Hey Victoria, I hope you are good! Here’s some feedback from my Zanzibar adventure…
The Loop is a vibrant place from its recycled use of material into functional furniture and art. I loved that my trip started at The Loop. Very friendly staff from managers, waiters and even the scuba diving instructors! If you want to experience water sports and a lively beach; south-east of Zanzibar is the place to be. The food was refreshing, tasty and light and yes, amazing cocktails.
The Swahili House – Situated in the heart of Stone Town, the Swahili House is a well-maintained aesthetically pleasing historic building. Great views of the town from the rooftop where I enjoyed all my meals. It is also a walking distance from the special Forodhani Gardens right on the beach which comes alive @ dusk into a bustling night market. A must experience! From the young men and boys diving playfully from high walls into the ocean (providing fun entertainment for the bystanders) to the delightful food. I understand the rave about the Zanzibar mini pizzas now! It was safe for me to walk around @ night without any threat.
Fumba Beach Lodge – If you are looking for privacy and quiet this is where to go. Fumba beach was my last stay and it was so peaceful. The beach is truly marvelous and clear – a juxtaposition to the jungle like location of the Fumba Beach Lodge. The 5 course dinners were absolutely top class. Also, being both on the east side and the west side of the Island I can safely conclude that the best sunsets can be found at the Fumba beach. It was breathtaking.
Ultimately Victoria and the Zanzibar Retreats team had organized a smooth and hassle free trip from the transfers to accommodation and I am so grateful. It was simply blessed!
Hi Victoria, the real world came roaring back after the great time spent on Zanzibar and at Upendo.
Which really summarizes our fantastic stay at Upendo. The villa, the team and the space was enjoyed by all of us very much and the unique combination of villa integrated into a boutique-style resort was the perfect solution for our multi-generational holiday, allowing a great variety of F&B selection (the a la carte option is just fantastic) and a space to “escape” the villa if needed for a drink, shopping or some entertainment.
And finally of course a big thanks to you for the fantastic and pragmatic support in getting all this done. We will most definitely recommend your services to friends. All the best for 2020! Steve
Hi Victoria, I can assure you that we were all very satisfied with the booking experience. Everything went perfectly well.
Airport transfer was there when we arrived. Swahili House is a very nice place to stay when you are not to long in Stonetown. It is on a perfect location from which you can easily discover Stonetown. Nice Swahili style rooms and friendly staff.
Transfer Stonetown to Garden Beach Villa – Minivan to Garden Beach villa arrived on agreed hour. Nice driver. Spice tour of which I thought I wouldn’t like it that much was a nice trip and every one agreed on that.
Garden Beach Villa
It’s a wonderful Villa on a wonderful Spot. Very spacious also when you are with 9 people as we were. You walk from the garden straight to the beach and can have your daily swim in the Indian Ocean without being harassed by anyone. Lovely outdoor dining area and a perfect swimming pool. The staff was wonderful and the food delicious. Gail ”the manager” is a wonderful lady and she came every morning to check on us and to ask if she could mean anything to us. We stayed most of the time around the villa. Relaxed,swam,read and ate. Some of us did a snorkling trip which was very nice and 2 of us went to Jozani Forest. Perfect for the 4 days we were there.
I would definitely recommend the villa for a family/ friends holiday as well as Zanzibar retreats as booking agency. I think service was splendid at the villa as well from you as booking agency.
Hi Victoria, Just wanted to say that we had a fabulous time at Zuhura Villa in Zanzibar and would like to thank you for making it all work. The transfers were easy and on time.
The Villa/pool was perfect, Andrew and Klara could not have been more helpful and answered our questions and organised any requests. The chef was quite simply brilliant and we thought his food was better than a lot of the restaurants. Esther the housekeeper was fantastic and kept the place spotless and the pool/garden was really well looked after.
We had a great time and would not hesitate to recommend.
Many thanks, Aileen
Milele Villas was absolutely amazing! All of our guests had a fantastic time. The host was very pleasant and attentive and the staff was equally awesome. They ensured that all of our requests were met and offered any help we may have needed. The food was amazing for our Thanksgiving dinner.
The villas were very clean and well thought out in terms of styling. The location offered complete exclusivity which we all very much enjoyed. We would love to come back and do it all over again! Thanks so much!
Zanzibar Retreats are just the best if you plan a safari in Tanzania or a trip to Zanzibar! Claudia was such a great help to find exactly the right place for all of us – two boys (16 and 18 ) searching for fun and action, like diving, snorkelling, kiting etc and us as parents looking for relaxation, privacy and good food. We spent one week at Matemwe Lodge and it was just perfect for all of us!
And on top Claudia was very supportive with our older son who stayed for two months in Stonetown. She gave him a lot of great tips and advices. Thank you so much, Claudia, you organized a really fantastic trip for all of us!
