The drawback about booking hotel accommodation online is that hotels usually have marketing teams that work tirelessly to make pictures of their property look bright, shiny and luring. One free tip I’m throwing in- use TripAdvisor before booking any hotel before you travel. I cannot stress enough how unbiased and candid the reviews are. They go a long way in informing those gullible people that think all hotel pictures that glitter are gold. Zanzibar Queen doesn’t fall into that category just in case you are wondering what I am on about.
Back to Zanzibar Queen Hotel. This property is located an hours drive from Zanzibar’s central Stone Town on the coastal town of Matemwe. Driving through rural villages, coconut trees, the smells of smoke, cinnamon and vanilla scents fill the air as you drive further away from reality. We detoured from the road to a gravel one and went through a small village with goats and dogs roaming about. I wont lie I got a sinking feeling…had we fallen for the marketing online gimmicks? We reached the hotel after 15 minutes of our bumpy joy ride.
The thatched roofs of the hotel could be seen from a distance and a friendly guard greeted us as we reached the gate. Driving into the property made me feel like being in someones lush garden filled with pretty vibrant flowers dancing in the breeze.
Reception was spacious with minimal African decor.
We were checked in quite swiftly and given an orientation of the hotel grounds before being shown to our rooms.
The room.Spacious, rustic with a touch of serenity. The walls were painted in soft pastel colors with African artwork adorning the walls with a neatly netted four poster bed. The room had a balcony and the bathroom was huge and fully stocked up with organic soaps and lotions. The room was quaint and very lovely, the kind of room you could sit and hibernate in for days but hey no time for hibernation on holiday.
Dining. All dining took place at the hotel’s main restaurant, located close to the pool.
The food was absolutely unrivaled. Each time I sat down to eat I was pleasantly surprised by how fresh and scrumptious the food was.
Breakfast was a limited selection but more than enough. I loved the freshly cut juicy tropical fruit available each morning.
The last dinner we had here was a seafood barbecue which blew my mind.
Entertainment. The bar is open until about 11 pm each night and live entertainment during dinner ensures guests are plenty entertained.
Amenities. The pool is perfectly situated next to the bar. They have volley ball, a delightful hammock, bicycles, a souvenir shop, yoga and relaxing spots to play Bao, a game I loved playing as a kid. The beach is literally a stone’s throw away but I recommend you take a boat to the other cleaner beaches. Ultimately if you are looking for ultimate relaxation i.e. the do nothing but laze around the whole day type of holiday, this is it.
The hotel offers a lot of other activities such as diving lessons and the like, however if you want cheaper rates, its better to walk down to the beach and negotiate with the local guys who can organize whole day trips inclusive of lunch at a steal. Throwing in another free tip …Trust me its an amazing experience. Ask for a guy called Maisha.
Service.Was beyond excellent. I love the hospitality of the Tanzanian people who are ever so warm and welcoming- always ready to serve with the biggest smile. Henry, one of the drivers took us out one night and showed us a good time. I forget all the other lovely employees names but they were truly fantastic and places with such good people can only do great because they really do make or break a hotel experience for you.
Overall. This place is ideal for that getaway from the real world, if you want to hibernate or just recharge and enjoy the joy of doing nothing, look no further. I definitely will be back. I loved staying here, even the 20 minute minor power cut. Hey what do you expect..This is Africa :). Major thumbs up for this place. Keep it up guys. Asante Sana.