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“Great service, good location.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Neptune Pwani Beach Resort & Spa

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Neptune Pwani Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Pwani Mchangani
Certificate of Excellence
Potchefstroom, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great service, good location.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

My family and I spent 7 nights at the hotel in June 2014. This was our second stay at this particular hotel. We opted for the all inclusive package which was really worth it! The staff were very attentive and plied us with cocktails on the beach. The food was superb with a local twist in every meal. Pwani beach was a nice quiet beach where we could just relax or walk out to the corral reef. The locals on the beach were a bit irritating but a "no thank you" usually did the trick. I would definitely recommend this hotel to everyone, and I can't wait for our next stay there.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BerniceBvS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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823 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (115)
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2014

We went to Neptune Pwani for 7 nights as part of our honeymoon after spending 3 nights in Stone Town. On arrival we were told that our room was not ready yet but that we could start using the facilities and have lunch. We went to the Main Pool bar and had our first cocktail and small lunch and immediately felt welcome.

Our room was very spacious and had everything we required. The bed was comfortable, the room itself was clean and so was the bathroom. Our bed was decorated with rose petals and the mosquito net and the fridge was stocked with cold-drinks and there was a fruit basket.

We enjoyed spending time in the pool as it was sparklingly clean. We also lounged on the resorts beach area and we were never really bothered by the beach boys who try to grab your attention. When you ignore them they leave you alone. We went for a walk on the beach once and the beach boys also leave you alone when you do it. We looked at the other resorts and ours definitely looked the best. We also went for 2 massages with Mama Rose (who has a stall on the beach) which was about US$20 per person for a full hour and this was definitely worth the money. We played some water polo and did some water aerobics to keep ourselves busy during the days. We also went on the town walk which was eye-opening.

The excursions from the hotel are quite pricey considering how much we paid for everything while we were in Stone Town, but if you are just staying at a resort, you don't really have a lot of options. We did do a snorkeling excursion to Mnemba Island through the resort and I would recommend it to anyone. The visibility is awesome(We could see the scuba divers swimming below us), the water is warm and the guides are really knowledgeable. I would advise anyone to wear a wet-suit when snorkeling to protect your skin from sunburn.

The food was really great. The breakfast was the same every morning, but the choices made it impossible to eat the same thing twice, even though we indulged in waffles with bacon and maple syrup... The lunches at the main restaurant was also brilliant. The pasta station was a hit. We had lunch at the Main pool bar as well and they had really good "pub" meals, ie Sandwiches, burgers, etc. The dinners were also very good, we were completely stuffed at the end of every day. We never went to the a la carte restaurant. One downside however is the lack of air-conditioning in the restaurants. I showered before we went to dinner and had to shower again afterwards. The wine also is not the best. There was also entertainment during the dinners which was enjoyable. The acrobats were the best. The staff were all very friendly.

We really had a very awesome honeymoon and the Neptune Pwani Beach Resort was a highlight.

Room Tip: Our stay in the Deluxe Seaside Ocean View Room was great, very spacious and comfortable King Size be...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Renier D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Forest Hills, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2014

As US expats living in Uganda, my wife and I wanted to take a vacation not too far away. I had always been a fan of the Billy Joel song, "Zanzibar," from the "52nd St." album (yeah, I'm old) and always wanted to travel to this exotic place (even though the song has nothing to do with the island). My wife selected Neptune Pwani on the basis of previous TripAdvisor reviews. Well, Neptune (and TripAdvisor) did not disappoint. The resort delivered on every possible level, giving us memories and photos that will last us a lifetime. Let me review just some of the reasons why this vacation beats out a vacation I took to Hawaii in 2005 as the Best. Vacation. Ever.

We traveled to Zanzibar in April--an unintended stroke of genius for us because it was low season. Thus, the place was half empty. We don't like large crowds of people, so it was perfect for us. In addition, the other activities we chose to sample (see below) were also not crowded. So you need to consider going during low season if you like the beach and dining areas largely to yourself.

The only challenges we encountered during the entire trip occurred at the Zanzibar Airport. A dingy, dreary place, it is in serious need of a facelift. Unbeknownst to us, we had to pay a tax just for visiting--in Tanzanian shillings. Needless to say, we had no Tanzanian shillings in any of our pockets, so that was a bit of a fiasco. Just be aware that you have to endure this major hassle when you land. Everybody has to go through it unless you are a native Zanzibarian. And when you leave, you will have the same hassle unless you are making your connecting flight in Tanzania rather than Kenya or elsewhere. Then the airport officials will leave you alone.

Neptune had arranged for us to be picked up at the airport. A potential disadvantage of staying at Neptune Pwani is that it is located 45 minutes from the airport, on the northeast side of the island (the airport is on the southwest side). But we enjoyed the relaxing ride, seeing little villages of the local people, the strong Islamic influence on the architecture and in people's dress, and the beautiful rice patties and exotic trees.

