1. Settlement. Our arrival was in the evening, so they settled without problems and surcharges.
2. Number. Equipped with air conditioning, ceiling fan, refrigerator, two strange concrete beds. with soft mattresses. Hot water was intermittent, but in the wild heat it doesn't matter.
3. The price of the ticket included only breakfast. A cute waitress girl asks just two questions: coffee with or without milk, and an omelette with or without vegetables. This, in principle, is the whole variety in nutrition. Instead of an omelette, you can order boiled eggs.
4. From entertainment in the hotel - only cheerful neighbors.
5. For towels you need to pay a deposit: 10 dollars. for each.
The deposit will be returned upon check-out.
6. To clean up the room, you must leave the key at the reception and say the magic phrase "Please, clean up my room". Swans are not spun, but the bed will be made and the floors will be washed.
7. Beach. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to it. But if you sit down with an independent view of the sunbed you like near any hotel and buy something at the bar there, you won’t be kicked out.
8. Excursions were taken on the beach. Everything was honest, cheaper than the hotel guide, the main thing is to bargain. Beach guys "excursions from Omar" organize everything in good faith.
9. Lunch and dinner went to the surrounding restaurants and "glasses". Delicious, healthy, relatively inexpensive. But lovers of Slavic cuisine should make a supply of lard and sausages before leaving.
In general, the rest in Varadero left only positive emotions and a lot of vivid impressions.
1. Check-in and check-out - no surprises, they don’t settle in advance, when checking out without excesses, the deposit for towels was returned, nothing was attributed
2. There is practically no territory, the courtyard is quite landscaped, there is where to sit, there are two hanging "beds" on which, respectively, you can lie down. Quite noisy from the operation of the pump and air conditioners, they all come out here.
3. The rooms are small, well-equipped (air conditioner, ceiling fan, refrigerator, safe, hair dryer, iron), everything worked. No soundproofing
4. Meals - breakfasts are generally normal, just get ready for a long wait, especially around 7.30-8.00. The menu is tasty and large portions. Next to the street to the right is a restaurant of the same owner with a focus on seafood, more comfortable, but without air conditioning.
5. No entertainment
6. Maintenance of norms, problem solving is not. The broken door that was impossible to open was not repaired all day, only a complaint to the owner (present in the restaurant every evening) helped to solve the problem.
7. Beach - you can use the infrastructure of the SanSeaBar hotel, owned by the same owner. Stomp to it for 10-15 minutes in a rather dull environment. The hotel's beach is comfortable enough, there is a swimming pool. But there are not enough sun loungers when hotels are full, although the staff tries to install portable umbrellas. The water is close, but a lot of parked, out-and-in boats are right in front of you. Hence the garbage at the bottom, the smell of fuel, etc. It is not comfortable to bypass the parking lot of boats in the heat, plus when you move away from the hotel sunbeds, you will fall into the power of rather annoying merchants (they don’t enter the hotel area, for no reason).
8. Excursions - in general, it is safe to buy on the beach, you can bargain. I recommend categorically to refuse any prepayment - it works. Attempts to prick on something are likely, we ran into the seller Maldini - as part of the excursion Jozani forest, Paje beach, Kuza cave - firstly, there was no promised water and fruit, and secondly, instead of Kuza cave they brought to the neighboring Swahili cave or " secret", where you can also take a good swim and take pictures, but this is a very limited location without the set of attractions that Cuza has.
9. Around the hotel, along the street, there are a lot of fruit shops, alcohol shops. Prices are about the same, mangoes and pineapples are sold by the piece. Moreover, if the price of pineapple depends on the size, then mangoes at a standard price differ greatly in size. Walking through several shops, you can choose large and ripe ones. By evening, the choice is reduced. There are no souvenir items along the street, there are such shops on the beach on both sides of the hotel.
Wi-Fi - in principle, there is, in the hotel and on the beach, but weak and overloaded. Until 7.00 and after 22.00 - it is not available.
We flew Fly Dubai with a connection in Dubai, the flight was comfortable, but on the way back we faced a sudden need to pass a PCR test (from 12/15/2021). In Zanzibar it is expensive (from $80 officially plus a transfer to the city) and difficult, so a charter is preferable.
shops, supermarkets, supermarkets, small shops, plus there the locals sell a lot of windows. The staff at the hotel is very cool, friendly. We talked to the owner, he always fed or arranged everything, often complimenting us, putting some desserts or hookah. Once we made a remark, he immediately made an analysis of the flights, showing us everything, telling everything. Everything was organized for us by the owner, ie we ate for him, he recommended excursions, organized transport for us (we rented a car), organized excursions, food. The tour operator himself brought us to the hotel and took the name to the airport. We are very pleased with the hotel, for the money that this hotel costs, everything was at the highest level.
