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“Didn’t live up to expectations.”

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Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Nungwi
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Didn’t live up to expectations.”
Reviewed 19 October 2009

We arrived at the Gemma Dell Est after safari in Kenya. We were really looking forward to just relaxing however upon arriving at our hotel room we were met by workmen lifting up manhole covers and checking the drains! Great start to our beach honeymoon.

After complaining to the front desk who seem to only understand Italian and not English the work men stopped, then 20 mins later drilling started in a room 5 doors away from us. We were moved eventually but really not a good start.

Hotel is set in a superb location unfortunately it says it’s a 5 star hotel however I felt the standards were not 5 star at all.

The restaurant was nice; albeit the food was a bit samey I counted Lemon Chicken for lunch and dinner two consecutive days. The salad bar was very good as well as breakfast. We had dinner at the Coral Cove restaurant which we both really enjoyed food and service was brilliant. It’s a shame that couldn’t carry through to other parts of the hotel. Maybe it’s just me but I really have an issue with waiters or waitresses taking plates whilst the other person is still eating.

The leisure and fitness facilities were okish. The spa was set out in lovely surroundings although they advertise African Hot Stone Massage per couple, however you actually can’t have the massage together as they do not have enough stones for two people – Bizarre I thought for a 5 star hotel. We did however book a different massage, which was very nice.

The gym area, don’t hold you breath as another review said something from the 70’s. It’s not great at all.

We have stayed in All-Inclusive resorts before and enjoyed our stayed unfortunately this hotel didn’t live up to our expectations.

We did complete the departure questionnaire, explaining all our issues and nobody has been in contact.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank CC1980London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2009

This hotel obviously was, and could be again, a high end resort. It still has a relaxed atmosphere with excellent staff, but many of the features/facilities are becoming tired. Another of the major problems which could be resolved by the hotel is reliability of electrical power.

We stayed in a Deluxe room for a full week in early October 2009 after a safari in Kenya during which we stayed in the Serena Hotel Group lodges which are 5* rated. We chose the hotel based on reviews both here and reports from various other sources. Our arrival was dealt with efficiently and in a friendly manner and with the obligatory wrist band being attached securely.

The room was clean and tidy, but the air conditioning was off which caused it to be over warm. The reason for the air conditioning to be off became apparent when we found there were some 20 or more interruptions per day (including overnight) and the digitally
controlled air conditioning reverted to the `off` selection with each. Power failures were reported as being a result of supplies from the mainland being cut, however we did note that during a cut the lights in surrounding properties remained on despite them apparently being on the same mains power supply. There are, reportedly, hotel owned generators which should start automatically during a cut, but given that power was often out for some minutes (often variable lengths of time of up to about 15 minutes) this is questionable. On our final full day (Sunday) there were only a handful of interruptions and, up to leaving at 11:30 am on Monday, there were none. Perhaps the criticism made by many guests had some effect. If mains power supplies are to remain unreliable perhaps the hotel should become self sufficient in power generation.

Towels in the room were very tired. In fact (as pointed out on the departure form) we give better to our dog to dry him after bathing. Staff accepted the fact and admitted that this criticism had been made by other residents and raised at the Staff Review Meetings but to date no action had been taken. There was also an apparent lack of face cloths which needed chasing almost daily as they were removed but not replaced. Bath robes, we were advised, were only supplied on request which given the advertising literature we found odd.

The dress code for men to wear long trousers for dinner (and no beach wear) is the only rule in the dining room; virtually any other attire is acceptable at both breakfast and lunch. However, this rule was flouted by an element of the guest population on a regular basis and when the Dining Room Manager attempted to enforce it he was over ruled by his supervisor; whether the fact that both those flouting the rules and the supervisor were Italians resulted in this is uncertain. Such a simple rule at what is designated a high end (5*) resort should be maintained.

Food is supplied via a buffet system and is quite efficient. It could be supplied hotter in some cases and perhaps the menu could be a little more varied; it does appear to be slanted toward a Mediterranean palate rather than any other. It was also noted that fish and meat left over from a barbecue on the Friday evening was served up on both the Saturday and Sunday. This may be satisfactory hygienically depending on storage, but again fails to reflect a 5* rating. Perhaps the lower than expected occupancy has affected standards here.

In conclusion we found the Gemma failed to meet the advertising literature in several areas and had, apparently, been allowed to deteriorate from the standards previously reported both here and elsewhere. In fairness the majority of failings are simple to address with an injection of capital, an enforcement of Management determined standards and a reconsideration of the menu. The holiday itself would have been much improved by these actions with the need to reset air conditioning, chase missing items of linen and search for menu items meeting our wants removed.

