Most importantly – Does the hotel and room do what it’s supposed to do?
Absolutely. The Tulia Zanzibar Beach Resort is a truly 5 star luxury hotel set in an incredible location that provides everything you can desire and throws in a few things you probably didn’t think you needed but you’ll love anyway.
How did we rate the experience before we stepped into the room?
Tulia Zanzibar Beach Resort stands out from the arrival as this is the only hotel in East Africa we visited that really focuses on the total package, including the approach to the hotel. Turning off the main road you drive down a surprisingly well made drive (no potholes here) which is lined with exotic and picture perfect trees and plants.
The hotel is very small which has allowed the designers to really go wild with the gardens and you’re hit with a wall of glorious colour and life as you approach reception. Next up is the meandering pool which looks so pretty and ornate you almost don’t want to jump in as you’ll spoil the water feature.
And then past the pool lies Pongwe Beach and the turquoise and light blue lapping waves of the Indian Ocean. By the time you reach the room, you already know you’re going to have a great stay.
Does it cover the basic needs?
Breakfast – gorgeous, healthy and high quality… I actually 2.5 breakfasts on the last day of our stay
Comfy bed – huge, luxurious and romantic… the centrepiece of the villa rooms
Decent towels – of course
Fridge – yes, most of your drinks will be from the bar
Good pillows – of course
Parking – valet parking
Safe – yes, although we didn’t really need it as the hotel is well enclosed and guarded by both Masai warriors and guards.
Shower with decent water pressure – yes, and a huge bath to boot.
Wifi – great wifi
What makes your stay feel special?
The hotel is an oasis in a country that, inland, certainly lacks the colour and beauty of the beaches. The Tulia Zanzibar really stands out as a fresh and colourful garden that makes you feel relaxed and at home.
The hotel staff are keen to point out that Tulia Zanzibar features the only water slides on the island and it’s certainly a fun addition to your stay. However, the real fun side of the water slide is that wherever you are in the hotel grounds: by the beach, by the pool or in the gardens by the slide…. There’s always the cool and calming sounds of water gentling breaking. If you want a relaxing break, then Tulia Zanzibar is at times hypnotic.
Oh… and you’re on maybe the most beautiful beach in the world.
Does the hotel and room make sense?
Tulia Zanzibar features a limited number of villas which are opulently furnished. The hotel is relatively new and so features plenty of mod cons and there’s no peeling paint inside.
The compact design and abundance of flowers and plants starkly contrasts with their room designs; they are spacious and uncluttered. The 4 poster bed was the centrepiece of the villa and the bar behind the headboard is convenient for night caps and champagne breakfasts.
The shower is in a separate area at the back and the giant bath is position by the south facing Venetian windows, so that you can watch the sunrise come up from the luxury of your bubble bath.
…Or the Jacuzzi. The rooms feature their own jacuzzi on your private porch. It’s the perfect place to relax after a tough safari.
The hotel is small and luxurious and the restaurant’s offering perfectly reflect this. Meals are a la carte but the staff do a great job adapting to your dietary needs and requests.
Whilst the meals are low on choice, the juicy steaks are cooked to perfection and the sorbets slip down with addictive ease. The quality of simple ingredients like fruit makes the food stand out and satisfies you irrespective of what you felt like having.
The hotel also does dinners on the beach, overlooking the lapping waves and showcases Masai Warrior dance shows.
In short, dinner time is an event.
Best extras included?
The hotel has a number of unique extras including water slides and canoe rental. The garden certainly makes a case for best extra included, and that’s if you can tear yourself away from the beach and the jacuzzzi.
The hotel also has a full treatment spa. Whilst I may have written a light hearted article about my first massage… it certainly was a very good, relaxing massage and yet another reason to spend as much time as possible at the hotel.
We only stayed two days and would say you probably need at least double that to really take advantage of all the extras of this little pocket of paradise.
We’ve written it before about hotels and restaurants in Zanzibar but service could have been better. In defence to the hotel staff, the concierges, porters, waiters and the laundry team were all very professional and efficient. The biggest issue was the bar staff who once took over 20 mins to deliver 2 cocktails …which is something that a young hotel should be able to rectify.
The Tulia Zanzibar is right up there with the best hotels we have ever stayed at. The gardens make the hotel unique and incredibly relaxing, the ocean and beach are breath taking and the food, rooms, and the myriad of extras make this an unusual mix of total relaxation and constant thrills.
Thank you to Tulia Zanzibar Beach Resort for sponsoring our stay, however as always, are opinions are honest and our own.
Last modified: 4th March 2017