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“Great Place, but service can be better”

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The Residence Zanzibar
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Kizimkazi
Reviewed 20 April 2014

This is a great resort, with beautiful private pools with some villas, but the service can be improved is what I think. They take too much time to deliver anything to your villa or send the carts for pickups from your villas.
My daughter was in need of floaters to swim and the floaters need air filled. Repeated calls to their service desk resulted in no help.
The property is beautiful and I am sure they will improve on their service too!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Mira R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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497 - 503 of 1,074 reviews

Reviewed 14 April 2014

We, my daughter and self stayed at this superb property for 2 nights, from the 10th to the 12th april 2014.The drive from the airport took an hour plus, the last 20 minutes on a dirt track road. But, once we were there, WOW

The garden villa that we had booked, was well appointed, immaculately clean and well furnished.

The staff were very welcoming and Catherine looked after us very well during all meals.
Food served was well presented and filling.Though on the first night, the dessert took almost 30 minutes to reach our table.

The only lapse was the dismal buggy cart service. ON two occasions, we called Reception for this service , and just waited and waited.

But overall, very plus and would definitely recommend this property.

The General Manager should see that the welcome envelope is properly addressed. I had booked for my daughter(miss) and self(mr.), and was given an envelope addressed as Mr and Mrs.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank khush79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2014

This is a top class hotel once you arrive after a 75 minute journey from the airport. Immigration at Zanzibar Airport needs dramatically improving as does the final 4 km of road up to the hotel. Once you get there everything is first class with very comfortable rooms and each one having its own pool.and sun deck. The General Manager is one of the very best and the hotel staff reflect a warm, friendly but efficient culture with nothing being too much trouble. The food is good but not gourmet with a very wide range of choices. The Head Chef is very committed to delivering good food. A 21 hour trip from the UK to the hotel but well worth the effort and we would highly recommend the hotel to any potential visitors.

Room Tip: Go for Room 112 which is right ion the beach adjacent to the Jetty. The location is very quiet but n...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank 158Nick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2014

We had the most amazing 8 nights at The Residence! The staff were wonderful, helpful and always smiling. The villa was beautifully appointed and kept immaculately clean. The food was out of this world. The setting, the beach, the pool were fantastic.....what more can we say? We also had 3 great visits at the Spa where, once again, the staff was fantastic. Would definitely recommend it.

Room Tip: Ocean front rooms are well worth the extra. We were happy to be slightly away from the main pool.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Lorenza S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014 via mobile

If you don't mind spending a few extra bucks (it is one of Zanzibars most expensive hotels) this place is close to perfect.
A private beach, an excellent huge pool, private pools in each room, fantastic food, shesha by the sea, bicycles for staying guests to commute from one place to another and awesome staff who smile so much they bring out the sun shine.

One of my most romantic experiences ever!

  • Stayed: January 2014
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4  Thank Khalid_Ismail_Zarooni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

My wife and I spent 8 days at the Residence after our Safari in Tanzania last August for our honeymoon, and the accommodations were incredible. Our room was kept clean, the aesthetics were lovely, and we spent most of our days by our plunge pool. The staff were SO friendly, which is why we were so disappointed in the way they were treated by some of the other guests. Obviously the cost and high star rating of the Residence would attract a certain type of clientele, but the snobbery and rudeness that we saw extended to the staff on a number of occasions was a big turn off. Having a job at a hotel like this in Zanzibar is considered a very good job. They work very hard, they do their best to try and learn the many languages of the guests to accommodate their needs, and to see them treated so poorly by people was disgraceful. I know the hotel prefers you tip at the end of your stay, but it didn't stop us from leaving a few notes to the ones who went above and beyond.

As for the food, it was quite good. However, we did find the system they have setup with the various menus (all inclusive, non-all inclusive) to be confusing. There was more than one occasion when we dined, either during the day, or at the A La Carte restaurant, where we had to clarify whether we were looking at the right menu or not.

