Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa
Travel Blogs from Pingwe
Our second day on Zanzibar involved a complimentary boat trip across the bay to Paradise Beach. We departed at low tide in three boats, with the obligatory life jackets, and made our way slowly through the shallow waterways, watching the local fishermen and seaweed collectors plying their daily trade. The beach we were able to access by boat was not that attractive and we decided to walk ...
Today is our first full day at the resort. We arrived last night and got settled in, went for dinner, and it was your typical resort show. It is our rest day, time to unwind, sleep in (didn't happen) and lay on the beach (did happen) and look out at the most beautiful turquoise ocean. We are on the west side ...
... type. It looked quite full but we were squeezed in. Jacqui got a seat, Sheryl & Pier had to stand and I sat on that little strip behind the front seats. It was one of those 12 seater buses but I counted 19 people in it. There was a conductor collecting the money and sticking his head out the window, looking for more passengers. I had to get out at one stage to let people off. It was an experience. We found our way back to our BnB and had a ...
... Nungwi, just 3km north is more town like and is where we taxied up to so that Mike could use the Internet cafe to give his GSAP presentation (which he is currently giving as I write and doing very well). I was able to buy some Africa pants though, and was able to get the, to give them to me at the same price as they were in Stone Town, which though still expensive was almost 1/3 of ...
... of the slave and ivory trade. Michael likened the winding maze of markets and side streets to those in Venice, but without the canals. The dress code up until now has been generally western, shirts, jeans, dresses etc, but the islamic faith is widespread throughout Zanzibar and the women are adorned in bright burkas and full body gowns and the men and children also dressed conservatively and traditionally. We spent a few hours in and out of the shops, I bought myself a fabulous ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Karafuu Beach Resort and Spa Pingwe
Karafuu gave me the best holiday of my life, i was there with my family and stayd there from 26 november 2006 - 5th of december 2006. The hotel is stunning, gives an impression of total freedom. I had some of the best snorkeling ever. Even if you just go 3 metres into the sea along the path at karafuu youll encounter alot of beauty. The staff were extremely friendly and even the masai were always greeting. Simply the best ever.The tours were magical, we did the stonetown together with prison island which were awesome and the best snorkeling along prison island. Then we did safari blue which was an experience ill never forget. All tours were booked from within the reception at karafuu.
The staff especially the pool bar men made the days spent beside the pool awesome.
Dont listen to travel agents regarding what they offer, if you want to know exactly what you will receive go to the website itself even ask questions on the forum. [--]
Travel websites give false impressions.
¡Un lugar excelente para una luna de miel!
Hemos estado en el Karafuu de luna de miel y fue una buena elección. Esto hotel está bien situado, en un blanco arenal que bordea una preciosa laguna, las habitaciones son bonitas y las suites junior gozan de unas bonitas vistas del Océano Índico. Decidimos ir en régimen de todo incluido y quedamos muy satisfechos. El bufé era enorme y delicioso y todas las bebidas y cócteles estaban incluidos, incluso en la piscina. Disfrutamos de atenciones especiales por estar de luna de miel, como desayuno en la terraza privada con vistas al mar de nuestra suite, fruta fresca en la habitación, decoración floral y muchas felicitaciones del personal. Nuestra suite junior estaba muy bien decorada, muy limpia y era grande. Nos costó un triunfo hacer el registro de salida y devolver la llave. El personal del Karafuu es tan amable, está siempre tan disponible, sonriente y dispuesto a ayudar... ¿Qué más podemos decir? Fue una experiencia genial y recomendamos sinceramente el Karafuu a personas que vayan de luna de miel o que quieran pasar unos días en uno de los lugares más hermosos de la tierra. Volveremos a Karafuu lo antes que podamos. Sandy y Jeff, de París, Francia.
Excellent place for Honeymooners!
We have been to Karafuu for our Honeymoon and that was the right choice! This hotels is not only well situated on a white sandy beach along a beautiful lagoon, the rooms are pretty and the junior suites give a nice view on the indian ocean!
We had chosen to be in all-inclusive and we were very satisfied! The buffet was very large and delicious, and all drinks and coktails were included, even in the swimming pool! We had special attentions for honeymooners like breakfast on our suite's private terrace facing the sea, fresh fruits in room, flower decoration and many congratulations from the staff!
