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Old Apr 10, 12, 10:38 am   #1
 
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Zanzibar

Alas not for me, but am helping a non internet savvy friend get some ideas together. He will be spending a couple of weeks on the mainland, doing safaris etc. But he has just 'found' 3 days at the front end of his trip that he didn't think he would have, and would like to ponder going to Zanzibar. He likes higher end properties, so was wondering if the good people of this forum had any suggestions. I've looked at Mnemba, which looks lovely, but is there anything on the main island he should consider as well? I get the impression he'd be happier being able to explore towns than flop on a beach. I looked at Hurumzi, but I am not super enthralled by it, Ras Kutani looks reasonable from what I can find, but seems like there is little to do (and he isn't really the sit on the beach type, but likes fishing, if that is something he could do there?)

Thanks!
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Old Apr 11, 12, 5:59 am   #2
 
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We went a number of years ago. Spent 2 nights at the Serena Inn near town and 5 nights at mbemba. I did not think either was luxury. Serena was pretty basic, but right on the water, and we had a large suite on the second floor with a large terrace. Mnemba had beautiful beaches, nice food, ok diving ( not as good as Seychelles or close to Maldives). But for me at the time I found too rustic. But, we were there maybe 7 years ago so better to find someone who has been more recently. Limited generator time, and long walk over sand crabs and bugs to reach the bathroom at night.....again, maybe this has all changed!
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Old Apr 11, 12, 7:07 am   #3
 
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Thanks! You are right, not really my idea of luxury I have to say. I'm guessing they won't be able to dive (with flights in and out and such a short time) Was there anything else you did activity wise that you would recommend?
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Old Apr 11, 12, 1:09 pm   #4
 
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Mnemba was not AT ALL rustic in our visit last year. I did not use my sandals even once during our stay as grounds were very well maintained. It probably had a major refurbishment recently. Diving was very convinient, luxurious and private.

As long as wanting to stay closer to Stone town, Serena is probably the best option as you can walk all around town very easily. Other luxury resorts will require a bit of drive. You may want to look at Baraza and The Residence. Best would be to combine Serena with a more secluded resort.
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Old Apr 11, 12, 2:24 pm   #5
 
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Consider Mafia Island, a lot less tourists, but the luxury is the complete lack of people. The previous Kempinski in Zanzibar is also considered one of the "better" hotels on Zanzibar. Stayed there whilst it was still a Kempinski. There is also a third island where all the "celeberties" stay but the name escapes me now.
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Old Apr 11, 12, 6:05 pm   #6
 
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Thanks for the information guys!
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Old Apr 11, 12, 8:30 pm   #7
 
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I didn't find Mnemba rustic either - just (very!) pared back luxury. Found the diving way superior to anything in Maldives and i've dived a lot in the maldives, deep sea fishing excellent, had fun body boarding on one day, great food. I don't remember lying around on the beach too much (although i do actually enjoy that!) so wouldn't imagine your friend would be bored.
Also enjoyed Stone Town - stayed in Serena Inn and found it fine - nothing special in itself but a more than adequate base for what is a very interesting town.
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Old Apr 11, 12, 8:52 pm   #8
 
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Also enjoyed Stone Town - stayed in Serena Inn and found it fine - nothing special in itself but a more than adequate base for what is a very interesting town.
Many years ago they had an all-you-can-eat lobster night. That was definitively very fine but didn't last long.
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Old Apr 12, 12, 7:22 am   #9
 
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My friend loves fishing and Mnemba is leading on that score, glad to hear first hand the fishing was good. Did you need to book the deep sea fishing ahead of time? As they are only there for a short time, I don't want them to miss out because of booking timings etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadogan1 View Post
I didn't find Mnemba rustic either - just (very!) pared back luxury. Found the diving way superior to anything in Maldives and i've dived a lot in the maldives, deep sea fishing excellent, had fun body boarding on one day, great food. I don't remember lying around on the beach too much (although i do actually enjoy that!) so wouldn't imagine your friend would be bored.
Also enjoyed Stone Town - stayed in Serena Inn and found it fine - nothing special in itself but a more than adequate base for what is a very interesting town.
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Old Apr 12, 12, 1:34 pm   #10
 
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My friend loves fishing and Mnemba is leading on that score, glad to hear first hand the fishing was good.
If good enough for Hemingway you might like it too!
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Old Apr 12, 12, 8:23 pm   #11
 
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we didn't prebook the deep sea fishing trip but might be worth organising ahead of time to be certain. I am pretty certain they would accommodate you no matter what but they way they run trips was quite aman-like - personalised, individual boats, delicious hot chocolate etc provided when we got back on the boat from dive trips etc! It all felt very luxurious and well run.
It was 11 years ago i was there but i think we did our deep sea fishing on the first day (when we would not have been able to dive having just come off international flights) so we were free to dive daily after that - the diving was spectacular...whale sharks every day, amazing other fish. Honestly it has slightly ruined scuba diving for me as nothing else since has ever lived up to it!
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Old Apr 12, 12, 8:45 pm   #12
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lots of good info

mnemba >
2011 aesla11
2005 Larkin
2001 cadogan1

aesla11, diving - mnemba vs amanwana ?

one thing about maldives is few if any FS explorer reports
(dont think BT velaa does diving, although upcoming soneva boat might)

of the 3 wana cruise reports, only 1 appears to have done diving, with no report

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Apr 12, 12 at 9:28 pm.
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Old Apr 12, 12, 9:09 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
2011 aesla11
2005 Larkin
2001 cadogan1

aesla11, diving - mnemba vs amanwana ?

one thing about maldives is few if any FS explorer reports
(dont think BT velaa does diving, although upcoming soneva boat might)

of the 3 wana cruise reports, only 1 appears to have done diving, with no report
Mnemba's diving did compare quite a bit with Amanwana, both in quality of dives as well as extremely personalized service. Unfortuantely, Whale Sharks have not been common there for years now. Staff told us they now go further south. But I fear Chinese Shark fin soup's influence as they have penetrated East Africa's markets in lieu of using their waters for fishing purposes! Both Amanwana and Mnemba are world class diving destinations and had lots of beautiful reef, amazing smaller ocean life and occasional white/black tip shark viewing. However, Maldives has many more opportunities in encountering larger ocean life. Mnemba would be great for those who want an Aman quality beach destination after a safari. However, if distance is not an issue, the elite Maldivian resorts win hands down in all categories (especially pricing).
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Old Apr 12, 12, 9:24 pm   #14
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thanks

interesting how things change, and comparisons can be for different things
(at least to those of us who have not started diving yet)

maldives are best beach value because higher density and higher occupancy

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...l#post18359724
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Old Apr 13, 12, 12:49 am   #15
 
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Great to hear Mnemba no longer rustic ad really nice beaches and great post safari.
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