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“Zanzibar's Gem”

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Reef & Beach Resort Zanzibar
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Jambiani
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 July 2014

This was our first time on African soil and it was quite the charm thanks to the Reef and Beach Resort. We were just in time to experience the new renovations so that was definitely a plus. Our rooms proved to be very comfortable, spick-and-span and air conditioned. The view of the Indian Ocean from our bungalow patio was nothing short of spectacular while the ebb and flow of the waves at night was music to the ears. The atmosphere is so relaxing and refreshing and the hotel grounds are swanked in lush flowers and trees.

The dining and food was superb. Well prepared, delectable and heavenly. They have a great sea-food offering. Every aspect of the resort is wrapped in authentic African elegance. The beach was just as great as pool side. We highly recommend the safari tour. They have some amazing scenery and animals. You have to visit their excursion desk and ask for Simba while you're at it. He has the best deals.

Kudos to the resort staff! They displayed one of the best customer service we've ever received. They were always friendly, pleasant and helpful, especially the bartenders. If you want to know more about Zanzibar’s customs and people without the use of Google, then they’re your best bet. We loved the bar on the jetty by the way. It has a really lovely view.

The pricing is also great for the family or couple on a budget. If you’re looking for great food, amenities, atmosphere and an overall great time, then this is it!

Room Tip: Bungalows with the ocean view are the best.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Elikia K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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258 - 264 of 546 reviews

Reviewed 10 July 2014

Thank you to the Reef and Beach Resort for a wonderful vacation. If you are looking for a quiet, rustic and beautiful place to travel, I highly suggest Zanzibar. The beaches are gorgeous and the weather is wonderful. We stayed at the Reef and Beach Resort in a bungalow facing the ocean. That was our first nice surprise, originally we booked a garden bungalow but upon check-in we were upgraded to an ocean view. The room was spacious and comfortable. You could tell it had been newly renovated. We were told the whole resort was just done over. There is nothing like the sound of the ocean at night while you are sleeping. The hotel has a beautiful pool area as well as two beach areas. The beach has very comfortable lounge chairs for sun bathing. The food was good and the drinks even better. I do not dive but there is a PADI diving center in the resort. A young couple told us what a great time they had diving and showed us some awesome pictures. I have to say that the best part of this vacation was the service provided by the resort staff. They are amazing.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank cllnivrn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014

So my family decided to take a holiday and our travel agent suggested for us to head to the Reef & Beach Resort Zanzibar. I never heard of it before but boy was is great! The location was great with a great view of the sea, the staff their were very helpful when problems arise and the service that they provided was top rate! Especially dining there felt great! The food that they served were definitely top notch and the view from the dining hall at night is simply astonishing!

I was never interested in animals really, but my family dragged me along with them to the safari tour that was offered and I was actually quite pleasantly shocked. The scenery and the mass amounts of animals actually made me feel warm and pleasant in the heart.

But the best part has got to be the place where we slept. We stayed in bungalows, they were clean, cozy and the best part was that we could see and hear the ocean at all times!

Would definitely recommend for any family to go, or even go alone! It will be a great experience either way! Will definitely come again with my family in the future.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank DavidTien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2014

We just went back from Tanzania in a business trip. We got to Zanzibar from Dar Es Salaam Airport, and we started to look for a good hotel for the weekend. We found this one, and it was GREAT! Good prices, great accommodation and (as i am food lover) the food was amazing, totally fresh! from the sea to our plate!.
We stayed in the ocean view bungalows, they were clean, and the best thing is that you can hear the ocean waves! so imagine how relaxin' it was.
The pool is also good and they have drink service, the waiters are very friendly, and supportive (Mexico lost against Netherlands in the World Cup) so they were telling us good things about Mexico's team.
We watch some world cups games in the bar, which is just next to the turquoise beach, best place to watch a soccer game holding a beer, right?
I would definitely stay again in this hotel.
Cheers from Mexico

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Neto T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2014

I had the pleasure of staying at the resort from 6 - 17 May as a single elderly pensioner experiencing one more item on his bucket list. This resort was recommended by a travel agent and the pricing suited my budget. In spite of taking note of some negative and less positive reviews of the facilities at the resort, I still decided to book mainly due to the striking pictures of the resort and sea views on the website. My wish was for a quiet, peaceful and a restful time in tranquil surroundings. My expectations were fully met. (If you are looking for excitement, nightlife and to be entertained rather consider Las Vegas.)

