Palumbo Reef Hotel in Zanzibar Island

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At Palumbo hotel Tanzania the staff on reception spoke perfect English and the manager checked us in with the use of the pre-paid voucher we had. Another member of staff greeted us with a welcome drink in Italian, the manager explained that most of the guests were Italian but asked the staff to address us in English which they did.

The room was good although basic, but you come to expect that in Africa.

Air conditioning was a God-send as it gets very humid outside.

The pool was very nice and there was a nice private beach for sunbathing with steps down the actual beach if you wanted to go in the sea or explore the village just next to the hotel.

There were two bars with all the free drinks on and also premium drinks which you could pay for.

The free drinks were served in a small plastic cup but by the end of the stay the staff had gotten to know us and so just started putting the free drinks in proper glasses for us.

At some points they would stand and chat to you and it felt like they were glad of someone to have an English conversation with.

Moving onto the food - it was delicious.

It was of course geared toward the Italian clientele but I enjoy Italian cuisine.

The upstairs buffet had a huge selection of bread, antipasti and always some sort of meat and fish with potato and vegetable accompaniments.

My favourite was the pork which was cooked so it was falling apart in your mouth.

The downstairs buffet had pasta dishes on which were equally nice and there was always too much tempting food to try.

Lunch was very similar to dinner if a little lighter.

Breakfast was excellent with pastries, bread, cereal and mounds of fruit as well as a hot counter which had bacon every day, eggs made to order and different types of pancake with all the sauces.
As for cheese, there was plenty of it.

Every morning for breakfast there was sliced cheese on offer and the foods in the evening that required cheese already had it on. Seems a slightly odd complaint to make.

There was a daily entertainment programme including yoga sessions, pool games, football on the beach and some sort of evening show.

Again this was geared toward the Italians but the reps invited us along personally each day and spoke perfect English.

We did go to one of the evening shows to see some local stuntmen which was amazing.

The rep introduced them in Italian and translated it all into English which was very much appreciated.

If anything I wish I'd had enough room to pack a few books as I do get bored quite easily on pool holidays and the room had no TV for background noise.

Try this hotel for yourself - it is very competitively priced for similar standards of accommodation in the more English orientated North of the Island and we found to be a very nice getaway.

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