Zanzibar, a Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa, is a full of white sand beaches, easygoing vibes and shady palms. Wherever you stay, you’ll find paradise. We list our top 10 places to base yourself on this beautiful island.
Pongwe Beach Hotel is a brilliant and affordable option for those looking for beachside luxury on a slightly tighter budget. This hotel is made up of 16 cottages spread across gardens located directly in front of the beach. They serve great food, and since the hotel also owns the surrounding land, the beach is often deserted making it the guests’ own private beach paradise.
If it’s luxury you’re after, look no further than Mnemba Island Lodge. One of the best-known and most luxurious of all of Zanzibar’s resorts, its thatch-sided suites will make you feel at home while the personal butlers will remind you that you’re being treated to an excellent hotel experience. Enjoy five-star service, incredible views and delicious food, freshly prepared.
The Palms hotel benefits from an excellent beach location and chilled-out vibe, both of which make this place popular with young travelers who want to explore what Zanzibar has to offer. Relax on white sand next to coconut trees in one of its six luxurious villas which are beautifully constructed in a mix of colonial and local styles. The hotel also has a sophisticated and well-renowned restaurant.
For seaside bliss, Baraza Resort & Spa is a luxury hotel that happens to be located on a beach consistently voted one of the beautiful stretches of sand in the world. Baraza is often described as Zanzibar’s most exclusive boutique resort. With only 30 villas this is a perfect spot to escape the crowds and just relax in what is complete heaven.
Shooting Star Lodge is a brilliant option for those who aren’t looking to spend a fortune but still want to stay in beachside accommodation on this beautiful island. A quiet, budget resort located on a fantastic beach, this small lodge features private bungalows with balconies. In spite of its accessible price you’ll still find intricately engraved four-poster beds in each room, a well-stocked bar, and a restaurant serving up delicious local and international food.
Matemwe Lodge was one of the first tourist accommodation venues on the island, and because of that it boasts a prime location. The hotel is perfectly situated in front of the top-class diving and snorkeling reefs of the Mnemba Atoll, and if you’re staying here you’ll be close to some of the best beaches in Zanzibar. Rooms are spacious and have mosquito nets and their own large bathrooms with deep bathtubs and walk-in showers.
Evoking the feeling of an African Colonial Country Club, the Zanibar Serena Inn is a solid choice for anyone looking to stay in the center of Stone Town. With its white walls, dark wooden furnishings the hotel is stylish, and its perfect location on the seafront means you can admire all the beauty of the sea without compromising on comfort.
Beyt al Chai is full of character and a great budget option. It has beautiful bedrooms featuring four poster beds, Arabic and African décor elements and rich golden tones. This hotel has a laid-back lounge for guests to relax in and a great restaurant where banquets can be held. The hotel also has its own spa and the staff are more than happy to help guests arrange excursions in and around Zanzibar.
Next Paradise boutique resort does very much what its name implies; it allows its guest to experience a little slice of paradise. A newly built resort, Next Paradise has 12 rooms and lies on the north-east side of Zanzibar at Pwani Mchangani. Rooms are luxuriously decorated with hand-carved solid wood furniture and precious oriental textiles, plus they all have air conditioning and a view of either the sea or the swimming pool.
Travelers looking for something a bit different should stay at Fundu Lagoon, a remote yet extremely stylish beach resort. Guests can feel like they are on a safari with a night’s stay in one of the safari-style tented rooms. Each room/tent has a private balcony and the resort is home to a beautiful infinity pool, an excellent restaurant and three bars. This spot offers the perfect romantic escape for honeymooners and beach lovers. Located on the neighboring island of Pemba, Fundu Lagoon is only accessible by boat and although it might be hard to reach the trip is well worth the effort.