We had a great time at the Zi Villa!!
The villa lived up to our expectations – it is an amazing villa and a great location. We didn’t see the manager much… but the arrangements we asked him to make during our stay, was excellent. The staff was service minded and accommodated all of our changes to the meals. We will definitely recommend the villa to others!
We had a wonderful stay at Villa Turquoise in Matemwe – the perfect ending to our five weeks in Africa – the staff were amazing and everything was organised perfectly for us – meals, snorkeling and fishing – a quiet place to relax and unwind.
We loved Fumba Beach Lodge and our time there! The lodge was perfect…not huge like the others resort… and you can feel a very genuine ambience. The room was perfect and the food was also really great. The staff were very happy and friendly all the time. The pick up were all perfect. We enjoyed our holiday at Fumba!
Thank you so much for you assistance and help! We hope to be again in Zanzibar soon!
Hi Victoria, we returned home safely after a great vacation. I think your website is very good, has a great feel to it, very informative, great pictures. The whole booking procedure went smoothly.
Our stay at the White Sands was great. The Villa’s are beautiful, everything well maintained and staff extremely friendly. All met our expectations. The food was good but not great. Which is fine, however many reviews spoke about how good the food was and that perhaps elevated my expectations. Besides that, all great. Kids had a great time learning to kite surf. Many thanks!
Our whole trip was absolutely fantastic Claudia, and we blessed you many times along the way for all the arrangements you had made on our behalf!
Emerson Spice had not changed at all and the room we had was suitably quirky with the bath in the bedroom. We loved the breakfasts on the roof, had one dinner in the Secret Garden (it was being developed on our last visit) and the rooftop dinner was great with a wonderful ambience.
Chumbe too was as we remembered it and it was so good to be recognised and welcomed by several members of staff when we arrived. It was full moon and spring tides while we were there which had good and bad points – on the plus side it meant we were able to do the inter-tidal walk on the minus side it meant the ferry trips were tough both ways.
When we got to Qambani, we both decided we had died and gone to heaven!!!! The welcome we received was a real treat and nothing disappointed us during our 6 day stay there. The staff were so kind and attentive and absolutely nothing was too much trouble. Emmie taught all the bar staff how to make us rock shandies before lunch every day and it was delivered to where we happened to be, whether relaxing outside our room, or at one of the pools. Supper each night was always a surprise as to where it would be and the quality of the food was amazing. Our only criticism was that our helpings were too large and we eventually asked them to serve us smaller helpings, particularly for the evening meal. Although we gather, they were full most of the time we were there, we rarely saw anyone else and felt like we were the only people staying there. We can’t thank you enough for suggesting we stay there as it really was the highlight of our trip and we would both love to return soon. My sister commented to me that in all of her travels she has never stayed in such an amazing place and is anxious to pass the name on to anyone she know who may want to spend time in Zanzibar in the near future. That is quite an accolade from her!!
Thank you for all the time and effort you put into making this such a memorable trip.
Airport transfers: very nice people and nothing to complain about.
Kisiwa House: hotel was a lot different than from what i expected. Very small and simple rooms. Also the drive there into the back alley was interesting 🙂 Once we got used to the environment then the cultural experience there was great! We didnt spend much time at the hotel but was out in stone town most of the time. Hotel was clean and food ok.
Breezes: beautiful hotel and very nice rooms. good service and food was also great. Only “complaints” was that the food and alcohol was very expensive and we end up spending more than 2k a day on lunch, minibar and drinks. A fullboard option would probably have been cheaper ?
Qambani: Unbelievable beautiful villas, and service was outstanding. Not much to do for the kids there but highly recommended for adults i would say. They were busy renovating next to us so there was a bit of noise the one day. It was not an issue at all, however when we left they compensated for it by scratching our bar bill which was around 200 usd. Very kind of them and made the experience even better.
I already recommended you to my friends who want to go too, so hopefully you get some business from that side 🙂
We had an amazing holiday it is such a beautiful island and just the right combination of culture / history (stone town) shopping (stone town) and natural beauty (Fumba’s location and proximity to Stone Town).
I particularly liked Emerson Spice. The quality of the room, service, food and the warmth of the staff. Definitely the only place to stay! In some ways I wished that the furnishings and the standard of food were as high at Fumba. That said, we were blissfully happy there… particularly using the Fumba Dhow and snorkelling and picnicking. We did this twice (once snorkelling only) as we both enjoyed this so much.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Hi Victoria, Che Che Vule was absolutely sensational! The villa is amazing, the staff were incredible, the food was delicious.
