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Samaki Lodge & Spa
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Reviews (514)
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Reviewed 14 December 2012

After having spent the previous week and then some in a whirlwind traveling from NYC to Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and finally Zanzibar my wife and I were in need of some peace, relaxation, and a romantic beach. We arrived at the hotel via our own driver. I would recommend this, as a much cheaper price may be negotiated for the trip from Zanzibar Town to Uroa. We paid 40,000 TZS, or $25.00 at the exchange rate at the time. We had to press very hard to get this price, and the cabal of taxi drivers around the ferry port were less than thrilled. We ended up using the same driver on the way out, get the number of your driver and get the same price.

We were greeted warmly, and a Masai warrior helped us with our luggage - very cool! After complimentary juice from the reception staff we were taken to our room. It had a huge king size bed with mosquito netting, which we were thankful for. The room was very clean, by far the cleanest on our trip. A few minutes after we settled in a maid showed with soap, and to check that we had enough towels. Our room even had a little love seat couch with its own mosquito net, which I imagine would be perfect for a kid, or friend to sleep on.

Not wanting to waste the remaining daylight we headed down to the beach. Wow! Perfect, soft white sand, and crystal clear azure water. It was on the same level as beaches we've been to in Bali, one of our top 10 beaches for sure. Yes there was a lot of seaweed. It would be nice if it was completely cleared, maybe that's something they could find a way to do economically in the future. The Masai warriors guard the entire property as stated in other reviews, as well as the entrance to and from the beach. We had previously spent some time with the Masai in Kenya, and it was interesting to talk to them and hear how they wound up all the way in Zanzibar.

When night came my wife went to shower and get ready for dinner, and I spent some time relaxing in the pool. It was one of the most beautiful pools I've even been in, not for the actual pool itself, but for the setting it is in. The facade of the main building is really well maintained and gives a cool Mediterranean/African vibe. I asked at the reception if the pool closed at a certain time and was told I could use it anytime I liked, day or night. Floating on my back alone (we seemed to be the only guests the day we were there, though there were many staying at the adjoining sister property) looking up at the stars, palm trees, and lights from the building was a very memorable experience.

After my swim I got ready and we went to dinner. It's served buffet style, and every dish we tried was very tasty. The staff were constantly checking to make sure we were happy and to see if we needed anything. I agree with some of the other reviewers that the mostly European dishes pandering to the Italian clientele are a little out of place to travellers seeking a more authentic experience. Out of the Italian fare I found the bruschetta particularly good, as were the the other cold salads. My wife and I both had a beer with our meal, and the beer selection, while not overly expansive had Tanzanian beers which we appreciated, and enjoyed.

We slept really well, the room was equipped with both a ceiling fan and a wall-mounted air conditioner. We only used the fan and it was perfect. Super peaceful.

In the morning we went back to the beach, where we saw the local people farming seaweed. It was interesting to see how they do it with grids of string suspended between wooden stakes.

Breakfast was included in the price of our room, and like dinner it was served buffet style. In the middle of the buffet bar they had a staff member whipping up made-to-order omelettes and pancakes. We found three separate types of fresh squeezed juice, a selection of pastries, sausage, eggs, oatmeal, and cereals. There was also a bottled water dispenser for clean drinking water, matching another in the lobby of Samaki available all the time.

Overall my wife and I both enjoyed our stay very much. Except for the seaweed on the beach we didn't have a single complaint, and had a very romantic time. For the price I felt the room itself (including breakfast, we did not go for the more expensive half, or full board options) was a great value. The alcoholic beverages and food were overpriced compared to off property dining, but on par with what you'd expect in a resort-style setting. We were also at a disadvantage compared to European guests, as beer and dinner prices were in euros with an unfavorable exchange into dollars. If we are back in Zanzibar in the future we definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank SidMillspaugh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
il P, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at Samaki Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2013

We are glad for your feed back, thanks!!
You did a really good description of all the facilities we offer and even of the feeling that guests like you can have here!
For a romantic holiday, here is the best!!
It is a quiet place, all well arranged, kitcken if tasty(Italian and Zanzibarian food), rooms are comfortable and everyone is friendly, ready to help the guests in case of any needs.
Perfect location for all of you!! We wait you for your next trip, maybe with family or friends..
Contact us and we will be pleased to offer you good prices.
Thanks for all and regards from Spice Island!!
C.

