The Residence Zanzibar is a spectacular new hotel in Southern Zanzibar. We stayed in the luxury garden villa. The villa was huge, with a separate living room and bedroom (perfect, as we put our 2-year-old in the living room and could close the door between rooms to separate things after he went to sleep), a large bathroom with double vanity, large soaking tub, and 2 showers (1 indoor, 1 outdoor). Both the living room and bedroom open onto a nice deck with a private pool for each villa! Our villa had a garden view of the nicely landscaped property without a direct ocean view, but ocean view and ocean front villas, along with 2-bedroom villas are also available.
Our rate was full board, so we enjoyed breakfast at the beachside restaurant, lunch usually at the main pool (an infinity pool overlooking the ocean), and dinner at one of two restaurants. The food was exceptionally good. Private in-villa dining is also offered.
The setting is very nice, with great landscaping adding to the private feel of the villas. The service is impeccable, with staff always happy to assist in any way that is needed. There are a relatively small number of villas (maybe 60), and they are pretty spread out, so it is typically very quiet. You get to and from your villa (if it is one of the ones that is farther away) via either a golf cart driven by hotel staff or by bicycles that are available for use throughout your stay (note that they have some bicycles with a baby seat attached to the back, but it would be helpful to add more of these, as none were available when we arrived). The hotel is located about 1 hour from stonetown by car.
Beach -- the beach is nice, but the sand is a bit rougher than the nice white powdery sand that you find in some other areas, and there is some seaweed (which they clean daily). It's not clear to me if there is always seaweed or not, as one of the staff said that they had recently had some bad weather that carried the seaweed in with it. Swimming in the ocean is possible mainly at high tide, and there are nice free (at least for our rate) activities like kayaking, paddle-boat, and sailing.
Pool -- Having a choice between your own pool at your villa and the huge, beautiful infinity pool is quite a luxury. Quite a dilemma to face every day. Both are incredibly nice. The pool-side service at the main pool is great - makes for a perfect place for lunch.
Service is amazing. Staff are incredibly well-trained and work very hard to make sure that guests are well taken care of. They also are very good at providing individual service -- whatever you need, the answer always seems to be yes.
The only disappointing thing about our stay was that it was only 2 nights. We definitely hope to come back soon. We have traveled a lot, but this is one of the top two places we've ever been. The only one that competes is Kona Village Resort on the big island of Hawaii, and that probably isn't a very fair comparison, as we were there for our honeymoon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Residence Zanzibar lies within a lush, forested 32-hectare estate where five-star luxuries sit harmoniously alongside nature's untouched beauty. Feel your spirits soar amid extensive tropical gardens that meet with powder-soft white sand lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Inspired by the island's eclectic cultures, our luxury Zanzibar resort blends modern comforts with Swahili, Omani, British and Indian influences. Indulge in the privacy of the spacious villas, attended on if you wish by your own personal butler. Enjoy carefree days relaxing by your private pool, on the beach, or exploring the gardens on foot or by bicycle. Savour a taste of the Spice Island's unique blend of cultures and cuisines, and the pleasure of sensational spa treatments. Discover more of the island and the waters that surround it in a myriad of activities, from visiting historic sites and rare natural wonders to deep sea fishing and diving with dolphins. Whether you dream of a quiet couple's retreat or fun in the sun for the whole family, embrace all the delights of our island life at The Residence Zanzibar. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Residence Zanzibar Hotel Kizimkazi
- The Residence Zanzibar Zanzibar Island/Kizimkazi