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.
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..
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.
- 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