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“Great potential but little things disappoint”
Review of Sazani Beach Lodge

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Sazani Beach Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 January 2013

I was very disappointed by Sazani beach hotel. Not because I had high expectations because at the rate charged you don't expect the Ritz. The disappointing thing for me was that the basics weren't attended to. The bathroom in our room was absolutely filthy. They come in and tidy the room every day but Idon't think they heard of bleach or other cleaning products. The restaurant served a decent breakfast but was overrun by flys which further indicates the lack of cleaning products. As other reviewers have noted the lunch and dinner is not worth having as it takes so long to be served and you are a decent taxi ride to find something else to eat. Probably the worst bit of all was seeing how nice Ras Nungwi (next door) was in comparison. Power outages are common (i.e. every night) and this hotel does not have a generator which means rooms can resemble dark saunas. The beach itself is beautiful and this place could be great but just isn't.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank JPdP74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sazanibeach, Owner at Sazani Beach Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 22 January 2013

Im really sorry you didn't enjoy your stay at Sazani Beach.

We are a small family run beach lodge and yours is the first review since 2007 that has complained about cleanliness or the quality of our food. Our website provides an honest portrayal of our hotel and our drive towards sustainability.

We do not claim to be a 4 star resort and Im not sure why you compare us to Ras Nungwi, which one would hope have a different standard of facilities, as their rooms and meals are 4x the price of ours.

Everything we serve and prepare is fresh and sourced locally . The cuisine is a fusion of spice island and european flavours. We do not have an a la carte menu, instead a changing menu of daily specials. While we cannot please all tastes, we cater as best we can for dietary requirements and specialise in seafood.

With regard to power fluctuations, the hotel is in the process of relying on solar power rather than the mains that as you have witnessed is unreliable. There are two generators as back up but at 3am in the morning, on an outgoing tide when the sea breeze it at its stillest, we will have made a judgement call as to whether or not to start them and wake everyone as noise is so much louder at night or not. Obviously the wrong choice was made from your perspective.


That said, if you were so unhappy with everything, why was nothing said to the General Manager, who as an amazing chef in her own right as well as running as tight a ship as possible in Zanzibar, would have done her utmost to make your stay a more pleasant one.

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88 - 94 of 169 reviews

Reviewed 16 January 2013

We stayed at Sazani for a week in december and had the best time. The rooms are simple, but very charming and clean. Small things like when we arrived and the staff had placed beatiful flowers on the bed and elsewhere around the room, just made the difference. The included breakfast was great and had everything you could wish for.

The location of Sazani is superb and the beach right outside the hotel is probably the best around nungwi - we didnt see any stretch of beach next to the other resorts or in nungwi that came even close!

The manager Nikki was very sweet and attentive and a great yoga teacher as well. She helped us plan visits to Stone Town, arranged diving trips and together with the rest of the stafff, who were also fantastic, made sure that we had great week at the hotel.

Go there and experience it for yourself - we only have the highest recommendations for this place!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Madsjespersen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2013

If you are reading this review than you have probably figured out that Zanzibar is a fairly expensive place for accommodation. I chose this place based on the price, reviews and promise of a private beach and it delivered all this and so much more. The current manager Nikki is a carefree & vivacious Irish woman who also teaches yoga (upon request) for a small fee overlooking the beautiful private beach. The whole island is fairly busy with loads tourists, as we were two 30 something couples, we wanted some privacy and we got it here...although the main town is only a 20-30 min walk along the beach in low tide or a 10 min taxi ride, which costs about $10.00. The rooms are clean and a great size with fairly comfy beds (keep in mind most of Africa have harder mattresses unless you are staying in luxury hotels). Each bed has a mosquito net (although I didn't notice many bugs) and they are all covered in lovely clean white linen. The bathroom shower pressure is hit or miss, but it gets the job done! The staff are very friendly and helpful. The breakfast (which is included) is great, they provide free coffee & tea all day & a fresh fruit plate as a starter then a choice between 3-4 breakfast options which are served plated. If you chose to eat at the hotel for lunch and/or dinner make sure you order it in advance usually right after breakfast, otherwise the wait can be really long if you don't order in advance (ie: 60-90 mins). This is because they are a little short staffed and have to prep everything well in advance. Every time we ate here the food was good sometimes excellent. I would also recommend the resort next door (the the right of Sazani, 2 min walk on the beach) for lunch (however dinner is usually full as it is reserved for their guests, we got turned away for dinner). Also if you decide to go in to town then make sure you have the lobster at Paradise or the curry at Lang Lang! Enjoy you stay!

Room Tip: Make sure you try a morning yoga class with Nikki Book a snorkel full day trip with the resort next...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jilllynn5555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2013

The hotel is located about 20 minutes walking from Nungwi and it was good for us to relax far from the noise. The cottage we got didn’t have A/C only a fan, so be aware of this, since during December Zanzibar is really hot. Cottages are simple, nice and small, compared with hotels in other beaches from the same range.

Nikki, the manager is really kind and helpful as well as the whole staff. Food is good and breakfast quite simple, however if you want to order a la carte dishes and more variety, you rather go to a restaurant in Nungwi , since they prepare a day menu (lunch/dinner) for everyone. You can also have a complementary coffee/tea during the day. It combined perfect with a book in a hammock in front of the ocean.

The only big issue was power. We had long power shortages, so it became a problem when you need at least the fan to work.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Sandy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2013

We stayed in the family room for 4 nights, it was a beautiful location with rustic furnishings. The beach is right on the doorstep, and we felt it was far nicer beach than the main touristy area of Nungwi- the hotel is around a 25minute walk to the main centre. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful especially after having stood on a sea urchin - emergency treatment of papaya was given!!

