Dear Victoria, we had a wonderful time in Zanzibar. Garden Beach Villa was amazing. It was comfortable and the staff were delightful. Gail was very welcoming and extremely helpful. The location of the villa was private and relaxing. The volunteer work was also great, and we got to meet the kids and they all melted our hearts.
Next time we decide to go to Zanzibar we will be definitely be using your services and also we will be recommending it to our friends and family.Sara Al Madadi
Wir können die Xanadu Villas bedingungslos empfehlen. Wir hatten die kleinste der Villen, die Umande Villa. Diese ist ideal für zwei Personen und hat einen direkten Zuganang zum Strand. Der eigene kleine Swimmingpool kam mehrmals täglich zum Einsatz. Täglich gibt es verschiedene Speisen, welche man sich zu einem Menu zusammenstellen lassen kann. Es wird auf sehr hohem Niveau gekocht und hat uns immer geschmeckt.
Das Aussergewöhnliche aber war unser Butler Mambo. Er verkörpert Freundlichkeit, Dienstleistungsbereitschaft und Zuvorkommenheit in einer Person. Er liest einem jeden Wunsch von den Lippen ab und überraschte uns immer wieder mit frischen Säften, Snacks und anderen Köstlichkeiten. Legendär wurde sein frisch zubereiteter Tee. Der war so lecker, dass ich sein Rezept mit nach Hause genommen habe. Mambo hat den wunderbaren Aufenthalt zu einem unvergesslichen Aufenthalt gemacht. Vielen Dank aber auch an das ganze Team und Pieter, dem Manager. Wir hoffen, dass trotz des Ausbaus auf dem Nachbarsgrundstück, die Privatsphäre dieses Idylls erhalten bleibt.Hans Volken
Hi Claudia, it was amazing. Best trip ever and Manta Resort was so fantastic! I am a journallist and planning to write about it. Have a lot of beautiful pictures and stories to tell. We met some local people at the beach and kept contact – now helping a ypung boy to go to school. Thank you.Mette Bau
Constance Aiyana was incredible. I am the CFO of Africanbushcamps, a luxury safari operator, so I know what makes an excellent holiday experience. The staff, food, drinks (incredible cockails), activites etc were first class. There really was very little we could fault other than the trip was too short! Thanks again for everything .Neil Pozzo
Dear Victoria, Wow – what an incredible time we had on our honeymoon! Thank you so much for your flawless organisation and help to arrange the perfect honeymoon. The transfers were all superb and very kind and knowledgeable, it was lovely not to have to worry about those, and we ended up doing a spice tour en route to Kilindi, which was one of the highlights, complete with palm tree crowns!
Qambani was a delight. Such a relaxing place with a really tasty yet not too fancy menu; I really enjoyed the food here. The staff were friendly and helpful without being invasive. The tea was great – a real concern for us brits! The pool was a joy, and our villa was perfectly appointed and exactly what we were hoping for – modern but with an african twist!
Honest feedback for Qambani to make it even better: double layer mosquito nets for the bed. The manager’s family and young grandchild being on site did diminish the pool experience slightly as we had been enjoying the quiet adult environment but we still had a wonderful time and would go back. Things that made the experience even better: Axel was so kind and gave us toothpaste, plug adapters and even a list of the songs they played in the bar for us to take home! The sunset cruise was very fun, we enjoyed that very much. The gin bar was excellent and we enjoyed tasting them all on the nights we were there. One couple that were there at the same time as us said they weren’t happy in the honeymoon villa – they said it was outdated and not as nice as they were expecting. I’m just letting you know in case it comes up as an option for other clients – it appeared that the normal villas like ours were much nicer.
Kilindi was a step up – we were blown away. Our villa was so spacious and interesting. 2 plunge pools; we couldn’t believe it. The main building and pool was absolutely beautiful. We enjoyed the extensive menu and felt bad that we couldn’t eat more of it! The special lemon grass signature ice tea was a true hit and we enjoyed drinking coconuts by the pool. This was a much more ‘in the wild’ experience – so many animals and insects! It was really fun being visited by a bush baby whilst in the outside bathroom – that is certainly a unique experience. A lovely place to go on honeymoon; very special.
