Paradise Found: Exactly Where to Stay in Zanzibar

The 20 Best Zanzibar Hotels:

Picture yourself on the shores of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by pristine turquoise waters, powdery white sand, and swaying palm trees…. Welcome to Zanzibar! 🏝️

This is a tropical paradise off the coast of Tanzania, where luxury resorts offer an unparalleled escape for discerning travellers seeking relaxation, indulgence, and unforgettable experiences.

In this article, I’ll uncover some of Zanzibar’s best hotels, each promising a slice of heaven on this idyllic island.

#1 The Residence Zanzibar

If you’re trying to decide exactly where to stay in Zanzibar and seeking somewhere a bit boujee, check out The Residence Zanzibar, which is situated on the island’s southwest coast and epitomises luxury and exclusivity.

This award-winning resort boasts 66 private villas, each with its own private pool and spacious living area.

Here you can indulge in rejuvenating treatments at the resort’s world-class spa or savour exquisite cuisine at the beachfront restaurants.

With its breathtaking sunsets and impeccable service, The Residence Zanzibar promises an unforgettable escape.


#2 Baraza Resort and Spa

Step into a world of luxury at Baraza Resort and Spa, located on the east coast of Zanzibar.

If you want a personalised butler service this is where you need to stay in Zanzibar!

Inspired by the Sultan’s palaces of the past, this five-star resort offers 30 luxurious villas adorned with hand-carved furniture and opulent Swahili decor.

With its lush gardens, infinity pools, and pristine white sand beach, Baraza Resort and Spa creates an atmosphere of pure bliss.

Here you can indulge in gourmet dining, and immerse yourself in the resort’s world-class spa for a truly out of this world experience!


#3 Essque Zalu Zanzibar

Nestled in Nungwi, on the northern tip of Zanzibar, Essque Zalu Zanzibar seamlessly blends contemporary luxury with traditional Swahili charm.

This boutique resort features 40 suites and villas, each boasting panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.

Enjoy a range of water sports, including snorkelling and scuba diving, or embark on a spice tour to discover Zanzibar’s rich cultural heritage.

Essque Zalu Zanzibar is a true haven for luxury-seeking travellers. If you’re looking for somewhere epic to stay in Zanzibar this tops the list!


#4 Park Hyatt Zanzibar

Located in the heart of Stone Town, Park Hyatt Zanzibar offers an elegant and sophisticated escape amidst the island’s historical charm.

This heritage property features 67 luxurious rooms and suites, boasting stunning views of the Indian Ocean or the city’s bustling alleys. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the rich history of the island, while indulging in modern amenities and personalised service.

Park Hyatt Zanzibar caters to the most discerning travellers, from its exquisite dining options to its serene spa, not to mention it’s gorgeous aesthetic, which makes it one of the most Instagrammable places to stay in Zanzibar!


#5 andBeyond Mnemba Island

andBeyond Mnemba Island is a dream come true for those seeking seclusion and exclusivity.

This private island resort has only 12 beachfront bandas (bungalows) that blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings and offer an unparalleled level of luxury.

Thatched dining and sitting or bar areas boast beautiful open views of the beach and spectacular vistas of Zanzibar and beyond.

Mnemba Island itself is renowned for its breathtaking coral reefs, making it an exceptional destination for snorkelling, diving, and other water-based activities.

If you’re looking for somewhere eco-friendly to stay in Zanzibar, head here! The ethos of the resort revolves around ecotourism and responsible conservation, ensuring minimal impact on the pristine environment.


#6 The Palms Zanzibar

Tucked away on the island’s southeast coast, The Palms Zanzibar is a sanctuary of tranquility and luxury.

This intimate resort features only six exclusive villas, each with its own plunge pool and private veranda, making it a great choice for an intimate and romantic escape.

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Zanzibar and looking for somewhere a little secluded, this is where you need to book!

The Palms Zanzibar offers personalised dining experiences and a range of activities, including dhow cruises and cultural excursions.


#7 MeliΓ‘ Zanzibar

Nestled on the northeast coast of Zanzibar, MeliΓ‘ Zanzibar is a luxurious haven that blends contemporary design with authentic African elements.

The resort boasts 124 elegant rooms and suites, some with private pools, offering stunning views of the Indian Ocean, making it one of the most sought after places to stay in Zanzibar.

Guests can unwind at the tranquil Gabi Beach, a private beach club with white sands and azure waters. Or, for the ultimate relaxation, visit the Anantara Spa, where skilled therapists offer rejuvenating treatments using local organic products.