Our Junior Suite was very well decorated, large and very clean! That was very hard to check-out and give the key back...
The staff of Karafuu is so kind, very available, always smiling and ready to help. What could we add?... That was a great experience and we trully recommend Karafuu to Honeymooners and others who want to spend some time in one the most beautiful places on earth. We will go back to Karafuu as soon as possible!
Sandy and Jeff from Paris-FRANCE
Firstly I feel that a lot of these reviews are a bit harsh...but each for his own
My wife and I just returned from our second trip to Zanzibar, staying the first time at Ras Nungwi in the North.
Our second trip was booked on a rather spur of the moment thing and I picked Karafuu for two reason; Firstly it had a rather attractive all inclusive package and secondly it had a pretty picture in the catalogue.
After booking and paying for this I returned home to read some rather horrific tales on trip advisor and immediately phoned my agent to cancel. The resort was going to nail us with a 100% cancellation fee, so we decided to brave Karafuu.
Firstly the place is nice and friendly with extremely friendly staff, most of which speak English and well as either Spanish or Italian. The Reception was clean and welcoming, and we where shown to our room which was kindly upgraded to a Junior Suite.
The room had the ever essential air-conditioning and was comfortable and clean (yes you noticed I have a thing for cleanliness) The Gardens and pool area was well maintained and If you are a diver the dive center is a very well run operation. In all Karafuu is not a bad place.
There are however a few thing that one should be aware of when booking at Karafuu. Firstly it's a big resort so at times it might lack a bit of personal attention.
The food is ok...but one gets very tired of the same buffet (with small changes) over and over every meal. But to be honest it is a major task to feed all these people, and the still do a good job. Being a bit of an amateur chef, I found the food a bit on the bland side, catering more for their European tastes. But all of these are just personal preferences.
One would also expect a bit more seafood while one holiday at a place like this, but all we got was the odd peace of fish (they do really serve lots of lamb and beef).
They do however have a restaurant on the premises that serves excellent seafood, but this is not included in your "all inclusive package"
"All inclusive" means all meals are included as well as local beer, Koyagi (local gin), soft drinks...all the other stuff is for your bill.
But once again I must commend their kitchen on doing a great job feeding these people.
We didn't do any excursions but we where warned by other guests not to do the Safari Blue offered by the hotel. They where not too happy about it and went the next day on another excursion by an independent company called "Exotic tours"...This excursion was also called Safari Blue, but was much better than the one offered by the hotel...but keep in mind the exotic tours one was at twice the price.
My wife is a diver and the dive center is of a very high standard, with new equipment and very good dive masters and instructors. The dive center also offers a free pool dive with full scuba gear everyday for those that want to give it a try.
In all it's a nice place, better suited for the whole family experience, than honeymooners although they do cater for both. I will rate it a 7/10
Un lugar encantador con gente encantadora
Mi novia y yo estuvimos dos semanas en el complejo de la playa de Karafuu, en diciembre del 2005. Fue como un sueño del primer al último día. No íbamos de luna de miel, pero fue como si tal. Es un sitio muy tranquilo y la playa es muy agradable, de arenas blancas. Nuestra habitación (una suite junior) estaba muy bien amueblada, con un montón de espacio y una decoración muy agradable. Las vistas eran impresionantes. ¡No os perdáis la puesta de sol! Si el complejo es muy agradable, lo que más nos importó a nosotros fue el personal y la gerencia. Hacían muy bien su trabajo y nos hicieron la estancia inolvidable y de lo más agradable. Los empleados son muy amables y siempre están dispuestos a ayudar en cualquier momento. Los gerentes son encantadores y siempre estaban presentes para atender a nuestras peticiones. Así que no os perdáis el Karafuu, es EL sitio a donde ir en Zanzíbar. Laurent y Kathy.
Charming place, Charming people
My girl friend and me spent over 2 weeks at Karafuu beach resort in December 2005. It was like a dream from the first day to the last. We were not on honeymoon trip but it was just like.
Place is very quiet and beach is very nice with a white sand. Our room (a Junior suite) was wery well furnished with lot of space and a very nice decoration. The view from the room was amazing. Don't miss the sunrise !!.