Huge thanks once again for a brilliant time, it was an inforgettable experience and we are so glad we went to Zanzibar!Elizabeth Coxhead
We had a fabulous time in Zanzibar. Booking through Zanzibar Retreats gave us a human point of contact (Claudia) in order to answer any questions we had and help us organise transport from our hotel to the villa and from villa to airport; this was particularly helpful. The only complication was arranging payment as this does not accommodate bank account holders from Oman. For whatever reason, my card was repeatedly rejected but thankfully we had a way of paying through our accounts within the UK. Perhaps this was a specific issue with our bank; either way, Claudia was very patient and allowed us to try making payment in other ways without making us feel like we would lose the booking.
Zi Villa itself was absolutely wonderful. The villa felt spacious yet cosy, luxurious yet homey and had the most wonderful view of palm trees, bright blue ocean and white sands. The staff took care of us extremely well; Dunia accommodated our requests for Uroojo with Mishkak and a lobster/seafood dinner. Her cooking was excellent and still had the homey touch (heart and soul) that is frequently missing in food that comes out of hotel restaurants. Between her and Shukran, our bellies were always satisfied.
George kept the daily running of the villa to a high standard. He was impeccably organised, extremely friendly and made sure all our needs/wants were looked after. He was always smiling and clearly enjoyed his job; it was a pleasure to see him take such pride in it. All the staff, including Saif and Khalid, made us feel very welcome and gave us the holiday of our dreams.
We would highly recommend Zi Villa to anyone thinking of visiting – you won’t regret it. We are already planning our next trip in the next year!Sarah Almaawali
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Baraza. The staff were professional and clearly invested in their guests’ experience. They arranged a very sweet anniversary surprise for us. One of the owners even stopped by to make sure we had everything we needed.
It was also a pleasure to arrange the transfers with you online and a tour of Stonetown with the staff in Zanzibar. I appreciated your quick responses via email. The drivers and guide were lovely and did a great job. All went well. The only change I would like to see is an easier way to make a payment from a US-based client to Zanzibar Retreats, perhaps PayPal. But overall, we enjoyed the experience and would use Zanzibar Retreats again and recommend you to others. Thanks again.Mary Anne Lowell
Hi Victoria, we had an amazing time! The transfer company were phenomenal – they were always ready and waiting at least 15 minutes before expected time. The drivers drove well, they were respectful and offered great facts and information as we drove, such as information about Zanzibar and Tanzania and even just about religion, fruits and the people. Very interesting, caring and genuine people.
Fumba Beach Lodge was great as well! The staff were very happy and friendly all the time. They really showed they cared about their guests. The food was really really good as well. We enjoy food a lot and the food was great. Our room was great – I could watch the sea from my bed so I was in paradise! My husband did the snorkeling through the Dive Centre at Fumba and he was so chuffed with the experience.
The excursion that was booked was also awesome – prison island, the white beach was amazing. We also found a guide and toured stone town after the days excursion and waited for the night market to experience that and then our transfer took us home at 8pm.
Really grateful that I found you to arrange everything as it really takes a huge load off on the planning. Thank you so much, Victoria – it was really what my husband and I needed and it was totally perfect!Kerry van Niekerk
Many thanks to you and the Villa Turquoise staff for a wonderful stay!! We had such a good time, not only is the villa beautiful and so very well equipped, also the whole staff and Donna made us feel so welcome and they all took so very well care of us. We really felt like living in paradise and are homesick for Zanzibar!!
Zanzibar Retreats and Claudia have done an excellent job, and Emerson on Hurumzi was great too, meeting us at the airport, giving us all the necessary information and transporting us to and from the Villa.
Please give our warm thanks to the Villa Staff and show them the picture I’ve attached – and we would like it if our gratitude would reach the Belgian owners too! Thank you both for everything and we will certainly be back!!Richard van den Brink
Hi Claudia, it has been one of the most amazing vacations ever. Manta Resort is truely a special place.
Everything was perfect, and exceptionally well executed. No problems, issues or anything!!Christian Bennich
Fundu Lagoon is The Real Deal – Brochure Picture Perfect!
