Over on Zanzibar then, again, Sunshine, was a really great choice. We didn’t quite work out that the half board nature of it meant that our evening meal was included! On the first night we headed off to a local restaurant. It was only a small matter as the second night we dined in and I was very delighted when the mega valentines seafood buffet bill arrived at about a tenner each which incuded our wine and drinks etc… It’s a lovely hotel and the local feel was excellent as well. Snorkelling was brill as well.
It was relaxing and quiet, and a great place to wash off the jungle dust. The honeymoon suite with private beach and plunge pool was lovely. The staff were friendly and welcoming, and organised trips to a spice farm, Stone Town and snorkelling. Overall the food was good, but choices were sometimes limited. The beach was lovely, but as you have to walk out quite far to swim in the sea we tended to use the swimming pool.
The honeymoon suite at the Sunshine Hotel was great as well. We brought a hammock with us and strung it up on the deck to relax in the shade. I told the guest services manager that we would’ve paid more for a butler and/or room service phone so we never had to leave our beach. The plunge pool was great and I recommend that they purchase a hammock for the deck as well.
while we really enjoyed the Sunshine Hotel (service was excellent and the hotel was immaculately maintained) we found the area of Matemwe to be very slow. Besides a few other hotels on the beach, there was nothing else going on in the island. By 930pm the hotel bar was closed and there were no other options for nightlife. During the day the hotel had car services that went to other places but the prices were extremely high. To get to Nungwi the hotel offered an $80 cab ride there, meanwhile a friendly person at hotel arranged an outside cab that was $40. My point is it was very expensive to get around and there was not much to do. Also there was a lot of aggressive pan handlers on the beach and with little to no other tourists on the beach, we were singled out making it difficult to enjoy any beach time; which was a main draw to going to Zanzibar. Overall, all the hotels we’d rate a 5 for service and cleanliness. The staff at each hotel was superb.
Sunshine Hotel - 4.5 out of 5. Beautiful lodge. We loved the facility. It was the only nearby lodge with little beach cabanas for their guests. The suites we booked were excellent as well. Service was great. The meal options were mostly good. There was one night that the half-board options were only OK, but other than that it was fine. Despite the wonderful hotel, we didn't particularly love Matemwe when we compared it to other beaches we've been to (mostly in the US and Caribbean). It was extremely windy and almost chilly at times (of course it is middle of winter there now). The water is colder than we are used to on the southeast coastal areas of the US or the Gulf of Mexico so we didn't feel like doing any of the snorkeling opportunities. The locals frequently interrupt your quiet walks on the beach or your relaxing time laying out with a book to try and sell you trinkets or stand there awkwardly displaying one item after another from their bag hoping you'll get excited and come buy something. We heard it is worse in some of the other beaches on the island like Nungwi. We did a tour of Stone Town before we left for the airport. The manager at the hotel contacted Zanzibar Travel Services to negotiate the adjustment to our pickup time and arrange for the tour for us so that we could make it to the airport on time. We enjoyed the slavery museum, the Sultan's palace, and some of the other things we saw, though we were a little surprised at the lack of upkeep all around. It seemed they could use a little more structure in how they preserve some of their treasured pieces of history.