If the resort is very nice the most important thing for us was the staff and the management.
They did a very good job to make our stay very pleasant and unforgettable. Staff is very kind and ready to help you at any time.
Management was very charming and still present to answer to our requests
So don't miss it , Karafuu is the only place to go if you are in Zanzibar.
Laurent & Kathy
Superbe Hotel. Personnel charmant et dévoué.
Cuisine européenne et même du pain français, un luxe!!!
Excellent service restauration grace à 2 managers qui drivent avec délicatesse, intélligence et compétence leur jeunes serveurs.
Très bon centre de plongée avec un staff agréable et avide de vous faire voir plein de choses.
Superbe Plage, notamment à marée basse où les couleurs changent d'un minute à l'autre selon la position de la mer et du soleil, passant du blanc au bleu au vert....
Enfin, un très bon directeur d'hotel, accueillant et toujours à l'écoute...
Bref nous recommandons vivement.
Best Wedding Destination in the World
Our special week at Karafuu.
My wife and I decided to get married at Karafuu because they were one of the few hotels that arrange weddings in Zanzibar. We were lookig for an exotic getaway and we definately found it. The hotel arranged and organised everything for us, from the commisioner to the flowers to the reception meal after the wedding, to the wedding vehicle, which was covered in flowers.
Our room was decorated with flowers and was an absolute awesome experience. Management was on the ball and even arranged for our photos and video to be taken.
It was a truely memorable day for us.
We received excellent service while at Karafuu and have recommended it to all our friends. I shall definately revisit this hotel in years to come.
We also found the staff to be extremely friendly and they all made our holiday a truely memorable one.
Every single staff member at Karafuu without exception went out of their way to make this an unforgetable experience for us, and for that we thank them dearly.
Totally fine for the price
I'm really sorry that the person in the last review has such a terrible stay at Karafuu, but I stayed in June with some friends and didn't find it to be that bad at all.
Basically, Karafuu is cheap by most hotel standards (approx. $90 per night per person for the best beachfront house and breakfast and dinner). It certainly is not a 5 star hotel, but I would never have expected to find the Western equivalent of a 5 star hotel on Zanzibar island. There are other, more expensive hotels on the island that are much more like the 5 star we are used to, but I was prepared for what we got (more like 3 star) because it is so cheap.
The beachfront rooms are simple and clean and lead straight onto the sand. The food was a bit hit and miss, but generally nice and there was lots of choice even with set meals (and i'm really fussy). Lunch in the more relaxed restaurant was definitely tereribly overpriced and very small portions.
The friends we were with ended up getting engaged on the beach and the management and staff couldn't have been more helpful or wonderful - even setting up a romantic walkway of palms and flowers and a blanket and cushions on the beach with champange. However, the manager was aloof and distant after this and rarely around. The staff on the other hand were lovely and we enjoyed chatting to them throughout our stay.
Don't go here expecting anything fancy or lux, but do go here to enjoy the fantastic beach and sunshine in a not too expensive hotel. I imagine it also makes a difference that we are coming with British pounds in comparison to the last reviewer who is exchanging South African R.
A bit dated
We stayed here because we were attending a wedding at the (fully booked) Breezes hotel - and this hotel was the closest to Breezes.
It is billed as a 5-star but it isn't fully up to 5-star standards (no TV, luke warm water, no bottle of water even to brush your teeth). It is a nice place, but a little dated, and the bedrooms are very dark. We only stayed 2 nights which I was glad for becuase it was great to get out to the rest of the island and see a bit of life again. The atmosphere always seemed unnaturally hushed and quiet. The staff were friendly but always seemed to be trying to hard to be formal.
On the plus side the pool was very nice and the beach was really beautiful.
If a resort is what you are going for, Breezes just down the road seemed more contemporary and 'happening'. Both are resorts though, and you don't get to see much of Zanzibar life, or get to soak up any real atmosphere whilst you are enclosed within their large gates. All purchases are therefore at their hotel and at their prices - no alternatives for a breakfast or lunch somewhere else. You would definitely get better value for money at a smaller more relaxed place. Don't be seduced by the thought of it being 5-star because it isn't really.