Let’s start with what you need to know. First, if you have any reduced mobility, you cannot go to Fundu Lagoon. The site is very hilly, lots of stairs and all walking paths are in soft sand. Secondly, the Wi-Fi is restricted to the reception area and only has the strength to manage e-mail reception but not file downloads. If you need documents before arriving – e-books, films, work documents . . . . download before you arrive. The upside to this is NO ONE is sitting in public spaces with cell phones or laptops. The “Robinson Carusoe” promise of remoteness is real.
Now, to the most important. We have been to the most exclusive resorts in all corners of the world. Fundu Lagoon is in the top 3. I manage a global financial brand and never could have expected that I could remove myself from the world as easily as I did in Fundu Lagoon. The site is spectacular . . . unexpected . . . untouched. There is zero light pollution – not even the distant lights of a cell tower and the silence is deafening. The place crawls with hermit crabs during the day, monster giant crabs on the beach at night, cheeky monkeys that come to play on your terrace without aggressively or begging, bush babies that screech in the night. There are some neat insets to observe like colorful spiders or butterflies, but honestly, no pests biting you all day. Of course, we used bug spray at night. There are sand flies as some have reported so come with hydra-cortisone cream, but if you don’t lay on the wet sand and just rinse yourself off, there is nothing to worry about. Just plan in advance and think.
The food is varied and tasty. Lunch and dinner move around during the week including seafood buffets on the beach or barbecues on the boat jetty. There is never a moment to get bored. Misali Island which is 15 minutes away is spectacular. Snorkeling is good. Dolphins abound. We didn’t dive but apparently it is the Mecca for divers. Last but not least, the staff is lovely: well-trained and sincerely friendly.
Fundu Lagoon is one of the only places we have visited where every picture you take looks just like the brochure – the real deal. Out of this world!Christopher O'Brien
It has been almost 48 hours since we left Matemwe Lodge and we have not stopped reflecting… From the moment we arrived and the reception from Marco, who incidentally used our names during every interaction, we were made to feel special by all. Those team members manicuring the lawns to the maintenance team cleaning the pools they all stopped momentarily to bid us “Good day”. The team in the restaurant were outstanding. Nothing was too much trouble. Our Anniversary meal was made so special. Mosi was a pleasure. We wish him continued success with his studies… Mary’s smile on reception. Shafiq and the adorable James and Mohammad (Brothers) are the guys we had the most interactions with during meal times and Kamal in the bar, his personality, topped the perfect day. The water sports guys, whose dogged determination to find us dolphins did not go un-noticed. I feel many would have given up much sooner! We live in the city of superlatives, opulence and excess where many demonstrate insincerity and lack authenticity. Many here can take a leaf from Matemwe Lodge’s approach!
The feedback for Zanzibar Retreats is also very positive. Very easy to book. The whole process was seamless and being able to speak with you reassured us in the light of a previous experience with booking a vacation online.
Have recommended Zanzibar Retreats to friends and family.
thank you for your support in making our trip memorable for all the right reasons.Matt Newman
We loved Qambani. We thought the staff was wonderful, our surroundings beautiful and the food delicious. No complaints whatsoever and in fact, we have already recommended it to several people! Thanks.Christina Cordoza
Dear Claudia, Ms. Haugaard rang me on Friday to tell me about their wonderful holiday.
The family has travelled with us every second year now for the past 10 years and this holiday has by far been the best one. She was overly thrilled by the staff, the villa (Uzuri Villa), the lovely food and the beach but most of all how well everything worked from the beginning to the end of the holiday.
It’s definitely not the last holiday to Zanzibar and they are already planning their next trip in 2019. So I’m of course very happy all went well. Thank you!Inger at Profil Rejser
Hi Claudia, just a message to let you know we had a great holiday which fulfilled all our expectations so we would like to thank you for helping us making the right choice: che che vule is indeed a great spot to relax and the food and staff is wonderfull!Hanne Van Schelstraete
Hi Claudia! Yes, made it back safe after our epic trip (Rwanda to see my daughter, Uganda to see the gorillas, Tanzania – Safari and Zanzibar) – but now I’ve stepped back into the thick of things at work….
