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Melia Zanzibar
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Reviews (1,818)
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Reviewed 7 November 2012

I stayed there for 9 nights, with the all-inclusive package. We were three people traveling together, having two rooms. We started our vacation with a safari, and coming to Melia straight after that felt like paradise on earth. We were met with drinks and helpful staff when we arrived. We stayed in 1703 and 1306, both great places (first-floor).

The place is about 45 minutes by car from the airport. It seems a bit far away from everything, but for us it was great (I would definitely recommend all-inclusive due to the remoteness of the hotel). We wanted to relax and enjoy the sun. The hotel is beautiful with great rooms. There are beautiful floral decorations everywhere, and the main building of the hotel had a very comfortable smell!

The beach is a bit away from the hotel, but they have golf carts that take you there. Riding the golf cart you also get to talk to the pleasant staff. The beach is by far not the best beach in the world, but it is great for relaxing, tanning and reading a book or five. When the water is low, you can walk quite far out, which was a nice walk. If you want to swim, you have to walk a bit. If swimming is not your priority number one, it is a good place to be. There are no water sports, but for us that was perfect. There were some beach vendors, but the hotel security there kept it to a minimum. After learning some Swahili, we could also answer them quite well and they kept away.

The staff at Melia was extremely helpful and friendly. They always smiled (in a naturally way!) and did their best for us to be satisfied. There were at times some problems understanding some of the staff in the reception, which could cause a bit of hazzle, and the staff at the beach bar messed up some orders etc. The staff arranged Swahili-lessons which we attended, and we got to learn quite a bit. We also practiced with all the staff afterwords, and they all seemed genuinely happy and interested in talking to us.

The power went out every night, some nights more than others. All-in-all we didn't really mind, we were just enjoying our vacation. Also be aware of "African time", things don´t always go as fast as in the western part of the world.

The last day we had a bit of a hazzle checking out, mainly due to language problems. It took us at least one hour, and they did not understand what we said. They said "yes", but they obviously didn´t understand. They would´t let one of us pay (I am still kind of surprised about how we "faught" to pay!) - one of the staff thought we already had paid. They lost papers, and didn´t manage to get the right amount to pay.

Even so, we would definitely go back - we had a great time at a great hotel with awesome staff!
It is a bit like paradise, where you definitely can relax and forget the "outside" world for a while.

Room Tip: We chose rooms with garden view, and it was excellent. Rooms on the first floor has an outdoor shower which is great!
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Heias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2012

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Meliá Zanzibar.

It is so heart-warming to receive a thorough and detailed review of our property; it means a lot to us knowing you had a wonderful time with us.

You are perfectly right when you mention that after a week here, you don’t feel like leaving, a lot of guests do not feel like going back - we always tell our guests, you arrive as guests but you leave as close friends where so many stories and experiences have been shared between the guest and us! It is also sometimes quite difficult for us to say good bye hence we say see you soon.

Thank you once again for such a fantastic review, and we are looking forward to welcome you next visit !

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2012

I stayed there for 3 nights, with their all-in package which is a perfect solution - hassle-free and you still have a wide variety of choice with regards to food & drinks. The airport pick-up was a bit African style (first come first served - only 4 spots in the 4WD) but it turned out well after all.
The location is very good, away from crowds and noise (a 1h drive from the airport on a lovely road). Spectacular views over the Indian Ocean and even though the 'beach' in from of the hotel is not fit for swimming due to the stretch of coral reefs, it just takes a 10 min walk or a 2 min buggy ride to a proper private beach (still located in the domain of the resort) - the coral reefs can however be discovered (with the proper shoes) at low tide, the marine life is plenty. And there is no water sports activities given the ecological protection - which may be boring for some but for me it was a pure bliss not to be constantly disrupted with the irritating noise pollution associated with jet ski & other. Beach vendor hassling is kept to a minimum by the security guards of the hotel. The very long stretch of beach can easily take you on a 1-2h walk.
Given the property is vast it never makes you feel that the hotel is crowded. The gardens are very well maintained and wherever you go there will be flowers. The rooms are spacious and clean and had the standard amenities. The food of the restaurants was excellent.
My '(almost)' are small tweaks: this is Africa so not everything rolls on wheels: expect regular short but daily power cuts (most often in the evening); my room was not provided with any room service menu and it took me 3 calls to get it, the terrace door does not have any handle on the outside so prepare to break some nails in sliding it back open; the staff of the hotel is overall friendly (Reception staff is great - wish all staff could be like them) although some really seem to be unhappy in their job (e.g. the beach bar) and are not very helpful. The hotel should really invest in providing their staff with more training in terms of hospitality, client service oriented mindset and language as it is these small things that make a difference. The hotel souvenir shop is semi deserted and has barely any items (not even postcards). This is a pity given the hotel is pretty remote - it could become a very successful shop if it was properly supplied with the basic tourist items. A thank you to the 2 Spanish front desk gentlemen as they were very friendly and very welcoming.
All in all I did really enjoy my short time there and would definitely recommend the hotel - I plan a new trip for sure next year !

