Summer Dream Lodge
Zanzibar is blessed with long stretches of truly beautiful beaches. The azul waters and fine powdery white sands are comparable to legendary Boracay, Philippines (pre-development!) Paje, located on the eastern shores of the Zanzibar Archipelago is one such beach.
We recently spend 2 days there and found a gem of a place to stay for the budget conscious traveler.
Summer Dream Lodge, owned and operated by a Zanzibari and expat couple is clearly the product of an experienced traveler.
Having stayed in numerous traveler style guest houses, Summer Dream lodge has done a lot of things very right!
Located approximately 100m along sandy track to the beach. Summer Dream Lodge is a groomed sand courtyard filled with lush African shrubs, trees and flowering plants. Among the foliage are 3 day beds and hammocks. All within walking distance to the restaurant and bar area.
We loved our stay there and in the following post we will outline the room options, facilities, food options and details of how to get there.
The property is located a little way out of Paje centre. Approx 2km walk by road or along the beach north of the settlement centre.
The property sits back from the beach approximately 100m and can be accessed via a sandy walkway.
Summer Dream Lodge offers 4 room types:
All rooms except the Dorm room option are ‘Bandas’. Made from woven coconut palm leaves with painted concrete floors. All beds have mosquito nets.
These are the biggest rooms for couples in the hostel. Rooms include a king bed with the option to add an extra single. En-suite bathroom plus a terrace area in the front with sofa style chair and table.
Dorms accommodate 7 people. Each single bed comes with a personal cupboard and light. The room has 3 ceiling fans. Guests use the shared bathroom facility.
Double room/Triple Room
Double and Triple rooms offer private rooms ideal for travelling couples or friends. Rooms have kingsize bed, portable fan and a shelving unit. All rooms have their own personal shaded terrace with sofa style chair and table. A single bed can be added if required. Guests use the shared bathroom facility.
These rooms are ideal for small groups. Rooms have 4 single beds, portable fan and 2 shelving unit All rooms have their own personal shaded terrace with sofa style chair and table. Guests use the shared bathroom facility.
The complex certainly has a rustic appeal. Peeling paint here and there, structures made from branches and trees sourced locally. The effect is a true travelers hangout full of charm.
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One of the best features of the Summer Dream Lodge is the beautifully developed and maintained courtyard that the property sits within. Filled with soft white sand and shaded by native African foliage, it is perfect for enjoying a cool drink from the bar.
There are 3 hanging queen size day beds beneath woven coconut palm leaves roof. A hammock, bench seats and wooden table and chairs.
Its a beautiful place to relax and stay cool between strolls to the beach.
All rooms except the comfort rooms use the shared bathroom.
Personally, I’m OK with this. I’m not a fan of having wet areas to close to where I sleep unless they’re keep immaculately clean. Many budget accommodation options can be a little hit and miss in this regard.
Fortunately, Summer Dream Lodge is kept clean.
The Shared bathrooms are large with separate men and women sections. Each has 2 showers with hot water and 2 toilets in each. The bathroom block is a short distance from all rooms.
The courtyard area has good Wi-Fi available free of charge. The best signal is in the restaurant and bar area.
Generally the whole property is very clean and tidy. There are a handful of ground staff that groom the courtyard sand every morning.
Several housekeepers kept the rooms in very good condition. Rooms are cleaned daily during your stay.
Staff can organize for housekeeping to do laundry for a small fee. Generally takes a day to have it returned to you.
Restaurant and Bar
The onsite restaurant and bar offers all the Tanzanian food and refreshment favorites. Located in the main building at the center of the courtyard. There are several table and chairs in the open restaurant area and has a large wooden bar area. If your looking for somewhere cool with a relaxed laid back vibe this is a great place to hangout for a few hours.
The bar serves most local beers plus a range of spirits. They serve a selection of cocktails plus their are excellent fresh made smoothies. Try the banana and date smoothie with coconut milk!
Food options in Paje are limited for those on a budget. Tourist restaurants down the beach offer many traveler favorites however at inflated prices. The best among them being Mr Kahawa.
Along with great accommodation, Summer Dream Lodge offers some of the best affordable food options in Paje.
Summer Dream Lodge offers a fantastic breakfast for guests. At the time of writing breakfast was included in the rate and is served from 8am til 11am. Options included a choice of egg options plus one of pancakes, toasted sandwich, chapati or croissants. Which ever the cook chooses for the day. It also comes with a selection of fruits, glass of juice and tea or coffee.
Enjoying breakfast in the sandy courtyard under the shade of the thatched umbrellas Makes for a great start to the day.
Lunch and Dinner
The restaurant has a typical local menu. All the favorite local dishes such as vegetable curry, Zanzibar pizza, chapatis and biryanis. The menu also includes western favorites like burgers and Italian pizza. Of course being a beach destination fresh grilled fish caught daily is also served.
Considering the price the food is of good quality and portions really big. The fish was particularly delicious.
The property is locally owned and operated. This gives it a lovely personal homely feel.
From our experience all staff were very welcoming and curious. Its a relaxed environment so there is never a hurry so don’t expect things to be done immediately. But any request is generally never to much trouble.
Staff are happy to organize transport and provide local recommendations.
The property is located outside of central Paje and away from the main Paje beach which is best for swimming at high tide.
The beach directly adjacent the summer dream lodge is still beautiful. But best at low tide when you can observe the seaweed farmers at work and wade / swim through the clear shallow waters.
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Getting there and away
If your planning to travel to Paje, typical options include Taxi or taking a Dalla Dalla from Stonetown.
Travelling by taxi is the most convenient option. If you do decide to take a Taxi most hotels and hostels can organize this for you. At the time of writing Taxi fares from Stonetown to Paje where approximately $USD 25 or 50000 tzs. Trip take about 1 hour.
Catching a Dalla Dalla is a more ‘adventurous’ transport option. Be prepared from cramped conditions at times and ask your hotel what the approximate fare should be. Otherwise expect to pay to much. At the time of writing one way fares were 2000 tzs per person. If you have luggage you may be asked for 500 tzs more.
For more detailed information on getting around Tanzania see our post How to get around Tanzania.
If you are looking for somewhere in Paje, relaxed with good facilities at a good price. Then don’t go past the Summer Dream Lodge.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time here and would’ve happily stayed longer. To book your stay click here.