I visited with my husband and two friends for two weeks. We had an extremely relaxing stay, with just enough excursions to keep ourselves from putting down roots.
The property is even more spacious than the pictures online suggest and it is decorated in beautiful African artwork throughout. The "Sultan" bedroom on the first floor really is a sight to behold! We all thoroughly enjoyed playing cards late into the evening on the extremely comfortable sofas.
The staff were an absolute delight - friendly to the last, and nothing was too much trouble. We'd like to extend an extra special thank you to our 'rafiki', George.
The food was delicious. Although not 'haute cuisine', the menu was varied enough to keep us on our toes: some Western dishes and some more local creations. We didn't ask for anything in particular and left the Chefs to create the menus, but they would absolutely have made any meals we asked for, had we done so.
In terms of the weather, we were unlucky... the first few days were wall-to-wall rain, and for the rest of the trip most of the days were sunny in the morning only. The staff were surprised, too, as usually at this time of year the weather would have been better. Global warming at work, perhaps. Nonetheless, we were able to make the best use of the sunshine available around the wonderful cool pool and retire inside in the afternoons.
For excursions, we went diving and snorkeling with Dive Point (the dive centre boats collect directly from the beach in front of the villa), to Cheetah's Rock (endangered animal sanctuary), and to Stonetown. The highlight was definitely Cheetah's Rock. If you're an animal lover, we'd highly recommend it if you can secure a reservation. The diving was splendid. The variety of animals was startling (reef sharks, turtle, lion fish, rays, eels etc.), although sadly much of the coral at Mnemba seemed to be dead.
We were sad to leave, and would absolutely visit again; perhaps with a bigger party next time!
Beautiful location on a fairly remote private beach. Walking distance from a local fishing village gives glimpses into the unhurried daily lives of the local fishermen and their families. Villa facilities superb, nothing lacking. Staff are friendly and attentive, nothing is too much trouble and meals outstanding.
Words cannot begin to express the splendor, exquisite untouched beauty and hospitality of this little piece of paradise. We stayed in the Cottage, with its own pool and private beach. The cottage offered 2 large and very comfortable bedrooms with king sized beds, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, lounge and large patio. The 3 meals per day were delicious and the portions significantly generous. The beach is literally on your doorstep and the views are the best I have come across, across the globe. But what sets Zi villa apart from any other establishment on the island, is the warm, personalized and superb staff and service, coupled with peace and seclusion ( you will not see another foreigner in site... only the blissfully locals who live off the see). I celebrated by 40 birthday at Zi Villa cottage and was given a surprise dinner, completed with fully decorated dining no table, with palm fronds and fresh flowers, a seafood platter second to none, and a personalized birthday cake!!
Staff personally took us scuba diving, swimming with turtles and dolphins and touring on the island. We honestly have made friends for life and my streaming tears onleaving was proof of this.
We cannot wait to return to Zanzibar and there will only be 1 place on the island we will stay.....,
Zi Villa all the way!!!!!
This is a spacious and interestingly decorated villa, clad in the local coral under a palm leaf roof, typical of eastern Africa coastal properties. The garden was immaculately kept and the pool area was delightful with most welcome shaded areas. The beach was just a steep flight of steps away.
The villa staff were kind and helpful, with George being a thoughtful and resourceful host. The chefs worked hard, making almost everything from scratch, but we were surprised at how hard we had to work to coax some seafood out of the kitchen, despite watching bucket loads of freshly caught fish being unloaded daily on the beach. The South African wines and local beer were great accompaniments to the meals.
We enjoyed snorkelling and a beach BBQ lunch on a stunning nearby beach and a second trip on a sailing boat was a particular highlight.
However, we were alarmed at the frequency of unannounced and rather intimidating visits from the local government officials (10 in one visit) which felt like an invasion of privacy. No doubt these visits are made to all villas but they will have the effect of deterring tourist from Zanzibar if they are not careful. Perhaps they could apply their resources to improving the appalling road which serves the beachside properties.
The wiring in the villa was infuriating with most sockets being of the extra large 3 pin circular variety which were incompatible with all travel chargers so we were obliged to raid the living areas for the limited supply of useable adapters.
There were one or two other niggles which make this a 4 rather than 5 star review but overall we all enjoyed ourselves in this beautifully located villa.
Stayed in this wonderful villa for 4 nights after a safari holiday, perfect place to relax. We were a group of 2 families with 4 children between 10 - 14yrs, pool area is lovely, beach great, though do need to be careful of sea urchins. Kids loved playing in the waves on the beach when tide was in. All the staff were really lovely and looked after us very well without us feeling they were around all the time. Food excellent, had a great snorkelling trip with delicious seafood bbq. Made good use of the excellent pool room and bar!