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“Paridise in Paridise”

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The Residence Zanzibar
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Kizimkazi
Reviewed 28 August 2012

The villa was magnificent, food was excellent with fantastic presentation.

Though out my stay the staff where highly professional with gold levels of service and attentiveness.... GREAT holiday many thanks to the Mauritian manager. I forget his name but express many thanks for your excellent service and attention to the minor details that made the holiday a paridise in paridise.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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1  Thank MontyMojito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 August 2012

we had the pleasure of staying here when it had just opened. there were a few teething properties but you couldnt fault the service which was the best i have seen on the island. i wasnt a fan of the beach but the pool more than made up for it. the rooms were amazing and spotless and the attention to detail in the rooms was second to none. would go back for sure.

Room Tip: there can be a waiting list for golf carts so stick to rooms nearer the public areas
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank veronica o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2012

We only stayed a few days, but would have loved to stay longer. The drive from the airport, is well worth it. From the moment you enter the gates, you realize how magnificent this property is. Beautiful villas (and the personal infintiy pool is a really nice touch) Dining staff could not do enough for us. Food was excellent and well prepared. Everyone working on the property made you feel that they appreciated you being there. We celebrated our daughters birthday with a dinner for the family on the beach. A truly memorable experience and the pashmina's given to the ladies when it got a bit chilly, demonstrates their thoughtfulness and attention to detail. Service was excellent. We felt warm and welcome. I highly recommend The Residence Zanzibar

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank steve h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2012

We stayed 8 days from the 2nd week of august '12. We really enjoyed this hotel as it's in the middle of the bush and we loved a mile of white sand beach where you feel alone, without noisy surrounding. This place is so quiet!

The hotel atmosphere is peacefull with a kind staff. No crowd at the beach as well as at the huge main pool. My wife stayed days at the beach, nobody to bother her, while I was sailing on new hobby cat 12. The sea is safe for sailing, the beaching easy.

Our villa was spacious, truly quiet and very clean. Surprisingly the air conditioning is very soft and moreover TV & WIFI are efficient in this part of East Africa (we haven't miss the Olympics). But we couldn't wait being in our pool while watching the sunset. Each villa has a private pool, 30 x 12 feet, very convenient when low tide (it's the Indian Ocean, not a lagoon).

Ambiance at both restaurants is relaxing and discression is a must. Staff & waiters are dedicated and try their best to cocoon you! You don't need to queue for your juice or your eggs, just ask for! Mr SOON and his team makes you feel VIP's: he organised a marvelous lunch on our private deck facing the sea and, on another occasion, a special fish diner.
Food is very fresh and excellent, no question. A special applause to chef VINAY who surprised us with very testy and ligth dishes; our dilema: desserts were too good!

We were tired and exhausted, we got a true rest. This is why this is our first contribution.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jedhau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2012

I went to the Residence last year for my honeymoon, after a Safari in Serengeti and the service was impeccable. The food was exquisite and so were the rooms and the attentiveness of the staff. I'd definitely recommend the Residence to any honeymooners, but it worth noting that it is far from Stone Town etc. While it is also true that there are issues with the low tide, this is true of most areas in Zanzibar (I was aware of this because I researched before making a reservation). All in all, I'd definitely recommend the hotel, as well as their massage service. We were taken on a trip out to stonetown and prison island which we really enjoyed as well.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank do0dz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2012

Totally isolated, so they have a captive audience. An hour and a half trip from the airport, eventually ending up in a long winding poorly surfaced laneway to the hotel. While the beach was picturesque on the brochure, it was much less attractive at low tide. As a result you can only swim in the sea for a short period. When we stayed the hotel had low occupancy after the weekend, and closed one of the two restaurant. Food only average, and many dishes unavailable. You were then compelled to eat all your meals in the same restaurant. The remote location meant there was no alternative location to eat. Breakfast was hap-hazard, with queues at the omelette counter. Staff were poorly trained and and had to be asked for many simple items at breafast ie milk for your tea, or butter for your toast.
Villas were good but essential to have a beach front one. While the beach is "guarded", one of the guards actually made inappopriate remarks to my wife, who was sunbathing alone on the "guarded beach".
Elegant Resorts arranged a generous compensation from the hotel (unrequested by us). There were adequate numbers of staff but all poorly trained. Other guests were complaining at the time of our stay. management provided sweets, extra fruit, and "specially" ordered in what was supposed to be already available on the menu!
A visit to Stonetown was also disappointing. In general the town is very poor and on the quay you are approached by beggers. In the town itself, the vendors are more than anxious to sell you something and the temptation is to run! I dont know if the hotel fly in all their meat, but a visit to the local market outside stonetown is positively shocking. Flies swarm the fish and meat. Feral cats sit alongside the vendors.
The island in general is very poor. Not an ideal place to have a luxury holiday. A visit to a turtle conservation farm, turned out to be 5 turtles of various ages in a dirty pond. Hard to see this hotel surviving given all the above.
Shortly after our trip we read that Dar Al Salam airport had no radar control for two months and when asked how they were landing planes, they said by radio control only!. for a busy airport this was mind boggling. We flew into Dar Al Salam and out of Nairobi airport. When we were in Nairobi airport, there were several power cuts affecting the entire airport.