Room Tip: Seaview rooms are on the 1st floor - if you want full peace, best to avoid the main building area given the evening entertainment. Still, I was 2 blocks away and had 100% silence.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Stephanie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 13 November 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you for staying with us on your recent holiday in Zanzibar and posted your review on Trip Advisor. We are very pleased to receive such a fabulous remarks on the infrastructure, as well as catering, services and the attentiveness of staffs.

I would further like to thank you for bringing the adapter issue to my attention and I do apologize for the inconvenience you encountered. I will address the issue with my team in order to avoid future occurrences.

Melia Zanzibar Team is committed to deliver and exceed our guest expectations. This is our main goal and the tool which makes us climb higher and be different in the Island.
Thank you for trusting Melia Zanzibar to be your host, hoping to see you again in the near future

Best Regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2012

This is a huge property that used to be run by Kempinski so the hotel is not new. We were in one of the garden rooms, the room felt humid all the time, even when the AC was one. The finishing and details of the room where missing, but you could tell the bathroom had been renewed because it was nicer than the room and modern.
When it comes to dealing with the staff you need to be very patient. On the first day we'd book the tennis court to play and it took them almost half an hour to find the racquets or the person that had them. I had to call reception every day to remind them that our room had not been clean yet even though we were leaving the room early in the morning and coming back late afternoon. Our minibar was almost empty when we checked in the room and it remained like that for our entire stay, several calls to the reception regarding this matter where useless and last, I requested a wake up call on the first day and they never called us, causing us to miss some of the things we had planned for the day.
We were in half board basis and I think it's more than enough especially when the quality and variety of the food in average to low.
The best part of the hotel is the spa, gym and pool by the gym where you can go and relax without anyone bothering you. The beach was not bad but it was hard to find a free lounge chair available. Service at the beach bar was consistently poor.
If you end up going to this hotel, the best thing will be to lower your expectations from a 5 stars chain to a 3 stars one and then you'll be fine.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mdp14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2014

Dear guest,

we would like to thank you very much that you have taken the time to share with us their impressions.

We are always trying to exceed the expectations of our guests and take each comment or even criticism very seriously, in order to improve our service qualities.
All the information will be processed and then in daily meetings in the department, in order to ensure that our guests feel they are deserved. In addition, we also have our Guest Experience Team that staending is accessible for you.

Your opinion is very important to us and we thank You that you share them with us. We apologize that you had seperate page and we were very pleased to welcome you again soon in the Melia Zanzibar to hot.


Karibu Tena

your Melia Zanzibar Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2012

All I can say about this hotel is that it is excellent!
The food, the service, the rooms, the grounds, the ambience, the massage parlour! Excellent!
It's a great place to stay for an all inclusive package.
Very relaxing, great views. All in all a great vacation spot.
The food at the beach bar is great! make sure you try their salads and pizzas.

Things to note ( before to get disappointed)
- The hotel is quite some distance from the airport ( approx. 50 min)
- You will have to take a golf cart like thing to go their private beach( no beach on hotel front)
- Might not be the best spot for families with young children ( they may be bored out of their minds)
- If you get there before check in time - they might be a bit upset about that and probably make you sit and wait.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Melancholic_Joy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 5 November 2012

Dear Savannah

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us. I have taken the liberty of sharing your positive compliments and comments to the rest of the team; especially on the food, services, rooms, grounds, ambience, and the massage parlour. I am delighted that you found the hotel to be of most convenience to you during your stay.

I do apologize for any inconveniences you encountered at the check in upon your arrival. Our staffs always follow the procedure by making the guests comfortable even the time guests arrive early before checking time.

In regards to activities for children, we have a kid’s plan on a weekly basis, of which you will find an activity plan upon your arrival. We provide different activities to make sure they don’t get bored during their stay. As for Gabi Beach accessibility, we have consistence transportation with Golf Cars which run every 15 minutes from and to the beach. Some of the guests prefer walking to enjoy the fresh air as well as the beauty of our landscape.

Should you find yourself back in Zanzibar, please do not hesitate to contact us, would be more than delighted to welcome you back!

Best Regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2012

i do not normally do all-inclusive (prefer a little adventure and independence), but we did so at the Melia for a friend's birthday weekend, and I could not have been more impressed. superb, spacious, adventurous rooms. nice location and vast grounds. truly excellent food. universally attentive and friendly and switched-on staff. top-notch facilities - gym, spa, pools, tennis, etc. very nice adjacent beach, ideal for swimming, lounging and late night parties. excellent value for money - in fact, probably the best value stay I have had anywhere, given the quality and quantity of the facilities, service, food, drink, etc.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank SIMON_NIHAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
John E, Guest Relations Manager at Melia Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 10 July 2013

Dear Guest

We would like to thank you for choosing Meliá Zanzibar as your “hide away” as well for taking the time to tell us about your recent experience.

I would like to send my gratitude appreciation for selecting our resort as your preferred destination and that you had the opportunity to taste our products. On behalf of team, I am pleased to hear your honest and constructive feedback concerning our services.

Guests are priority to us and that is why we go extra miles to bring the touch and meet their needs. We pride ourselves that we were able to exceed your expectations during your stay and made your holiday a memorable one.

Once again thank you so much for thumb up endorsement whilst looking forward to welcome you again in the near future.

Best Regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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