Tanzania-Experience Sales Manager Alexander recently swapped his desk and computer for the white beaches of Zanzibar to see for himself which accommodation is the perfect fit for which type of traveller – because we only sell what we know.
Here are his Top 5 picks of where to stay in Zanzibar, whether you love luxury, are on a budget or bring the family along:
On a budget? I recommend the…
NUR Beach Resort
Located in Jambiani, known for its white sandy beaches, the NUR beach resort is for those who are on a budget, but still expect good service at a quality accommodation. You will sleep in one of the ten bungalows with access to the communal pool. I love that the owners take pride in Zanzibar’s traditions and nature. The furniture is handmade, using wood of fishing boats and driftwood, the roofs are made of palm-leaves in makuti-style, which gives it a true-Zanzibarian feeling. From the pool, you can access the open lounge and bar, which makes it the ideal spot for sundowners and get-togethers. I would recommend NUR bungalows for couples or best friends only: The bathroom is not separated from the bedroom.
Love luxury? I recommend the…
The Palms Zanzibar
This gem of a boutique hotel is part of the Zanzibar Collection and adored by high-end travellers for its privacy, elegance and exceptional service. With only six private villas, The Palms makes for a very intimate setting. What I like most about The Palms is its location: It is situated between the Baraza Resort and Spa and the Breezers Beach Club and Spa, both being part of the Zanzibar Collection, as well. Guests at The Palms have access to the facilities at the Baraza and Breezers, such as gym, kayak, sauna and spa. If you had enough action for the day, you return to your recluse at The Palms. This way, you get the best of both worlds.
Madly in love? I recommend the…
Boutique Hotel Matlai
On your honeymoon, everything needs to be just perfect – understandably – as it is a once in a lifetime trip, if things go according to plan. Zanzibar is not in short supply of fantastic places to spend your honeymoon. However, you can’t go wrong with the Boutique Hotel Matlai in Michamvi on the south-east coast. Six rooms in two separate houses, beautifully decorated and with a pool make for a good starting point for the perfect honeymoon. What sets the Matlai apart are the private butlers who will serve breakfast or dinner in bed, by the pool or in the garden. You are given a mobile phone and can call the butler whenever you are hungry and prepared to receive company. No unannounced knocks on the door, when you have more exciting things on your mind than food.
Bringing the little ones along? I recommend the…
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort
Keeping everyone happy on a family holiday is not always easy, having to cater for different age groups and preferences. If you travel as family or even a group of several families, the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort will welcome you with open arms and ensure there is plenty to please parents and children of all ages. Play table tennis, pool or beach volleyball or relax at the spa, while the smaller children enjoy building sand castles at the kids-club. The four interflowing swimming pools alone should provide enough entertainment to keep the family busy though. The resort is located at the west coast which makes it an excellent spot for sipping sundowners while watching the sunset – this activity is for adults only, of course.
Travelling alone? I recommend…
The Z Hotel
Whether you travel by yourself to simply enjoy your own company or are looking to make new friends, the Z Hotel is the place to go. The rooms are spacious and invite you to linger and sleep in; read a good book on the deck or by the pool. Get active at Z’s dive centre or enjoy a massage at their mini-spa. What I liked most about the Z, are its three different restaurants. You dine with an ocean view or even directly on the beach and can choose between a wide range of cuisines. The Z attracts younger crowds and the atmosphere is very relaxed, but not rowdy. I really like the location in the village of Nungwi. This is the livelier part of Zanzibar and you can walk from the Z Hotel to restaurants and bars close by, if you are looking to meet new people.
My personal favourite and best-kept secret…
has to be Kichanga Lodge
If you have just returned from a safari and are not quite ready yet to leave the bush behind, transition back into the “real world” with ease at the Kichanga Lodge. At the remote beach you will stay in safari-style bungalows, relax at the pool and reminisce about your recent wildlife adventures. The Kichanga Lodge is also suitable for families who are looking for a more private get-away.