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The Residence Zanzibar
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Reviews (1,190)
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Reviewed 8 June 2014

Generally the hotel is beautiful and well kept, the villas were clean, large and well put together, the food was, for the most part, beautiful but the highlight for me was the staff. They were incredible and I can't say enough about their service levels, their linguistic skills and their genuine want to help you.

I stay in lots of places that are similar and there should be some warnings so you know what you are in for;

It is a good hour and a half drive south from Stonetown - so do not stay here if you want to wonder the streets or indeed leave the hotel given it is so remote.

The last 5kms or so is over an ungraded dirt track and I mean a bone-jarring track (to put this in to perspective, safari 4wding is luxurious when compared to the their access road).

The outdoor showers are only plumbed for cold water (which the sign says "refreshing" but I read as lazy plumbers or bad designers).

The bikes for getting around are left in the open outside the villa and are understandably rusty and are not pleasant to ride (you couldn't adjust seat height on ours and the 1st people to use them must have been a kid or very very short).

The beach was rubbish if you are used to good beaches (apparently the northern beaches are much better).

The tidal variations are large, this means that unless you pick the couple of hours at the top of the tide, the course sand gives way quickly to sticky white mud. This also severely limits the water activities available with the boats being beached for half the day.

The villa plunge pools are not private, they are open to the beach.

One of my all time big issues though is that whilst there is wifi in the room, there is none in the bar/main pool area. So when we might have sat for some hours drinking by the main pool (which is lovely btw) and using the net (still have work to do!) we didn't hang around and moved back to the villa as soon as we had finished our meals.

In summary I would not have stayed knowing all this and I wouldn't stay here again (which I really feel bad for their awesome staff)...

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Circumnavigator222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kavi L, Manager at The Residence Zanzibar, responded to this reviewResponded 5 July 2014

Dear Sir,
We would like to thank you for taking the time in reviewing our property and the services offered.
We are delighted to know that you have much enjoyed your time with us and your constructive feedback has been shared with our top management team.
A particularity of east of Africa is the variance between the high and low tides.
All around the island of Zanzibar, all beaches are affected with a tide that comes out and at The Residence Zanzibar we are also affected by this variance (2 to 3meters).
Candid photos and texts posted on our website or on Trip Advisor by guests during the high and low tides are plentiful.
We do appreciate your comment about the plunge pool of your beachfront villa not being private enough.
Our Ocean front villas with a direct access onto the sea do somehow have this drawback, however we try to keep the maximum of view to the beach since the villas are sold as seafront ones.
To be able to cater for all kind of villa requirements, even for those who do require an ocean view with more privacy, we can propose our villas situated on the cliff side where there is no passer –by…
At the same time, the 32 hectares of our manicured tropical garden are providing a total privacy to all our Garden villas…
We have taken good note of the comment as regards to the non-availability of Wi-Fi in our common areas such as the restaurants, bar and around the main pool, but we chose not to have Wi-Fi in our common areas for the comfort of our guests. However, we do provide complimentary unlimited internet access in all our villas, at the lobby and the Reception area.
Sir, once again, we thank you for your input in helping us to improve our service standards.
With the warm regards from all the Residence Team and myself
Michel Fredric,
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2014

Awesome place. Went with my girlfriend in October. Huge suite rooms with private pool and a butler. Upgraded to a sea view on arrival. Service is fantastic and the property is beautiful. Gourmet buffets every evening with a different theme or you can choose to eat in the al a carte. Would highly recommend you include transfers as hotel is quite remote.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Chrisstore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2014 via mobile

Wow. Pure Relaxation, Makes you feel your in another world. I visited the hotel with my family and it was just amazing the enviroment is very excellent the attention to detail given to this resort appear by themselves. A must visit if you plan to go zanzibar.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank SajidK552
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Just perfect, perfect, perfect. Bicycles at the door of our villa when we arrived (a fun and unexpected twist), attentive yet discreet staff, private, well sized plunge pool, fabulous standard of dining, picture perfect tropical beach to relax on. Can't wait to come back.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HenryBellon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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