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Reviewed 18 March 2018

We stayed for five nights in late February. What can I say; it was everything we had hoped for and more. This resort is so beautiful, and architecturally so incredible to look at. We had booked the Umande villa—the cosy one bedroom—and were lucky enough to be upgraded to the Korongo villa—a huge two bedroom villa. This also included a separate open villa with a kitchen and too many couches to sit on as well as the amazing private plunge pool. We couldn't believe our eyes!

Food—the food was delicious and fresh, but there was way too much. You have breakfast, a three course lunch and a three course dinner. We felt too full every day even when we shared some of the courses. We really enjoyed the Swahili night and the seafood platter (but this could have easily served four people!).

Butler—Doto was our butler. It took a little bit to get used to having someone cater to your every need, but Doto was fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble and we really enjoyed getting to know him and his culture. He arranged for us to have traditional meals on a couple of occasions, provided scooter lessons and even helped my partner to arrange a marriage proposal during our stay! Thanks Doto!

Activities—we hired a scooter to drive up and down the beach. This allowed us to drive down to Paje, a nearby village and swim in the ocean there which was amazing. Xanadu should consider getting their own scooter. They tell you it’s $30 hire, but then we needed to have two permits (even though only one of us was driving) and $10 hire fee, so it was actually $60. We also did the Stone Town tour $100pp and the Sunset Cruise $150pp. While I enjoyed both the tours I felt they were a bit overpriced. It is definitely worth going into Stone Town, it was so different to what we had expected and I recommend the Sunset Cruise—it was the perfect way to end our stay and an unforgettable experience.

Finally thank you to all the staff, everyone made an effort to come around and talk to you and made you feel very welcome. Following our engagement, we felt so special that they went out of their way to help us celebrate with champagne and a traditional song and dance.

We would definitely recommend Xanadu, for us it was a once in a lifetime experience.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
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Thank CanGirl08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Xanadu-Villas, General Manager at Xanadu Luxury Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2018

Thank you both so much for the Incredible review!

Dotto and the team are all so honoured to have played a part in your magical stay with us.
We wish you the two of you countless years of love and happiness together.

We know Xanadu villas will forever be in your hearts and we would love to help you celebrate as many anniversaries as possible in the future.

Warm regards,

The Xanadu Team

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Reviewed 11 February 2018

Words cannot do this fantastic hotel justice. So i won't write many. Just go. You will look at the price and think 'is it worth it?' it's worth every single penny!

Special mentions to:
Amani - the most attentive yet discreet butler. A-class service. Perfect dance off judge too ;-)
The food - Sensational. Some of the best we have EVER eaten
Liam - makes sports and recreation so easy, so fun. Is extremely knowledgable.
Ashley - chief string puller. Made us feel very welcome and very special

Thank you so much to the whole team for a perfect stay!

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Daniel D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Xanadu-Villas, General Manager at Xanadu Luxury Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2018

Thank you so much for the fantastic review!

We are so pleased that Amani and the entire team were able to create the perfect experience for you!
It was a huge pleasure having you all stay at Xanadu Villas & Retreat.

We can't wait for your next visit and the chance to exceed your expectations once again.

Warm regards,

The Xanadu Team

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Reviewed 4 February 2018

Xanadu is genuinely pure paradise. They organised a taxi to collect us from the airport, which was great because I would imagine it's easy to get overwhelmed with all the taxi guys coming up to you as soon as you set foot outside the airport! When we arrived we were greeted by the lovely Lissu, our butler for the duration of the stay, with a refreshing drink! We stayed in Umande, and although this is the smallest of the villas with just one room and a bathroom, it was more than enough for us. There was an outside area with a plunge pool and within seconds of walking you're on the beach, which not all the villas have so we found this to be a very valuable feature. The room, the bar/restaurant pool area - its all just stunning. It is pure luxury. The beach is something i've only ever seen in travel guides or films - pure white sand, but also so empty you really feel you have your own little slice of heaven all to yourselves!
All the staff are so friendly and make it their business to know who you are and how you are. My husband was ill on our first night and everyone we saw for the rest of the week was asking if he was OK! Liam and Luke are the activities managers and organise any activities you want to do, such as snorkelling, kayak or stand up paddle boarding. They make it very easy for you to just go for a kayak etc at your leisure. They also catch all the fish you eat on the resort so you know it's all fresh!
We were on the honeymoon package and the sunset cruise on Xanadu's own dhow boat was a real highlight for us. Would definitely recommend you do this as its a really unique and special experience.
The food is absolutely sensational. The portion sizes are perfect, considering you are eating so frequently and it's so hot! The chef is absolutely amazing and the variety of dishes you get is just incredible. Absolutely blown away by the food.
The butler service takes getting used to, if that's not something you've ever had before. I think we were far too awkward and English about it! But our butler, Lissu was just incredible. He was such a kind and lovely man, who really wanted us to have the best stay we could. Nothing was too much for him, and he was so thoughtful, recommending we set dinner up on the top of an unoccupied villa on our final night. We requested to have lunch on the beach but another couple had already requested the area, so Lissu set up another table elsewhere for us. Lissu made our stay what it was, and i'm sure all the other butlers are just as fantastic. Dotto makes fantastic cocktails, and we loved having a chat with him at the bar before dinner, as well as the other members of staff!
All in all, can't rave enough about this place. For us it was a really expensive resort to visit, but we decided to go for it as it was our honeymoon. And I would definitely justify the cost based on the experience we had. We would go back in a heartbeat if we could!

