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“Perfect honeymoon destination”

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The Residence Zanzibar
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Kizimkazi
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Perfect honeymoon destination”
Reviewed 9 October 2012

We spent the most amazing 10 days here for our honeymoon.

We arrived to the hotel quite late at night and were tired, hungry and without our luggage (see below) so it was to our delight that not only was dinner waiting for us (the hotel had telephoned our taxi driver on route from the airport to find out what we would like for dinner), but we were upgraded to an ocean front villa. The villa was magnificent, if we could have moved in there permanently we would have! The private pool was much bigger than we were expecting, we spent most of our time there! We almost didn’t go to the main pool, but I’m glad we did as it was a huge infinity pool with glass walls which looked stunning.

My husband’s luggage got left in Nairiobi which seems to be a fairly common occurrence, but after explaining this to the hotel, they took over and called the airport. The next day they even drove the hour journey to collect it for us at no extra charge.

We went on the Prison Island and Jozani forest tour arranged by the hotel, which I would definitely recommend. Prison island was very beautiful and it was nice to see the giant tortoises on the island and monkeys in the forest. It was just us and our driver/guides which was a pleasant change to being in a massive group as we were able to tailor the day how we wanted it, and we also had our own personal guides.

Yes the food is quite expensive, but no more than normal 5 star prices, and was definitely worth it. We had half board but if we’d known they did full board we probably would have gone for that, as there is nowhere anywhere close by to have lunch. My only comments are that it would have been nice if the half board dinner came with a drink, which we had to pay for separately and the dessert portions were very small but that was probably because they were so delicious and we wanted more!

They provide you with a decent amount of free bottled water, in fact we always had more than we needed. The spa is worth checking out, I had a wonderful complimentary massage which was so good I also went back for the intense after-sun repair which included a facial and massage. For amazing sunsets, spend some time walking along the jetty, which was beautiful and very romantic.

It was the little touches that really made the Residence stand out. When it was BBQ night, they cooked a lovely vegetarian meal for my husband despite only serving meat. All the staff greeting you by name. When I was craving some chocolate and couldn’t see any in the shop, they called the restaurant who delivered a plate of luxury chocolate decorated with flowers to our villa!

On our last night, we had a very special private dinner in our villa. I won’t say too much to spoil the surprise for other honeymooners save as to say it was absolutely amazing. Definitely one to do on your last night. A perfect end to the perfect honeymoon.

Room Tip: Ocean front rooms defintely better/more privacy then garden rooms
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Paula K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2012

We picked this hotel for the first week of our honeymoon before going on to safari in Tanzania, having decided we wanted a week of total relaxation in a luxurious hotel. The Residence did not disappoint. It far exceeded our expectations and I would highly recommend this resort for other couples who want the ultimate honeymoon/luxury holiday experience. We were treated like royalty the entire time and couldn't really find anything to complain about- highly unusual for us, being a couple with quite high expectations of hotels, food and service!
We stayed in an ocean front villa, which was definitely more private than the beach or garden villas. Each villa has its own pool and terrace, outdoor shower and front and back gardens. Indoors there are 3 large rooms- living room area, bedroom and bathroom, all spotless and a perfect mix of modern and authentic decor. Every amenity was catered for. I noticed the cleaning staff replaced our toiletries every single day, so we rarely had to use our own shampoo or showergel as theirs were so good! With the Residence, the villa experience offered is so much more special and unique than staying in a room or suite in a hotel block.

The staff have to be commended, they were all excellent; so polite and pleasant and willing to do anything you asked. The food was also exceptional, especially the private dinner we had in our villa one night under the stars (complimentary for honeymooners). This is what memories are made of! We also loved the picnic hampers used for beach/pool dining, a really nice touch. We made use of the spa several times and got up close to one of the red colombus monkeys while in the spa jacuzzi. Yoga is offered twice a week on the jetty, unfortunately we managed to miss this on both occasions. Too busy enjoying the evening sunset from our villa I think. The jetty is such a spot, I would encourage the hotel to make more use of it by having drinks on it more than one night a week or by hosting live music there. Another plus is the bicycles for each guest- we loved cycling to and from the spa/dining room. It really was the most exercise we got all week!
September seemed to be a quiet month at the resort, but that suited us perfectly. We only left the resort one day to visit Stone Town and for a spice tour, but we could have happily spent every day there. As long as people realise how isolated and private the resort is you will not be disappointed. It's the perfect spot to totally get away from normal life and to be spoilt rotten. I would say not to be put off by the long bumpy lane down to the hotel. The road could do with resurfacing, but it's worth it once you arrive to a cold towel and ice cold drink after a long flight. A haven in the exotic island of Zanzibar.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sunnygirl_46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2012

