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Reviewed 16 December 2013

Beautiful location, glorious beach and sea, and superb food. However, the service varied widely from good to eye-poppingly, jaw-droppingly awful. The majority of the staff are willing but it is obvious that that they are woefully under-trained with little, or no, supervision. Senior management, with one or two exceptions, is disinterested and dismissive.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Pumi M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucie M, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 18 December 2013

Dear Pumi M, many thanks for your comment about the Hideaway of Nungwi. We are happy to see that you enjoyed the beauty of our location as well as the quality of our food offer. We are sorry that our service did not meet your expectations and sincerely apologize. We remain however very surprised that you found our senior management disinterested as we have gathered a new team of quite skilled and experienced managers at the Hideaway of Nungwi and their top priority is the well-being of our valued guests. We all hope to have the chance to welcome you again and serve you better. Best regards, Lucie

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Reviewed 16 December 2013

We stayed at this property in October 2013 as part of a large group and we absolutely loved the rooms and the pool and the beach bar. They have the tastiest cocktails at the beach bar.
The only thing that spoilt it for us was the attitude of the Indian vegetarian chef. He was very quick to say no to everything and not too accommodating especially seeing that 90% of our group of 9 people was vegetarian and there was not much else to eat in the buffet. We are not Italian so eating pizza and pasta for all meals everyday becomes a bit difficult especially if we stayed more than 2 days. The meal at the Asian restaurant was one of the best we have had even in proper restaurants in Kenya.
Being charged for Shisha was also not taken well by the group seeing that we were on all inclusive.
We all thought that this was the only let down in the hotel and we would not recommend it to strict vegetarians as they will not enjoy themselves. We stayed a few nights thereafter at the La Gemma exactly next door and their F&B team was much more accommodating. They more than made up for the rooms not being so snazzy with their food and the free Shisha bar was also an added plus.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank WildmanNairobi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucie M, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 18 December 2013

Dear WildmanNairobi, we thank you very much for having taken the time to write a review about the Hideaway of Nungwi. We were thrilled to hear how much you enjoyed our facilities and our tasty cocktails. We are sorry that your experience with our former Sous-Chef at the time did not meet your expectations. We have hired a new Sous-Chef since and as he is a vegetarian himself. We do believe that our vegetarian offer has improved quite a lot and hope to have the opportunity to serve you better in the future, especially regarding our cuisine. Warm regards, Lucie

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Reviewed 8 December 2013 via mobile

The hotel was excellent. The rooms were beautiful with a view of the sea even though we werent close to the coast. No wi-fi in the rooms. Definite downside. Fortunately, we booked soon after opening and had discount opening rates on the junior luxury suite. Good value for money. Charged east africa resident rates for us even though one of us was an international visitor. Responsive on email. Staff who picked phone when i called for enquiries didnt speak/understand english very well.

We (two young women) were the only black people at the hotel during our 5 day stay. Junior staff were friendly and helpful. Senior management (particularly front desk manager) was not very helpful when internet went down in hotel and we needed emergency backup for conference call. The idea to buy a local sim card came from junior staff thought it shd have come from management. Junior staff was also punished for allowing us to drive a golf cart from room to reception which was one of the highlights of the trip for me. I thought it was great that I could drive a golf cart - driving wasnt reckless either! Was probably moving at less than 10km/hr and I have an international driving license!

Also, my friend and I were on different packages even though we were sharing the same suite (all inclusive - all meals & drinks inclusive; and half board - which included breakfast and one meal either lunch or dinner). This was a problem everytime we went for a meal since there didnt seem to be a system to manage tracking and it was very irritating to be quizzed abt it for every meal, every single day of our stay. To crown it all the Indian front officer manager was very rude at checkout - questioning who had drinks and who ate what, when. If the hotel didnt have the capacity to manage offering two different packages for the same room they shdnt have offered it. Seemed very racist and offensive and considering the unhelpfulness from the same manager when the internet went down was not impressed at all by the service.

The above notwithstanding, cultural performances/entertainment was good. Outdoor jacuzzi was freezing cold. Sauna had teething problems but when it worked it was good. Had pedicure manicure and full body scrub and massage - all good. Gym was goo - decent array of equipment and view of the sea as you sweat. Yoga instructor was ok was more of a cool-down-stretches-after-gym session than yoga. Went out on the catamaran severally that was great! Snorkeling and numerous other deep sea activities (parasailing, swimming with the dolphins) available if you have the time and money - everything was slightly pricey for a budget traveller (abt $120 per activity). Also hotel was over an hour and a half away from the airport and an hour to stone town transportation one way cost abt $50.

We elected not to leave the hotel and spent 5 days doing absolutely nothing - gym, beach, pool, shisha, catamaran, sleep, beach parties & evening entertainment, watching the stars and interacting with mostly the f&b staff. Most others there were couples and families on a romantic holiday or on vacation. Dress code: bikinis hats and margueritas all day! All in all a beautiful holiday despite the senior management. Will definitely recommend to a friend.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Emi-Beth A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucie M, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 10 December 2013

Dear Emi-Beth A, Thank you for your Trip advisor review we are pleased you enjoyed your stay with us last July and appreciated our very competitive opening promotional rates. Since your visit the entire management team at the hotel has changed and we have ironed out most of the initial teething problems that occur at any hotel opening. With regards to the driving of our buggies by guests we of course cannot allow this with regard to the health and safety of our valued guests.
Regards, Lucie

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Reviewed 7 December 2013

From the moment we arrived at Hideaway we were made to feel welcome and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a jacuzzi suite which was fantastic and our butler Alonsia could not have been more helpful - she was wonderful.
The food was also top class with both a myriad of buffet food (always fresh looking) and food being freshly cooked to choose from at all meals. Also, the drinks that were available on the all inclusive rate were very pleasant and the wine flowed freely. The entire property was beautifully cared for and the gardens were a delight to walk through.
Having arrived here to relax after having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro it absolutely fitted the bill, and for me the highlight was that we could actually see Mount Kilimanjaro on the horizon from Hideaway!!

Room Tip: If you can go for a jacuzzi suite, do it! We stayed in Bougainvillea and it was wonderful!
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ScotlandDiscerning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucie M, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 9 December 2013

Dear ScotlandDiscerning,
Thank you for your kind comments on Trip Advisor, they have been passed onto the entire team and will be much appreciated. We are very proud of our wonderful resort The Hideaway of Nungwi and are so delighted you had such a wonderful stay with us and obviously appreciated our lovely hotel as much as we all do. We very much hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back one day, Regards, Lucie

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Reviewed 4 December 2013

Thank you Hideaway of Nungwi for making our dreams come true. The staff was fantastic courteous and gentle ...the ROMANTIC dinner on the beach with candles was unreal ( there was no way she could say NO!) . The jacuzzi suites are tastefully decorated , Large sitting room and bedroom, huge bathroom ( bigger than our sitting room ), the furnishing, the details and the opulence truly a 5 Star Property. Thank you James, Antonella and Mr Abdallah.

Room Tip: I am not sure if its good or bad...but there is no wireless internet in the room (at least ours didn't ) and cellular network is limited ( good I suppose ).
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lancy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucie M, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 9 December 2013

Dear Lancy C, Greetings from beautiful Zanzibar. Firstly thank you for writing about us so favourably nothing makes us happier than satisfied guests. We are delighted your beach dinner went so well and indeed you got the right response, do keep us in mind when planning your honeymoon we have some great packages! Warmest congratulations and best wished to you both on behalf of the entire team here at The Hideaway of Nungwi. Regards, Lucie

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