When we arrived, the staff were waiting for us with peppermint-scented wet towels and glasses of juice. From that moment until we left four days later, everyone was always friendly and welcoming, greeting us with "jambo"--Swahili for "hello". It wasn't a compulsive, overfamiliar friendliness--the entire staff (even the landscapers and housekeepers) greeted us with a genuine interest in how we were doing. We had several interesting conversations with the staff and learned more about the culture through these interactions. This feature alone makes Neptune Pwani stand out from other places we've stayed at through the years. But that isn't all that makes Neptune Pwani special.

Did I mention the food? All you can eat and drink, three times a day. And the food was like a symphony for the palate. Neptune Pwani must hire five-star chefs in their kitchen to produce the sumptuous buffet-style meals. The desserts were just average, but every other course--from the delicious soups and salads to the wide variety of entrees, breads, and fruits and vegetables, we could have spent our entire time just eating. But we didn't. We had to work off those calories. Don't forget to order their pizza, cooked in a wood-burning oven and served upstairs. You have to order it in advance.

We stayed active by swimming in the room-temperature Indian Ocean on Neptune Pwani's private beach. We weren't too keen on the locals walking along the beach trying to sell us T-shirts and massages, but otherwise, it was heavenly. The resort also has two separate swimming pools that we never took advantage of because we preferred the real thing just 50 meters away. But families tended to use these pools to relax in.

The room was styled as a traditional thatched-roof bungalow/hut with dark-wood floors and all the amenities, including television, phone, and free WiFi. The bed itself was a glorious experience--spacious and inviting and high off the ground with a mosquito-net canopy. My wife took advantage of the spa and had one of the most pleasurable massages and facials of her life given by an Asian woman.

We also took advantage of Neptune Pwani's helpful concierge services to schedule a series of trips around Zanzibar. These trips cost extra but were well worth it to us. When you stop in, just ask for Asea (pronounced "Asia"). She will hook you up with some island adventures and make sure that your driver and guide show up on time to take you to your destination. On our second day, we scheduled a trip to Magonga Spice Farm, where almost any imaginable spice is grown. From there, we went to Stonetown, the largest town on Zanzibar and center of most of Zanzibar's colorful history. We stopped to see the largest slave-trading center on the East African coast, which included the cramped slave quarters and the trading block itself. History must be known to avoid its repetition, so we were grateful to become acquainted this part of Zanzibar's history. Later in the day, we also took a boat to Prison Island, where tuberculosis patients were quarantined in the 1800s. Now, it is home to some quite large, ancient tortoises, one of whom is 189 years old (don't ask me how people know that). You can actually touch these tortoises and pose for pictures with them. That night, we returned to dinner and an evening performance by an incredibly talented dance troupe specializing in hip-hop dance, practically right in front of our table.

The next day, we traveled to the southern tip of Zanzibar to go swimming with dolphins--real live dolphins. Our boat captain, Muhammed, worked with my frightened wife to get her into the water, but to no avail. I did my best with a snorkel and life jacket to see these animals underwater, but I was too uncomfortable out in the middle of the Indian Ocean to look for them. We were finally content to see the dolphins coming up for air just a few meters from the side of our boat. We also stopped by Jozani Forest to see red colubus monkeys hanging out on the tree branches. I got so close to one low-hanging fellow that I touched his tail with no reaction from him. We took many close-ups of these distant relatives on our family tree. Further into the forest, we also saw mangroves for the first time--a complex network of roots and branches that live only in salt water from Indian Ocean high tides. The thick network looked like pipes in a large boiler room. We then had a late lunch at The Rock, a seafood restaurant right out in the Indian Ocean. You have to eat here just for the experience. At high tide, you need to take a boat to get to it, about 25 meters off shore. We walked to the restaurant but had to take off our shoes. Contrary to what their website says, you can go in T-shirt and shorts, and we had our meal in bare feet. By the time we left, it was low tide, which means that we could walk back to shore in our shoes. That night, we had a light dinner and watched Maasai warriors in their traditional costumes dance for us and sell their artwork and beaded jewelry after the show.

The next day (our final full day at Neptune Pwani), we traveled to the northern tip of the island to go swimming with the sea turtles. Some of these bad boys are quite large. Because it was low season, I was the only one swimming with them this particular morning (my wife chickened out). What an overwhelming experience to grab onto the back shell of a sea turtle and let him pull you through the water like a roller blader holding onto the back of a pick-up truck. Just gliding along in the salty water with the other turtles. These turtles were motivated to interact with me because the staff at this turtle sanctuary were throwing lettuce into the water from a perch 10 meters above me. Seeing the slave quarters and swimming with the turtles were the two of the most meaningful experiences for me during our trip to Zanzibar.

