Great place for anyone looking for a relaxing holiday on the beach. Nice and decent cottages located right at the beach within a beautiful garden, and from the cottages it is only a step to the beach. The staff is super-friendly, and it has a generally laid-back atmosphere that makes you feel at home. Awesome food in the restaurant!!
great beach and great food!
Typical local guesthouse - it has a great location, and staff makes every effort to keep the guests happy, but not everything will always go smooth. Yet - yummy food, bonfires and the price is good value for money for beach front location
The Indian Ocean is your front-yard - what more do you want?
In piano centro città,a due passi dall'Italia incredibile mercato di darajani e di fronte ai giardini forodhani,un palazzo del consigliere spirituale del primo sultano omanita,completamente restaurato da un bravissimo architetto italiano. Un lavoro immane,fatto a forza di braccia in due anni,ma con un gusto e una eleganza unici.
Solo 16 stanze,spaziose e con alti soffitti,naturalmente rispettando la suddivisione originaria,con soffitti altissimi e pareti istoriate a gesso da abili artigiani. Letti grandi e comodi,pulizia impeccabile,servizio personalizzato ! Oramai un must a stone town.
Come aggiunta,una colazione alla carte,con una scelta di tutto di più',cornetti,pain au chocolat e dolci fatti in casa,sopratutto fino alle 11 e oltre...cappuccini e espresso rigorosamente all'italiana,succhi di frutta fresca tra i migliori provati.
Se poi la sera non vi volete arrischiare ai banchetti dei giardini forodhani,trovate,tutto fatto in casa,gnocchi con pesto di basilico del giardino,ravioli al granchio,parmigiana di melanzane...e piatti di pesce della cucina swahili. Da provare...
I think it is very telling that I didn’t take any pictures of this hotel. It was dark, dingy and my room was an oven. Even with the loud ceiling fan. I had a strange room in the shape of a ‘C’ and the best thing about it was the hot water shower. Except that you want a cold shower here in Zanzibar and in the rooms here. No air-conditioning at all. The beds are poor and the mosquito nets looked a bit worn. You can get in here for less than $40 by haggling. They will negotiate.
Stone town either has luxury hotels at a luxury price or cheap places that leave a lot to be desired. This is not a luxury anything.
There are 2 redeeming values about the ‘Mer.
1) Its location – right in the heart of Stone Town attractions
2) Its bar. They always made me popcorn and the beer was ice cold
If you are looking for something in Stone Town, this is not it. There are cheaper, better and cooler guesthouse a little less central than the ‘Mer.
I went here with a group of 22 people, and the rooms were already paid for through that agency, so I can't really be sure about the value for money this place gives you. But, given how much there'd be left after all the other stuff that was on our itinerary, it can't have been *that* expensive.
Anyway, this place is quite nice. Normally, when a place is named something with ocean and/or view in the name, I expect it to be more like "If you stand on tiptoe and borrow our periscope, you can glimpse a bit of blue over in that direction". Not so in this case. I stayed in a room (#129, IIRC) that's in sort of a series of houses on top of a cliff, with all rooms facing the Indian Ocean. In the right direction to catch a few sunsets, too. Horribly horribly nice, let me tell you. Do be careful, though. Some of the rooms they have are *behind* the cliff that our house was on. From what I recall, at least 119 up to 134 were in that row with the excellent view. (That's just the room numbers of people I can recall just now, it probably goes on down to 110. And then there are some more luxurious ones in some other place.)
As this was the last stop on our tour through Kenya and Tanzania, I'd gotten fairly used to the pace by then. But if you're going just to Zanzibar, be prepared that the service here is no faster than anywhere else in the neighbourhood. The hotel staff seemed fairly new at the whole thing with working in the service industry, but they were almost all very good-natured people. A couple of the waiters/waitresses are slightly more entrepreneurial than the others, and when you find one, make sure to treasure them, it will pay off.
