Reviews of Bluebay Beach Resort
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Good but not special
There is nothing wrong with this hotel. The staff are friendly and attentive. The beach and shallow sea is terrific. The rooms are big and clean and the facilities are good. The details on the website are accurate enough. The gardens are terrific (but you wonder about the amount of scarce water being used to keep them that way). The manager, who is French, is good professional manager.
The problem is that - unless this is your first visit to an exotic location - Bluebay it is not special. The nightly themed buffets and "international music" (I don't think I can stomach the Lady in Red one more time) quickly become monotonous. It doesn't feel like you are in Zanzibar, and there is nowhere else to escape to in the evening. To be fair, I would guess that is common of all the east coast resorts. But Breezes (which we could not get into) may have been a better bet.
The huge disappointment for us as a family was the scuba diving. One reason we chose this hotel was for scuba diving, but the operator at the hotel (One Ocean) is seemingly the only PADI dive centre in the world that won't take children under 12 (PADI rules say 10 years) - and they did not have equipment for our (big) 12 year old in any event. There was no other dive centre within commuting distance.
If we had our time again, and Breezes was still unavailable, it might have been better to go to Fumba. Less idyllic beach maybe, but probably more personal an easier commute to Stonetown which is where the real Zanzibar experience is.