But wait, there's more! Our reliable, charming, animated guide, Simon, also planned a sunset boat cruise for us. We were expecting something like the Circle Line in New York with lots of people partying on a boat. What we got instead was something much cooler: a sailboat with a crew of two exclusively for us. We shared the boat with two musicians--a violinist and a bongo player, who played Middle Eastern-influenced music for us. We were served our choice of wine or juice (we took juice) and cheese and crackers and enjoyed watching one of the two male crew members spiritedly swaying to the music with a shirt tied around his waist as the sun slowly dipped into the sea. Now, that's a vacation moment to remember! After this excursion, we walked through the fish market at the center of Stonetown, where all kinds of seafood and vegetables are roasted and sold, with plenty of places to sit nearby. We munched on fish and seafood as a swarm (herd?) of cats staked out their begging posts for scraps. Occasional fighting broke out. That was an interesting experience in and of itself. We returned to Neptune Pwani later that evening exhausted but with just enough energy to hear a live band perform Afro-tinged music.

I want to take a moment to urge you to ask for Simon to be your island guide. He has quite a sense of humor and therefore made the entire experience so much more enjoyable. He is also quite a historian of Zanzibar, sharing his considerable knowledge with us. We also appreciated Simon's willingness to be flexible when something caught our eye and took us slightly off schedule, for example when we wanted to see the Zanzibar Library and stop in to see a public school and take photos of school children. He never let the larger agenda interfere with our desire to stop and explore whatever happened to catch our fancy.

All in all, I have no choice but to gush about our experience at Neptune Pwani. We had to leave our infant daughter with a babysitter, but when she is older, we will definitely bring her here. Our stay overlapped with an American couple who had a daughter who was probably 6 or 7. She was having the time of her life in this kid-friendly paradise. We'll probably return when our daughter is that age. And we'll call that vacation "Paradise Regained."

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Geoff G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2014

The check in was hassle free and fast. The sweet gentleman at the reception was helpful and forthcoming and rightly assured us that the rooms we were being given were better than the ones I wanted atop a hillock thinking it would afford us sea views. We did climb up the next day to check out the view....no value addition for the elevation. Our rooms were spacious and very conveniently located for easy access to the dining, pool and beach. There is no clear sea view.........too many trees interrupt the line of sight, but all in all it was quite satisfactory. The beach was a minutes walk from the rooms......and it was of gorgeous white sand. The reviews i had read online said the local vendors and touts could get very annoying.........we faced no such problem.

The wifi was sketchy and irritating and one had to sign in many times in the day.

We were on the all inclusive plan.....so once you have paid...it becomes a relaxed no stress holiday.

The food was plentiful and there were choices for us vegetarians too. The staff went out of their way to whip up indian dishes for us. The food at the italian restaurant was tasty enough. They have this thing of not having nuts on offer everyday with the drinks. They would alternate between popcorn and nuts ...that quite detracted from the enjoyment . It really wouldnt take much to have nuts on offer with drinks every day.

All in all....it was a nice enjoyable stay

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank neha_neha_neha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2014

We just had great week in Zanzibar. Very comfortable hotel, good food, nice staff, good cocktail, great beach, paradise on earth... Booked directly via booking.com we saved almost 600€. We only had to arrange transfer to the hotel and back. We payd a taxi 45€ for a one way trip from the airport.

Room Tip: One tip: chose the deluxe seaside ocean view rooms, close to the swimming pool and the beach.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Etienne V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014 via mobile

An awesome breakaway with friendly staff who always smiled and everything was Hakuna Matata! Loved being brought my piña colada next to the pool or on the beach :-) food was great with a fair variety every meal time and I loved the local fruits!
Only disappointment for me was the lack of snorkelling off the beach.

Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank CapetownKaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2014

A bit late with this review but trying to catch up. An awesome hotel. Rooms were large and comfortable. The aircon worked well and helped a bit with the mozquitoes. Great balcony to watch the summer rain pound down with a great view of the pool. The pool was awesome, with a great pool bar that was always manned with helpful and fun bar staff. Drinks were great!!! Beach is awesome too....and you're only a minute away from your room. A very relaxed resort. Food was amazing, a wide selction and great Italian food. No comlplaints from me. Definitely go for the full board option if available. Would go back in a heart beat.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VishV83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Neptune Pwani Beach Resort & Spa

Property: Neptune Pwani Beach Resort & Spa
Address: P.O. Box 3400, Pwani Mchangani 3400, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Pwani Mchangani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Pwani Mchangani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Neptune Pwani Beach Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 154
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendly and spacious, Neptune Pwani Beach Resort & Spa is an ideal choice for guests in search of a retreat that offers the "special touch", matched with attention to the finest of details. The Resort has been meticulously created, emulating traditional Zanzibar style, using the best in local design, interiors and furnishing, meeting top international standards. The Resort features 150 rooms all with terrace and ocean view, situated in 2 level blocks and 4 individual beachfront suites with in-room Jacuzzi. Facilities include 3 restaurants, 2 bars, the Rain & Earth Spa, the Spherique Boutique, conference room and facilities and a water sports centre. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandies Neptune Pwani Beach Hotel Pwani Mchangani
Neptune Pwani Beach Kiwengwa
Neptune Pwani Beach Hotel Kiwengwa
Neptune Pwani Beach Resort & Spa Zanzibar Island/Pwani Mchangani

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