Note that there is no pool, and the sea isn't all that inviting at low tide. Lots of sea grass and such on the bottom, so it's better when you don't have to walk out so far. The hotel staff was fairly responsive in lending out mattresses and beach towels. Something possibly out of the ordinary to try there is bathing around midnight or later. The tide seems to mostly be high then, the water is a little cooler (at, like, a "chilling" 25 degrees) and the night sky is totally awesome. Just don't get too scared of the guards with AK's patrolling the place. They're looking out for *you*, after all ;)
Note also that the sign by the road says Ocean View Hotel, while their website says Ocean View Beach Resort. As a beach resort, it falls quite a bit short. But as a hotel, I'm totally OK with it, so I'll go with that name.
You can walk to Stone Town just fine from the hotel, it takes about 25 minutes (if you're fine with sweating like a pig, you could do it in 15). A taxi will transport you the distance for 5000 TSh, or possibly less if you can be arsed to haggle for a fairly long time. 5k really isn't a lot, but I recommend walking the distance once, at least. It's interesting.
There's nothing really outstanding about it except the location of some of the rooms.
What a fantastic place to stay. Staff was very knowledgeable and friendly. Hotel was clean and room were spectacular. I would come back-FOR SURE. Location can´t be better. 5 minutes to airport and 10 minutes to stone town. It is a perfect hotel for people who needs peace and relaxing holiday. There is everything and staff helps you 24/7. There is a travel desk and it´s very easy and fast to book a day trip. Hotel ambience was awesome and staff take very good care about it. Its looking like paradise. In the evening we went to a seafood restaurant and the food were fabulous. We didn`t have to go out for dinner. Everything was there in hotel area. Atmosphere in restaurant was wonderful,there was live music, dinner next to sea (you can smell the sea, lovely) and fantastic and tastety dinner.
This hotel exceed our expectations and i would recomend this hotel for everybody.
Thank you for a fantastic service!!
We actually stumbled upon this place on our 1st day in Bwejuu. We had planned our trip using Lonely Planet and sadly this oasis was not in it. We met Abdul the chef for the Sun & Seaview while he was on his way to work and he invited us to come by for dinner. We took him up on it and booked a room at the same time. We enjoyed our stay so much that we planned a return trip 1 month later. This impeccable place had a cool low key island vibe and a zen-like peaceful serenity. I was more relaxed then I have ever been in my life.
This place was safe, secure, private and tranquil. The rooms were neat, clean and nicely decorated. The bathroom was a nice size and had hot water (a hot shower is not always easy to find in Africa). We spent most of our time on the sun beds by the beach. They were comfortable and inviting. If we had wanted to book an excursion I am quite sure that our amiable hosts would have been happy to take care of it for us. My only caution is be prepared to pay up front for your stay. I was suprised by this and had to take a trip into Stonetown to get the additional money needed. There are no ATM or Cash machines anywhere in the surrounding area. So be prepared.
The Sun & Seaview Bungalows feel like family. You get to know your hosts and the staff quickly. They are friendly and accomodating without being too pushy or over zealous. On our first day, Saed & Abdul shared a coconut with us from the coconut tree located on the compound. Abdul climbed up and got it!! There is also Shaggy the dog. He is wonderful addition. He doesn't bother anyone, but definitely pays attention to the guests. One night we had walked down to Mutapha's Place for a beer and Shaggy showed up later to check on us.
I've travelled the world, staying in some very remote locations (Cambodia/India/Laos/Peru/Guatemala,etc,etc) and have never had such poor accomodations for the money I've paid. The bed was very old and dirty (fine, if I was paying "African prices" and not first world prices), the sheets were worn and thin, the rooms were broken and in need of desperate repair, the hotel was flooded with village children (again, I'm fine with this, IF I'm paying African prices...but for the price I'm paying I'd expect privacy and respect) who, despite what the owner claims, are very disrespectful and naughty.
The hotel has a nice pool.
