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“Lovely luxury after our dusty safari!”

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Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Pingwe
Reviewed 14 August 2011

Felt moved to write about Karafuu having read some older, negative reviews about the place. We stayed at Karafuu for four days at the end of a safari in Tanzania and a couple of days in the fabulous Stone Town on Zanzibar. The holiday was through an adventure company - not normally our way as we are independent traveller types. Given that the company had booked the Karafuu for us, we were full of trepidation as we are used to booking our own hotels. On arrival, we were delighted with what we saw. The Karafuu is fabulous. Rooms are clean and, contrary to reviews, there are indeed TVs now in the room (but really, with so much to do like tennis and swimming and walking the white sandy beaches why would the last reviewer watch to watch the tellY??!!) There is bottled water too etc etc. I feel some of the reviews were really harsh for several reasons but particularly because the staff are all local people and really do their best to please guests. They are warm and friendly and nothing is too much trouble. We loved it here. Buffet bland? Not at all. We had seafood, curries, delicious fresh fruit and vegetables. We sampled crab, red snapper, amazing prawns and grouper. The breakfasts were just legendary - and all delivered with a smile. We went diving every day and our kids tried it for the first time. David the dive master was incredible - and was brilliant with the children. After our dusty safari, we were keen to try the spa. We had pedicures and massages in the delightful spa - set overlooking the beautiful beach and sea. We didn't use the fitness centre (too busy swimming!) but it looked lovely. A truly positive experience all round. Fabulous service from warm and friendly people. We loved it!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank LincolnshireLiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 August 2011

The hotel is decent and a good value for money but that's it. Don't ask for something more or don't expect to be surprised.
Except from two canoes there is nothing for water sports, and especially no kite surfing or wind surfing which can be found in the near hotels. Also there is a scuba diving centre which I didn't try.
The big surprise was the gym. Very bad maintained although the machines wasn't that old. Rusty from the salty sea air and greasy from the hotel so as to maintain them and prevent them from getting even rustier.....
The food was really average to poor. No big variety and certainly not the best quality. The cereals tasted a bit old, and just two options (corn flakes & coco pops).
The service was very friendly and all the staff was smiling and was willing to help.

As for the excursions check out also with the teams outside the hotel because it could be cheaper and arrange it the way and time you like.

The sea is not easy accessible due to the low and high tide but also the sea urchins. They have constructed a cement bridge but is very slippery, so watch out.

If you want to see colourful fish you have to buy an excursion.

Overall, the hotel is good value for money but nothing more. You will have to buy everyday excursions so as not to be bored, see the island, see the dolphins, the whales, the spices, stone town.....

Do go on an excursion to mnemba private island. Although, you will be with lots of other boats the vista of the island with the white sand and the best reef in the area of Zanzibar you will feel gratified (especially because staying in mnemba lodge costs 1500 $ per night )

Room Tip: Pay something more but do get the beach front villas
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank paulGreece
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2011

I stay there with my family and we really enjoy the atmosphere, the services, the place...
The staff were really welcome and nice with the kids...We feel at home and the food was excellent.....We really feel at home and that make our stay unforgettable....

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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Thank ParisSerena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2011

Karafuu is a very good place. The service was excellent, cleanness very good and the resort itself well maintained and in a good shape.

A few things on the negative side: There is absolutely no facilities outside the resort, so everything you need must be bought here. We did not have all inclusive, so we had to pay restaurant prices even for the water used for tooth brushing.
They have computers with internet connection for rent, but the connection was very slow and unstable.
The buffet had an enormous diversity of fruit, vegetables and desserts. However, meat and fish was not abundant. Zanzibar is known as the spice island, but we found the food to be strangely tasteless. Maybe not to offend our delicate taste buds.
Shellfish had to be bought from the a la carte restaurant, even for the all inclusive lot.
The trips organized by the resort was also ridiculously expensive.

The beach has sand above high tide and below low tide. The zone in between consists of dead corals with lots of spiny sea urchins. There is however a causeway to be used from the beach to the sand bottom further out. Karafuu has a great pool, so you can have your swim anyway.
Except for these things, Karafuu is just perfect.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank BjornT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2011

Staff very courteous and resort well looked after, so what's the problem? Unfortunately they have the management style of a Spanish or Italian hotel in the 1970s. Add in power cuts, faulty air con, and misleading room descriptions to complete the picture - the garden rooms are awful & gloomy stuck in the back of the resort with the mosquitoes and generators. We immediately upgraded to a junior suite which is lovely & spacious on the front row overlooking the sea. The 'cottages' are the same as the junior suites but instead of a sea view, you have a view of...the junior suites. Great pool bar. The evenings in the bar can be spoilt by more throwbacks - bingo, over the worlds loudest PA system. Nobody really wanted to take part but the sad guy on the mic eventually cajoled a few people to play. Reading the numbers out in about 5 languages meant the game was not without confusion, nobody called bingo in the end. The same bloke did the various activities during the day, "aquagyyyym!" etc. Nice chap but this tired concept would be more at home in a package tour in 1974. Excellent dive centre, totally recommended - run by a Danish guy I think. To complete the 1970s experience, expect lots of little additions to your bill at the end, the people next to me were being charged full room service breakfast charge when all they had delivered was a cup of milk. They said my credit card wasn't going through, so I rang my bank on their phone - my bank proved it was their machine at fault, but they wanted to charge me for the phone call! Couldn't be bothered to argue with them in the end, won't be going back. Also you may see the polite management responses to their other bad reviews here, but this is all a sham. They're brutish when you're there.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank thughes59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2011

The hotel is on a private beach, they have themed dinners every evening. The dinners were great, from Masai village experience to Italian, to seafood etc.tHEY CAN ALSO BOOK TOURS FOR YOU-sAFARI bLUE WAS JUST ANOTHER EXPERIENCE

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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Thank mmadi888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2011

This is a nice place to relax after a safari. The rooms are spacious and nice. The staff is very friendly and the place is very relaxed. It's a place to relax and not for partying. The food is excellent. The beach looks fantastic. The problem is that there are dead corals close to the beach. You can't swim at high tide. You can walk out at low tide if you want to get out to the water. They sell trips at the hotel. They're quite expensive. You can buy cheaper trips at the guys at the beach. You will have to pay quite a lot if you want to expore Zanzibar on these trips. Snorkelling on Zanzibar is quite good as well. the dive center and the spa is good, but expensive. The drinks at the hotel is a lot more expensive than the rest of the island.

I would recommend you to get outside the resort, because it is nothing like the rest of Zanzibar. I liked the place but wouldn't go there again beacuse of the location. There's not that much to see around the hotel. Here's my recommendation for a week in Zanzibar: Stay two nights in Stone town and enjoy this nice town.Stay at Nungwi for the rest of the week. The beach is a lot better and the trips are the same wherever you stay at Zanzibar. If you stay at Karafuu: Don't forget to visit the Rock further down the beach. It's an amazing restaurant with an amazing view..

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank skrutrekkeren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa

Address: PO Box 71, Pingwe, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Pingwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Pingwe
Price Range: £97 - £314 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On a deserted white sandy beach, at 65 km from Stone Town, lies Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa, an international five-star hotel, winner of the World Travel Awards as Tanzania Leading Resort and Africa Leading Beach Resort 2011 .It is one of the most luxurious hotels on the east coast of Zanzibar, where, even during low tide, it’s possible to enjoy a comfortable swim in the ocean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Karafuu Beach Hotel Pingwe
Karafuu Hotel Beach
Karafuu Resort Beach
Karafuu Beach Resort And Spa Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

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