A lovely breakfast is included - fruit, eggs, fruit juice and toast. You can order lunch and dinner however we felt the choice was a little limited and overpriced. There is lots of choice for food in the town - about a £4 taxi ride in.

Overall we loved our stay at sazani, you can relax on the hammocks next to the turquoise sea and really relax. We would definitely go back.

Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
Thank Loretta11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2012

We stayed here during 4 weeks from mid October to mid November 2012. We were partly holidaying and partly working. We have travelled widely around the world for work and and pleasure, experiencing everything from Intercontinental look-alikes to flea-ridden hell-holes in S.America. This has to be one of the best places we ever stayed at. It is by no means grande-luxe and its charm and attraction is its simplicity and attention to the needs of guests. Created on a slope leading down to the sea, the cottages and public rooms have a fantastic view over the Indian Ocean. Early morning tea arrives with a smile. The menus don't provide a great range of choice but the food is well-cooked and plentiful. Nikki the manager is a great Yoga teacher and early morning Yoga by the ocean is a great experience. All the staff are attentive and put themselves out to ensure you have a good time. It's relative isolation from Nungwi is an advantage if you are looking for a peaceful time rather than nightclubs. But it is not that far into Nungwi.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SwanseaMull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2012

We stayed at Sazani for three nights in November. As seasoned travellers/African enthusiasts in our early 40s from London it is fair to say that "we've been around the block" and as Trip Advisor followers I do feel that some of the comments on here are misleading.

Yes - the staff are friendly, the food is great, rooms have incredible views of beach and ocean and it's a lovely 30 minute walk (tide dependent) to the main drag. This makes Sazani both wonderfully accessible and beautifully secluded.

That said however we left disappointed. Nikki does what she can but the owner (who was visiting during our stay) by her own admission is a reluctant hotelier and the lack of maintenance is apparent throughout the site. Bathrooms badly need upgrading (our loo cistern fell off the wall) our mosquito net did not reach the floor and the promised early morning tea only reached us on one out of three mornings. Bottled water was only left with us on day one, an issue when we were left struggling without water on our second evening having discovered that the bar had closed and all staff disappeared at 9.30pm.

Sazani and its sister organisation, Sazani Associates, makes much of its environmental and sustainable credentials but little of this is yet apparent at Sazani. An environmentally friendly and sustainable hotel is a great idea but shouldn't be used as an excuse for basic service. If this is a key driver then why not publicise it?

I don't enjoy writing these type of reviews, and rarely have to, but on this occasion I feel it is only fair to fellow travellers based on our experience and the price paid. It does however remain a lovely spot on the beach.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jedward97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sazanibeach, Manager at Sazani Beach Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2013

Dear Jedward
Thank you for taking the time to post a review on our Hotel .
We at Sazani value honest and constructive reviews and take Guests comments both good and bad very seriously.Hence we have just been awarded the Tripadvisor @Travellors choice@award for 2013.

In reply directly to your review .I have recently taken over from Nikki as manager at Sazani Beach and find Cathryn ,the owner, far from a " reluctant Hotelier".Indeed she takes the smooth operation and guest experience here at Sazani very personally ,including the staff moral and development.
Even if she doesn't get to spend as much time as she would like at the Hotel itself.

I agree with You that Sazani is an excellent secluded yet accessible location and the food in the
restaurant is top notch.

Since my arrival at Sazani a refurbishment program of the bathrooms has just been completed.

We do have a policy of supplying guests with a bottle of water on their arrival and then leave it to them to purchase further bottles,as they need, either in Nungwi village,on their excursions or indeed here at the Hotel.There is always some one in attendance 24hrs a day that can deal with any Guest request.
Tea is served outside each room every morning at 7am. If however it has not been taken,after the second day we desist so as not to intrude into your personal space .

Regarding our participation in the Climate change Adaptation Sustainability Award(CASA) scheme,we are now fully powered by solar PV and have solar hot water heaters also.
Part of our commitment to CASA involves a lot of subtle things such as keeping our sandy paths for use by the local hermit crab community at night., managing our gardens in a way which gives the local fauna a good habitat to live and breed successfully and reducing our water usage/wastage as good clean water is a scarce resource here on the Island .
We only recruit locally and in coalition with local colleges provide training for the young people of Zanzibar .We source our products from the local producers in nearby Nungwi.

I do agree you that is important that we have to make more of an effort to to bring this to peoples attention and ensure that this policy has little impact on services and standards here at Sazani .

Once again Thank you for taking the time to review our Hotel I will ensure that we continue to maintain high standards here at Sazani Beach Hotel

Thanking You
David Lee
(Manager Sazani Beach Hotel)

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Additional Information about Sazani Beach Lodge

Address: Nungwi, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Nungwi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 46 Speciality Lodging in Nungwi
Price Range: £62 - £105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sazani Beach Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Feel like a castaway at our 10 room beach lodge, a perfect paradise for beach lovers, kite surfers and divers. An oasis of calm just five minute taxi ride from Nungwi's busy strip of music bars and hotels. Our bungalows are designed in a traditional Swahili style with coconut thatch roofs in a tropical garden setting, each with a sea view and sandy path down to our secluded pristine beach and the turquoise ocean. Stay with us and help us to develop our sustainability ethos to be an environmentally and socially responsible lodge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sazani Beach Lodge Zanzibar Island/Nungwi

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