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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms R & Mr S from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

2

Excursions taken

0

My Dec 2012 trip

Zanzibar between 20 Dec 2012 and 30 Dec 2012

Trip rating: Excellent
"Fabulous! Everything that we hoped for and more - and we are very demanding clients.

Many thanks to Liz who was excellent and so helpful, especially when our flight was delayed from LHR."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Sultan Palace

Sultan Palace

"Utterly Divine Sultan Palace"

7 nights Arrived 21 Dec 2012
"We adored the Sultan Palace, it was everything that we had looked and hoped for. My husband and I went for a period of 7 nights over the Christmas period. We wanted a quiet, secluded, exclusive place with very little to do except to enjoy being by the ocean, excellent accommodation, and excellent food. Paola, Paolo, their team and the Sultan Palace delivered all of this and more. It was quite exceptional.

We stayed in an Imperial Suite which was absolutely gigantic -s ee the Expert Africa website for pictures. An entrance foyer, a huge curving bedroom, a separate large dressing room with plenty of hanging and storage space (which is so often not thought of or provided), and an enormous bathroom and (similarly enormous) separate room containing the loo. The whole suite was bright thanks to the many windows which nonetheless could be easily shuttered against the sunshine, and at night. The suite was exquisitely and very tastefully furnished in lovely materials and antique furniture.

Breakfast is on the top floor of the main thatched building, outside on the covered terrace, overlooking the sea. Lunch is held down at the beach bar, at separate tables set under a covered roof, and dinner is again at tables outside on the upstairs terrace under the thatched roof of the main building. The service is very good, although at times it is obvious that some of the younger waiters don't understand everything (when we were there, quite a spread of nationalities were represented, so it is not just English that the staff have to understand). However, they beetle off and ask one of the other waiters who come in their place. Nothing is ever a problem. The food was very good. Bountiful fresh fish at both lunch and dinner, but with other choices too, including a vegetarian option (usually Italian pasta or rice dishes) which was equally delicious.

There is a good choice of good wines, and the cocktail bar is similarly well stocked (prices are not cheap, but the wines and spirits sold are of good quality and the stuff does have to be brought a long way). The fresh fruit juices were simply to die for.

Without exception, all of the staff were quietly and unobtrusively friendly, smiling and welcoming even wishing us "Merry Christmas" on Christmas Day (this is a country with 95% Muslim population), and writing "Happy Christmas" in large letters in the sand on the beach.

All in all, we can't think of a single thing that disappointed us. Paola and Paolo have simply thought of everything, and everything is executed in the very best of taste, style, understated elegance and sophistication."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Serena Inn

Serena Inn

"Serena Inn - charming"

2 nights Arrived 28 Dec 2012
"We loved the Serena Inn. At a fantastic location, a beautifully restored colonial building which reminded us of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore - only much smaller. A haven to return to after adventures out in Stone Town in the heat.

Our room was lovely, but disappointing. I had booked a Prime Room on the basis of the Serena's own description of its Prime Rooms being "exceptionally spacious". Our room (no 23) was anything but spacious. Whilst lovely, and beautifully appointed and decorated, it was exceptionally small. It had a huge king sized bed, and a wonderfully large L shaped balcony overlooking the sea with a huge hammock. But with two people and two (not very large) bags, inside the room it was a squeeze. The bathroom, again beautifully done, was so small that only one person at a time could fit in it. There was next to no storage or hanging space and nowhere to put toiletries other than on the floor under the basin in the bathroom. However, we were there only for two nights, so it wasn't too much of a problem other than my being cross because I did believe that the room would be larger than it was - a point I was particularly interested in.

We had a lovely meal at the Serena's open air roof top terrace, which overlooks the sea. The food was extremely good. However, be aware that it is a fixed price 5 course menu, something that we were not told about by reception when they offered to make a booking for us for the evening of the day we arrived. We were not the only people not to realise (to be told), that it was not a la carte. I cannot eat 5 courses, and I was not alone in that. Nowhere in the Hotel's literature was it mentioned that this was a fixed menu restaurant.

We had a very nice second evening meal in the restaurant/bar which has a varied menu and is very prettily done out.

Breakfast is in the main restaurant and is very good and generous indeed. This restaurant also looks over the sea, and has lovely wide open windows to catch the sea breeze.

Service is brisk and efficient (most of the time!), but not unfriendly."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent

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