We stayed here in early September after 5 days in Nungwi and 2 in Stonetown. This was the "treat" part of our honeymoon before Safari in Kenya. It is not possible to not have a nice time here. All the little touches are great. We used the bikes and gym a lot and the Yoga on the jetty was amazing as was the instructor. We would have taken more advantage of the other watersports available if we'd had more time. Private dinner in our villa was a definite highlight, I am not the romantic type, but it was very romantic! The food in general was excellent. My only criticisms were the desserts. They all looked so great on paper but all tended to be similar when tried. Most were mousse, pannacotta, creme brûlée, ice cream, sorbet style which while all tasty just got a little repetitive. A
few fruit crumbles, cakes, meringues etc would have been welcome too. Also while it is a luxury resort, I also think they should offer some wine options at a more reasonable rate, like a 20-30
dollar range would be good per bottle. From memory the cheapest was 45 dollars and they sky-rocketed from there! Hence we stuck with one glass per night while we were there, would have
liked more! Such a lovely place though, very quiet and not much going on at night but absolutely perfect for a couple of days on honeymoon....

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank louisecorco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harpenden, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2012

Our family, which includes four teenage boys, chilled out at the Residence after a week on safari and a couple of days in Stonetown. The resort is as stunningly beautiful as the photos suggest and there was plenty of room (wiith two folding beds) for all of us in one villa. We loved wheeling around the resort on the bikes supplied to everyone, and made the most of the Hobie Cats on the beach, and the free snorkeling trip.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MMcK288
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2012 via mobile

We stayed at The Residence after spending the first part of our honeymoon on safari in Kenya. We flew from Nairobi, but unfortunately our luggage didn't. The staff at The Residence could not have done more for us. We were given an 'emergency' kit on arrival which contained new polo shirts, toothbrushes, razor etc, which was complimentary and gratefully appreciated after travelling for 14 hours! The hotel staff immediately took over tracking the lost luggage, which arrived the following afternoon allowing us to go to bed to sleep.

We were upgraded to a beach fronted villa courteous of Kami (I hope I spelt your name correctly!) which was next to the presidential villa and Kami said that as it was empty, we could make use of the pool, garden and of course the private beach, which I loved!

The food was of fantastic quality and there was always plenty of it. Linda the restaurant manager ran the restaurant so well. She was friendly and nothing was too much trouble for her or the waiting staff. We had a private romantic dinner prepared for us on our veranda one evening, which was just stunning. The lengths the staff, especially Haji our waiter went to was above anything we had experienced before. The service that we received from each member of staff at The Residence was fantastic.

In short we travel a lot and stay at many hotels, but The Residence is quite simply the best hotel we have ever stayed in.

Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank grahamwhite78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bergen
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2012

We stayed here at the start of our honeymoon and as per all previous reviews it was amazing.

The villa was private (we were right at the end so less traffic) although the private pools are quite exposed and especially those on the beach. This was not an issue for us as on a whole the resort was very quiet and the staff were very attentive.

The spa facilities and couples massage were just what we needed after wedding planning.

The snorkeling excursion must be booked in advance but occasionally has room if you turn up and wait.

A great stay and we will definitely be returning!

Room Tip: Garden villa 301 is the last at one end, so is more private than most.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank travellingchick81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 6 Contributor
213 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2012

We went to The Residence for 4 nights at the recommendation of a friend to relax after a week's safari. It was a wonderful place. The staff were attentive and helpful, the villas spacious, the views amazing and the gardens wonderful to walk around. We arrived full of good intentions to do a couple of trips but the resort was so comfortable we didn't venture out of the gates. We'd paid extra for an ocean view villa - well worth it in our opinion as it was very private. We had our own small swimming pool (there was also a larger one near the dining room) and plenty of outside space where we could sit and enjoy the peace and scenery.

Room Tip: An ocean view villa costs more but is worth it.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sandjay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Residence Zanzibar

Property: The Residence Zanzibar
Address: Mchangamle, Kizimkazi 2404, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Kizimkazi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Kizimkazi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Residence Zanzibar 5*
Number of rooms: 66
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

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