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“This was a near-perfect place for us; we'd go...”
OceanView Villa  Beachfront Villa -Veranda w/Great Ocean Views
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OceanView Villa  Beachfront Villa -Veranda w/Great Ocean Views
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Very good
27 reviews
OceanView Villa  Beachfront Villa -Veranda w/Great Ocean Views
Guestroom
Dining on the veranda
Bungalows exterior
Bungalow veranda
Bungalow veranda
Beach Scene
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Overview
Villa -
4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 12
Kiwengwa, Zanzibar Island, Zanzibar Archipelago

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 27 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
English first
French first
Any
English first
Dargirl5
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Not as described... not what I wanted.. I like swimming in clean water.”
Reviewed 18 January 2013 for a stay in December 2012
8
people found this review helpful

Although Futari and the staff did their best, My friend and I made the best of what turned out to be a huge disappointment with regards the accomadation and location. Much has already been said about the extreme tides and the human excrement and rubbish on the beach in the fishing village right next to Ocean Villa.

There were many features named in the 'ammenaties' section e.g. airconditioning that just didn't exist.. to name but one.... however fair enough there was no mention of this BUT there were no safes in the room. I now see why my question about security pre-holiday was ill received....

for me the BIGGEST disappointment was the very very poor swimming outside the villa... I was dreaming of crystal clear CLEAN water... and what I got was a soup of seaweed.. village rubbish burried in the sand for me to walk on.. and village extcrement a hop skip and a jump away from the villa, despite the gardners constant efforts to keep the patch infront of the villa clear... perhaps if the hotel/villa owners got together they could help solve this problem... I am not sure how the issue of the seaweed farm could be resolved.. but it does impede on the holiday experience..

I won't go on as much has been said about standards... I do hope the owners take on board thier guests comments and work towards improving thier fascility so that people get what they are expecting..

I liked the staff they did their best.. but it was not the holiday I expected and not as described on the package.. I am affraid Kevins review and Jusaja (Finland) were the closest to the truth from all the reveiws I read. The potential is there if things improve.

Good luck as Zanzibar is a beautiful island with lovely people.. so you have all the magic ingrediants to put things right.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Rambo the security dog... singing along with the call to prayer..
Liked least: Cleanliness of beach because villa on outskirts of fishing village.
Travelling group: Friends
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
18 Jan 2013
Dear Brenda & Sarah
How shameful of you to write bad stories that do not exists. We do not advertise air conditioning system anywhere, neither in Trip Advisor or on our website. Everywhere in the “Amenities’ section we have “ceiling fans”. We are totally puzzled about your inventions. The same goes about the village beach, please address your complains to the sheha of the village. We have nothing to do with it. Our property is sparkling clean and too bad you missed to see the beauty of our tropical garden and the gorgeous beach in front of our property. How utterly ungrateful you are! Obviously, it makes you happy to ruin other people’s livelihood. One day, if you loose your job, remember what you did to us.
Lilia
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrendaBo
Kalkan, Turkey
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Extremely disappointing”
Reviewed 18 January 2013 for a stay in December 2012
4
people found this review helpful

Ocean View Villa and Bungalows should be renamed "Ocean Glimpse". The property is set back behind gardens with trees and shrubs, a wall and two fences so that it is only possible to glimpse the ocean.

The amenities described suggested that self catering would be possible but all the cooking facilities are for the use of staff only. The air conditioning does not exist other than in the imagination of the owner!

We stayed for a month and a major concern for us was keeping money and valuables on the property since there is no safe and we often arrived back at the villa in the middle of the afternoon to find the front door open but nobody about. The guard dog, Rambo, was very alert at night but we rarely saw him during the heat of the day. A trip to Stone Town to use an ATM costs 50 USD so regular trips would have been a costly option. Lilia refused to accept weekly Paypal payments for food despite our explanation of the difficulties.

Turn right from the property onto the beach and you are immediately faced by a long stretch of beach used by the the villagers as a rubbish dump and toilet. Furthermore, we were advised not to walk along the beach after dark because of the danger of being robbed. This meant that if we wanted to go out at night we had to use taxis. During the day we were pestered by hordes of begging children and adults trying to sell various good and tours. They would not take no for an answer and were a real problem.

We didn't swim in the area immediately in front of the villa because of its proximity to the filth deposited by the villagers. Instead we walked for 15 minutes in either direction to Waikiki and Villa Dida where the beach was clean. At both places we could swim, eat and drink, use their sunbeds and wifi. Without these places the holiday would have been a disaster. We checked out the cost of staying at Waikiki which was far superior to Ocean View and found that it was comparable.

The saving grace of Ocean View Villa and Bungalows was the staff who are lovely people and did their best to please. Our thanks go to Futari, Sofia, Salama and Babu.

How easy was it to book the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: The staff
Liked least: The location and amenities
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
17 Jan 2013
Dear Brenda & Sarah
How shameful of you to write bad stories that do not exists. We do not advertise air conditioning system anywhere, neither in Trip Advisor or on our website. Everywhere in the “Amenities’ section we have “ceiling fans”. We are totally puzzled about your inventions. The same goes about the village beach, please address your complains to the sheha of the village. We have nothing to do with it. Our property is sparkling clean and too bad you missed to see the beauty of our tropical garden and the gorgeous beach in front of our property. How utterly ungrateful you are! Obviously, it makes you happy to ruin other people’s livelihood. One day, if you loose your job, remember what you did to us.
Lilia
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TwoLittle...
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Avoid OceanView Bungalows - there are MANY better options for a Zanzibar beach vacation”
Reviewed 7 January 2013 for a stay in December 2012
3
people found this review helpful

My wife and I stayed in one of the bungalow rooms on the OceanView villa property. We went to Zanzibar seeking relaxation and rest following a trek and safari in late December. We decided to stay at OceanView Villa and Bungalows primarily because of the positive reviews posted here.