Choice and flight. The choice fell on Zanzibar by chance - the plans were different, but there were no flights on the dates we needed. We have been flying through Veronica from “Come with us” for 8 years. She advised us Kendwa in Zanzibar (we chose the Varadero hotel ourselves based on reviews on the Internet), because. there are almost no tides. And as it turned out later, she was absolutely right. It was on our beach that people came from other hotels (some had to walk a couple of kilometers for this). We flew on FlyDubai with a transfer in Dubai, because there is no direct flight from Ukraine. There is a direct line from Moscow, and it is much cheaper. But to get there and back for two is $400, plus the time spent and the risks associated with relations between our countries. So we flew with a change and did not regret it either. The planes are new and very comfortable. Well, walking on the ground at least every five hours of flight will not hurt.
Upon arrival in Zanzibar, you need to fill out two simple forms, pay (which is important! ) It is from a bank card for $ 50 per visa per person. By the way, we were told that there is an opportunity to save money: if you indicate that you are passing through, you will be given a transit visa for $30. We were also warned that we would need to be fingerprinted. There are scanners, but they didn't take prints from us. In general, the whole procedure is very fast - there are very few people and planes (tourism in Zanzibar is just beginning to develop). Then you get your luggage, a local smart guy in a yellow vest runs up to you, grabs a bag and leads you to your meeting person, and then helps you board the bus, for which he receives a well-deserved dollar. Yes, we changed dollars right at the airport. But it turned out to be superfluous, because. in the pack that they gave us, there were a couple of shabby banknotes, which we then refused to accept. And in our hotel was the same rate. So I slowly approached the hotel.
Hotel. Drive to the hotel, despite the short distance, more than an hour. Don't let the first impression scare you. from the bus you are dropped off on a narrow street of almost a local village. But we liked this option of accommodation from previous trips - a private hotel with several rooms. But all the hospitality of the staff is yours. And we didn't go wrong with that either. All the staff, including, I believe, the already famous (according to the frequency of mentions in the reviews) owner of the Varadero Hotel, Al Pocino, are very diligent and courteous. They react instantly to any slightest request - they did not have time to voice the request, but they already ran to fulfill it. Yes, the rooms are very modest. But clean and comfortable. There are air conditioners, but no TVs. And it's great! As tourists correctly write, you don’t go there to sit in your room and watch TV! There is a cozy courtyard inside. . . Well, the cafe at the hotel is probably no less famous than Al Pacino himself. Tourists from all over the area dine in it, which is also an indicator of quality. We tried to try everything and there was never a time when we didn't like it. I'll warn you right away - the portions are huge! We tried to have lunch for the first few days, but then we realized that our bodies simply could not cope with so much food. So they began to dine with fruit and ice cream (there is a cafe to the left of the hotel where they sell delicious ice cream - it cannot be compared with ice cream in the Roks bar on the beach). Another tip: take a ticket only with breakfast, because. the dinner we paid was equal to a certain amount (and drinks were not included). If you exceeded this amount during dinner, then you have to pay extra. If it’s the other way around (we ate cheaper), then it’s understandable - no one will give you change, because. you paid the tour operator. Therefore, it is easier to come, eat and pay. Moreover, the prices in this cafe are very affordable! (on average, the two of us had dinner for $ 15-20). Fruit and water, as well as, if necessary, other goods can be bought in shops and shops on the same street where the hotel is located. We immediately warn you that the amount of your purchase will depend solely on the mood of the seller! So bargain (or don't bother! ). To summarize the hotel - we all really liked it. Nuances can be found everywhere. But the overall impression is very good!
Beach. At the hotel, you are immediately put on a Roks bracelet. So on the beach of this hotel you will feel as full as its inhabitants. To the beach, as someone already wrote in his review, 5 minutes crawling. One more piece of advice - right behind the reception desk of the Roks hotel, a security guard sits at the fork and sends all "outsiders" to go along the bypass road on the left. But to the right, above the building, the path leads to the central alley of the hotel, which is much more pleasant to walk along. So don't hesitate! On the beach, the sunbeds are "not a fountain. " But they are usually enough for everyone who does not sleep until 12 noon. Holidays are an exception. There was a full house for Catholic Christmas and New Year! The hotel staff did not know where to put the guests. But the rest of the days it's pretty free.