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Anouska M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Xanadu-Villas, General Manager at Xanadu Luxury Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 8 February 2018

Thank you for the fantastic review!

Lissu and the team feel honoured to have played a special part in your honeymoon. We hope that you will always look back on your time at Xanadu with the fondest memories.
We feel blessed to be situated at this idyllic location on the south-east coast of Zanzibar and find nothing more rewarding than creating lasting memories for wonderful people such as yourselves. Your honeymoon was only the beginning of your long, beautiful journey and we hope that you return to celebrate countless anniversaries together at Xanadu.

Once again, thank you for your support as we endeavour to create and share equally magical experiences for all our future guests.

Warm regards,
The Xanadu Team

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Reviewed 4 February 2018

my husband and 3 adult children spent 5 nights here at the end of our vacation after being on safari for 8 nights. What a wonderful place to end our vacation, after 8 full days of waking up early for game drives and going non stop. Xanadu is absolute paradise. The resort is a small boutique resort with only 6 private villas. We had a 2 bedroom villa, with a massive living/dining room that was open air, a patio and a private pool. The master bedroom was upstairs, and the second bedroom on the ground floor. The rooms for beautiful and the bathroom had a spectacular rain shower with a 20 foot high ceiling. We had a private butler 24-7, who was there to cater to all our needs. We took breakfast every morning in our villa, and would have lunch in a cabana overlooking the beach. We ate dinner in the "main" area surrounding the "main" pool, and this was literally the only time we saw other people. We often felt like we were the only ones at the resort. The food was excellent - lots of fresh fish, which was a welcome delight after all the meat on the safaris. We spent our days relaxing, and enjoying the beautiful weather and the gorgeous resort. While we had talked about doing all kinds of excursions, the resort was so beautiful that none of us wanted to leave. The only think we did do was a trip to Stonetown which we did not think was worth it. Our guide spent most of his time on the phone, and only filled up his van with gas AFTER he picked us up (which took a half hour). But aside from this one hiccup, we would most definitely return to this resort.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank 121smiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Xanadu-Villas, General Manager at Xanadu Luxury Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 8 February 2018

We would like to thank you for the Excellent review!

You have managed to capture the surrealism of our tropical oasis with the clarity of a Monet. Your butler, Dotto, Chef Mi-anie and the entire team were delighted to host you and your wonderful family at Xanadu Villas & Retreat. Your warm nature, complimentary feedback and welcomed advice encourage us to continue our commitment to create the ultimate island experience for all of our guests.
We look forward to your return and the opportunity to wow you, your family and friends at Xanadu Villas in the future.

Warm regards,
The Xanadu Team

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Reviewed 22 January 2018

'In Xanadu did Kubla Khan / A stately pleasure dome decree...'
I know, because I've been there. Each villa on the property has a unique feel, while all following the same architectural theme of an Arabian Nights fantasy. Our villa had 4 floors, with a spacious open living area with plunge pool on the ground floor; a luxurious master suite on the 1st floor; a slightly smaller suite above that; and on the top, an open dome with another plunge pool. I felt ridiculously pampered, wallowing there with a glass of wine as the evening sky turned pink.
The food was sumptuous, the grounds lovely and staff took great care of me. I'm not a huge fan of Zanzibar, but this seems like an excellent reason to go there.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank DickEbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Xanadu-Villas, Front Office Manager at Xanadu Luxury Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2018

Dear Dick,

Thank you so much, on behalf of the Xanadu Team, and particularly on behalf of the lovely people who personally looked after you
during your stay and made it an experience.

The villa you stayed in Mbingu, meaning heavenly skies was created for the experience, you felt in mind. The pool at the top of
the villa with its winding staircase directly out of the bedroom is indeed a beautiful place to end your evening in.

Thank you for choosing Xanadu, and we look forward to welcoming you back again.

Best Wishes The Xanadu Team.

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