4.5
Very Good 222 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • True all-inclusive plan covers all food and drinks and most activities
  • Enormous indoor/outdoor villas with thoughtfully crafted modern African interiors, outdoor showers, plunge pools and breezy patios
  • Access to all the facilities of the main resort, La Gemma dell’Est, as well as Diamond’s own private bar, restaurant and pool
  • Faultless service and a private butler in each villa

What To Know

  • Diamonds' private white sand beach is a short walk or golf cart ride away; expect friendly if persistent beach vendors along the rest of the shore
  • Honeymooners galore, though two of the villas have a family-friendly two-bedroom setup
  • Head over to La Gemma’s busier bars and restaurants for a livelier scene
  • Guests wear white leather bracelets to denote Diamonds' all-inclusive status

Amenities

  •  All-Inclusive
  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
All-inclusive Beachfront Dining Luxury Resort chair home backyard restaurant Villa hacienda cottage

Overview

Upscale all-inclusive on Zanzibar’s northwest coast, with palatial modern African villas and Indian Ocean views

The Look

An enclave of just 11 modern African villas within a larger beach resort, Diamonds Star of the East is a romantic hideaway overlooking the Indian Ocean. Manicured tropical gardens cleverly conceal and complement the all-white villas, which are topped with traditional makuti thatch pitched roofs. At the heart of the exclusive complex, a moat-like pool surrounds the modern main building and second-floor Ocean Blue restaurant — an upscale international eatery named for the sparkling Indian Ocean it overlooks.

Bed and Bath

All 11 villas feel like sprawling private residences, the palatial proportions encompassing tropical gardens and plunge pools, outdoor patios topped with traditional makuti thatch, separate living rooms with stocked bars, butler pantries, enormous bedrooms, walk-in closets and modern bathrooms. Bright animal print fabrics add playful pops of color to the dark wood floors and simple white walls, but the real design flair is in the indoor/outdoor layout, from full walls of windows to alfresco showers to the centerpiece patios, which are furnished for outdoor living: tables for two, comfy white sofas, low-slung rattan chandeliers and romantic daybeds draped with canvas.

Beyond

Guests at Diamonds Star of the East have the run of La Gemma dell’Est’s four restaurants and five bars, as well as exclusive use of Diamond’s own eatery, Ocean Blue. On the second floor of the modern poolside clubhouse, the dining room is left open to the elements to ensure knockout views of the ocean at sunset. The multicourse menu changes by the season and covers the culinary spectrum from traditional spiced curries and local seafood to Asian-inspired vegetarian dishes and decadent all-American desserts. For sundowners, nightcaps or daytime bites, the airy Tiara Lounge is open from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. Beach lovers can walk or take a golf buggy to the brilliantly white, if increasingly narrow, white sand beach, where Diamond’s guests have reserved beach loungers and dedicated beach butlers. For more active pursuits, ask your butler to arrange a Pilates session (included), tennis, any of a raft of water sports or a traditional treatment in the Mvua African Rain Spa.

In the Area

On Zanzibar’s northwest coast, the resort is less than an hour from the capital, Stone Town. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the petite city is filled with souks, labyrinthine streets, mosques, sultans’ palaces and colonial buildings. While there, visit the Anglican church, a memorial built on the site of one of the world’s last slave markets. For a more active excursion, organize a tour of the Kiwengwa Caves or book a kitesurfing lesson on Nungwi Beach. Honeymooners shouldn’t miss a sunset cruise on a traditional dhow or a private snorkeling or diving trip.

How to Get There

Diamonds Star of the East Zanzibar – All Inclusive
Nungwi Road
Nungwi, 4700 Tanzania

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 222 Reviews
Food
Reviewed 2 months ago

I visited this hotel and my my my the hotel landscape is absolutely spectacular! The environment is planned excellently and so so welcoming.. you feel you wanna walk around the whole day!!! The service is amazing and the food is good! I went here to have lunch with my friends and we sat by the beach it was so amazing including their staff!

Amazeballs!
Reviewed 2 months ago

Stayed here for our honeymoon a year ago and this place was amazing. We had just been trekking through Uganda and this was the end of our trip and couldn’t ask for anything more.

Amazing staff, rooms great, location is perfect, dining options great.

Only thing is it was a bit of a walk to the beach from our room but jump on the golf cart as they go past and you are there in a few seconds. This is us been lazy on holiday so no fault of the hotel.

Would love to return again one day.

