Zanzibar Island Hotels

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  • DAO profile photo DAO
  • Reviews: 4023

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

BLUE OYSTER: RELAXING GUESTHOUSE

This place on the beach seems to be owned by someone in Germany. That would explain why their website is based in Germany and priced in Euros. Several VT and Travel Advisor members have reviewed the Blue Oyster and were happy with the hotel. Some have described it as more of a guest house. They offer 3 types of rooms: The buildings and décor look great, they are known to have an excellent restaurant and their location is right on the beach. You are only a few steps from the surf. All rooms have hot water. They also offer telephone and laundry facilities. The Blue Oyster is one of the few hotels in Zanzibar that will take Visa Cards and Travellers Cheques (charges for the cheques). You also have access to a safety deposit box. I did walk past the Blue Oyster several times and had a good look round, but it was closed when I visited Jambiani (rainy season).


*** CLOSED DURING THE RAINY SEASON ***


• Roof-top restaurant
• Right on the beach
• Modern décor
• Renowned restaurant

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Romantic Travel and Honeymoons, Family Travel, Budget Travel
  • Written February 2, 2009
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  • DAO profile photo DAO
  • Reviews: 4023

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SHEHE BUNGALOWS: THE FIRST GUESTHOUSE IN JAMBIANI

Why do they call it She He? I have no idea. This set of bungalows and its annex sit right on the southern beach of the village of Jambiani. When I say right on the beach, it looks like a huge wave would wash it away – it is so close to the tide. It does not have the gardens that Mount Zion does, but its rooms and reception area looked very nice. It is right next door to another hotel with good facilities. Shehe (different spelling abound) claims to be the first guesthouse to be built in Jambiani. They offer single, double and triple rooms at ok prices.


All rooms are equipped with:

• A ‘balcony’ facing the beach
• Beds with mosquito nets
• Fans
• Small refrigerator
• Hot water
• Breakfast included

They do some meals.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Romantic Travel and Honeymoons, Family Travel, Budget Travel
  • Written December 16, 2008
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  • flytheworld profile photo flytheworld
  • Reviews: 29

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

Tembo House Hotel: Great Hotel in Stone Town

The Tembo House Hotel in Zanzibar's Stone Town is a great hotel for those wanting to be in the heart of the city. Close to the beach, the shops, and the sights, Tembo House Hotel is the perfect jumping-off point for lots of activities in Zanzibar.

Tembo House Hotel Zanzibar

Pool, Great Restaurant with outdoor seating

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Written April 10, 2008

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  • flytheworld profile photo flytheworld
  • Reviews: 29

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge: Hakuna Matata

Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge is a great hotel in Zanzibar. Located a short drive from Stone Town, the lodge consists of private bungalows and a secluded beach. Romantic and serene, the Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge is perfect for a honeymoon or a getaway with a significant other. The owners are kind and helpful, the food fresh and delicious and the staff are welcoming and accommodating.

Hakuna Matata Beach Lodge

Private Bungalows, Private Beach

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
  • Written April 10, 2008

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  • janiebaxter profile photo janiebaxter
  • Reviews: 561

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

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Mnemba Island Lodge: Island Paradise

Mnemba Island is a typical desert island only two km northeast of Zanzibar and is 1.5km around.
It has a pristine beach with brilliant, soft, white sand and protected waters to conserve the coral reefs, giant turtles and tropical fish in the lagoon.

This is the only place to stay on the island, and the only people on Mnemba are lodge staff and guests, guaranteeing romance privacy.

Rooms are simply but stylishly furnished, in a rustic style with traditional materials and are all right on the beach facing the sea. There is no need for shoes here - it is barefoot luxury

You can swim around the island, snorkel, dive, go fishing or waterski and windsurf. The beach is full of the most amazing shells - some of them massive, but you are not allowed to take them away.
As well as over 300 species of fish, Green and Hawksbill turtles nest here and there are rays, Bottlenose, Spinner and Striped dolphin and Humpback whales in season. The gigantic, harmless Whale Shark, the world's largest fish. You can go game fishing for barracuda and marlin, which are tagged prior to release.

There are many birds and the shy tiny Zanzibar suni antelope inhabit the forest.
The island has no snakes, mosquitoes, scorpions and rats but has many Ghost crabs and coconut crabs.

Barefoot luxury - all made from natural materials and open. A proper desert island lodge.

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Romantic Travel and Honeymoons, Beaches, Luxury Travel
  • Written October 3, 2007
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Mnemba Island lodge

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  • janiebaxter profile photo janiebaxter
  • Reviews: 561

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Emerson and Green: Stay in Zanzabari Style

Emerson and Green, now known as ‘236 Hurumzi Street’ is romantic and stylish and was the first boutique hotel on Zanzibar.
It is a beautifully-restored mid-19th century mansion on a narrow street in the middle of Stone Town with a roof terrace restaurant and an open sitting area.
It originally the home of one of the wealthiest men in the Swahili Empire who worked for the Sultan.
The rooms are all decorated in a mix of Zanzibari and eccentric style.

The best feature is at the top of the hotel, the tiny Tower Top Restaurant which is the second highest point in Stone Town. It has wonderful views over Stone Town and gets very busy as the food is also excellent and is Zanzibari style.

  • Opinion of Price: N/A
  • Related to: Jungle and Rain Forest, Beaches, Luxury Travel
  • Written October 3, 2007
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Bedroom at Emerson and Green


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  • eli034 profile photo eli034
  • Reviews: 10

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

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Manch Lodge: Stone Towns most charming

Manch Lodge is a small hotel/hostel located in the old part. The people who runs it is nice and helpful. Say hello from Mama Kibanda and tell them about my recommendation.

no pool, no great view - but great people and atmosphere!!

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Written April 13, 2007

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  • maharaja_joe profile photo maharaja_joe
  • Reviews: 62

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

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St. Monica: Budget accomodation

The rooms are what you would expect for budget accomodation. Each room also has a small balcony overlooking a garden. I went to Flamingo before deciding on St. Monica ... the rooms here are much better than Flamingo. The room is not self-contained, in other words, you have to use a common bathroom. Breakfast is provided and is very simple. When I was there, it was Coffee, chapatti and eggs. I dont think they gave more than one serving.

They charge around USD 12, but you can bargain and bring it down to USD 10. I went in March. The hostel is managed by the church, so smoking and drinking on premises are not allowed. The church is built on the site of the former slave market, and is a part of the Stone Town tour.

Note for a budget traveller: You can sneak in for free. The guards are cool about it if you are a guest of the hostel. You can also see the slave quarters for free. Entry, otherwise, is approximately USD 3.

Balcony with each room. Right next to the old slave market and the Anglican church. The hostel is built on the old slave quarters. You can go down to the basement and see it. Walking distance from Stone Town and the market.

  • Opinion of Price: least expensive
  • Related to: Budget Travel, Backpacking
  • Written March 29, 2007
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View of balcony from the street

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  • bumpychick profile photo bumpychick
  • Reviews: 183

3 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Mapenzi Beach Club: All inclusive Hotel

Mapenzi Beach is a very attractive hotel, built in a traditional style. The rooms are located in 'bungalow's; some at sea level, others set in the grounds or on the hill. The hotel has good facilities and the food on offer (which is all inclusive) is of high quality.
Our sea front room wasn't as close to the sea as we had hoped; the beach is quite wide and there are quite a lot of plants and trees which partially obscure the view. These rooms are however, well located for grabbing a sunbed on the sand, there aren't really enough around the pool.
The big downside of this hotel, and the others on the same stretch of beach, is the distance from Stone Town. When we visited, the road to the hotel was un-made, and very bumpy. You really need to travel in a 4x4 in order to get there in an 'unrattled' state! The trip takes about an hour on this road, so it's a good thing the hotel is all inclusive; popping out to a local restaurant is not really a possibility.

  • Opinion of Price: about average
  • Related to: Spa and Resort
  • Written March 10, 2007
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Mapenzi Beach Club


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  • mimi2006 profile photo mimi2006
  • Reviews: 20

5 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

Paradise beach Bungalows: The best food in Zanzibar - chakula tamu!

My Dad took me here and he has been coming here for the past 10 years! Paradise beach is run by an eccentric but oh so lovely and friendly Japanese lady - Saori. The accommodation consists of small bungalows (private bathroom) right on Paje Beach. The dinner here is Japanese style but you can also order swahili cuisine, both of which are really good. Saori can arrange spice tours, boat trips, forest safaris.....it is all in all a fabulous place to be. Paje Beach is simply paradise. White sands clear warm waters what else can you want??

  • Opinion of Price: least expensive
  • Written February 27, 2007
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right on the beach


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  • DAO profile photo DAO
  • Reviews: 4023

4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

TEMBO HOUSE HOTEL: 5 STAR IN STONE TOWN

The Tembo House Hotel is a real ‘WOW’. It has an understated front that opens into a dramatic courtyard that has a fantastic swimming pool surrounded by the inner balconies of the spectacular rooms. Go past this to sit on the terrace and have a cold drink or a great meal as you take in the sights of the ocean and nearby islands.

The hotel is an old building that housed the American Consulate in 1834. In 1884 it become the premises of Cowasjee Dinshaw & Partners who managed trading companies in the western Indian Ocean. Their name is still on the main entrance of the hotel.

Facilities
• Fantastic swimming pool in the courtyard
• Own beach in front of the terrace restaurant and bar
• Bahari Restaurant (local and international cuisine)
• Internet Café
• Laundry

Rooms
• Most with balconies overlooking the ocean or swimming pool
• Air-conditioning
• Refrigerator
• Telephone
• Satellite TV
• Mosquito netting/fans
• Large Zanzibarian beds

Even if you do not stay here, come for a meal on the terrace. The food is fantastic and you can enjoy authentic African dishes with a gentle breeze and a fantastic view. The swimming pool is the best of the few in Stone Town. Go for a dip! Changing rooms and toilets are pool side.