The bungalow assigned to me had a nice ocean view and was equipped with a properly working AC and overhead fan. The shower is a bit crampy and water pressure for showering seems to be a bit of a problem. The bungalow was properly cleaned daily and the bed nicely made. Compliments to the cleaning staff.

As an all inclusive (a must) guest I have pleasant memories of sitting at the pool bar looking out over the ocean and enjoy a local beer before lunch and also a glass of wine before dinner. I had pleasant talks with the friendly bartenders and learned much about local customs and traditions. In fact all of the staff at the resort I had dealings with were always friendly and courteous.

The buffet offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner where excellent and more than sufficient for a 3 star resort. The food was always well prepared, tasteful and well presented.

Tours were well managed by, Solomon, the local tour organizer. Tip: negotiate prices.

I have no hesitation in recommending Ras Shungi Beach Resort as a budget quality 3 star resort if your desire mainly is for a peaceful rest and a break away in tranquil surroundings. My experience was in accordance with what is to be expected from a 3 star entity.

"Assante sana" (thank you very much)

Trichardt Malan (Pretoria, South Africa)

Room Tip: There are 20 bungalows and 24 three storey stacked ocean viewing units available. My preference woul...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Trichardt M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2014

We spent 2 weeks in Shungi. The place itself is nice, with nice beach bar though sea is not there often (low tide) and there is only tiny tiny beach (to be used only if high tide - no that often..), be prepared for that. It is on the south-east of the island a bit far from things but you can go through organized tours. Staff is nice and friendly, they are trying, for sure.That is about it..As it is managed by locals (resp. we saw only one guy and receptionist to be regularly there..) and apparently the owner - who comes to walk around and smile doesnt care much whats happening if problems appears. Also maintaince improvements do not seem to bother him (fans, bulbs, AC was an issue when electricity on generator..).
Buffet is dull, repeats a lot. Once I saw inside the kitchen while preparing and was shocked to see such a low hygiene, unfresh food. No wonder a few people were stomach sick. Management doesnt bother to hide things - was amazed how things are washed and kept "clean". A few people had to change rooms a few times as overbooking happened or due to AC not functioning.
We were 3 Polish girls with no high expectations but still - no beach, no proper sea, dull buffet and when we claimed something - broken WC seat, took 2 days to be fixed. But we saw a meetings of bunch of visitors with travel agents as their claims werent met during their stay.
The policy of the owner could be described - come, stand it and leave I dont care, resp. know you would not be back.
We went to north for a few days after. Personal attitude there was a totally different story. Pity as the place itself is not bad. But service is always about people resp. execution of ideas of the management..

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Lana C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Egbert S, Eigenaar at Reef & Beach Resort Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 22 June 2014

Sorry to read about your review. The Resort is taken over in June 2014, before managed by local company. The location is beautifull, we did a mayor renovation and the hotel is only 6 years young.
Our new managment changed everything and the hotel is in good condition. We are happy to welcome you again and to see the improvement. The new name of the resort is Reef & Beach Resort.

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Reviewed 7 February 2014

Had we been afforded the opportunity to make an informed decision we would much rather have paid more money to stay at a decent resort.
Upon arrival we were escorted to our premier bungalow which we chose to upgrade to when confirming our trip. The room did not have a tv (as advertised and still being advertised this way), none of the lights were working, the bedside lamp wasn't plugged in and no proper adapter available for the lamp. The toilet didn't flush properly, there was no running water from the sink and the shower head was broken making it impossible to take a shower. And to top it all off we had to deal with a distinctive and strong stench from the drainpipes in bungalow number 50.

