The Residence Zanzibar
The Residence Zanzibar is Tanzania’s first member of the esteemed “Leading Hotels of the World”, the hotel exudes sumptuous quality and beauty drawing hugely from its Omani and Swahili inspirations. The hotel is located close to Kizimkazi beach, a one mile stretch of beautiful powdery coral white sand and undoubtedly one of the finest locations on the island.
The hotel boasts 66 well-appointed luxury villas with contemporary styling and beautiful furnishings typical of the island’s rich cultural heritage. There are a variety of villas available to suit most budgets and accommodation requirements including, Luxury Garden Pool, Luxury Ocean Front Pool, Prestige Ocean Front Pool, Frangipani Ocean Front Pool, and Frangipani Garden Pool Villas ideal for families .All villas feature air conditioning, mini bar, mosquito nets, satellite TV, broadband internet access, CD/DVD player, coffee and tea making facilities, personal safe, overhead fans, sun deck with private pool with day beds and wicker chairs. Each villa is equipped with bicycles to enable guests to explore the wonderful gardens and beautiful surrounding area.
The hotel also offers a comprehensive “All Inclusive Option” which includes breakfast in the Dining Room Restaurant or alternatively in the privacy of your own villa, Lunch in the Dining Room, beach, pool or villa, Dinner at the exclusive Pavilion Restaurant, Dining Room Restaurant or in your villa. Also included are a selection of local spirits and premium brands, cocktails and selection of beers available in all bars and restaurants, mini bar with mineral water, soft drinks, snacks, beers, wine and cocktails. Tide permitting daily snorkelling from the jetty along with yoga sessions, use of fitness centre, steam bath and sauna, tennis, bicycles, non- motorised water sports and selection of DVD’s.
The star attraction of the hotel is The Spa which includes a delightful rest area complete with a whirlpool and six pavilions set in 5 acres of manicured tropical gardens. The spa combines the finest quality treatments with unrivalled expertise to ensure guests receive the most fulfilling experience possible. There is also an extensive range of beauty treatments available witch offer guests the opportunity to totally indulge and immerse themselves in the relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Dining is a gastronomic experience to be enjoyed in the hotels two restaurants or in the privacy of your own villa. The Dining Room offers guests a wide selection of international cuisine with a delicate hint of spices indigenous to the island and The Pavilion Restaurant with its menu of enticing and delicious Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. After dining retreat to the delightfully named Colonial Library Bar for a wide selection of drinks, the perfect way to end the perfect day in this wonderful resort.
Overview of Zanzibar - Things to do in Zanzibar
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Beaches & Attractions
Zanzibar is the ideal choice for a holiday with a difference, fabulous all but empty coral white beaches, lush vegetation with a huge variety of fauna and flora, and unique species of monkey and birds, a true paradise Island retaining many of the charms of yesteryear. Most tourists are drawn to the Island of Zanzibar by the promise of pristine beaches all of beautiful white sand and glorious blue skies and for those they will not leave the island disappointed, so let’s take a look at some of the best beaches to be had and later on other popular attractions.
Beaches in Zanzibar
There are over 30 beaches to be enjoyed on the island and most of these are to be found on the Eastern and Northern parts of the Island. The beaches are far less crowded than many other popular resort destinations around the world, a real Robinson Crusoe feeling. Of particular note are the following: Located in the North West of the island is Kendwa Beach unspoilt by major development this beautiful white beach gently drops into the azure sea looking out towards Tumbatu Island. Located in the North East is Matemwe Village and its expansive white beach, it’s become more popular in recent times and like many of the beaches on Zanzibar there is a large tidal range meaning the beach becomes incredibly vast at low tide and is superb for long walks. Pongwe Beach situated on the east of the island is probably the finest on the island with its huge flat expanse of coral white sands leading out towards the barrier reef. Head to the South and seek out Kizimkazi for total seclusion, this area is yet to be developed but provides some amazing snorkeling and diving. There are many more beaches offering great watersport activities such as Mangapwani, Uroa, Nungwi, and Pwani Mchangani the list is extensive and will fulfill any beachcombers dream. There is much to see and do when you have finished with the glorious beaches, scuba diving, beach volleyball, swimming etc...keep reading!
You must pay a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town when in Zanzibar it’s a town locked in a time warp and a fantastic place to explore. Some of the major attractions include the Old Fort constructed around 1700 and steeped in history this truly is a wonderful attraction. Today it is a cultural centre offering classes in henna painting, cooking, music performances, drumming and open air theatre. It’s also a good place to purchase your souvenirs of the island with many shops found within its walls. There is a large Anglican Cathedral located on the spot of the islands largest slave market, constructed in 1873 it is an imposing building and one not to be missed. Other places of interest include Malindi Mosque built by the Sunni sect with its unusual conical minaret one of only three to be found in East Africa, Darajani Bazaar a fun place to barter for some souvenir’s, The beautifully restored Hamamni Persian baths dating back to 1880 and Kilele Square once the site of a large slave market but today surrounded by many important consulate buildings.