Terrible customer service, on and off site
Reviewed 3 months ago

My partner and I were so excited to stay here after a long trip, expecting a relaxing, five-star experience. However, from the moment we stepped onto the resort, our experience was absolutely one-star quality. We won't even sweat the "small stuff" that happened here that should never happen at a quality resort, e.g., unreasonably long wait times to check in (over an hour, despite having called the resort the day before to alert the arrival time), 3 wine options on the menu but always 2 are "out of stock", if you order 2 things, 1 will be missing 1 will be forgotten, etc.

From the beginning of our stay, the staff informed us that out butler is "busy for the night" and will not be able to meet us. This would be fine if someone else can step in to fill the role. The woman who was assigned to us as substitute made it clear that she is not our "real butler" and therefore cannot meet our simple needs like providing a restaurant menu. She proceeded to tell us that all the restaurants are booked for the night and we will have to make reservations early the next day for the following night but when we asked for menus to pick the restaurant, she replied "ask your real butler when he comes back."

Look, it shouldn't matter WHO the butler is; we are just asking for simple service. But this was the prevailing attitude at this resort--"it's not my job and you are asking me for a favor."

The next day, we went to the beach and came back around 3PM, Since our dinner was at 8, we wanted to have a small snack. We pressed the butler service button, and waited about 30 mins, and no one showed up or responded. We called the restaurant directly to place a food order, and were told that we cannot place an order directly, and must go through a butler (!). We call for the butler service again, and no response for another 30 mins. At this point we were ravenous, and called the restaurant again to beg them to put a food order in. They were abrupt and rude, and said "fine but i need to find your butler to put this through." Some hour or so later our absentee butler shows up with our food, but by this time it was 7pm, too close to dinner to be eating a snack. When we asked where he was, he said "oh I was looking for you guys at the beach." For 4 hours? Mind you, there are only about a dozen cabanas there and any of his colleagues could have told him that we have been gone since 3PM. If all the orders and requests have to go through a butler, then shouldn't they respond faster than with 3-4 hour response rate?

The next day, just to avoid all the stress of having to deal with the unkind, unhelpful, and absent staff, we ordered extra food at breakfast so we can have it for snack. Can you believe this is 5-star experience?

One night after dinner, we asked whether we can have breakfast menus we can hang by the door for in-room breakfast service. The butler replied "that should be done by the turn-down staff, not me." We go to our room and find that the turn-down staff forgot to leave them. So we call the reception to request menus, and wait for over an hour (by now it was 11P and we were exhausted), and finally go to bed without menus, and with no way to order breakfast into the room by morning.

We mentioned our troubles onsite, and the management acted horrified, and agreed to reimburse some of the room costs. However once we left the resort, we promptly got an email to the tune of "never mind, we don't think your troubles are worth our money."

We travel all over the world frequently, and this is literally the only time we have ever felt disappointed by a five star hotel (we are pretty open minded and tolerant!). If you are okay with over paying, subpar experience as long as you get a pretty picture of the beach, this is the place for you.

In retrospect, we should have realized that this resort ranks on the bottom of available posh options at zanzibar--we booked rather last minute during peak season and this was the only one with availability. Also, it's interesting that we ran into almost no americans during our stay, but some how most of the reviews are in English. Coincidence? I heard wonderful things about surrounding resorts. Please do yourself a favor and go elsewhere.

Nice building, but terrible service and even worse management
Reviewed 3 months ago

My girlfriend and I spent three days at Diamond of the East. We were assigned two butlers, one for the morning and one for the evening, which we were told would help us navigate the hotel and possible activities. Unfortunately, the butlers were non-responsive for hours at a time — meaning there was no way to order food until they returned — and had trouble keeping track of simple requests. Long story short, we brought this up to the managers multiple times, and in the end they gave us a free massage and their word to that they would refund half of what we paid to stay with them. After returning to the US they responded with their decision to back out of the agreement and did not refund any part of our stay.

This is not a five-star hotel as you might normally expect... the rooms are spacious with comfortable outdoor areas, but the services, food, drinks, and management cannot be compared with top beach hotels. Our experience was a dramatic contrast to the reviews we read online, so beware.

like a heavenly paradise
Reviewed 4 months ago

this was the best fo all our visits to any toher recreational location, best rooms and an excelent dishes with the most profesional service. We had wonderful beaches with all types of sea sports, and specially at nights the weather was real good and we could spent a week of fantastic time