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Dream of Zanzibar 4.0

Kiwengwa, Zanzibar Island, Zanzibar Archipelago

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beachside all-inclusive resort in Zanzibar's quiet northeast 
  • Large rooms and villas with bright artwork and terraces
  • Some suites and villas have private hot tubs or pools
  • Numerous restaurants with huge buffets, plus a la carte options for fine dining
  • Multiple bars for cocktails, beer, and wine plus premium liquors (for a fee)
  • Tons of on-site activities, from beach volleyball to water aerobics
  • Fitness center with weight and cardio equipment
  • Meeting spaces, business center, and event-planing assistance
  • Free basic Wi-Fi in common areas 

Cons

  • Lots of stairs and narrow paths, with no golf cart transport service
  • Fee for high-speed Wi-Fi; basic Wi-Fi is unreliable
  • Fee for premium liquors and for meals in some restaurants
  • In an isolated location, little within walking distance

Bottom Line

Dream of Zanzibar is an upscale all-inclusive, beachfront resort with 157 rooms, including private villas with their own swimming pools. Simple, but elegant, rooms benefit from the addition of bright local artwork and colorful area rugs. There are tons of on-site amenities, including about a dozen restaurants serving buffet and a la carte meals as well as several bars. There are on-site activities plus two pools, a gorgeous spa, and a gym. While Wi-Fi is free, it's slow and unreliable (although upgrades to high-speed service are available for a fee). Travelers looking for a similar nearby property should compare rates at the slightly more luxurious Melia Zanzibar, which offers similar amenities along with tennis courts. 

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Scene

Relaxed all-inclusive beachside resort with luxury ambience

Dream of Zanzibar is a family-friendly all-inclusive resort with a relaxed luxury vibe throughout its extensive grounds. The open-air lobby is decorated in the typical Zanzibar style, with large open-beamed roofs, cool tile floors, and lots of carved-wood daybeds and chairs clustered together to create intimate seating areas. The resort sits in front of the ocean and stretches over huge gardens connected by narrow pathways and plenty of stairs. Travelers with compromised mobility should note that the resort does not offer golf carts to ferry guests -- most of whom are couples or families with children -- around the property. The atmosphere throughout -- from the beach to the open-air restaurants -- is laid back, and lacks the stuffy pretentiousness that can come with so many luxury resorts. 

Location

On Zanzibar's quiet northeastern coast

Dream of Zanzibar is located right on a white sand beach in northern Zanzibar. The area is lined with plenty of hotels and resorts, but little else beyond the occasional farm. There's not much to do in the surrounding area, and the nearest town -- Kiwengwa -- is an eight-minute drive away. Jozani National Park, home to a number of endangered and exotic species, is about an hour away by road, as is the Zanzibar Butterfly Center. It's a 50-minute drive to the Zanzibar International Airport and Zanzibar City, from where ferries to Dar Es Salaam depart.

Rooms

Elegant rooms with terraces, some with private hot tubs or pools

There are 157 rooms in all, including 104 Deluxe Rooms with garden views, 40 ocean-facing Junior Suites, 10 Junior Jacuzzi Suites with whirlpool hot tubs, and three Beach Villas, which have private pools, whirlpool hot tubs, and separate living rooms. Decor in all of the units is dominated by elm-wood furniture, including canopy beds with mosquito nets, carved coffee tables, and desks. The overall scheme is simple, with beige stone tile floors, white walls hung with vibrant local art, and hints of muted autumnal colors in patterned throw pillows, heavy drapes, and tribal patterned area rugs. All units have both air-conditioning and ceiling fans, which come in handy as the property can get unbearably hot during the peak of the day. Furnished terraces also come standard, plus flat-screen TVs with DVD players, electric scales, kettles, safes, and minibars. Bathrooms have double granite vanities with vessel sinks, makeup mirrors, small hairdryers, walk-in showers covered with mosaic tiles, and separate areas for toilets and bidets. We did spot a bit of rust in the walk-in showers. 

Features

Two pools, beautiful spa, water sports, modern gym, and event facilities

The resort has two pools that are open to all guests: a long, rectangular pool surrounded by tightly packed lounge chairs, and a second, more tranquil freeform Garden Pool that's not great for swimming laps, but is a good place for a cooling dip. Guests can also opt to lounge on the adjacent white-sand beach, which gets plenty of shade from both palapas and palm trees. 

The hotel provides a number of on-site activities, including water aerobics, beach volleyball, soccer, table tennis, billiards, darts, and kayaking. The on-site Dream Spa provides a wide range of services, including hydrotherapy and local specialties. It has its own small courtyard with a pool, a whirlpool hot tub, and a couple of lounge chairs with large parasols -- other spa features include a beauty salon and steam baths. The hotel's modern gym features treadmills, exercise bikes, stair steppers, and weight-training equipment. 

The resort even has its own mini-conference center  -- the Arabesque -- which hosts weddings and conferences in its three rooms. The Auditorium hosts up to 112 guests, while the two boardrooms can seat up to 12. Poolside and beach-facing events can also be arranged. There's a business center on-site and free Wi-Fi, though it's painfully slow and unreliable, while high-speed Internet costs extra. 

All-Inclusive

Numerous bars and restuarants with buffet or a la carte offerings, most included in resort rate

Dream of Zanzibar is an all-inclusive resort, and the package includes a welcome cocktail, all three meals, and a selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. There are almost a dozen bars and restaurants on-site, including the Cape to Venice Brasserie, where a huge buffet is laid out for guests at all three meals. Other options include the Andiamo Pizzeria, which serves salads and pizza a la carte at dinnertime, and the Boma Resturant -- also open only for dinner -- where guests can try out local dishes served buffet-style. The Chop Stick is the resort's pan-Asian spot, and its dark, Chinese-influenced decor features lots of wood and suspended lanterns with red tassels that make it a romantic spot to grab an evening meal. Perhaps the most luxurious place to dine, however, is the Blue Vanilla Restaurant, which serves fusion dishes and seafood at dinnertime. The Taj Mahal, Sushi Bar, and the Zanzi-Bar Grill are all open at lunchtime and offer a buffet lunch that's included in the all-inclusive plan. The Zanzi-Bar also has a beachside drinks service

The Kokosnuss Bar serves juices, coffee, cocktails, beer, and wine and has snack services during limited hours. There's also Le Souk Bar, a Moroccan-style hookah bar that's open in the evenings and has some premium liquors (for a fee), and the Mama Paw Garden Pool Bar, which serves cocktails during the day. There is nightly live entertainment in many establishments. Half-board options are also available, and some restaurants require additional fees in addition to the hotel's all-inclusive plans.

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Address

Kiwengwa, Mahonda, Tanzania

Also Known As

  • Diamonds Dream of Zanzibar

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