As per the request from our African Encounters tour guide we awaited their arrival the next morning before airing our complaint. The solution: we were moved to a suite room (hotel) for a night and would be moved back to a premier bungalow the day after, as soon as the next one became available. We were impressed by how the staff dealt with our complaint and happy to put it all behind us. We were also promised a bottle of white wine for dinner that night as an apology. We appreciated the gesture, even though it never materialised.

Upon reaching our final destination: bungalow number 40, we discovered that the toilet seat was broken and the shower door was missing. We soon realised that complaining wasn't going to get us a better room. At least this bungalow had a tv - which we discovered to be useless as there is no satellite connection in the entire resort. We later discovered that the double bed was unstable and very noisy, making loud squeaking noises whenever either of us moved to turn. We took turns waking each other up throughout the night as either of us dared to move on the bed. And then there was that really gross old, blocked drain smell that hung in the room...

Upon arrival at the resort we were informed by staff that the Zanzibar government performed regular power cuts. We were also informed that the resort had a generator that would be switched on every 2:30 hours for 10 minutes. We soon realised that this was a lie in an effort to save power. Our air conditioners were periodically switched off during the day and for most of the nights making it impossible to get a good night's rest or to doze off in the afternoon. Out of desperation we finally went in search of the power cables and managed to turn our air conditioner on one very hot afternoon, only for it to be switched off again that night... It became quite normal to wake up at 2am, drenched in sweat, unable to breathe and to stumble over to the door in the pitch dark so that we could at least find fresh humid air to circulate the room.

Running water is a luxury at Ras-Shungi. We went without a morning shower for 4 out of the 7 mornings that we were at the resort. On several occasions the water stopped running just as we were lathered with soap or shampoo and we had to resort to rinsing off in the pool or sea. Upon requesting feedback from staff I was advised that they are busy "filling it up" and that we would have water soon. When taking a shower you need to decide on whether you want hot water which is equal to a tablespoon measure being poured over you, or cold water which would mean a little bigger stream to shower under. The water pressure in taps are very poor which made it near impossible to wash our hair. On the day we took a shower in the hotel suite the water was treated too strongly with cleaning aids which burnt our eyes and some sensitive parts of our skin.

Our all-inclusive package also wasn't all that inclusive. On many occasions we were told that a specific drink or beer was finished so if we wanted something to drink we had to pay as the available drinks were not included in the package.

The buffet meals were ok - for the first 2 days. Have you ever tried eating 8 variations of squid and chicken for lunch and dinner over 4 consecutive days? And for breakfast red viennas was the only meat option for all 7 mornings. No bacon or any other sausage was on offer. It got to a stage where we rather chose to go hungry than face the food on offer.

The guest toilets at the restaurant were enough to make you sick. The ladies cubicle was covered 2cm deep in leaking toilet water. Gross!

The only positive comment I can finish this letter off with is that the staff at Ras-Shungi are amasing. They are friendly, helpful, polite and probably the best asset the resort has at this stage.

Room Tip: Don't go...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank bonita e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
22Alberto, Owner at Reef & Beach Resort Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2014

Important to know, this resort is recently taken over by new owner, and there is new managment. Hotel is now contracted also by the mayor touroperators in Europe and South Africa. Hotel is only 6 years old, now renovated and on a super location in Zanzibar. We are sorry about your experience, for this. Your are welcome back and we will offer you a free holiday.

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Additional Information about Reef & Beach Resort Zanzibar

Address: Road Jambiani - Makunduchi | Exit on left side coming from Paje, Jambiani, Tanzania (Formerly Ras Shungi Beach Resort)
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Jambiani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Jambiani
#6 Romantic Hotel in Jambiani
Price Range: £34 - £90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Reef & Beach Resort Zanzibar 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Recently renovated Resort, with 45 bungalows and rooms. Taken over in June 2014 by Paradise & Wilderness tours group. With international management, this is a perfect place to enjoy your holiday. The location is beautiful with a private beach and close to the coral reef. The restaurant is serving international and local kitchen with buffet and a-la carte service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef & Beach Resort Zanzibar Zanzibar Island/Jambiani

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