  • Opinion of Price: most expensive
  • Related to: Romantic Travel and Honeymoons, Spa and Resort, Food and Dining
  • Written February 11, 2007
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  • DAO profile photo DAO
  • Reviews: 4023

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CASA DEL MAR: SMALL AND NICE - ON THE EAST COAST

The Casa Del Mar is a nice small hotel in the middle of the Village and borders several other hotels. It does have lots of great reviews, but I am afraid I did not stay here. I did, however, find them one very hot day as I walked down the beach. They have a circular and open sided restaurant that is very close to the beach and offers some great views of the Indian Ocean. They do not serve alcohol, but the cokes are ice cold and the staff were very friendly and professional. The hotel certainly looked up to a high standard and they keep their beach and sandy paths cleaned.

Even if you do not stay here, I would recommend at least one evening meal here, just for the atmosphere.

*** CASA DEL MAR IS OPEN IN THE RAINY SEASON ***

Casa Del Mar is a nice small hotel in the middle of the Village and borders several other hotels. It does have lots of great reviews, but I am afraid I did not stay here. I did, however, find them one very hot day as I walked down the beach. They have a circular and open sided restaurant that is very close to the beach and offers some great views of the Indian Ocean. They do not serve alcohol, but the cokes are ice cold and the staff were very friendly and professional. The hotel certainly looked up to a high standard and they keep their beach and sandy paths cleaned.

*** CASA DEL MAR IS OPEN IN THE RAINY SEASON ***

Please note the fantastic pictures are with the kind permission of the nice people who own Casa Del Mar Hotel!

  • Opinion of Price: less expensive than average
  • Related to: Backpacking, Budget Travel, Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
  • Written January 22, 2007
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  • Saagar profile photo Saagar
  • Reviews: 2175

2 out of 5 starsUser Rating

3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

won't mention it: Hotel under construction...

We stayed at a hotel/resort on the NE coast that was under construction (we knew that), and the facilities were superb. What we didn't like was the macho attitude of white South African males who ran the place (investors apparently from RSA) and how they were roughing up theri local staff and talked with and about women in public. Not good. I will not come back despite all the good facilities.

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Related to: Family Travel, Beaches, Diving and Snorkeling
  • Written January 18, 2007
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no name hotel


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  • kixon profile photo kixon
  • Reviews: 69

1 out of 5 starsUser Rating

2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

DO NOT GO TO TEMBO HOTEL!

Horrible horrible horrible times 1000! The hotel looks very special from the lobby but it's a very wierd hotel. If I would have expected a 1-2 star hostel then I would have been fine with the following, but this is a very high rated hotel, it's at least 3 star. (Its a histroic hotel, which I guess is the reason why its so highly rated)
Situated right by the local beach anyone has access to the hotel pool area. The corridors were filthy, stairs were dirty and the rooms were bare and gave a very hostel-like impression. The beds were on high poles and when we asked why the cleaning lady shrugged and said: big bugs. :D Another lady came in just after we had tried to localize where the bell boy had carried our bags(he hadn't moved them from the lobby and they were lying there unattended), this lady had to spraycans in her hand, one odour-thing and one bug spray. She emptied the cans and shooed us away in some local language, and our room smelled so bad :S We had been promised a room with a balcony but instead we were put on the ground floor, just by the pool, so we could hear all screams and noise from outside.
Mum and dad had a balcony which was smaller than a backseat of a car!
All night I could hear roaches screech in our room and I saw a huuuge lizard scattering across our wall.

Guess if we checked out the next morning

Some of the furniture were very antique and gave a historic impression. The pool is nice as long as noone from the beach comes jumping in it.

  • Opinion of Price: more expensive than average
  • Written January 7, 2007

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  • peterdhduncan profile photo peterdhduncan
  • Reviews: 175

4 out of 5 starsUser Rating

Shooting Star Lodge

Shooting Star Lodge isn't what we would call luxurious (by European standards anyway) as the bungalows are fairly sparsely furnished, although comfortable.

However, its position on top of a small cliff and the views from it are superb; the restaurant is excellent, the staff are very helpful and friendly and, although small, the swimming pool on a promontory of the cliff is idyllic. Our bungalow had its own large private wooden terrace with sunbeds.

It's a good place to relax and chill out, and is very much on its own, although you can walk along the beach to an attractive larger hotel.

One problem (as with the rest of Zanzibar) is that the electricity goes off frequently, and if it happens at night, the air-conditioning cuts out!

The journey from the airport takes an hour or so.

  • Opinion of Price: N/A
  • Written January 1, 2007
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Our Bungalow

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