At Melia, guests can also indulge in a variety of dining experiences, from gourmet international cuisine to traditional Swahili dishes.


#8 White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa

On the east side of the island, White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa is a picturesque retreat that exudes elegance and seclusion.

Each of the 11 villas is a private sanctuary with its own pool and direct access to the beach.

The resort’s PADI-certified dive centre allows guests to explore the colourful marine life, while the world-class spa offers a range of wellness treatments inspired by ancient African rituals.

In terms of where to stay in Zanzibar that’s ultra boujee, this is a top contender as you can enjoy a fully personalised service with a dedicated butler!


#9 Sandies Baobab Beach (*my personal recommendation*)

When I was looking at where to stay in Zanzibar, I found and booked Sandies Baobab Beach, which is located in Nungwi and has a stunning outdoor swimming pool with ocean views.

To get to the beach, you just need to climb down a few steps and you’ll be on one of the most pristine beaches I have ever seen in my life! For me, this is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday with turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs, and somewhere you can do sunset cruises, which Zanzibar is famous for!

Also, the food at the on-site restaurant is to die for, which serves mainly international and Mediterranean dishes. Despite not intending to do an all-inclusive trip in Zanzibar, we loved all of the meals at Sandies so much that we didn’t eat anywhere else.

Top tip: Every Saturday, Sandies does a massive outdoor buffet, which is spectacular and serves pretty much every dish under the sun (traditional and international).


#10 Zuri Zanzibar

Nestled on the northern coast of the island, Zuri Zanzibar is a boutique hotel that offers a perfect blend of laid-back luxury and rustic charm.

The stylish bungalows and villas are surrounded by tropical gardens and overlook the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Some accommodations even feature private plunge pools, allowing guests to unwind in complete privacy.

One of the main highlights of Zuri Zanzibar is its contemporary and elegant design. The resort’s architecture seamlessly blends traditional Zanzibari elements with modern touches, creating a harmonious and visually stunning environment.

From international cuisine to authentic Zanzibari flavours, Zuri Zanzibar offers a variety of dining options to cater to different tastes. Guests can enjoy their meals in elegant dining spaces or opt for romantic dinners on the beach.

For wellness and relaxation, Zuri Zanzibar features a spa that offers a range of rejuvenating treatments inspired by local traditions.


#11 Pongwe Beach Hotel 

Pongwe Beach Hotel is a charming and luxurious boutique hotel located on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar. It’s renowned for its stunning beachfront location and serene ambiance, making it an ideal destination to stay in Zanzibar for anyone seeking relaxation and tranquility.

The hotel features tastefully decorated and spacious rooms and bungalows, some of which offer direct beach access or private plunge pools. Each accommodation is well-appointed with modern amenities and offers views of either the ocean or the gardens.

Pongwe Beach Hotel takes pride in its culinary offerings, featuring a delightful mix of international and traditional Zanzibari dishes, served at the open-air restaurant.

For relaxation and rejuvenation, the hotel’s spa offers a range of treatments and massages that incorporate local ingredients and traditional techniques.


#12 Tembo House Hotel 

Tembo House Hotel is a historic and charming hotel located in the heart of Stone Town. It’s actually housed in a traditional Zanzibari building that dates back to the 19th century, making it one of the most authentic places to stay in Zanzibar.

One of the main highlights of Tembo House Hotel is its fantastic location. Situated right on the seafront, the hotel offers stunning views of the Indian Ocean and easy access to the bustling alleys and historical landmarks of Stone Town.

The architecture and design of the hotel reflect Zanzibar’s rich cultural heritage, featuring Swahili-style archways, wooden balconies, and intricately carved doors. The interior exudes an old-world charm, transporting guests to a bygone era while providing modern amenities and comforts.

The hotel’s restaurant serves a mix of local and international cuisine, including fresh seafood dishes and traditional Zanzibari specialties.


#13 Kiwengwa Beach Resort

Kiwengwa Beach Resort is a charming beachfront property located on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar.

The resort offers a relaxed and laid-back ambiance, surrounded by lush tropical gardens and facing the stunning waters of the Indian Ocean, making it one of the most tranquil places to stay in Zanzibar.

With a range of comfortable accommodations, a beautiful stretch of sandy beach, and various water sports and activities, Kiwengwa Beach Resort provides an inviting setting for travellers looking to enjoy a the ultimate beach vacation in Zanzibar.