We stayed here for 5 days and were treated like royalty. Our bungalow was right on the beach, big beds with Arabian style mosquito nets (not the crappy ones you get at most budget hotels). It is very quiet and peaceful here, not a lot of bungalows so you feel like you have the place to yourself. There is a great "VIP" covered table for two that is right on the beach - perfect for watching the villagers and fishermen ride by on bicycles and sipping sangria. Restaurant serves terrific food, great home cooking and menu changes every day so we never got bored of the same old same old. Beach is WONDERFUL. You can rent bicycles for cheap ($5) and get around very easily. The couple that runs it are very cool, a Zanzibari guy and a Canadian girl .... they have really got it right, and have put a lot of effort into the appearance of their hotel (lots of tropical flowers, lots of places to sit in the shade with comfortable lounge chairs, very simple but pretty design elements in the bungalows). We looked at a few similarly priced hotels in the area and this one comes out on top, no question. Would come back in a heart beat.
I came for 3 days, stayed for a week, travelled around Tanzania and CAME BACK! This is a great locally run place (a local and a Canadian run it) ... My bungalow was a white washed house with a double bed (a big clean four poster mosquito net that made me feel like I was a princess every time I went to bed)! You are right on the beach so you can sit on your verandah and read (or drink Sangria which they make with fresh fruit yummm) and watch the ocean. The place is super clean, modern bathroom and you get a really amazing breakfast included in the price. The manager Sharif was so generous and helpful and very sweet. He took really good care of me (and is a great cook .. the food here is not only really good but also the best deal on this strip of beach). I enjoyed it because local people would drop by every once in a while (friends of the owners) and so you got to meet people from the village as well .. who are really friendly and it was nice to be able to communicate with them and actually sit down and talk to the locals (if they only spoke Swahili Sharif would help interpret ..). You can book anything here you would want to do in Zanzibar .. the snorkeling is great, and they can set you up with tours and stuff (as well as organize taxis if you want to go to the city or need to get to the ferry or the airport). What I noticed about this place is that many people staying in other hotels would come here for the food, for the drinks, to book their tours, to rent bicycles and to hang out ... but it always remained a cool, quiet and respectful place. Great for romantic couples! Also a really well tended beautiful garden, strange bonsaii like trees in the front, lots of birds and butterflies etc. Highly recommended!
Great View (everywhere you look is the Indian Ocean with fishermen cycling by). Lots of nice places to sit and relax at the hotel. Big restaurant right on the beach (no pressure to buy anything .. you can sit there all day and just drink one bottle of water and its no problem). GREAT FOOD !!!!
I have mixed feelings about this hotel & resort. The setting is beautiful, the staff friendly and food is quite good. What I did not like was the attitude and service of the staff member at the travel desk. They are extremely expensive if you want to go on any excursion if you are a party of 2. They expect you to find more people to join in and then reduce the price that way.
The hotel is on the east coast and the setting is a postcard picture.
The rooms are big, and is actually bungalows. Beds have mosquito nets and the rooms are sprayed with insecticide every evening.
Another positive though, are the Massai men who handles the security of the hotel. They are great people to talk to. On Mondays the dinner is a Massai evening outside, which is very pleasant.
If you stay at a resort on the east coast, you are quite far from Stone Town (about 1 hr 15 min).
Although the hotel has a 5 star rating, it is really not more than four stars.
They do offer a lot, even have their own Diving Centre
This was our other “let’s splash out a little” stay of this trip (the first being the fabulous Ngorongoro Crater Serena). And although we have stayed in a couple of similar resort-style hotels elsewhere since, this one remains our favourite and our benchmark for such places.
Rooms are distributed in a number of “cottages”, each named after a local flower or tree. We were in a ground floor “deluxe” room (despite the name a less luxurious option than the upper floor suites) in Flame Tree. We had a king-sized bed draped with (unnecessary) mosquito nets, a large seating area, terrace with hammock and view across the gardens to the sea, and a good-sized bathroom. Everything was very tastefully decorated, with light fabrics, dark wood and a few local crafts pieces. I loved the cool tiled floor, although not when I inadvertently stepped on and crushed a large millipede invisible because of its similar terracotta colouring!
There is a large pool which was relatively quiet when we were there, though occasional organised activities (exercise classes and water polo) meant that we couldn’t use it all the time. This was never a big problem, however, and we enjoyed playing around with the balls and polo nets left behind after the games!
