ROUND eyes bulge and Explorason says “WOW” as we walk into the massive open African building, and we gasp at the incredible expanse of coconut palms and ROUND African-style ‘huts’ that are before us.
In fact, these are not huts, but rather grand ROUND guest villas dotted across a perfectly manicured garden that stretches below to the sea.
I’ve parked our 4WD in a nice shady corner of the car park behind the secure gates of this massive resort, and we are then shown into the large lobby seating in the grand entrance hall area, whilst we receive our welcome drink and check-in.
Walking around the Gardens
Ocean Paradise Zanzibar – Resort & Spa is also a natural paradise, and many birds can be found throughout the gROUNDs. The gardens are really well established, and what most may not know about me, is that I studied horticulture at a school located in the Adelaide Botanical Gardens in my early years to become a Landscape Designer. So I’ve always loved a lush garden setting like the one spread before me.
As we walk around the gardens Golden Yellow Weaver birds are plentiful, and their ROUND nests are suspended in spiked plants adjacent to the waterfall that cascades below the reception area.
Traditional ROUND African Buildings
We seem to take path after path around manicured lawns on the way to our own ROUND African villa with traditional ‘Makuti’ thatched roof – located right by the sea at the very front of the property.
It is completely ROUND, with a ROUND table, ROUND stool, ROUND lamps, and even a bathroom that curves AROUND with one of the nicest resin-lacquered stone floors I’ve seen (so smooth on my feet.)
Out the front, we have our own verandah tucked to the side of our ROUND villa, that looks out to the Indian Ocean, and later this is where I sit and drink my coconut (which was ROUND, of course), fresh from the tree.
Sitting aROUND For ROUND Pancakes
Each afternoon many of the guests would gather at one end of the property near the swimming pool for Afternoon Tea.
A relaxed event where chilled Hibiscus Tea (yum), Coffee, Tea, Pancakes, Cakes and other delights were served under the palm trees. We looked forward to this event.
Everyday activities are plentiful because this is a huge resort attracting many because of the traditional old-style African gROUNDs it is set in.
From guests spinning around in the water doing their aerobics exercises to volleyballs spinning ROUND in mid-air, guests are busy, or not so busy enjoying their vacation.
The ROUND ping-pong balls, hit by ROUND bats, and ROUND dart boards are pinned with flying darts.
Bicycle wheels go ROUND and ROUND as guests hire them out down in the recreation area and cycle to a local village or along the foreshore.
Smiles All aROUND
Love the smiles of the staff here. The minute you look at their ROUND happy mouths, your ROUND face will beam right back at them!
Breakfast aROUND The Buffet
Morning rolls around too quickly after our lovely sleep in air-conditioning, and we had some exercise walking from our seafront ROUND villa, through this grand property grounds of Ocean Paradise Zanzibar – Resort & Spa and up the steps to the main building hall to where breakfast is served.
Here breakfast is set up around two hexagon tables you, so you walk around the tables or head to the two sides of the hall for hot food stations.
I was really impressed one morning that I asked if they had any papaya and the staff offered for me to return to my table and they’d prepare it for me. A huge plate of fresh papaya arrived soon after. (Papaya is believed to be a great anti-cancer fruit by the way).
Another thing I loved was that we were encouraged to learn a couple of words of Swahili each day.
The Music Goes aROUND and aROUND
Each evening dinner was served by the pool and bar area.
Themed individually for that day, a band was set up in the center ROUND area joined to the land by a small arch bridge.
I loved that guests got up and danced, spinning aROUND and ROUND as the African music went aROUND and AROUND my head. ‘Jambo, Jambo Bwana’ is a very catchy song that once you have it in your mind, you can’t forget it!
‘Jambo, Jambo Bwana’ is a very catchy song – that once you have it in your mind, you can’t forget it!
Food aROUND a Theme
The International Buffet nights are served by the pool area. Each night has its own unique edge with menu, clothing, band themed aROUND traditional Zanzibar, or similar style and flare.
The ‘All You Can Eat’ buffet was packed with variety, so I can see why this resort attracts the hearty eaters. They’d come early to dinner, and enjoy hours of eating in style!
We had an emergency late one day when my son needed urgent medical assistance. We dashed and phoned around the property trying to find a doctor when he sustained an injury.
It started in the swimming pool, and by the time he took a walk on the beach, he was in pain. When we returned to our ROUND villa, he was screaming in agony!
We finally had a great Guest Relations staff member of the resort come to our aid. Whilst there was no doctor on duty at Ocean Paradise Zanzibar – Resort & Spa (as it was early Sunday evening), this staff member called a nearby resort that has a ‘clinic on-site’ and had them on standby ready for our arrival, whilst we rushed my son there for treatment.
Being in an exotic location, it is often a concern for families with children that medical treatment is not nearby, but the nurse that treated my son was just fantastic.
He received top medical care that evening and this ensured a speedy recovery.
I was touched that over the next couple of days several of the staff here at Ocean Paradise Zanzibar – Resort & Spa asked how he was feeling and if he was now ‘on the mend’.
I was also really glad I had the 4WD we had rented from ZanCars so I was able to drive him with no delay when this occurred.
Getting AROUND Zanzibar
Zanzibar is actually made up of two islands, with the more popular touristic island being where the capital city of these islands finds its home – Stone Town.
The eastern coast towards the north is stunning, and dotted along the white sandy shores are many of the 5-star resorts.
Although the resort is located adjacent to the main east coast road (which makes it easier than some resorts to get to), I woke on my last morning and lay in bed and listened to nothing.
I think the tranquillity and silence attract so many of the guests that come here to relax on a sun bed under a coconut tree with a good book.
Of course, the bar staff will come around for drink orders, so guests need not move a muscle – they can lie in the sun or shade, sipping a beer.
We’ve loved our month on Zanzibar so far. If you are planning a vacation, why not try an exotic African location. You too may want to stay in a unique African Round House Villa too.
You will wake to the ROUND glow of the sun dawning before you as it raises itself in an orange or yellow glow over the ocean.
Virtually all you need is available at this grand-sized resort, and you will wander around amazing and pinching yourself that you finally made it to the Ocean Paradise of Zanzibar.
See you aROUND at Ocean Paradise Zanzibar – Resort & Spa
Address: Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa