Zanzibar Hotels

Ocean Paradise Resort

This large resort is located on Zanzibar’s east coast in the resort-heavy Kiwengwa region. It is operated by Gulf Hotels. The resort comprises 98 rooms, two of which are Junior Suites. The rooms are housed in modernised copies of traditional Swahili chalets with makuti (palm thatch) roofs. The chalets are spread out over 6.5 hectares of sculpted garden. This takes the edge off the sterile ‘chain’ feel which tends to stain branded resorts of this size.

Accommodation at Ocean Paradise Resort

All rooms include air-conditioning and ceiling fans, satellite televisions, direct-dial telephones, mini-bars hair-dryers and safes. All are en suite and have private balconies. All are sea facing. The rooms are large and very comfortable. Junior suites include an extra adjoining living room. As with many resorts in the area the air-conditioning and water have a tendency to be unreliable, but staff are very obliging and it should always be possible to find someone to help.

Dining at Ocean Paradise Resort

The resort offers a choice of restaurants. The Ocean Restaurant is the main eatery. It is on the second floor and has wonderful views. Here an extensive daily breakfast buffet is served as well as, by candlelight, the evening buffet. The menu changes daily. Food is good and the hotel uses fresh local produce. However Ocean Paradise’s menu is not as exciting or consistently well prepared as that of some of the other resorts in the region

The Jahazi Restaurant serves snacks and pizza by the pool all day. The food on offer is average but satisfying. The resort’s beach front Mawimbi Restaurant is its most exclusive option. It serves Zanzibar Fusion cuisine (typical Zanzibari dishes with Asian and European influences). The hotel provides a variety of night-time entertainments from live music and African dancing to acrobatic displays.

Service at Ocean Paradise Resort

The hotel’s staff are very friendly. Expect to hear the greeting “Jambo!” repeatedly and “Hakuna matata” (no problem) almost as often. The service on offer is ‘luxury’ and staff do go the extra mile to ensure you are happy during your time at the resort. Beds may be laid with flowers and some cleaning staff will even turn your towels into rudimentary towel-gami animals. Tipping is not allowed and guests are not expected to carry cash.

Things to do at Paradise Ocean

The hotel has a very large and well-maintained pool (one of the largest on the island) where one can relax on the sun-loungers or swim. The resort overlooks a large and quiet stretch of beach. Be warned that seaweed farming takes place in this area and you are likely to encounter locals gathering in the crop. This means that stretches of the beach near here can get very weedy. However, there are still plenty of good spots for bathing (at high tide) and exploring the reefs.

Many water-sports are on offer. The resort has an onsite PADI dive specialist who will help organize scuba courses for those wishing to dive on the reefs. There is also kayaking, wind-surfing and snorkeling on offer.

The resort has an activity centre which includes table tennis, beach volleyball and billiards. Hotel staff often organize competitions which are a great way to meet other guests and make friends.

The Guest Relations manager at the resort will happily organize excursions to Stone Town, Prison Island, spice plantations or the Jozani Forest. However, in the area around the resort there is little to do and guests are largely expected to keep to the resort’s private facilities and beach.

The hotel offers a number of other facilities including a fully equipped and air-conditioned conference centre, honeymoon and wedding packages, internet access in the reception area and large sports screens.

How to get to Ocean Paradise Resort.

The resort is a 45 minute drive from Zanzibar Airport and the hotel is able to arrange transfers for a flat fare from there or from Stone Town (just slightly further). Otherwise one can hire a car (with or without driver) or take a taxi from Stone Town.

Much of the east coast around these parts has been developed to reflect the luxury requirements of Western travellers. However, the surrounding villages and the roads reflect the poverty of Tanzania. One must be prepared for the fact that the country is still developing.

Although the tourist industry has proved a destructive force in many parts of the country, it is also important to bear in mind that many resorts and hotels are now contributing to funds to support locals, and that eco-tourism projects are advancing throughout Zanzibar.

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