Review by: Kate and Lynden Spencer-Allen

Countries Visited:
Kenya & Tanzania
Holiday Type:
5 05/08/2013

Overall Impressions

Everything went so smoothly with all the transfers like clockwork and the luxury just what we expected. The safari experience was amazing with so many animals to see just outside (and an elephant inside one night!) the camp. The hot air balloon trip was magical. Zanzibar was stunningly beautiful and despite the cloud and rain on some days was very relaxing and just what we needed after a busy wedding and preparations. Excellent overall.

Countries Visited

Accommodation Visited

Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp 5

Very personal service, amazing setting and a brilliant base for safari. It was everything we imagined and the reviews led us to believe. The pool overlooking the park was amazing, if not a little too cold for a swim!

House of Waine 5

The House of Waine was incredible. We were made to feel so special from the moment we arrived. We were only there for a short number of hours with a late drop off and early pick up but in that time we were bowled over by the service especially for honeymooners. The complimentary sparkling wine, flowers on the bed and then the rose petal explosion in our room after a lovely dinner was very special. We even had our own private dinner in the conservatory with even more rose petals everywhere. Definitely something we will remember for a very long time!

Hotel Riu Palace Zanzibar 4

The location and the rooms were stunning. Amazing luxury in such beautiful surroundings. The gardens are amazing, the beach and swimming pool are spectacular and the rooms are very spacious and decadent. The spa is beautiful and feels like a retreat from the rest of the complex. The service from housekeeping, bar staff and restaurant staff was excellent. The only things dropping it from Excellent to Good overall were : -the food which was good but the buffet was luke-warm generally and had a slightly clinical feel - the fact it felt like if you were to complain they would pull out the stops but to try to appease the situation but you had to prompt them with this threat to get any special treatment (we saw a family talking about giving a bad review being given special treatment for example) - the atmosphere was a little lacking in some areas. Some simple things like candles on the table in the restaurant in the evening to differentiate it from the breakfast and lunch would make a big difference. The bar area was also a little soul-less and despite there being entertainment in the evenings there was never really an atmosphere that made you want to spend any time there. - The honeymoon room upgrade seems like a false offer given the number of suites available at the upgrade and despite being told we would still get the food upgrade without the room upgrade this was not the case when we were there (despite pointing this out twice). This started the holiday on a slightly negative note. - Our pickup on the last day was not until 4pm and we had to check out at 12 but were told we would have to pay an extra $35 dollars each to have lunch as we'd had lunch on our arrival day. This approach isn't unreasonable from them from a business point of view but from an all-inclusive guest perspective seemed petty (and ludicrously expensive for the quality of food - given what we had experience at House of Waine) and meant we left on a slightly negative note. - For honeymooners there were extras in the package like the sparkling wine on arrival and beach dinner which is a lovely touch. The sparkling wine was a lovely gesture. The dinner on the beach was amazing but was difficult to book as you could only do it through Samantha (Guest relations manager) who seemed elusive to 'a normal guest'. These extras felt like the hotel was going through a motion rather than doing it for a personal touch (perhaps this is due to size of the hotel but as a honeymooner it felt slightly disappointing especially after the amazing experience at the House of Waine. On the other hand the transfer company and the excursions by Gallery Tours were exemplary. The level of service was amazing, the guides were incredibly knowledgeable and really tailored the tours to our needs. We did the Stone Town tour, the spice tour and the dolphin excursion. These are the real highlights of Zanzibar for us and showed us how warm and friendly the Tanzanians are. Overall the Hideaway was exceptionally decadent and clean and with some slight tweaks (especially for honeymooners) would fall into the excellent category.

Staff Review 5

All was excellent.