Reviews of Baraza Resort & Spa
Wildlife sightings and reviews
14 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Baraza Resort & Spa and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Baraza Resort & Spa review"
The resort is all inclusive, great for sun worshippers, those into water sports and those wishing to just chill. Our accommodation was spacious with a plunge pool and wonderful air con.
However we were made to feel very uncomfortable as a gay couple sharing a double bed by our "dedicated guest team member" who showed us to our comfortable lodgings. Whilst the same gentleman could be seen interacting with other guests throughout our stay, he never came near us again. We are respectful of other cultures and attitudes but we certainly didn't feel welcome.
Having said that, the other staff we interacted with at both breakfast and other meal times were polite and friendly. Baraza is perhaps a little too formal for us and the food was a little repetitive after 5 days. We've never stayed all inclusive at a resort before and we're unlikely to do it again." See all these reviews: 11n in Tanzania; 7n in Zanzibar
We had informed Baraza that these travellers were a same sex couple and requested room arrangements accordingly. While homosexuality is a culturally sensitive subject in Zanzibar, and many locals hold conservative views on the subject, this is the first time an incident such as this has been reported by our travellers.
As everyone will realise, it’s utterly impossible for us to guarantee, let alone police, the attitudes of all the staff who work in law establishments across Africa. We do what we can to promote tolerance and understanding (and also to promote education, which is really info important for the future) – but sadly I don’t think there is any way for us to promise that travellers won’t occasionally encounter prejudiced attitudes from people working in tourism.
Based on the experience of these travellers, we have revised our LGBT travel advice for Zanzibar.
"Beautiful Resort - but could be even better"
What we liked: We had a Garden view room (#28) which was fabulous and private. We used the plunge pool a lot. The hotel grounds and pool are beautiful, with lovely views of the beach and reef, and moon rise! The food was good and quite varied, although quality suffered when meals were served buffet style (see later). Wines and cocktails were very good. The staff around the resort and in the bars and restaurants were excellent – going out of there way to help and always with a smile on their face and genuine warmth. We enjoyed excellent service from them.
The reef walk was very good and it was great to be able to use the facilities if the sister resort Zawadi. This was located about 40 minutes walk away along the beautiful beach, and had great snorkelling right from the resort. We had lunch there one day and a swim in the pool and a cold beer on another day. The beach was very quiet when we were there with few hawkers. We were not hassled at all to buy stuff.
Special mention for Yolanda the Baraza Manager, who is very good and highly visible around the resort, and she often joined us for a chat.
Now to the things that could be better – keeping in context that the Baraza is marketed as a top 5 star all-inclusive resort.
• At the start of our stay we were asked about dietary requirements, the only one of which is that my wife does not like shellfish and prefers not to eat fish. There was follow-up on this and there were occasions when there was no choice other than fish or shellfish
• We were assigned a Villa Host on arrival who showed us to our villa. We didn’t get her name (abit of information overload after a long travel – a card would be helpful – and we didn’t see her again until checkout. That was fine by us, but not sure what her role is.
• Extras that shouldn’t be in an all inclusive 5 star resort: Expresso, Cappucino plus the list if “included” spirits was really quite short – no single malts, Johnny Walker Black Label or Drambuie. We (and other guests) found this policy to be petty and would recommend Baraza look again at this.
• There was a little too much buffet dining for our liking. Unlike my wife I love fish and would have preferred to have had it cooked to order. Buffet style the wonderful fish – Snapper, Kingfish, Dorado etc – were a little dry.
• No conditioner provided. A combined shampoo and conditioner which was a poor substitute for separate shampoo and conditioner
• Safety – The plunge pool in our villa was great but it was difficult to get into and out of due to 1 big step. The tiles around the plunge pool also had sharp.
All of the above may be considered minor details in the overall scheme of things, but for us they did detract from our experience and hope the feedback is useful and will be acted upon by Baraza. It’s the difference between a 7/10 and a 10/10.