The beach here is private for the length of the hotel’s frontage, though you can easily walk further if you fancy stretching your legs. It is of pale sand, fringed with palms, and the sea is wonderful for swimming in (warm, clear and just gentle waves).
In the evenings we enjoyed excellent cocktails in the African-styled open-sided bar and delicious meals in the main dining room. These varied between traditional dishes served as a buffet on some themed evenings (e.g. Swahili, accompanied by local drummers and dancers) or full service more international cuisine on others. Meals here are included in your half-board accommodation, but you can book and pay separately to dine in the more intimate seafood restaurant nearer the sea (we meant to do this but never go round to it) or in a private “dinner for two” setting right on the beach. There is also a more casual beach-front restaurant serving snacks and lunches. During the day waiters circulate the pool area and the loungers set out under the palms that fringe the beach, taking drinks orders. The fresh pineapple juice and smoothies were wonderful, but as you don’t pay until you leave (everything is charged to your room, no cash accepted) it is all too easy to run up a large bill while indulging in these!
Looking at the website I see that they appear to have added more facilities since our visit, including more bars and a spa, but otherwise it appears largely unchanged and hopefully unspoiled.
Although large compared with the places we normally stay (70 rooms) this has the comfortable feel of a smaller hotel, perhaps because the rooms are so well-spaced around the grounds. The owners try to ensure the hotel is as environmentally friendly as possible. We also loved the open airy feel to the public areas, especially the bar.
We spent five nights at the Dhow Palace Hotel in the centre of old Stone Town. This is a converted and extended former Omani mansion, dating back to the 1870s, and it retains a very authentic Zanzibari/African feel. Internal balconies on each floor look down on to the central courtyard with its palm trees and creepers, and traditional furniture provides comfortable places to sit in a number of lobby areas. Our room was large, and it too was furnished with traditional beds and other pieces, with a rather exotic-looking tiled shower cubicle (see the photo of Chris, number 2, which he has kindly agreed to allow me to use LOL).
The hotel is a mid-range one, despite the exotic appearance, as facilities are a little limited. There is no lift, and with the very high ceilings each floor is a considerable climb, so it wouldn’t be a good choice for anyone with walking difficulties (and even if you book a lower floor room, you will have to climb to the rooftop if you want breakfast!)
Since our visit the Dhow Palace appears to have been extended – there is mention on the website of a new block (added 2004) and swimming pool, neither of which were there when we stayed there. But we were entitled to make use of the swimming pool at its sister hotel, the Tembo House Hotel, just a few minutes’ walk away, which we did on a couple of hot sticky afternoons.
As well as the traditional atmosphere and furnishings, we especially liked the rooftop restaurant where breakfast was served each day – fresh mango and pineapple and a great view of Stone Town was an excellent way to start the day! You can also get lunch and dinner here (we had a late lunch of beef burgers on the day of our arrival, but never had dinner here) but note that alcohol is not served.
I don't know if I am in time to give you suggestions, anyway, I've been there and the lowtide is less present in the northern coast of the Island (even if I've found the phenomenon realllly amazing and natural, on the east cost).
I've spent my time in myblue hotel, placed in Nungwi. Really stylish and charming. Nice and, I've been told, new hotel, (finished in december, I think)facing the beautiful sea, with an elegantly minimal african style. Beautiful and confortable rooms. What else, I'd like to be there again!! ; )
The hotel is quiet, even if is in the part of the Island with more international Tourism. If you walk along the beach, You'll easily find people taking tann, beach sellers (paintings and other typical handcrafts); so a pearl of tranquillity, in the Island beach-life crowed.
Elegant even minimal forniture, total white and wood.
Tv and wi-fi in rooms.
Seaview good restaurant
There is a nice hotel that I was just at in Kendwa, its a small beach just a bit west of Nungwi (you can literally walk it from Nungwi). The hotel is called Kendwa Breezes Beach Resort, its got really good rooms, and has air-con. I recommend it because its good value for money, the staff is really friendly and the beach there is amazing..
The rooms are really good. The restaurant has really good seafood dishes.
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