We stayed at Zi Villa for 7 nights in October - my wife and I plus 3 children (16, 13 and 11). I'd stayed there before in 2005 (for a friend's 40th) and had been bowled over by the place - hence my return this year. I must admit to a element of nervousness before we got there - how would the children handle it? Zanzibar (and Zi Villa) was, I recalled, very different to the typical tropical island hotel experience (where daily experiences are pretty much controlled and sanitised by the hotel staff). By contrast, at Zi Villa, we tended to be the masters of our own experiences, always on the lookout for new things to do (and always willingly assisted by the locals who were/are quick to provide transport (read: dhow) to take you fishing, snorkeling, diving, up the coast to a restaurant.) Anyway, the whole experience worked out very well - the kids had an amazing and never-to-be-forgotten time. Believe me, they saw both sides of the island (eye popping "poverty" as well as unbelievable natural beauty) - but that just added to the overall experience.
Staff were extremely attentive and willing to assist - nothing was a problem (hakuna matata) and we barely lifted a finger around the well appointed and comfortable house. Did PADI Open Water 1 as well (with my 16 year old) - so came away with something in addtion to lasting memories. Lastly, if you do spend some time at Zi Villa, pop over at 6pm to the sand bar at Matemwe Bungalows (about 500m down the beach) for dhowas and caipirinhas. A perfect end to day in Zanzibar and Zi Villa....
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There were 10 of us who stayed at Zi Villa for 3 nights and it didn't disappoint us. My partner and I were lucky to score the 'sultan' suite upstairs with the most amazing size room, ensuite, gigantic bed and a gorgeous balcony with views across the ocean. The pool surpassed my expectations being amazingly deep and large. It was also salt chlorinated which was a bonus. Steps close by took you right down onto the beach in seconds.
The villa had a lovely homely feel about it but it had generous sized rooms and lovely decor depicting the surrounding area. The staff were lovely and discreet but there if we needed them. Our meals were very tasty with fresh fish caught daily and served lovely and hot.
For snorkelling and diving you could take off right from the beach in front of the Villa and I would highly recommend the snorkelling just off the reef.
I have stayed in many resorts around the world but this was truly one of the most beautiful and relaxing places I have ever stayed at.
The only slight negative if I had to say would be that the showers were always cold and slow, but when you consider where you are and how warm it is, it is not really an issue.
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Wonderful holiday experience!! Going back for our 3rd time!! A fantastic destination for a group of friends to relax around the huge private pool looking over the clear Zanzi sea. Snorkeling was the best ever with very helpful local boat owner. Everything was more than we expected. I would definetly recommend this Villa over a Hotel stay - its like your own boutique hotel. THe manager of the Villa will go out of his way to make arrangements for trips to town/snorkelling or whatever you wish to do. Take your own snorkeling equipment - do not want to miss out on that experience.
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