My primary advice: take the other reviews with a grain of salt and spend a few more minutes searching for another resort/hotel/bungalow. There are many, many better options in this same price range. We spent most of our days using the amenities and beaches of other resorts nearby. We also ate most of our meals at other resorts.

Pros -

Clean, large rooms.

Friendly local staff

Wholesome homemade food. Futari's food is wholesome, if not especially flavorful. We only ate 2 meals at OceanView because the atmosphere was not especially inviting and there was only 1 vegetarian option for my wife.

Cons -

Amenities are blatantly misrepresented - no AirCon, soap and shampoo were not provided, no real ocean views from the bungalow.

The bungalow rooms are absolutely stifling. There is no cross-ventilation and we had only one small circulating fan to complement the weak overhead fan. While the owner, Lilia, clearly lists "Air Conditioning" on the amenities list, this is simply not true. She is misrepresenting the amenities in the bungalow.

It is not possible to swim in front of villa. The local villagers cultivate seaweed and there is a very large (200 feet) tide. You would have to wade through knee-deep seaweed for 10 minutes to walk out to the ocean during the day.

You cannot see the ocean from the bungalow. There are two large gates and many trees blocking the view of the ocean.

There are only 2 beach chairs, shared between 4-5 people staying the villa and the 3-4 people staying in the bungalow rooms. We were never able to use a beach chair during our stay.

There are many other options nearby. We spent much of our time at the Waikiki Beach resort, about a 15 minute walk from OceanView. They have good food, friendly staff and an inviting atmosphere.

It is dangerous to walk along beach at night. Children from the village blatantly tried to pick our pockets and attempted to surround us while we were walking at dusk. In addition, the beach in front of the village is COVERED with human excrement and garbage.

The friendly dog referenced in the other reviews barked loudly and for extended times 4 out of 5 nights we were there. We found it very difficult to sleep at night given the loud dog and stifling heat.

It is very expensive to take taxis from here. This is more of a fact of life in Zanzibar, but the standard price is $45-50 to go to Stonetown, which is the only place with ATMs and the only place to buy most provisions.

The owner, Lillia, lives in the US and I had to speak with her once to clear up a misunderstanding about payment. She was aggressive to the point of being rude.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Friendly local staff
Liked least: Lack of swimming beach, no beach chairs, loud dog barking at night
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
7 Jan 2013
Dear Kevin
You didn’t have to stay with us if there were “many better options in this same price range”, you only paid $55 per person for your holiday stay. You were free to walk out and stay wherever you are happy. On the opposite you cannot find as low rate as ours in the area for a bungalow on the beach. Our food prices are also competitively the lowest.
The dog is guard dog to keep our guests save and I know that he doesn’t bark for no reason or often.
We have one of the most spectacular beaches with a choice to swim at low or high tide which you have obviously failed to notice. Instead, you used all the untrue stories in your review as an excuse to sneak out on your departure day without paying gratuities to our very accommodating staff, well, to you, they are just African slaves aren’t they?!
You really tried your best to ruin our livelihood. Your mission is ruining other people’s lives?! How utterly selfish, inconsiderate and down right low life!
Lilia
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
granga2
Orcas Island, Wash
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“This was a near-perfect place for us; we'd go back!”
Reviewed 21 December 2012 for a stay in November 2012

This very nicely furnished home right on the beach was a wonderful interlude for us after traveling on a safari and working in an orphanage. One of us had broken her leg on the last day of the safari, and simply needed to lay around with her leg elevated; the lounge chairs on the veranda were the perfect solution to that dilemma. Futari made most of our meals, as we really couldn't go anywhere, and that was a real treat! Cooling breezes from the ocean were helpful in the hot and humid weather, something we were not used to. A small pool would be nice..... The beach, while beautiful, is not swimmable. The tide goes out about half a mile, and you can never get past your knees. Gardens were beautiful.
It should be noted that the 4th bedroom is VERY small, and is not ideal for a guest. But the large master bedroom with its ensuite bath was luxurious. A very good value.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: wonderfully relaxing, delicious meals
Liked least: The power goes off sometimes (all over the island) and thus the fans go off, too.
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
20 Dec 2012
Dear Sally
Thank you for the review. However, I have to disagree with you about the swimming.
My husband and I were there for our vacation and I went swimming everyday for all the 5 weeks we were there. The Indian Ocean is just like any other sea or oceans, it has low and high tides and they change twice per day. Everyday I was swimming during the high tides and also during the low tide, when the water starts to withdraw slowly, it’s like a swimming pool, I love to float so I would enjoy floating for hours. Children also love it because they can choose the level of water they want for swimming. I’m flabbergasted that you never saw the high tides?????!!!!!!
There was no reason for you to review the 4th bedroom. This bedroom we use for extra person just like in hotels they would give you an extra bed but here is a room instead. Sometimes our guests have placed a small child there or a teenager. We are very upset by your review. After our staff carried you around due to your broken leg and did everything to make your stay comfortable, you write such a bad review.
Where is the appreciation? And if you didn’t like it why would you want to go back?
Lilia
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofianDXB
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great house, great location but far from youth destination”
Reviewed 2 September 2012 for a stay in August 2012
2
people found this review helpful

The place is very nice, the house is very big, clean and well maintained. The welcoming is warm and we really enjoyed spending time there. However I would recommend it to family or to older couples as the attractive places for youth are Ningwi and Stonetown which are both at least USD20 away by taxi.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The location: literally on the beach
Liked least: The location: Far from Ningwi and Stonetown
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Older travelers Families with young children
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Adults2
Children0
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