The rumor of Zanzibar’s exotic Swahili idyll has spread. For many years the island was primarily a destination for adventurers and commercial travelers but today you can get a room in all categories. We have found different hotels where we would like to stay the next time we travel to Zanzibar.

Frontpage photo loaned by Kilindi Zanzibar.

In the mid 80’s only three hotels were found on Zanzibar. Today there is an ocean of accommodation to choose from. You can stay anywhere from five-star luxury hotels to simple bungalows on a backpacker budget along the coast. Or in the historic Stone Town, which houses both small hostels in the charming city center and traditionally decorated boutique hotels in former Arabian palaces.

Although most people choose to stay at one of the many hotels and resorts along the coast Zanzibar’s old town, Stone Town, is worth spending at least one night. When we visited the island we stayed at the resort Bluebay Beach on the east coast and took a taxi back and forth to the city, which took about One hour each way. That wasn’t optimal for us, as we would have liked to have more time to explore the city.

TIP: Make the most of your stay in Zanzibar and book a couple of days both in Stone Town and somewhere along the coast. If you plan to visit the island in high season you should book your hotel in good time as they are quickly filled up.

Foto udlånt af: Bluebay Beach
Photo loaned by: Bluebay Beach


Baraza Resort & Spa

At the beach of Bweejuu Beach located on the east coast you will find the 5-star Baraza Resort & Spa, which is often found on international magazines lists of the world’s best hotels. The hotel is described as an enchanting world of romance and ultimate luxury and decorated in a complete fusion of Arabic, Indian and Traditional Swahili design that gives you the feeling of staying at the palace of a Sultan.

Baraza Resort & Spa_1
Photo lent by: Baraza Resort & Spa
Baraza Resort & Spa_2
Photo lent by: Baraza Resort & Spa
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Photo lent by: Baraza Resort & Spa

Kilindi Zanzibar

By the coast of the northwestern part of Zanzibar 15 white luxury villas belong to the luxury hotel Kilindi and are among the island’s most unique. The villas have round vaulted rooms and organic shapes and are minimalist in style. All have sea views, private gardens, and two small pools and surrounded by a tropical oasis. And of course you will get your own butler that brings everything you need. If we some day go on our ‘second honeymoon’ – then we will stay here.

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Photos: Kilindi Zanzibar


Best reviewed hotel

One of Stone Town’s most atmospheric boutique hotels is set in a former 19th-century sultan palace and boasts a beautiful location in the city. Emerson Spice Hotel has a charming inner courtyard and is decorated with traditional details: wooden carved doors and balconies, stained glass windows, green potted plants, colored lamps – and as a scenic twist to the Swahili style the walls are painted in strong colors. The 11 rooms are furnished with unique furniture and antiques that enhance the sensual experience. On the rooftop terrace you will find one of the city’s best restaurants.

Emerson Spice Hotel_1
Photo lent by: Emerson Spice Hotel
Emerson Spice Hotel_2
Photo lent by: Emerson Spice Hotel
Emerson Spice Hotel_3
Photo lent by: Emerson Spice Hotel

Recommended in the middle class

In addition to Emerson Spice Hotel there are several hotels that we would consider to book when we travel back to Zanzibar one day. In particular, The Dhow Palace Hotel caught our interest when our guide showed us the interior. The hotel seemed so cozy! In style it reminded me of Emerson. It has a small pool inside the courtyard. In addition, the small boutique hotel Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel seemed like a nice place – and it is well located in the old town. If you want to live right on the beach, then Zanzibar Serena and Tembo House Hotel are recommendable.

If you want to stay by the coast there is an ocean of ​​hotels to choose from. Personally we would choose one located on the north tip of the island, as the beach is among the islands best. Also there are a small selection of different restaurants and beach bars that you can find within walking distance.


Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa

We stayed at Bluebay Beach Resort located at Kiwengwa Beach and is among the most popular on the East Coast. Stylishly decorated in traditional Swahili style the hotel has three restaurants, two bars, a spa and a gym and a large swimming pool. In addition there is a wealth of activities, including Diving and snorkeling excursions, windsurfing and canoeing and sailing. All rooms are peacefully located in an idyllic garden. Next to Bluebay Beach the sister hotel Sultan Sands Island Resort offers mid-range accommodation. We can warmly recommend both hotels.

Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa_1
Photo lent by: Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa
Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa
Photo lent by: Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa
Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa
Photo lent by: Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa
Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa
Photo lent by: Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa

The guide is based on an article that has been brought to Vagabond Travel Magazine.

Have you been to Zanzibar?



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