Melia Zanzibar The Level Full Review
So I just checked into the Melia Hotel on the beautiful island of Zanzibar. And I’m lucky enough to stay at The Level, which is the exclusive part the Melia Hotel. But is it really worth the money? And is it really exclusive? So I’m to give Melia Zanzibar The Level Full Review this part of the hotel in 7 categories.
1.Room. 2.Location. 3.Facilities 4.Food & Drink, 5.Exclusive Access. 6.Service and 7.Value.
So stick around to the end to see the final score. Let’s find out…
Okay, so this is Melia Zanzibar The Level Beach Pavilion, which is around $1,000 per night, so it’s not cheap at all But it does come full inclusive,so you get breakfast, buffet, lunch and dinner and 24 hour room service. You can order food inside the room all day. That also includes drinks at the bar as well. So there’s a fridge here.
That’s got drinks in it. A coffee machine here. If you can figure out how to use the coffee. Water here. Tea and kettle. There’s a desk here, but you can’t use the mouse because it’s a glass table. Nice lamp. The air conditioning is really good. Like a fridge in here. All the views from the beds are facing towards the sea, the balcony, which I’ll show you in the second. Huge TV here with seating area. Table. And then there’s the exercise ball here as well. Now on to the bed room.
So they got a mosquito screen here. There’s a USB ports on each side and power as well, which is really good. There’s also lamps here you can turn on by touch your hand. Now on to the wardrobe area… So this is the wardrobe area facing towards the sea. Glazing on that side. So there’s places to put your shoes, your suitcases, cupboards. There’s a safe here. Loads of room.
Now the bathroom… There’s a nice freestanding bath here and it’s got views out the window and roll these up and down. Bath towels here. Big shower here, with this again, I’ve had before. Coconut and lime stuff is amazing. Toilet is fine. Spray leaks a little bit. Sink here… Just one thing sink. It’s all made of timber as well, the walls. And then it’s open ceiling as well, which is really nice. It gives it a lot of air and the hot air goes up and there’s views out towards the bath as well.
Now the balcony, so the room is around 80 square metres in area and the balcony is probably about the same size It’s huge. But why not? I’ve been using it. So there’s a timber railing and timber floor and the Makuti style pitched roof, which is absolutely beautiful. And look at the view. Sea views and loads and loads of palm trees. So, final score for a room. The only two complaints are the light switches which were very difficult to get used to during the night. I couldn’t even see them. And the view is a little bit disappointing because I can’t see the sea. Its all covered in palm trees, but that’s just a minor complaint.
So for those reasons, I would give 4 and a half out of 5 for Room.
So the hotel sits on the north east coast of Zanzibar, which is fairly quiet, especially compared to the North. So it’s probably less suited for the younger generation. If you’re in your twenties or something, that might be a bit too quiet for you. You probably want to go to Nungwi or something like that. So this is kind of a place more of a relaxed atmosphere.
The hotel is built on a 40 acre site, and The Level at Melia Zanzibar is situated slightly south, about five minutes buggy ride to the main hotel. The hotel has a beautiful white sand beach, So Gabi Beach is a really cool place to hang out. Actually, it’s one of my favourite beaches. You got the sand, which is white as snow. You got the restaurant and bar over there, which is part of the Melia Hotel and then you got the locals over there fishing and you can go to the village and stuff and there’s watersports and stuff you can do. So there is stuff here to do.
You can also go on day trips like island hopping and go into Stone Town. Also, one thing to bear in mind because it’s on the East Coast,
the sunset is not over there. The sun rises up at the ocean. The Sunset is over there, so you got to get up early if you want the great view of the ocean sunrise.
But you do get a great view of the moon in the evening. And when I say Moon, I don’t mean a horse’s arse. The final score for a location. So Location, oh hell, I’ll give 5 out of 5 for Location.
The pool is the main feature at The Level, which is a simple yet elegant infinity pool. Now I love the pool area because they use green tiles, which is my favourite, which gives a bold but natural
feel and amplifies the whole area. You can also see what’s going on down there at Gabi Beach.
There’s also plenty of towels lying around you can use, which is good. There’s a shop and plenty of spaces to just chill out And there’s plenty of games to play, both international and local. Of course, you get main access to the main hotel as well, where you can get a buggy ride, which leaves every five minutes, it takes about ten minutes drive.
In between The Level and the main hotel is the spa and gym you can stop off there as well. So they’ve got some free weights here. Bicycle sit up machine. There’s a a couple of machines for the legs and a squat machine, 2 treadmills and the a cross-trainers. That’s all there is for running and aerobics and stuff. And they’ve got a locker room with shower and sauna It’s pretty small gym considering the hotel is so big, but it seems to be adequate and is cleaned every two hours, Which is great.
There’s also another pool at the gym and spa area as well. They used white tiles, which is different from the green ones they used at The Level. Also, the spa is in there. I didn’t go. I was going to get my toenail done, but decided not to. But my girlfriend went and said the service was fantastic. You have to pay extra for that.
Looks like they did grow their own vegetables here as well, which is fantastic, this is a sustainable greenhouse. You might even want to walk
to the other hotel because there’s a beautiful walk with all the gardens and everything.
So in the main hotel, they’ve got the Spice restaurant, which is the buffet where the people on this side are staying. And then upstairs they got a shop and they’ve got a place where you can read books. It’s kind of like a library, a place to chill out. That’s really nice. I mean, it’s really nice to have a library because you hardly ever see one nowadasy There’s also a business centre and more games to play as well.
So the upstairs area in the main hotel is a really cool place to check out. Then you’ve got the main pool area over there.