We had a great stay at Kisiwa House, great location and accommodations – perfect for exploring Stonetown.
We also LOVED Che Che Vule Villa, it was more than perfect. Great location, accommodations, food and we were taken care of so nicely – it was great and we all loved it. The transfers were good and we arranged a spice tour on our way from Stonetown to Che Che Vule Villa so that worked out nicely.
Thank you so much for arranging our stay in Zanzibar, it was a perfect ending to our trip!Dan Duce
Thank you for organising such a wonderful trip – memories were made. Everything was perfect. Both Roho Ya Selous and Matemwe Beach House exceeded our expectations in location, service, friendliness, food, accommodation. I would throughly recommend both properties and will be recommending Zanzibar Retreats. From the moment we landed we felt spoilt and Claudia’s arttention to detail and knowledge meant we had a real 5 star deluxe adventure – it was worth every penny!
When they kids go back to school I will be in touch regarding our trip to South Africa in October/November. Many thanks again.Linda Roberts
Dear Claudia, we had a wonderful time! Thank you for your excellent service and advice.
The drivers for the transfers did a perfect job and the White Sands was one of the nicest places we have ever stayed. Also the service, the friendliness and the food was exceptionally good.Caroline Sax
Hi Claudia! Booking with Zanzibar Retreats excellent. Even though we close the trip so last minute, everything went smooth and exactly as planned.
At Emerson Spice they treated us very well. They came to pick us up to the car and helped us carried the kids and the luggage to the hotel, the room was perfectly arranged and waiting for us with a crib for the baby and even some complimentary fruits. Dinner was ready and waiting for us and the minute we put the kids to sleep and told them, they brought it up to the room. Food was delicious also!
Everything else, transfer to The Residence and our stay there was perfect too. I’d like to mention as well that we had a very positive experience with your on the ground handling company, we took a tour with them one day and the driver Omar was one of a kind, very patient with us and the kids, gentle, polite, explaining us about everything we wanted to know.
In general, we had a five star experience. Thank you so much and we’ll definitely contact you next time.Lulu Caballero
The trip was amazing, we loved serengti and zanzibar! The arrangements from both island express and short luxury safari were great and organized well. Baraza Resort made us feel like home completely & four seasons made my birthday the best birthday I ever had. Maybe the one down side was the amount of planes we took, we would’ve preferred to have a non stop flight from zanzibar to seronera & from seronera to Kilimanjaro.
The feedback on zanzibar retreats is you Claudia did a great job managing all our last minute changes & add ons. Also you managed to handle all my endless questions. All in all it was an experience to remember ! Thanks again & hopefully we will plan something else with you soon!! SalSultana Ahmed
Dear Claudia, we are safely back home, thank you. Yesterday we looked the pictures, we made some photoshootings, they are about 1’000 pictures :-). Very nice with the villa and the beach. Sharazad Villa was perfect, very friendly helpfull staff, very calm, the food was very good and also the privaticy. We had last night the transfer at 03:00 in the night. Snap we made a party with the manager Hannes and the staff, dancing until 02:00 in the morning in the restaurant with music. Was very funny. The transfer was also ok. Without to sleep was the flight litle bit hard :-).
We enjoyed very much the stay and we hope to come back. Is so a peacefull, beautiful place. The choice Shazard was perfect. Thank you and best regardsAdrian Arquisch
Hi Victoria, we are back in Germany now. We just want to say THANK YOU or ASANTE!
The time in Manta Resort was unbelievable, such a nice place! And all the people are much more than just friendly, they really understand how to make guests happy. Thank you!Tanja Mähl
We had an excellent time at Matemwe Lodge. The highlights of the trip was swimming/snorkelling with the dolphins at Mnemba Island.. it was out of the world! So was the kayaking and cycling around the village. Not to forget the good food and staff!Naama Tayebji
Hello Claudia, we are now back in Canada and settling back into regular life. We wanted to give you our sincerely thanks and appreciation for arranging our honeymoon accommodation – it was much more than we could have ever expected!!! We were impressed with the organization, starting with the pick up by the very friendly Island Tours staff to the reception at Qambani by Ingrid and Priscilla.