I could only think of two tiny negatives that really didn’t impact the stay but could be improved on – the time if took for the food to be prepared if you order lunch off the menu on an ad hoc basis – this can be avoided by pre-ordering lunch earlier in the day and requesting a certain time for it to be ready. Then there was a big storm during our stay which meant two or three days with no power, and their generator didn’t really work.
This really did not put any sort of damper on things, the stay was beyond incredible, but possibly could be helpful for you to know. Hope you are well and thanks again for your help!
Hi Victoria, firstly we cannot thank you enough for recommending Upendo Villa. We were really struggling until we spoke to you about what we liked and you absolutely nailed it. We would recommend to anybody. The staff were brilliant and we got on really well with the other guests over Christmas time. Cannot fault it!
Zuhura Villa was great but they did admit that they were still pulling things together to make it better and we gave them some really positive feedback on our experiences. Aileen was great with them and they listened intently which can only help in providing a better experience to the other guests. The food was great, the location wonderful and we made some great memories.
Thanks again Victoria. All the best!
Hi Claudia. It was another seamless experience booking with ZR. You were accommodating with our request for payment. The team on arrival in Zanzibar were pleasant, informative about the island and drove us safely to Matemwe.
Matemwe Lodge is so consistent. Matemwe Retreat is outstanding, everything on your terms. You just need to decide what to eat and when. You could spend the entire stay at the retreat as there is no need to leave your own plunge pool on the roof and you can eat every meal on your private veranda. The whole Team welcoming and make you feel special.
Looking forward to returning later in the year.
Hi Victoria, Happy New year to you. We had a wonderful holiday and we enjoyed Zanzibar a lot.
Zi Villa is beautiful, the location, the beach, the food really good and the staff very kind, professional and helpful.
We loved Villa Serenity in Paje too, the restaurants, the beach and my son learned Kitesurfing, so we had an amazing time.
I had a very positive experience booking trough Zanzibar retreats, because you tailored the holidays for us, liked you know me since ever. Thank you for everything!
This was the second time we have asked Claudia at zanzibar retreats for recommendations. She is so quick to reply and professional! Thank you!
This time round we stayed at Breezes Club and Spa, we had been there 15 years ago, and it was just as lovely as I remember. The location is stunning as with most places on the island, however as the name implies the Breeze is constant and welcoming. The accommodation, food, LIVE entertainment (every night), staff, and all the water sports activities offered were of top quality. We were a family of five with two adults and three adults. We will defiantly be back for a third time, and to Breezes once again!
Hi Claudia! Both places we stayed were absolutely incredible!!! We just loved them both, they completely surpassed our expectations.
Matemwe Retreat was perfect for some alone time as a newly wed couple and such a nice way to finally just stop and relax after 2 weeks of planes, people, safaris and early mornings (as much as we loved this part too!). The villa plunge pool was where we spent most of our days! And the staff were amazing, so friendly and accommodating. Food was delicious as well.
Mnemba Island was like nothing we’ve ever experienced. Firstly, thank you so so so much for persevering and securing us our nights there. The bandas were just stunning, we had one on the furthest end so we had even more privacy and gorgeous views of the water (maybe that was a honeymoon perk?!). The food, wow. Staff were so friendly and accommodating again. And we loved that we could swim in the ocean here, all day every day, as on the main island of Zanzibar it seems like that’s not often possible due to tides and reefs? I loved snorkeling and having a bit of activity and adventure after the solitude and downtime at Matemwe.
Thank you again. We couldn’t recommend the places we stayed and you enough. We would not have changed a single thing, except maybe extended our stay a few more days! We will be sure to pass your information onto anyone planning a trip to Africa.
From the moment we arrived at the airport in Pemba, we were so well cared for by The Aiyana staff.
The General Manager Philippe went above and beyond to make sure we had the most magical honeymoon and his staff were so lovely and attentive. We were treated to romantic dinners on the beach, a sunset cruise and a stunning room upgrade. The food and drink choices were spectacular and you couldn’t get a more stunning beachfront location. The only bad part of our six nights there was leaving. We can’t wait to get back to The Aiyana in the future!
From the very minute we decided where we wanted to go, Claudia from Zanzibar Retreats organised it effortlessly. We stayed at the wonderful hotel ‘Anna of Zanzibar’ for 2 weeks. Zanzibar Retreats did us proud. Hotel Anna is a little gem near Bweju. Just 5 very private villas, set in beautiful grounds. Food superb. Very quiet, but SO relaxing which is just what we wanted. Manager Petida was always on hand to answer any questions and we were even given a mobile phone from which we could WhatsApp Petida, or Michael the owner, and order drinks without having to move a muscle! Just loved it.
The services at Breezes are very good and the staff is really smiling and very kind. I have no complaints to make. Except, perhaps, that the food could be more refined. The stay was as I wanted it and what I was looking for so it was perfect for me. Thanks for all
Well all the other reviews have said it all: Garden Beach Villa is paradise!