Room Tip: beachfront only
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Martina O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Refugefromthenorm, General Manager at The Residence Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2012

Dear Sir,
Many thanks for taking the time to review our property.
The tidal & beach situation of Zanzibar and at The Residence Zanzibar have been reviewed several times. Candid photos and text are plentiful. One who is planning a trip on that side of the world would have plenty of information and can make up his mind quite easily on what the beach experience might be.
We operate our restaurants throughout the year. It can happen at times that our garden restaurant, The Pavilion, is being closed for spring cleaning, maintenance purposes, etc.... In this case, a selection of the most liked dishes from The Pavilion restaurant is added onto the main restaurant menu. We took note of your comment on the quality of the food and will review it carefully. You stayed with us early April 2012, from the 6th to 14th, and comments since the opening of the resort, have always been very positive towards our culinary expertise. Our restaurant team is also very flexible and we are pleased to cater for tastes, likes&dislikes as various as our clientele is. On the same subject, I would like to reassure you that all our meat products are effectively imported.
We will review internally your comment on the breakfast experience. Although we operate a buffet breakfast, we always give the alternative of table service for any guest that do prefer not to come to the buffet table or to the many live-cooking station that we operate also for breakfast (eggs station, waffle, pancake etc...). we are blessed to have been most of the time reviewed as a hotel that boosts an impeccable service at all times. Your comment of poorly trained staffs will however be reviewed. We will endeavor to plan better our training sessions to ensure that this situation do not recurr. At this point in time, however, all other feed back on TripAdvisor received during this period and on our own guest questionnaire records tend to show a different quality trend than the one you commented on. You might want to take some time to check on them: "the best hotel in Zanzibar", "The Real Paradise", "Best Place Ever", etc....
The situation that occured on the beach, while your wife was sunbathing, was discussed with you and we presented our sincerest apologies. The guard was requested to give a complete statement of what had happened. There was certainly no desire on his side to affect negatively the guest he talked too, but we agreed that his lack of tact was unacceptable. Our resort is guarded with a large security team that is normally very discreet. As we had upgraded you on a complimentary basis, on arrival, to one of our Ocean Front villa, on a beautiful and secluded side of the resort, it is unfortunate that this event happened.
In a more positive note, you did not comment on some of the other aspects of your stay. We are convinced that you enjoyed them as well as the general responsiveness of our team. In deed, you might recall that you had requested that some very minor work on a villa located more than 75 meters from your villa be stopped. We did stop them immediately. Also, and in order that all records are kept right, the management of the hotel had proposed to your agent that a certain amount of money be refunded to you as a gesture of good will. The Agent had confirmed with us that you had appreciated the gesture very much.
Finally, we read your assessment of the destination, the standard of living and the impression you had from your visit around the island. We beleive that Zanzibar is a undiscovered touristic gem that is on the verge to open up like Mauritius had done so, 35 years ago. It is still a destination “in the making” and one has to be well aware that some of the expected touristic infrastructures might not exist or will not be at the level expected. The uniqueness of the island lies in the discovery of its population and way of life, amazing panorama, pristine beaches & tropical forests while keeping in mind that this destination opened up for commercial tourism less than 20 years ago. We hope our answer will satisfy you and our readers. With our very best regards. Yves Montel. General Manager.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

We stayed at the Residence after a dusty safari in Tanzania and it was heavenly to relax in comfort and luxury at the end of the holiday. The villas are beautiful and it was lovely to be able to have breakfast on the deck next to your pool in a morning.

We had read the mixed reports about the service before we went but I honestly don't think the staff could have tried any harder - everything was, 'no problem' and 'my pleasure'. When I commented I was chilly one evening a pashmina was immediately produced and they tried so hard to provide an excellent service at all times. I really can't see how anyone could have a complaint, as we were constantly asked if everything was to our satisfaction and if they could do any more to make our stay more comfortable. The manager seemed to seek out all guests to ask the same questions.

I would highly recommend the spa, which was excellent and reasonably priced for a 5* hotel.

My only slightly negative comment would be that the wines were expensive for what they were and also it seemed that one restaurant served a set meal and the other a buffet each night. It said in the room you got an allowance off a la carte but whenever we asked for a menu the staff looked blank. Having said that the food was good.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Diana014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Residence Zanzibar

Address: Mchangamle, Kizimkazi 2404, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Kizimkazi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Kizimkazi
Price Range: £274 - £1,033 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Residence Zanzibar 5*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Residence Zanzibar lies within a lush, forested 32-hectare estate where five-star luxuries sit harmoniously alongside nature's untouched beauty. Feel your spirits soar amid extensive tropical gardens that meet with powder-soft white sand lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Inspired by the island's eclectic cultures, our luxury Zanzibar resort blends modern comforts with Swahili, Omani, British and Indian influences. Indulge in the privacy of the spacious villas, attended on if you wish by your own personal butler. Enjoy carefree days relaxing by your private pool, on the beach, or exploring the gardens on foot or by bicycle. Savour a taste of the Spice Island's unique blend of cultures and cuisines, and the pleasure of sensational spa treatments. Discover more of the island and the waters that surround it in a myriad of activities, from visiting historic sites and rare natural wonders to deep sea fishing and diving with dolphins. Whether you dream of a quiet couple's retreat or fun in the sun for the whole family, embrace all the delights of our island life at The Residence Zanzibar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Residence Zanzibar Hotel Kizimkazi
The Residence Zanzibar Zanzibar Island/Kizimkazi

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