cold meats, pizza, pasta, grilled fish and meat. Fresh fruit, juice, coffee tea, a range and spread of deserts and the list goes on. As we were on the all inclusive package, all drinks (soft and selected hard) are included. The range was sufficient for all preferences.

Shortly after you arrive you start noticing the endless greetings form all staff "Jumbo" and it is said in such a joyous way and with gusto. It makes you happy and soon you are part of the endless chorus of greetings.

If you are looking to maintain your weight, best you have serious discipline and avoid all the tempting tasty treats available. The rooms are huge and well decorated, we had a king size bed in ours with a day bed for our little son, the boys had 2 queen beds in theirs and a day bed for the cousin. The room was spotlessly clean and the attention to detail was amazing. Our room keeper made a special layout on each bed every day, swans and flowers, hearts and flowers and each was apt for the member sleeping in the room.

On the second morning, I arrived at breakfast and found another group seated at our reserved table, they were complaining bitterly about the eggs at breakfast and the limited variety they deemed not acceptable. Now I tell you, I chuckled and thought, if you are expecting 5 star Beverly hills catering and service, don't come here, if you are appreciative of the logistical effort in providing a huge range of options and good home-style food, you will be spoilt for choice. Breakfast and all meals for that matter, have a wide variety of options for all tastes and cultures. It is primarily an European cuisine, but has eastern options as well as pastries and breads.

The gardens and space are immaculate, a number of weeding teams weeding the lawns, trimming and shaping the bushes and cleaning the pools. A number of bars over the resort means you are close to a drink at any time. The staff took interest in knowing each of us by name and our preferences. Always smiling and never a request to demanding that they did not oblige. At times there was a bit of congestion at the cocktail bar, but if you just enjoy the tranquillity and experience, this should not trouble you.

The beach has its challenges, you will find a number of vendors hassling to sell and provide services and excursions. My advice is ignore them and say you are not interested all the time and they will soon get the message to just leave you alone, or test your bargaining skills, I would first walk around the beach area and visit a number of the curio shops before making any purchases, the price often asked is 3-4 times loaded to what they will accept.

As a rule, I do not return to a resort or destination as I like to explore new areas and have new adventures, but I will definitely be back here. Our youngest was left to do what he felt like at 5 years old, and I knew he was firstly safe and away from harm, and secondly the staff kept an eye out when he was in the pools or sea/beach. He is however water safe and has been swimming for a few years already.

If you are looking for a holiday with a difference, a really special place and good all inclusive value, this is a must. We arranged a number of excursions from our each with the local vendors. Negotiate the Dhow rates by boat, not by person, they can take 20 plus people and you could pick up the whole dhow for a sunset cruise for the price of a few passengers. Snorkelling is great to the north and east coast of the resort, but just sail south for a few kilometres and you have reefs and schools of fish. In the reef just off the resorts beach we saw lots of sea life.

Beware of the sea urchins and other stinging creatures around the reef and on the seabed.

Room Tip: We stayed downstairs, as we spent the entire day outside and around the resort, a room with a view i...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank BoardroomBus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2014

Jambo!! (just had to get it in one more time!)

Thank you so much, what a pleasure it was to speak with you during your stay and we greatly appreciate your wonderful review!

I never tire of being able to share such kind remarks with our staff. As we discussed while you were here, we know that we're not the Ritz, but we work hard to be an easy, relaxed, hassle-free place to come and retreat from the world for a while. We're just so glad that our style worked so well for your family.

I am sorry about the beach boys, unfortunately with the law requiring that all beaches remain public, there is not a lot we can do about them. Ignoring them is definitely the best way to go.

We're truly honoured that you would consider a return visit. We know we're a little off the beaten track and especially with children, not the easiest place to get to, which makes it even more special that you would return.

Thank you once again for choosing Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi, we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

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Reviewed 3 June 2014

We stayed one week at the Royal Zanzibar and had a great time. We had a room with beach view, it was clean, well-maintained by housekeeping and the beds were great.

The staff is very friendly and helpful, the food is tasty and the 24/7 bar serves some very decent cocktails. I think the hotel was close to being fully booked when we were there, but it never felt too crowded and as most people were sitting close to the beach, me and my girlfriend had the pool and poolbar pretty much for ourselves.

Also, make sure to get a massage from one of the girls at the spa/welness.

Before we left for Zanzibar we had read that the hotel focussed mostly on Italians regarding animation/activities/food and that some people didn't find this pleasant , but in the end it didn't bother us that much, apart from the one time the very sweet keyboard-player in the bar was sent away by some loudmouth Italians who wanted to do karaoke.

Also, the music at the beach and morning-aqua jogging could've been a tad less cheap and intrusive. Surely an Italian interpretation of Celine Dion's or the Venga Boy's biggest hits isn't the best thing one can come up with in such an atmospheric and exotic place.

Having said that, it was still a magical place. The sunsets are beautiful, the dinners on the beach and in the garden where great and the staff make you feel very welcome.

We'll definitely consider the Royal Zanzibar for our next trip as well.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sanderrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your very kind review of Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort!

It's always such a pleasure to hear from guests who have enjoyed their stay and we love sharing these reviews with our staff.