Island Express transfers/tours:
Friendly and knowledgeable drivers and tour guides (we did the Spice Tour and Stone Town tour with Island Tours). We appreciated that on arrival at the airport, they were waiting in a visible area and had a very comfortable air conditioned SUV waiting to take us to Qambani. They outlined the itinerary and gave us a brochure of their tours and services should we require them and offered to have a representative come to Qambani the next day to provide further details. There was also chilled water for the 1+ hour ride Qambani.
Extremely attentive staff without being imposing or disruptive; The room (Africa) was of such a high standard, definitely above our expectations; The serenity of the location was perfect for us after a busy wedding and a safari to Maasai Mara. It was perfect for us to relax and unwind with minimal distractions; The thoughtfulness of the staff who went above and beyond for the intimate candle light dinner for us; The food – exceptional, fresh, innovative! We were impressed with the quality and variety of the food; What can be improved is an on site spa to round out an excellent experience.
Very responsive to emails – it didn’t feel like you were halfway across the world; Extremely knowledgeable about the different properties in your portfolio; Really appreciated that you listened to what we were looking for and provided appropriate suggestions on the properties that will likely meet our needs – Qambani really was the best option for us and we can’t thank you enough for highly recommending it! We loved the detailed travel document that you sent 2 weeks before our arrival that outlined the information of the trip, contact information of all the vendors in Zanzibar and tips to make our stay more enjoyable.
Dear Claudia, thank you to Zanzibar Retreats for the excellent organisation and management of our holiday! It was great to know that part of things was looked after following the stress of our Kilimanjaro climb.
Villa Lisa at Milele Villas was a beautiful base for our time in Zanzibar. The staff went above and beyond and particularly made our children feel very welcome. The staff and manager were only too happy to advise outings and arrange transfer. Altogether a fabulous holiday!Priya Tromans
Our stay at Garden Beach Villa was wonderful! All the staff was amazing, they made our stay a dream come true. They all were nice and good with us and we hope to go back there for future holidays.
Thank you for all the arrangements you made for us we will recommend you and probably need your help for another trip in Africa. Thanks again!Myriam Chouchane
Villa Turqouise: The chef was perfect, he is really good. Villa was beautiful. The ladies were really nice. We had a wonderful vacation!Jinane Mansour
Hello Victoria, already back home… and we are still dreaming of che che vule!
We can really recommend it to everybody who wants to have a dream holiday. Che che vule is good organized, situated perfect, … everything we hoped for. Thank you!Sare Vermeulen
Dear Claudia, thanks for your email. We actually had a great time in Zanzibar, Matemwe Retreat was amazing and the people very nice. George, our butler was particularly nice and helpful. Everything was well organized for us, any time we needed help on something. The ocean is beautiful, and the water sport center very appreciated.Axelle Munier
We had a really wonderful time at Upendo Villa. The house was beautiful, clean, and comfortable. The whole experience was enhanced by having our in-house chef and butler – incredible food and excellent service. Also, good wifi, so we could still remain connected for occasional business calls.
The beach and sea were really clean (compared for example to Bali, where the beaches are now full of plastic). The only concern in this regard (and not to do with the house) is that there is a pervasive smell of smoke in the air due to the burning of waste. I hope that this can be contained, as it’s really unpleasant.
All in all, fantastic experience!Debbie Goodman-Bhyat
Xanadu Villas was absolutely amazing and we had the most fabulous tim!
The staff were faultless and the free room upgrade was icing on the cake. We have never been happier with a holiday destination and we will definitely be back. Everything about the retreat was stunning and the food was absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to return!Laura Tarrel
The Aiyana was one of a kind. After the 1 1/2 hour ride through small towns, rural area, then jungle without any streets you would not expect such a place! The whole setting, the architecture and rooms combined with the vegetation are breathtaking. Everyone from front desk, to the beach boys to the cleaning ladies was kind and had a smile in their faces.
The rooms are spotless. The bed is comfortable with the mattress not too hard. The bathrooms are big and beautiful but no aircon and there is only one sink. The indoor- and outdoor-shower is surrounded with big pebble stones which do start to smell for a few minutes when getting wet. We did not notice any moskitoes.