Fruits, clothes, souvenirs are dragged along the beach... There are shops and shops at every hotel right on the beach. But the prices they break are not comic. The same magnet in Europe can be bought for 1 euro, and in Zanzibar the price starts from $3 or even more. So, whoever knows how to bargain (well, or who has a lot of money) is lucky!
I also really want to separately note the sunsets on our beach - this cannot be compared with anything! Every evening it is removed by all the tourists!
The country. Now a little about the island of Zanzibar. I will not retell the story - listen to the guides on excursions. But I will write about some features. Currency - shillings ($ 1 - 2230 shillings, so it's certainly difficult to get used to). You can bargain everywhere (even in shops! ). We were told by tourists that even in a pharmacy they bought nose drops at half the price of the price tag! There is no need to get vaccinated before traveling to Zanzibar. We did not see any terrible insects there. Where there is food, there are flies. Where the flies are spiders. In my room, we only saw a gecko a couple of times. And that's it! Even in Zanzibar, there are constant power outages, because. capacity for rapidly growing hotels is not enough. So be prepared for this and don't blame your hotel. Our weather was great. It rained a couple of times during the night, once it was a good downpour. But it ended in 10 minutes. And so - all the time up to +30 and partly cloudy. So we spent most of our time on the beach. Almost the entire population is fluent in English - everyone who went to school (and education in Zanzibar is compulsory). Some locals speak Russian very well - there is a university on the mainland with Russian language courses. And, judging by the communication, the teachers there are first-class! But none of the hotel staff knows Russian (except of course - "thank you", "tasty" and other petty nonsense). So keep that in mind too.
Zanzibar, despite our understanding of Africa, is a very green island. From local fruits there are traditional pineapples, mangoes, avocados, coconuts, bananas, watermelons. There are also a small number of exotic fruits with names that are difficult for me to remember. But those who have already traveled the world have probably already met them.
Excursions. In general, there is nothing to see in Zanzibar yet. Although the travel companies (by the way, the entire tourist industry there - under the Italians) are working on this issue. We went on only one, the most extensive, excursion, which includes turtle island, a disappearing island and a walk around Stone Town. By the way, we wanted a Russian-speaking guide, and Al Pacino recommended us Alice, a Ukrainian by birth (I did not check, but she says that she has her own pages on social networks. You can search if you want). Alice organized an excellent tour for us, as far as possible (very nice, helpful girl). But also keep in mind that on the island of turtles, the main attraction is the turtles themselves. And 30-40 minutes to visit it is more than enough. Then a disappearing island, on which, of course, there is neither a bush nor a tree. The guys who bring you there put up a canopy - a rag on 4 poles. But personally, this did not help us much, because. we went on the 3rd day after arrival and, for obvious reasons, got a little baked. On the same island, they organize a lunch for you - very tasty from fresh seafood. Drinks, including beer, were handed out to us by Alice during our entire excursion from the refrigerator, which was also very nice. A tour of Stone Town has already been conducted by her local colleague. In principle, he told a lot of interesting things about the country and the city. Then he spent, as expected, on all the shops that paid extra. Even in the fruit market, he only led me to a certain seller. We also went to look around the market to skimp, but he insistently put us in the car and sent us home, which blurred the impression a little. But it's not scary. What I liked most about this country, and what I will now try to use in everyday life is their life credo, which consists in two words, known to us, probably, to every child “Hakuna matata! ” ("no problem! "). Thanks to this, all residents are cheerful, smiling people.
Ocean. During the rest, we found different states of the ocean. At first he was a little stormy. But this is not the 9th wave at all, as you might think, it is just a small wave, which, nevertheless, at least gives the feeling that you have come to the ocean, and are not relaxing in the forest by the lake. By the way, even during the waves there is no garbage on the shore at all. Only small scraps of algae, and there are not many of them. During calm, the water is clear. Many compare it to the Maldives. But there, purity and beauty are complemented by coral reefs and, as a result, an abundance of living creatures. Here, just clean water and sand like flour - fine, clean, soft. From living creatures, swimming with a mask, I saw only sea urchins that cling to rare boulders at a depth, just a few fish the size of one or two palms, flocks of fry and a few starfish. True, there were a couple of days when a lot of plankton sailed (or washed up) to the shore. At first, the spectacle is interesting, unusual, but of course it’s not very pleasant to swim - it’s like jelly. That's all living things.
For sim I will finish, thank you for your attention and have a good rest!