I would recommend this resort to a friend but would apply the caveats above.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank dijon095
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
south wales
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
Reviewed 9 October 2009

can't fault the place, had a wonderful time. hi vivienne & phil, did you manage to get home safe. what was nairobi like?staff so friendly food was excellent only downfall was evening entertainment same every night . once you've heard the songs you know the next night what is coming next! room 315 has one of the best views of the sunset.

Helpful?
Thank joyceSouthWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2009

The Gemma is an excellent hotel set in a wonderful location with white dust sand. It does however fail to meet its billing on a couple of fronts… the restaurant - the vegetables and fruit were excellent the meats… terrible and where did all the chicken breasts go? Entertainment was minimal. The good - the service was excellent, the beach incredible, the diving was great. A week’s stay was long enough.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank miles w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Midlands
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2009

The location is absolutely second to none. The crystal blue sea was picture perfect, and right next to the hotel pool.
We had a butler service, and I would not recommend this, it was more like room service, with it taking up to 45 minutes to bring a glass of wine. The hotel staff's grasp of English was not that great, and you could never guarantee what you ordered would be what you received.
The rooms were basic, and I was disappointed that we found it was not properly cleaned prior to our arrival, the mini bar had a half full bottle of 7 Up still in it, and the toilet was a disgrace.
The food in the buffet restaurant was not the best, and was reminiscent of school canteen food, not what you would expect from a hotel billed as being luxurious. The restaurant on the jetty was lovely, and it would have been great to have had this food as part of the all inclusive.
The hotel gounds were very clean, and we certainly didnt find the landscape, although hilly was not strenuous.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Scrapper1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerset
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2009

We travelled as a group of four, two of which had arranged their marriage at this resort. On arrival we were very impressed by the attention offered to us by the staff. We stayed in deluxe rooms which were spacious and comfortable and clean to the highest of standards. The room overlooked the sea and was shady with tinted glass patio doors leading to a small terraced garden which was full of tropical blossoms. Previous reviewers have commented on the rooms being dark but they are shaded by tinted glass and an overhanging roof which provides welcome relief and a cool refuge from the tropical sun.

The pool area was spotless with more than enough sun loungers. The beach was also spotless and ample shade was provided by umbrellas and palms and again there were ample loungers. The sea was blue beyond words and took our breath away and was excellent for snorkelling and at low tide it was possible to wade in and see reef fish at your feet. The urchins that people complain about were very obvious in the shallow water and relatively easy to avoid.

All of the restaurants offered top quality food with many different options every day. The sea food was first class. All restaurant staff were freindly and attentive without 'hovering'. All bars offered a wide selection of drinks and the staff here really knew their cocktails! There is also a arabic themed coffee bar on the end of the pier where one can enjoy a range of teas and coffees and a shisha if you are inclined. The coffee is fantastic as one might expect so close to Kenya.

The wedding was coordinated by a member of the hotel staff who paid attention to every last detail. The bride and groom were made to feel special which is a memory that they will hold for a very long time.

All in all we found this resort faultless and to the highest of standards. We find it hard to accept some of the comments made by reviewers. A holiday here can be as active (or otherwise) as you desire. The island offers a range of experiences which will meet most tastes. Even a short walk down the road from the hotel is a worthwhile experience where you will find the locals freindly and hospitable. Zanzibar is more expensive than visitors may expect in such a poor country but not excessively so. Our only tip would be to ditch the TV and enjoy the island for what it is.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lindaandbrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
macclesfield
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2009

We really enjoyed our honeymoon. The hotel is beautiful and the surroundings are stunning. However, nothing really to do so one week here was enough. The animation team don't really offer much entertainment except volleyball once a day. Anything not included in the all inclusive was overpriced and the staff were mainly europeans and understood very little english. I found the african staff much friendlier and helpful. I didn't like the fact that everything was charged in Euros as we had gone to Africa. Nothing near the hotel but if you like sunbathing in stunning surroundings then this is the hotel for you

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank susie1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est

Property: Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est
Address: Nungwi Road, Nungwi, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Nungwi
#4 Luxury Hotel in Nungwi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est 5*
Number of rooms: 138
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set within exotic tropical gardens and water features inviting guests to enjoy the pristine view over the Indian Ocean, Diamonds La Gemma dell' Est is located on the north-western shores of the magical spice island of Zanzibar. This enchanting, luxurious and environmentally friendly resort is famous for its magnificent beach and large wharf built onto the open waters of the Indian Ocean and stretches out towards the sunset. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Diamonds La Gemma Dell` Est Hotel Zanzibar
La Gemma Dell Est Zanzibar
Gemma Del Est
Diamonds La Gemma Dell' Est Zanzibar Island/Nungwi

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