I do apologize for the Karaoke interruption, unfortunately if it was other guests there's not a lot we can do. However we have taken note of your remarks regarding the animation music and will see if we can do something about making it more authentic in the future.

Thank you once again for choosing Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi, we are already looking forward to welcoming you back.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

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Reviewed 2 June 2014

We had a fabulous time at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort. Staff couldn't do enough for us and were always friendly. Lovely setting with stunning pools and a beautiful beach. Food was great and the all inclusive package is certainly worthwhile. The beach boys can be a nuisance but a stern "No" keeps them at bay. The bedroom is very comfortable and spacious with an amazing bathroom featuring a bath big enough for two. We met such nice people during our stay and experienced all the beauty that Zanzibar has to offer such as; Spice Tour, Prison Island, Stonetown, Safari Blue and Mnembe Island. On our next visit to Zanzibar we will most definitely be staying at Royal Zanzibar.

Room Tip: C Block had beautiful views overlooking the swimming pools and beach.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank carmenwylie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Thank you so much for your very kind review and recommendation for Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort!

It's such a pleasure to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to sharing your review with our staff. We're very proud of their efforts to ensure our guests have a terrific vacation and of their friendliness. Of course we also agree with your comments regarding the beautiful setting and beach, but then I'm told we're a little biased, so it's much better coming from you!

Thank you once again for choosing Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi, we are already looking forward to welcoming you back on your next trip to Zanzibar!

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

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Reviewed 29 May 2014

A little paradise, very tranquile and nice resort. Staff extremly friendly. Food was lovely. Beach is wonderful but we could not use itt due to the attacking beach boys wanting to sell you everything and not accepting no for an answer. Distance to the airport is huge, more than 60 minutes drive. Had some issues with the hotel provided taxi, complained to the hotel management via email but never got the answer. Also, you need to pay entry visa for Zanzibar but also the exit visa - 50 bucks each way. Just to keep in mind.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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3  Thank basel260
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post your very kind review of Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort.

We were delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us so much and will very happily share your kind remarks with our staff. We're very proud of them all and it's a pleasure to be able to tell them what an impact they have had on a guest's stay.

I am sorry that the beach boys are such a nuisance. We continue searching for ways to make the situation better but as they are protected by Zanzibar laws that make all beaches public, there are limits to what we can do.

I was also sorry to hear that you asked a question regarding a problem with the taxi and did not receive a response. Please do email the hotel and ask them to send the email to me and I will personally look into it and respond to you.

Thank you once again for choosing Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi, we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

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Reviewed 19 May 2014

The best holiday of my life!! Thank you to Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort; your staff were awesome, friendly and very helpful!! Christo Wessels and I will definitely visit again in the near future! You can't go wrong choosing the Royal Zanzibar Resort! We've met amazing people, seen gorgeous places and had a absolute fantastic time! Now it is back to work, after an amazing time; but it is worth it... By Carike Moggee

I must agree with my partner(Carike Moggee) about Royal Zanzibar Resort. All the promises Kim made was done to perfection. Rooms, staff and everything was just 100%. Thanks to Juma, John and the guys at Mapensi bar you were great. Forget about any negative comments about the resort. This is african 5 star at it's best. If you are looking for 5star Las Vegas style please go and visit there.

If you are going use the following term "Lekker man Lekker" and you will get the best service.


Lekker man Lekker Nou gaan ons braai

Room Tip: Get an upstairs room. Best view
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jcw12000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GM-RZBR, General Manager at Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Jambo Carike and Christo,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your exceptional review of Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort!

It was such a pleasure to meet you both and we were delighted to hear that you had such a great time with us! I appreciated you taking the time to ask some questions before you came and very pleased that we lived up to our promises. I'll be happy to pass on your kind remarks to John, Juma and the team at the Mapenzi Bar, I know they'll be happy to hear that they helped make your vacation special.

Thank you once again for choosing Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort for your stay in Nungwi, we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future... so that our staff can use "Lekker man Lekker" again!

Kind regards,

Kim Elizabeth Bird
General Manager
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

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Additional Information about Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

Address: North Coast, Nungwi, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Nungwi
#3 Family Hotel in Nungwi
#4 Spa Hotel in Nungwi
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Nungwi
#5 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
#6 Romantic Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range: £193 - £444 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 124
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A spectacular view of the Indian Ocean from almost anywhere on the resort makes this all-inclusive property a wonderful choice for those guests looking for a peaceful and relaxing vacation. Fantastic swimming pools, a beautiful beach with clear, turquoise waters and amazing sunsets all add to the ambiance! The rooms are large, approximately 80 square metres for Superior Rooms and 100 square metres for Suites. A spacious bathroom with a large bathtub, separate shower and double sinks provide luxurious comfort. All rooms include a quiet split-unit air conditioner, TV, fridge, coffee and tea making facilities, a safe and a terrace from which to enjoy the view. The warm, friendly staff invite you to enjoy meals in the buffet restaurant with a varied selection of local and international dishes or a traditional pizza oven near the beach offers a quick snack while you relax by the pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Zanzibar Beach Hotel Nungwi
Seaclub Royal Zanzibar Beach Hotel
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort Zanzibar Island/Nungwi

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