We did take on a few activities, snorkeling, and diving with the dolphins, but be forewarned, although it was definitely an experience, my wife and I both questioned the safety and ethics that were involved with the dolphin dive. Basically we had about 20 minutes alone with the school, before about 10 other boats descended and it became total chaos. It didn't feel safe jumping in and out of the water with so many boats circling around, and we felt that the dolphins were put under a lot of stress by it as well. Would not do it again.

The spa was amazing, drinks were great, having the bikes to travel around the grounds was fun. The resort is quite secluded, so don't expect to do much exploring outside of the grounds. The beach was good, and when the tide was in, the water was quite warm and pleasant to swim in.

Overall, would highly recommend, but would try to keep in mind some of the negatives we experienced.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Hawk-Talks
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 25 February 2014

Dear guests, Thank you very much for allowing us to serve you and meet your expectations. You kindly drew our attention to some ‘out-of-tune-treatments’ that some of our Staff had to endure. you mentioned that some of our guests were exhibiting behavior that would best never to be seen all together.
The management would always interfere or provide support to the employees in case of any form of harassment towards one member of the great team of People that The Residence Zanzibar employs. We work together with an open-door policy and welcome comments from our staffs and management alike. We have not had any accounts of blatant mistreatments until now, however your point has highlighted a potential area of concern that we want to review immediately and with extra care.
Once again, many thanks for your feed-back and the time you took to alert us on the above mentioned points.
Best regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2014

We stayed for ten nights at the Residence in an oceanfront suite. The accommodation was beautiful and the customer service from most of the staff was superb. Unfortunately, there was a party of 12 whose children were allowed to run around the bar and restaurant area, jumping over and on sofas, shouting and having no regard or respect for other guests around them. Each morning they managed to clear a lot of couples from the pool area with their constant yelling and crying. It is very unfortunate this 5 star hotel does not have a separate childrens pool.

We had to be moved from our suite after six days (something we were aware of prior to our holiday) due to a large party arriving who had block booked the oceanfront suites. The move was handled very badly by the Director of the hotel. He was dishonest and told us a bare faced lie. He had informed us of the suite we were to be moved to which we were very happy with as it was an unexpected upgrade. On the morning of our move he said the air conditioning was not working and so the suite was out of use. This was a total fabrication because surprise surprise, half an hour later some other guests were put in it. He decided to upgrade them and not us. Ok, that was his right to do that but we were disgusted by his dishonesty, lack of remorse and his blatant lies. However, the rest of the staff offered top five star service and went out of their way to ensure all guests were looked after beautifully. Unfortunately, their Director let them down badly. We had had such a wonderful five day safari at Ol Seki Hemingways in Kenya prior to our stay at The Residence and unfortunately the latter part of our holiday did not meet our expectations.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
6  Thank C C
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 25 February 2014

Dear guest,
We appreciate very much when our guests give feedback reviews about our services. And we are delighted that overall you had enjoyed your stay.
Kids Party:
Thank you very much for your comments where you noted that the children were causing disturbance around the main pool of the hotel. We are fortunate to have a very large pool with different depth to allow people of various age and swimming capabilities to enjoy themselves. We also have private individual pool in each and every one of our beautiful villas, for our guests that are in search of privacy and quietness. Furthermore, our extensive Spa facilities offer a relaxing, secluded whirlpool that our guests are most welcome to use , on a complimentary basis. Nevertheless we will reinforce the management and the supervision around the pool to avoid unacceptable disturbances.
Room Change:
It is unfortunate that the information provided by one of our managers was indeed misleading. He was acting in good faith and his only objective was to provide you with a better room option for your stay. Following this embarrassing situation, you then met with his superior, The Resident Manager of the hotel that managed to provide you with the category of villas you had requested. I have personally reveiwed the situation with the manager involved; I have explained to him how important it is for our second-to-none service delivery standards that at all times, we provide honest, convincing and doable answers to our guests.
We hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you once again to our sunny shores, 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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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: £290 - £1,113 (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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