Reviews of Shooting Star Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Shooting Star Lodge review
Shooting Star is a lovely place to stay on the Zanzibar East Coast; Elly and his team made us feel really welcome and the work and effort that's gone into the lodge and its surroundings are testimony to the passion given to it! The restaurant and bar area, the infinity pool, the gardens - all are gorgeous, and we really found the peace and tranquility we were after for this part of our honeymoon!
The food here was also great, with a different menu everyday - no mean feat as were there 8 days! We'd strongly recommend the private lobster BBQ dinner on the beach was we'll never forget... The rooms are also lovely, with enormous beds and good facilities. We did feel the rooms could have done with a bit of TLC however - even just a fresh lick of paint!
There were a couple of things that in hindsight we'd have looked out for when booking; the area around Shooting Star is fairly quiet, so there isn't really an option to go somewhere different for lunch, or for a drink in the evenings. The lodge itself isn't lacking in this respect in any way, but it would have good to have the option - so this is more of a location thing than anything else!
Also, although the beach was very picturesque, the high and low tides are extreme so at low tide the sea is a very long way out. This means the reef is exposed so at low tide it's not possible to swim at all which wasn't something we'd anticipated, and with two tides a day the chances of it being low tide during the day are very high. Luckily the infinity pool at the lodge is gorgeous and so refreshing, so again this is a location thing. We heard the beaches at the north of the island were better but we'd be interested to know if this is the case as it may have just been one of the locals trying to sell us a trip!
All in all Shooting Star is a lovely place to stay, and if you're looking for peace and tranquility, rest and relaxation then it's the perfect place to be.
Expert Africa comments
Shooting star is on one of the most picturesque beaches on Zanzibar, with powder-white sand. I think that these travellers are right ... any comments about the beaches being much better anywhere else on the island probably was "one of the locals" being a little over-zealous about their selling of day-trips.
If travellers want a ballanced view of day-trips, or other excursions, then we recommend at they call us - even if they're in Zanzibar at the time!
Shooting Star Lodge review
An idyllic location where days pass all too quickly!
Don't miss the lobster dinner on the beach - its definitely worth it!
The only slight negative was that whilst all the Sea View Cottages are great some are better than others and there was quite a difference between our two cottages.
Shooting Star Lodge review
I think by the time we arrived in Zanzibar, we were on such a high from our Safari stay at Selous Impala Camp that Zanzibar had a lot to live up to! Shooting Star Lodge was very nice, but from the moment we arrived, we realised how much more laid back and relaxed everyone was compared to our Safari - slightly less attentive I think?
I think we were surprised by the weather too - it was very cloudy and not that warm.
Our room was lovely and we had everything we needed in it. Sadly I lost my camera on the first evening at dinner - it was dropped in the restaurant area and nobody handed it in which I was extremely upset about and quite disappointed that no staff members had seen it or found it?
The food was nice but not of the standard of Selous Impala Camp. There was not a great deal to do there either - we imagined there would be a local village or town or restaurants along the beach etc, but we felt very much confined to the Lodge. Fisherman Tours organised a few trips for us.
The Blue Safari day down to Fuma was fantastic! A wonderful trip - worth every penny and so well organised. However, the Spice Tour combined with Jozani Forest trip was very disappointing and not worth the money we paid for it.
Overall, I think if I returned to Zanzibar, I might consider an alternative area of the island? Overall, the experience was good but not fantastic and it hasn't really stayed with me since returning home.
On the beach at Shooting Star
This was just what we wanted as we weren't looking for a big international hotel, but wanted something more in keeping with the surrounding area.
The rooms (cottages) were absolutely beautiful, with stunning views over the Indian Ocean (from large private terraces).
Trips were available and easy to book and were all great - we did the spice tour and Jozani Forest.
Shooting Star makes paradise truly paradise!
Everything about Shooting Star was superb. The staff was delightful and very accommodating, seeing to every detail, including fresh hibiscus blossoms on our pillows each night and tea/coffee delivered to our doorstep early each morning (along with biscuits that we enjoyed when we were quick enough to get to them before the crows!) They even arranged a totally memorable first anniversary celebration for our daughter and son-in-law -- a fabulous seafood feast and bonfire on the beach!
Our accommodations were attractive and spacious. We had plenty of hot water for showers as long as we remembered to turn on the water heater. We particularly enjoyed hanging out in the lounge area, the excellent beverages and good-natured staff at the bar, and the courteous and friendly Masaai.
We've already recommended Shooting Star to our friends!
Shooting Star review
Beautiful location and well landscaped and maintained lodge. The pool could not have been better located.
Quite a bit of wildlife to be seen around the lodge, sunbirds, lizards, the odd green tree snake and particularly bushbabies; it took me until the last day to work out that the loud cackling noises that we heard above the dining area each night were the local bushbabies.
There was a small collection of books to be borrowed next to the lounge area and the fish ID books came in particularly useful after dips in the sea with a snorkel. One minor negative point was that I would have liked there to have been more information in the chalets on the surrounding area and what the options were to see and do.
Shooting Star - Lodge - Average
This was the most disappointing section of our vacation. Coming from "camping" in the bush we expected the Shooting Star to be a more luxurious experience that the camps, but it was quite the opposite.
We arrived at about 6.00pm to find the hotel's electricity supply cut (not their fault), their back up generators not working and the air conditioning in the room not working. The air conditioning never did work the 3 days we were there, although we were given a 25% discount on our bill for the inconvenience.
The rooms were small and the bathrooms abit disappointing (showers did not work properly) but the hotel staff were very friendly.
We were abit disappointed with the location of the resort. It seemed to be a long way from anywhere and it would have been nice if there had been some activities to do. On the whole I would not recommend this resort.
Expert Africa comments
We’re sorry that Shooting Star did not live up to expectations. These travellers booked in July for a holiday in October.
Availability was difficult: many places were full – including the Sea-View Cottages at Shooting Star, which we normally recommend. After discussions with these travellers about the alternatives, the relatively simple Garden View Cottages were decided upon. These rooms are not luxurious and they are rather small: we don’t generally recommend them.
That said, we are glad that the team at Shooting Star were friendly; offering a discount due to problems with the air-conditioning is typical of their good nature.
Travellers note that Shooting Star, like most of Zanzibar’s beach lodges, is quite ‘a long way from anywhere’ else. For many this isolation is a real attraction.
Activities can be arranged from here: you can be collected up by a local water-sports centre of snorkelling, diving and fishing – and spice tours can be arranged… but there are no activities organised at the lodge itself; it’s simply a place to relax. For more activities, travellers should consider resorts like Breezes, or a location near a busy town, like Mbweni Ruins, Ras Nungwi or the new Z Hotel.