For the past five days I’ve been staying at the Sunset Bungalows on the northern tip of the island of Zanzibar, near the village of Nungwi. Initially, things did not go smoothly. On my first day I had lunch at the resort’s restaurant on the beach and tried to charge the meal to my room, intending to pay the entire bill when I checked out. For some reason they did not want me to do this, but the waiter was unable to explain why. I eventually had to hunt down the general manager for an explanation. Apparently the restaurant and the resort are owned by two different people and there is no accounting system in place that allows them to track charges from the restaurant. I could have charged meals each day but then would have had to clear the bill the next morning – fat lot of good that would have done me. I also discovered in this same conversation that the resort does not accept credit or debit cards, yet they never informed me of this prior to arriving. Fortunately I had enough cash with me to cover my food and incidentals during my stay but I met a lot of people who got caught short and were literally living on potato chips.
Sunset Bungalows on the northern tip of the island of Zanzibar
The restaurant’s food was terrible, the refrigerator in my room didn’t work, I had no towels, and I had WARM water (not hot) only two of the five days I was there – the rest of the time it was ice cold. The resorts to the north and south all had lounge chairs set out but the beach in front of Sunset was bare. When I asked the manager where I could get a chair he said all theirs had broken and they “had not been able to replace them.” He suggested I use the chairs from the adjacent resorts. I did better than that. I spent ALL my money at the adjacent resorts for the balance of my stay. Continue reading