Thanks for dropping me a line. I was going to let you know in fact that we had the most amazing time - especially in Selous. Siwandu was fantastic, I loved every single minute of it. On the third day we got to see elephants really up close (we blocked the one of one and it walked 1m close to our jeep), a family of lions devouring a freshly killed wildebeest and then met a huge herd of buffalo. The people are so nice. It was the first time I've ever been really really sad to leave a place after being there only 3 days! It was all spot on, couldn't fault anything at all.
As for Zanzibar, I was disappointed with the Hideaway… It's not a place I'd recommend. It may be that we have high standards but there were a number of things that were just slack. On the upside, the staff were absolutely lovely I have to say, the bedrooms were nicely decorated and the beach was beautiful. We got there after lunch and had a burger on the terrace which was just inedible. If it wasn't for having to eat something to keep down the Malarone, I would have sent it all straight back. The burgers (fish & chicken) were just gross, the chips were soggy and the cheese tasted very strange. We just ate the bread and told the girl when she came to take it away why we'd left just about everything on the plate but we still had to pay 45 dollars for the experience. Towels and bathrobes were missing too - and completely randomly, one day they were there, other days we had none. One day Sebastien only had a hand towel to get dried with, we asked a maid and called guest services but nothing was changed. The air con made a right racket too, couldn't sleep with it on. We did mention it when we talked to guest services about the burger experience but nothing was done or said. Drinks too were rather inconsistent. We managed to get 4 different versions of the same cocktail. Sometimes we ordered coffee at breakfast but it never came. A night we dined in the Teppanyaki restaurant it took them 2 and a half hours to serve us 5 courses from a set menu. Some people even left half way through. I would have told them these comments had there been a space to do so but there wasn't. Management of the F&B just seemed to swan in and out of the restaurants with their walkie talkie not really seeing what was going on. These were all relatively small problems (that could be resolved with better management and a bit more training of the staff) but not something I would have expected from a hotel under the LHW umbrella (which is why we chose it). 5 star? no, rather an iffy 4…
We met with Max who came to pick us up as the transfer back to the airport was 30 mins late, they'd had some problem with the normal driver and he'd tried to leave us a message but the girl never passed it on. He was a cool character. The only other problem we had was that the transfer from the Serena hotel took us back to the International airport - despite having asked us where we were going and we told him Selous. We then just jumped into a cab as no one from Coastal could come and pick us up.
We took some amazing photos from the trip, I'm just sorting through them now but here are a couple I posted on my FB account already :-)
We've got the Africa bug, now wondering where our next trip will be…. If we need any help, I'll definitely drop you a line.
Hope the wedding went well!
Faye and Sebastien
Ed's Note: Faye has given a rather strong review of Hideaway Resort in her feedback. In keeping with our policy of posting unedited reviews and feedback from clients we have posted it as Faye sent it over to us but we would also like to note that we hadn't recommended Hideaway to Faye but that they had chosen the property themselves. The feedback has been passed on to the property and if anything comes of it we will post an update here.
SEE THEIR GALLERY