Mtoni and Maruhubi Palace Ruins
Located a short distance from Stone Town are the ruins of Mtoni and Maruhubi Palaces, Mtoni Palace was constructed by Sultan Said bin Sultan in 1828 and it took six years to complete, it’s a peaceful and tranquil location. The Maruhubi Palace constructed in the 1880’s by Sultan Bargash was used as a harem for the Sultans wife and 99 concubines and was one of the most ornately decorated buildings of its time. The building constructed mainly out of wood was devastated by fire in 1889 and left in ruins. Today you can see the remnants of some huge stone columns used to support the large wooden balcony which ran around the upper floor of the palace. In the remains of the Old Persian Bathroom you can clearly see the separate bathing areas for the women and the sultans’ large bathroom. The water reservoirs used for the palace complex are overgrown with lilies and mango trees imported from India. There is a lovely beach hidden behind the palace which is used by the local fisherman as a harbour and a place to repair their dhows.
Jozani Chwaka Bay Conservation Area
To get away from the heat of town or the sun drenched beaches head for the cool woodland of the islands largest conservation area, a nature lovers paradise and one not to be missed. Zanzibar’s once expansive forests have sadly been largely destroyed by firewood collection, lime and charcoal making and large scale cultivation but the Jozani Chwaka Bay Conservation Area has been set up to protect the remaining forest. This is an outstanding area of natural beauty containing over 100 different species of trees, and a rich diversity of birdlife and a plethora of small wildlife. Many tourist visit to see the endangered indigenous Red Columbus Monkey whose numbers have dwindled to fewer than 1500.
When slavery was outlawed in 1897 this despicable trade went underground to avoid detection. The Mangapwani Caves are testament to man’s inhumanity towards others, the first is a large coral cave which contains a freshwater pool inside at its lowest point, the second and more grisly is located a few kilometers away and is a small dark man-made cell with a few air vents carved out of the rock .It is a frightening place where 50 slaves were entombed, poles slotted into cut outs above their heads and another 50 slaves crammed in on top. The slaves were kept here until it was safe to move on for resale in Zanzibar town, the plantations scattered around the island or on to cargo ships to transport to slave markets around the world.
Overview of Zanzibar - Luxury Accommodation in Zanzibar. Had enough of checking in to a small hotel room? Fancy renting a home away from home? These guys have the answer....
Zanzibar and it's coral white beaches
Zanzibar consists of Zanzibar Island, Pemba Island and a plethora of smaller islands; the archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of mainland Tanzania. It was a former centre for the slave and spice trades and is commonly referred to as the “Spice Islands”, today it is a cosmopolitan mix of Arab, European, African and Indian influences that seamlessly combine to create a unique experience and atmosphere. The Island is approximately 30 km wide and 90 km long with its capital Zanzibar City having a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its historical heart known locally as Stone Town reportedly the only remaining working ancient town in East Africa.
The Island is largely underdeveloped with only 5 main roads radiating out from the capital but this simplicity is one of the Islands undisputed charms and appeals for tourists looking for a relaxing and peaceful holiday. What the Island offers in abundance are some of the best coral white beaches in the Indian Ocean, along its eastern flank and a beautiful protective barrier reef perfect for scuba diving , kayaking, water skiing, snorkelling, windsurfing and deep sea fishing. The Islands are more than just it's beaches though they also have a rich and diverse culture which is best explored in Stone Town with it heavy Arab influence with fortresses and minarets silhouetted against the clear azure skyline. For those wishing to get away from the beaches a short journey leads to the small forested interior known locally as Jozani with its colonies of red colobus monkeys indigenous to Zanzibar.
Best time to travel to Zanzibar?
Its location just south of the Equator ensures it’s warm all year round but the weather is very seasonal and it depends on what you want to see and do that will determine the right time for you to visit. The main rainy season is during March, April and May when heavy tropical downpours are a frequent occurrence with temperatures in the low to mid 30C range with high humidity, during November and December there is a second less reliable rainy season when the rains tend to be lighter. The nicest time to visit Zanzibar is during its long dry season which runs through June, July, August, and September and into October, during this period rainfall is scare and temperatures are at their warmest depending on location and altitude and clear blue sky abound. Following on from the short rainy season in November and December is also a fine time to explore the Islands with Zanzibar’s short dry season before the onset of the heavy rains in March.
Getting here it can be an adventure in its own wright with many catamarans or ferries leaving regularly from Dar es Salaam on Tanzania’s mainland or alternatively take a short flight from here which quickly gets you to your destination.
Things to do in Zanzibar - Luxury accommodation in Zanzibar