We had a very relaxing time at the Baraza after a few days on safari, and we’re glad we chose to stay there." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
"Beautiful Palace; great food; beach not good"
The food and wine are excellent and the service outstanding. The beach is not usable for swimming because of the very shallow water and the rocks. However, it is fascinating to walk out towards the reef when the tide goes out and see the myriad forms of sea life.
It is quite a way from Stone Town but this is nota problem as one only want to visit there for a day. There is not much in the way of entertainment in the evening and it is dead by 10 pm, which suits us as all we wanted to do was to relax after our safari.
The spa is magnificent; another Palace in its own right." See all these reviews: 12n in Tanzania; 6n in Zanzibar
"Luxury at Baraza"
Plus points :
Beautiful interior design throughout in white and gold, with pretty well maintained gardens. Our very spacious two bedroom garden villa was extremely stylish.
A huge pool, very clean. Staff very attentive bringing drinks to sun loungers.
Very good lunch (always a buffet) and delicious dinners alternating between buffet and table service each night which worked well.
Not so good was the long, not very lovely, drive from the airport (well over an hour) Also meant it was a long journey to Stonetown which we would have liked to visit one day, but couldn't face the journey.
The beach looks pretty when the tide is in but not too inviting for swimming because it is so tidal . We did walk out to the reef once which was fairly interesting, looking for sea anemone etc but we had no desire to do it again!" See all these reviews: 5n in Tanzania; 4n in Zanzibar
"Baraza Resort & Spa review"
The rooms are very spacious & the constant provision of food & drink ensure that you are never hungry or thirsty. All the staff are extremely attentive but without being overly so.
Despite the resort being at maximum occupancy when we were there, the options of excursions, the beach, the pool area & the private garden / plunge pool facility that comes with each villa, meant that there was never any stress finding your spot to relax at any time of day.
We used the Dive Centre at Breezes where the dive masters were exceptional in their enthusiasm & commitment to getting our children qualified as scuba divers. However, if you want to swim in the sea without diving, it's limited to snorkelling safaris off a boat or high tide swimming due to the coral & sea urchins that are part of the local habitat." See all these reviews: 7n in Zanzibar; 6n in Tanzania
"Luxury feel but perhaps more staff?"
Resort is stretched out along the beach so sometimes hard to get a waiter, maybe a bit more staff needed to cover the pool and the beach (luxury problem..)
The buffet nights wasn't as impressive as the set menu nights, in fact it felt a bit cheap. Food was good quality though for the most part. 45 min to prep your lunch options was a bit ridiculous though.
About 1hr drive from Stonetown, 45min from airport" See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 3n in Zanzibar
Everything is kept absolutely immaculate and the friendly staff are so well trained they think of what you need before you do!
The food is just fantastic.
If you get a chance to stay here do so!" See all these reviews: 6n in Zanzibar; 3n in Tanzania
"Baraza Resort & Spa review"
I had specified at booking that we did not want to stay anywhere that served buffet food for dinner. I was assured that dinner at Baraza was "a la carte" but found to our disappointment it was not. However once we spoke to the agent he alerted the manager to our concerns and it was sorted.
Our accommodation was excellent and immaculate.
The service throughout was first class, every whim was met with a smile and no effort was spared on us." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 7n in Zanzibar
"Great Family Vacation"
The villa was spectacular and such a nice place to come back to after a day in the sun. We found the service to be excellent, the location was stunning, the amenities and activities were very good.
There were plenty of opportunities for water activities and we really enjoyed the snorkeling excursion." See all these reviews: 7n in Zanzibar
"Baraza Resort and Spa"
The food is varied and served in different areas. It has a very definite Arab/Indian flavor, and it is delicious. The staff are excellent and very attentive. Most of the people we met were going to Zanzibar at the finish of their safari, and you know why when you arrive. It is the perfect place to relax and let the world go by. I would say that Baraza is one of their finest hotels.
It is a place to visit again." See all these reviews: 34n in Tanzania; 5n in Zanzibar
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