#14 TUI Blue Bahari Zanzibar

TUI Blue Bahari Zanzibar is a luxurious and modern beach resort situated on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar.

The resort offers a stylish and contemporary design, blending Swahili-inspired architecture with modern amenities.

Here, guests can indulge in a variety of dining options, enjoy the resort’s stunning infinity pool, and relax on the beautiful white sandy beach.

TUI Blue Bahari Zanzibar provides a serene and upscale retreat for travellers seeking a luxurious beach getaway in Zanzibar.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Zanzibar that has something for everyone, this is the full package!


#15 Kwanza Resort by SUNRISE

Kwanza Resort by SUNRISE is a luxurious beachfront resort located on the eastern coast of Zanzibar.

The resort offers a tranquil and idyllic setting, surrounded by lush tropical gardens and overlooking the Indian Ocean.

With spacious and well-appointed rooms, a beautiful infinity pool, direct access to a white sandy beach, and a range of dining options, Kwanza Resort provides a serene and upscale escape for travellers seeking relaxation in a breathtaking natural environment.


#16 Emerald Zanzibar Resort & Spa

Emerald Zanzibar Resort & Spa is a luxurious five-star beachfront resort located on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar.

If you’re deciding where to stay in Zanzibar and want a deluxe all-inclusive experience, head here!

With multiple dining options, a beautiful infinity pool, a private beach, and a luxurious spa, this resort ensures a seamless and indulgent retreat for those seeking a lavish and unforgettable beach vacation in Zanzibar.


#17 Le Mersenne Zanzibar, Autograph Collection

Situated in Michamvi, a few steps from Michamvi Pingwe Beach, Le Mersenne features accommodation with free bikes, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre.

In terms of dining options, at Le Mersenne you will find a bar, terrace, and a delightful restaurant serving African, American and Indian cuisine.

If you’re trying to pick somewhere to stay in Zanzibar that will look seriously epic on your Instagram, this trendy place is it!


#18 The Nest Boutique Resort

The Nest is a stunning beachfront paradise on the eastern coast of Zanzibar that perfectly combines relaxation and luxury.

With its serene white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush tropical gardens, this 5 star resort offers a peaceful retreat for travellers seeking a tranquil beach getaway.

The resort’s elegant accommodations, world-class amenities, and warm hospitality create an unforgettable experience for those looking to unwind and rejuvenate in the breathtaking beauty of Zanzibar.


#19 Fruit & Spice Wellness Resort Zanzibar

Fruit & Spice Wellness Resort Zanzibar is a serene and eco-friendly boutique resort located on the southeast coast of Zanzibar.

Surrounded by lush tropical gardens and overlooking the Indian Ocean, the resort provides a tranquil and idyllic setting for guests to unwind.

When searching for the perfect place to stay in Zanzibar, if wellness and rejuvenation are a priority, head here! This resort offers a unique blend of luxury and wellness activities, as well as a beautiful infinity pool, private beach, and personalised services.


#20 Zanzibella Hotel & SPA

Zanzibella Hotel & SPA is a luxurious boutique hotel located on the northern coast of Zanzibar.

The resort offers a perfect blend of modern elegance and traditional Zanzibari charm, creating a serene and enchanting atmosphere.

With its stunning beachfront location, world-class spa facilities, and personalised service, Zanzibella Hotel & SPA provides an exceptional and unforgettable place to stay in Zanzibar!


Alternatively, if none of the above hotels float your boat, you can always look for the best deals to suit your budget using Hotellook below:

Best Travel Insurance for Zanzibar

Travel insurance in Zanzibar is essential – it will save you thousands if something goes wrong. Nomad Insurance with SafetyWing is amazing, as it covers emergency medical evacuation and bedside visits, starting at just $42 per 4 weeks.

You can use it as a subscription service, meaning you don’t have to pay for the whole year upfront. Instead, you’re charged every 28 days, until you cancel, giving you the ultimate level of flexibility. There’s also no limit on travel duration, so you don’t need a return date (and a return ticket) in order to activate your insurance. So it’s the perfect safety net for anyone on the move!

Check SafetyWing Insurance out for yourself here:


From hotels that ooze historical charm to those that provide endless opportunities for beach and wellness activities, Zanzibar clearly has it all. So why not embark on an unforgettable journey, and let one of these incredible East African resorts whisk you away to a world where paradise is not just a dream but a living reality!

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