Visited Zanzibar for the first time in a 2 family group - loved the island, history and people and the house is truly rustic and out of the way. This was a large part of the charm for us, but may feel a little isolated for others.
The people at the house (George, Sam et al) were wonderful and made the holiday truly special.
Views from the Master Bedroom terrace over Mnemba island were spectacular, so it was strange not to have seating up there from which to admire this, but that is a minor quibble ...
One major tip: don't exchange USD at the airport as the exchange rate is a rip off and almost everyone takes USD freely.
Do visit Mnemba Island, Prison Island, Jozani forest and a spice farm - most of these also help local communities.
Do yourself a favour and go visit this piece of heaven on earth! Staff is friendly, food delicious, relaxing stay with a beautiful view!
We chose Zi Villa for a holiday bringing the extended family together (10 adults and 4 kids) and it was the perfect choice.
The villa itself is superb - really spacious and nicely furnished (quite south African in style). The place was spotlessly clean throughout, and after a brief family argument over who got the incredible sultan room (what a room!) we settled straight in.
The villa is quite off the beaten track - which adds to the charm. The beach is really good, the pool is lovely and quite large considering it is just for the villa. The food is really good too - just make sure you ask for what you want and the cooks will happily oblige. We were a slightly tricky group with several kids, a couple of vegetarians, and a couple of non seafood eaters, but the cooks catered to all of this well.
A special mention must go to George and Samuel who are the most brilliant hosts and helpers. Nothing was too much trouble - George's catchphrase being "Everything is possible"! Between the two of them they ensured that any trips we wanted were booked, various pick-ups and drop-offs were sorted, and additional supplies were brought from town when needed.
Zi Villa is the ideal choice for anyone who wants all the convenience of a hotel, bit with all the flexibility of a villa. Perfect for families or groups of friends.
Amazing stay, close to perfection! We were very skeptical when we read the most recent review before our stay, which stated: Avoid at all cost"! Well, we didn't find any of his complaints present with our stay! The rooms are so huge and are all en-suite! All air conditioned with huge beds! The staff were so friendly and helpful, from serving us to arranging trips. It's like having your own exclusive hotel! Menu's was suggested by the chef, but we could change it to out taste and to spoil our 2 littlies! Overall the food was good to very good! Fishermen are using the beach in front of the villa, but the house is higher than the beach, so they are not in your face! After all the beach is a public place! We had an incident where money was stolen, BUT on our side we forgot the back pack outside on the verandah with the money in it! My suggestion is to keep valuables in the safe provided in the rooms! If i have to complain, I'll suggest more prompt email communication while we were booking and requested info regarding Zi Villa. I would also suggest that Zi Villa owners answers guests on tripadvisor, for future guests and to state their side of reviews! Overall a marvelous stay and place, will recommend it any day!
Service was excellent! They did their best to give us our space. The property and house were in good condition. The pool is 5 foot deep on the shallow side-not really conducive for young children. We took great care to supervise the children when close to the pool. The beach in front is fairly private, but also used by the local fishermen. The fishermen can be a nuisance when they try to market their wares.There is a reef further out which broke the waves. The children had much fun playing on the beach. The food was excellent! We were a group of 2 adults and 6 young children. Costs per day for our group were $290, which I feel was very fair. Wifi was available though not a strong connection.
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As an East African resident for about 10 years I have had the opportunity to stay in many places. ZiVilla is by far the best place I have ever stayed. The house was beautiful, the staff was helpful and the food was great. Our group ranged in age from 3-45 and we all had a great time. We were in need of some downtime and ZiVilla hit the mark. Within the first 2 hours, we were already planning our next visit.
The chefs gracefully accepted our requests and special attention was paid to those in our group with allergies.
The only downside was that the company that handles the booking was not able to take an American credit card, making the booking a more difficult process.
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