Food-Wise they took good care of us, most of the time it was fresh fish for lunch (or pasta and/or mauritian alternative) and for dinner lobster and more diverse. At all times there were vegetarian options available which did taste very good. They changed settings for dinner nearly every evening. One time in the restaurant, then on the beach, next to the pool, and so on.
The beach was fantastic when in high tide, during low tide it was full with corals and you had to walk long. We’re used to “go into town“ on the evenings and be midst local people which wasn’t possible here as there is literally nothing around – we knew that beforehand and the robinson-crusoe feeling was a good relaxing change!
Managemend was always visible and available. GM came around one – twice a day to talk to everyone, the chef, fom and rooms manager also did show up multiple times. The team in restaurant service was acutally really nice and fun to talk to. We were upgraded to one category above the entry-level villa we booked and were suprised with a summer-lunch on the beach during the second week which was a nice gesture.
Claudia, also i want to thank you for always being quick to reply and so nice all the time!Tobias Oberhammer
Just perfect – we stayed five nights at the Sharazad Boutique Hotel in a gorgeous room (#2) which in our view was the pick of the rooms – with access to the courtyard pool at the back and terrace onto the beach at the front. Wonderful place to relax with two pools and plenty of hammocks and loungers. Staff lovely and helpful. Most nights we ate at the restaurant overlooking the pool and the sea, and food mainly very good. We could happily have stayed longer at Sharazad – very hard to leave this boutique resort!Marion Bichler
Our trip to Zanzibar was great and all the arrangements went smoothly. We were met at the airport and transported to Emerson Spice Hotel. We liked the hotel as it has so much character and we could watch the street life from our balcony. The manager is very helpful. It was great to be able to wander the streets (alleys) and to feel safe day and night. The people are extremely welcoming.
We really liked the Zawadi Resort. The villas are beautiful and the staff are wonderful. A bonus was being able to visit the sister hotels. We had a couple of meals at Baraza Resort and used the Spa facilities. This chain of hotels is very well managed. We are glad we chose to stay at Zawadi over Baraza as our villas are right on the beach and have great views of the ocean. The rooms at Baraza are set back from the beach and unless you have one of the few villas on the front row, you do not have a view but the architecture is stunning.Jane Perch
Dear Claudia, Great to hear from you! We are back after AN INCREDIBLE trip!!
The Aiyana was nothing but spectacular!! Fabulous resort with the most amazing attention to detail. A real visual treat!! I could really go on here! We enjoyed the beautiful surrounds, amazing snorkeling, outstanding people and the owner himself was too divine – what a gracious and humble human being.
There were a couple of hiccups along the way but these were minor: Lack of telephone in room meant a lot of walking back and forth for us. Our bill was incorrect which however was quickly adjusted. There was major confusion over our package being fully inclusive (except for alcohol) and we were charged for mocktales and soft drinks in our mini bar which was again adjusted when highlighted. We never managed to enjoy the luxurious bath in its full glory as there was never enough hot water sadly. But, we did take advantage of the stunning outdoor shower so really can’t complain.
We had the pleasure of meeting the chef and new management team. The chef was fantastic and truly spoilt us with amazing dishes which wasn’t as we had expected it to be ie lacking in shellfish etc but delicious and superbly presented, non the less.
We were lucky enough to purchase an INCREDIBLE crayfish for USD130 which really was out of this world!! Incredible really as was there just as the fisherman handed it to the chef. We were then treated to pure heaven on a plate once he had worked his magic and indulged us with more shellfish than we could have hoped for.
We were very lucky to literally have the resort to ourselves which enabled us to really get to know the great local team members who really went out of their way to make us more than happy. The owner was telling us that we were the first people from Cape Town. They really don’t know what they are missing!!
Returning one evening from a snorkeling trip, we landed on the beach to a setting of note!! A petal strewn pathway leading to tables placed on the beach and got to enjoy a night of being totally spoilt under the stars.
Claudia, we want to go back or to anywhere else you could recommend as being as bespoke. Please keep me posted as am ready to book our next trip. ASANTE SANA to the beautiful people of Pemba and idyllic PEMBA ISLAND herself!!! Pics to follow …Jill Barrington-Roberts