From the moment you get out of the car you are greeted by the warmest hosts. Food is prepared to order in every meal – we had the most gigantic prawns you’ve ever seen, Zanzibari curries, pilau, every meal imaginable. Even the simple chicken sandwich was divine.
The team couldn’t be more helpful both in the house and in giving you sound advice for what to do on Zan – spice tours, snorkelling, quad biking, walking to the reef or just chilling all day by the pool. And the villa itself is stunning, with the lovely pool and the emerald blue ocean just beyond.
We leave tomorrow. We’re all distraught. So we’ve decided we’ll be back as soon as we can!
Liebe Claudia, wir sind gestern wieder im heißen Frankfurt gelandet. Es war eine super schöne Reise, alles hat bestens geklappt, auch die Fahrer und Guides von Island Express waren alle total nett und gesprächig. Wir haben schon während den Autofahrten ganz viel über die Insel und das Leben auf Sansibar erfahren.
Alle Hotels (Uzuri Villa, Chumbe Island & Kisiwa House) waren in Ihrer Unterschiedlichkeit, ganz Klasse. Wir waren begeistert von der Herzlichkeit der Menschen dort, dem Puderzucker Strand den tollen Farben des Wassers und überall haben wir fantastisch gegessen. Das Kiten hat Michael und den Kindern sehr viel Spaß gebracht, auch wenn Michael etwas enttäuscht war, dass er nach 4 Tagen noch nicht ohne Probleme auf das Brett kommt und über das Meer gleiten kann.
Chumbe war sehr interessant, wir haben dort gelernt das sich eine bestimmte Krebsart in Muscheln “einmietet” und diese je nach Wachstum wieder verlässt und in die nächst größere zieht. Es war ein sehr lustiges Bild überall auf der Insel laufende Muscheln zu sehen. Auch das Schnorcheln, die Führungen und das gesamte Personal, insbesondere die Managerin waren unglaublich nett. Die Überfahrt am Montagmorgen von dort nach Stone Town war noch ziemlich aufregend, da es sehr stark stürmte und die Wellen sehr hoch waren, der Skipper war aber der Meinung wir könnten fahren. Er hatte es dann super gemacht und uns mit seinem Ritt über die Wellen sicher nach Stone Town geschippert.
Den Tag in Stone Town haben wir voll ausgenutzt und sind erst knapp 3 Stunden mit einem jungen sehr engagierten Guide, organisiert vom Hotel, durch die Stadt gelaufen und danach haben wir uns dann noch mal alleine einige Stunden durch diese quirlige Stadt treiben lassen. Uns allen hat unser erster Aufenthalt in Afrika so gut gefallen, sodass wir schon wieder überlegen wann wir wieder hinfahren, das nächste Mal dann mit Safari.
Ich schicke dir in der nächsten Mail ein paar Eindrücke von unserer Reise.
Vielen Dank für deine tollen Tipps und die super Organisation, wir freuen uns schon auf das nächste Mal
Mirja, Michael, Lilly und Lauritz
We loved Fumba Lodge and our time there! However I will recommend people to go with the all inclusive options as it does get expensive with the drinks at the bar as everything is in dollar…. Otherwise the room was as we imagined -stunning – and the food was also really great.
The managers at the resort was super helpful and we even forgot our son’s soft toy in his bed and they arranged from their side with another guest from Cape Town to return the soft toy with the guest back to us – which I thought was really throughtful.
Zi Cottage was really wonderful and we had such an amazing time!
Because of the short time that we were there, we were only able to participate in one activity that they offered, the snorkeling and beach barbeque and both were AMAZING. The service and foods were also really great.
The one issue we had was with the air conditioning in the separate bedroom. It wasn’t working well and they didn’t really know how to fix it.
Hi Victoria, well it was surely a holiday of a lifetime! Excellent weather, accommodation, food and arrangements. We would like to thank you for making the booking absolutely painless and for all the arrangements you assisted with. There were absolutely no hitches.
Villa Lisa (Milele Villas) was an eye opener and very different to the normal accommodation one comes to expect. The design and space was truly exceptional. The staff were very punctual and always ready to assist. Hannes was always willing to make arrangements for us and to give advice.
We would without hesitation recommend both Zanzibar Retreats and Milele to any persons wishing to visit Zanzibar. Once again many thanks!
Morning Victoria, we had an awesome time at Zi Villa !! The rooms were great, staff were great ! The days were hot so the pool was an absolute blessing. The weather was fabulous while we were there !
Thank you for all the organising —- We will definitely be visiting again.
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.
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.
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.
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!! Sal
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 regards
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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 …