Then the pool bar over there and then you’ve got the Jetty over there. And then there’s Aqua Restaurant down there. So this part of the hotel is a bit more busy compared to The Level, but there’s a lot of things to do for all the family,
So this part of the hotel is more catered for children as well because there’s loads of games like darts and there’s more things to do around here
as opposed to The Level.
So final score for Facilities. There’s a lot to do here. For all of the family, really, you won’t really get bored here,
even if you stay here a week. So for that reason, another 5 out of 5.
4.Food & Drink
So first impressions, the buffet seemed quite small, but that’s because it’s a small part of the hotel, it’s quite exclusive. So they seem to have
just about everything. So at The Level they have breakfast buffet, afternoon tea and then À la carte in the evening.
The Level has buffet breakfast every day, then afternoon tea every other day then À la carte in the evening… every other day as well. I think. Highlights for me included the Eggs Benedict, salmon, sour dough bead and cheese The croissants are a little bit disappointing. Taste a bit like bread, but the chocolate ones make up for it.
For afternoon tea. There’s mainly just a few snacks, but I ended up drinking the champagne most of the time because it was included. I just can’t help myself.
Apart from the buffet, the other place to eat at The Level is at Gabi Beach, which has a wonderful buffet and À la carte restaurant, especially when they have events. Highlights for me included the pasta and the thai papaya salad. And don’t forget, you can order room service at any time as well, but you’ll run out of variety if you eat there every day.
Then there are the three restaurants and buffets at the main hotel if you want to go there. The Jetty, for me, was my favourite. It felt a bit more special than the other restaurants, with the views out to the ocean and the modern interior. Highlights for me was the mushroom ravioli.
So for drinks, they have an endless amount of wine. Some of them, you have to pay for the expensive ones, but most of them are included. Then on to beer. Heineken, you have to pay for. All the other local ones are included. One thing that is included in the drinks list is cocktails. I think they are one or two star so all the cocktails included at The Level exclusive access, so you can have a different cocktail every night. And they’re all very good. No complaints whatsoever about drinks.
So final score for Food and Drink. So thinking about it, I haven’t had any problem with any of the food and drink since I’ve been here, so for that reason, I’ll give food and drink 5 out of 5.
So exclusivity, you can’t have any guests visit you at the level they will have to meet you at Gabi Beach, also, no children allowed. There must be some exceptions. They have a star rating for the food and drink. Anything with one or two stars is included, but anything that has a price. That means you have to pay. If you’re staying at The Level, you can pretty much have anything, any time, apart from a few expensive whiskies, things like that.
The other main thing to do at The Level besides the pool area is go down to Gabi Beach which is only down the stairs there. It’s not exactly exclusive, but at least it’s close by. Good thing about The Level, it never really gets busy. So in that regards, it does feel a bit exclusive. And most of the time
there’s even champagne lying around.
However, the disabled access was not good. Look at that. Even the main entrance to the level has a big step. I don’t know why they call it The Level,
because it’s not level. They did have a ramp at The Level, which was OK, but then they had the steps of the toilets, which defeats the purpose of the ramp, really. So it’s not really accessible. So access down the stairs to get to Gabi beach is really bad. You’re not exactly going to get them here,
the old or disabled. So bear that in mind. And this was the best wheelchair the hotel could give us. Doesn’t really have any decent wheels. Then over to the main hotel, that seems to be just as bad. But I did notice they are making some repairs or improvements, so some of these ramps are actually very dangerous for wheelchairs, so I wouldn’t recommend it
for disabled people to come here, really. I don’t know why, but they don’t seem to have railings on any of these ramps either. Then some of the railings, they do have these ugly green ones. I don’t know why they would use these. They kind of rails for use in a factory,
not a hotel.
So final score for Exclusive Access. Because of the disabled access, I’m going to have to knock 2 points off. Even though it’s a great hotel, they haven’t really considered it very well. But then again, that goes for most places in Zanzibar,
Service was very good at Melia Zanzibar. Everyone is really friendly and helpful. The cleaning is good, also. In the garden, on the beach, at the front. Everywhere. So the staff make an effort, which actually means a lot compared to a lot of other places I’ve been.
Security are also professional. People are trying to sell stuff on the beach. Like this guy, Its not as bad as the other beaches because I think they learnt from security. Everyone says Mambo, Karibu when they see you, which is very welcoming. “You’re welcome at The Level. Hakuna Matata.”
However, there was a small issue with a drink. I don’t know what the big deal is. I asked for Bacardi and they said it was extra charge, but it’s not, I showed them on the menu. Then she went off. And now I’ve been waiting for the last 15 minutes. So I finally got my Bacardi
and Coke Check it out. The Bacardi and there’s the coke. I’ll have to pour it in I think However, the size of the Bacardi
that kind of made up for it. And they’re very quick
to clean up your table when you’ve eaten.
So Final Score for Service . Because staff are happy and genuine, I’m going to give service
and unbelievable again. Five out of five for Service.
So value $1,000 per night is a hell of a lot of money,
but you do get access to the whole hotel. And you do get full board plus breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can pretty much eat and drink as much as I want all day, plus the room service. Don’t forget there are alternative accommodations available if you want them, but if you want the ultimate, you got
to be willing to pay the ultimate price. So for those reasons,
I’ll give five out of five for value.
So if you add all those previous scores up and convert them into an overall percentage
final score. It keeps a grand total of …
I’d recommend this hotel if you’ve got the money.
I hope you enjoyed this review at Melia Zanzibar. And thanks to the staff at Melia for making it such a pleasant stay.
Russell M. Henderson is a practicing RIBA Chartered Architect based in Tanzania, East Africa.
The photography is by Russell M. Henderson
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