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Reviewed 2 December 2012

nice hotel owner a bit odd very few of the staff spoke english all italian snr staff all the local staff wanted to do was take money off you, not very well controlled,but saying that we had a good time. we had the room on the beach, which was not quite on the beach but on a raised area with sand, but very nice and quiet ideal for sunbathing, nice walks on the beach streaches for about 2 miles in each direction suffers from seaweed at high tide but did not cause us any problems very few people staying when we were there, food plentyfull locally caught fish, all food with an italian theme. all in, a good time, some better hotels around that area.

Room Tip: go for the rooms on the beach
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank grahamphillips692
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
il P, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at Samaki Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2013

Many thanks for the feed back even if we don't agree with something you are saying.
Rooms in Samaki are really niceand especially quiet! Sometimes people on the beach are disturbing the clients and we are supervising all the area with private guards that they can assure all the privacy you need.
Anyway, thanks for your stay and we hope to see you again in the next future!
Regards.
C.

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Reviewed 15 November 2012

If you need calm and nice holiday, hotel Samaki Lodge is the best way how to finde this on one place. We appreciate friendly staff, good cusine,especially fresh tasty fruit, warm sea, exotic nature..... Hearty recommendation for following :o)

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ivup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
il P, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at Samaki Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2013

Many thanks Ivup!!
Your short description is simply perfect.
You are giving the right idea to people reading feed backs before coming here.
We wait you in the next future, contact our office and they will offer you the best price.
Greetings from all the staff!!
C.

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Reviewed 30 September 2012

On the plus side, the hotel was clean and the staff were extremely helpful and courteous. They had all the basic facilities like laundry, safety deposit box, beach towels, etc. The hotel facilities are clean and the pool area is very nice. We booked massages which were fairly good for the price. They had an interesting evening display of African dance on one of the nights. The food was pretty good as well, but they only had Italian options to serve their mostly Italian clientele. Not exactly the Tanzanian experience we had in mind! On the minus side, the driver who came to pick us up did not have a sign with our names on it like all of the other hotels, so we spent a great deal of time verifying that he was in fact our driver. Also, the price seemed a bit too high given that only breakfast was included. All the other things really add up - food, 2 alcoholic drinks per day, internet, laundry, etc. The beach chairs are not directly on the beach, but give you a view of the beach, which was beautiful except covered in seaweed. They did try to clear out the seaweed on a patch of the beach on a daily basis though. Overall it is a good hotel but next time I would try something different.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Devika S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
samakilodge, Proprietario at Samaki Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 October 2012

Thank you for coming and staying with us even you stayed few days, we apreciate your suggetion and if you come back to us you will find new things even the cook italian dishes (CHEF italian) and mixed from international food with new items from ITALY .You will even enjoy swahili dishes with special offer for excusion trip that will be managed by our well trained staff atleast you will have a time to make things in your records and relaxing a part of Tanzania with friendly team of Masai from Arusha.

We remind our guests if they return we offer them staying 2weeks paying 1week and visiting SELOUS trip but all booking must be paid at Samaki lodge. Thank you for your hospitality and support....PABLO

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Reviewed 12 September 2012

The Welcome team at Samaki lodge is friendly and warm and immediately puts you at ease and takes you on discreetly throughout your stay. The secluded pool, overlooking the bar is great for relaxing and enjoying great cocktails. If you feel like exploring the surroundings, you will be put in contact with the friendly local guides offering an array of are tours and excursions of good value, without the hurdles of finding doggy operators.The private beach allows you to tan in all serenity, while looking at the tides movements back and forward the reef.

The well-thought out mix of family management and local staff provides the positive atmosphere needed during a holiday: efficiency and expertise. The food served at Samaki or in the nearby structure is quite varied and always very good. Although the main languages spoken (except Swaili) are Italian and English, the staff exerted a good command of other languages as well. Possibility to co-organise special events, like tours, dinners, etc. A SPA is available at reception offering massages and related treatments, a jacuzzi was recently built but we did not get to try it during our stay.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Flavia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
il P, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at Samaki Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2013

Dear Flavia,
We thank you for the perfect feed back and we are pleased when guests like you, appreciate all our services.
Samaki is the perfec combination to totally enjoy the Island.
You are Welcome again, just contact us to have a really good offer.
Thank you so much and greetings from all the staff!!!
C.

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