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“Paradise!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Residence Zanzibar

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The Residence Zanzibar
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Mchangamle, Kizimkazi 2404, Tanzania   |  
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Ranked #1 of 4 hotels in Kizimkazi
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Paradise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2011

We took a slight risk and booked the residence for our honeymoon before it was even open!
It was the best decision we made all honeymoon!
It is simply paradise.
Pure tranquility and luxury...

We stayed in a beach front villa and it was incredible. THe private pool is an actual pool rather than a plunge pool. Free wifi. Beds are ultra comfortable. Bathroom is stunning.

The service is second to none. Anything you ask for is done immediately and with a smile.

You get around on foot, bike or by golf buggy if you have eaten too much!

The best aspect has to be the food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are to die for! It rivals any michelin star restaurant in the world!

We had a honeymoon dinner on our vernada one evening... they ask you what you each want for your perfect meal, and you have your own waiter, topping up the champagne all night!

THe spa is magnificent. The pool and beach are well staffed.

We literally could not fault it! If i was being ultra ultra picky, it could do with a bar with evening entertainment for after dinner.

It is one of the best hotels I have stayed in in the world!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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372 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (102)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Kisumu, Kenya
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2011

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.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westchester County, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

I just came back from a getaway with my girlfriend to celebrate my
birthday at the Residence Zanzibar, and I am left almost speechless. I am from New York and having traveled to lots of amazing properties all over the world, I have to
say that The Residence exceeded my expectations. Being so brand new I truly
expected that there would still be many kinks left to be ironed out, but this is
far from the case here.

Upon entering the majestic property, you are welcomed by the welcoming team
including the bell men, reservations personnel and a two lovely ladies ready to
offer a refreshing welcome non alcoholic drink. The coolest part about the reception
pavilion is that it all totally open; no walls, so the cool Zanazibar breeze just
passes through. Frank, Fetma, and their team and very polite, and make you feel
completely at home.

We were then ushered to our villa through a beautifully landscaped path on a
golf cart. The property is huge, it is advisable to call a golf club car for pick up if you are not up to walking or using the bikes provided to get around. We did not receive our bicycles until the day after we checked in, as the hotel was unexpectedly very booked and the ones management had ordered had not yet arrived. Nonetheless we toured the area on foot, and rarely called for a car (We needed the exercise as we could not resist Chef Tony's many creations)

Upon entering our villa, we were just blown away by how spacious and beautiful it
looked . It is contemporary with well selected and appointed furniture pieces and unique
accessories. The lay out takes full advantage of the ocean views which can be
seen from the living room and bedroom. Each of the villas have an infinity edge plunge pool which is about 1.6 meters deep. Although not heated, the temperature of the pool was just right. It is also a great substitute for laps, but the main pool also infinity rules hand down, where laps are concerned, as it seems to never end. It is extremely long
and just fantastic.

The beach on certain sections of the property is superb on other sections, you can
use it more for exploration. We stayed in villa 105, and I think that you get
the most breathtaking sunset views, access to the jetty and the most beautiful beach area. We had the option of lounging on our deck, in our pool, or on the beach, and we managed to do all three.

I believe the best part of The Residence, is infact the food. The pastry chef
and executive chefs prepared meals that rivals any 5 star restaurant in new
York or any metropolitan area. First of all, the food and desserts should not be eaten, it is absolutely a work of are, super great presentation. Everything we ate was just
gastronomically superior. The eclectic mix of spices, the use of fresh seafood,
surprising combinations of east meets west, just made you feel like you were on a
world stage. The shrimp and chicken pad Thai is to die for and of course, if it
is still on the menu, the seafood platter.

I was blown away by Chef Tony's creation for my birthday celebration. The entire
kitchen and dinning staff wanted to make my birthday celebration extra special. Soon and his team worked together with the chef and my friend to create an amazingly mouth
watering menu that was just incredible beyond my expectation. Chef Tony had
complete artistically liberty and he delivered.

The spa is also world class, and the therapists are attentive, professional and friendly. I loved the design of the spa area. It boasts of a beautiful and calming reception area with treatment rooms, gym and beauty salon placed strategically around it. There are also very spacious gazebos where you can lounge after your treatment or even request a private session in the open. We opted for the relaxing massage, which actually uses a combination of massage techniques.

Our butler Dominic was also very helpful in getting us oriented with the villa and the property itself. We had him take care of our laundry that needed ironing and to coordinate our appointment with the spa, as well as getting WIFI set up in the villa. Not just our butler, but everyone was extremely accommodating, genuinely friendly and making sure that we had a wonderful time.

I would love to bring my husband for a romantic vacation at the Residence Zanzibar. It is worth every penny. A must experience.

You are welcome to check out my blog if you require more info about the Residence Zanzibar and Tanzania: www.mypassionfortravel.blogspot.com

Room Tip: Rooms in the 100s are beach front 200s and 300s are garden rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

We stayed in a luxury garden pool villa with one bedroom.
The garden villas have no direct view of the ocean.

Villa
The villas are big with separate livingroom and bedroom.
The bathrooms are huge and have free standing bathtubs and in- and outdoor showers.
Each villa has a private pool in a size that makes it possible to take more than a couple of strokes.

Restaurants
The resort has two restaurants. One in a pavilion with an uninteresting view and one near the ocean with a magnificent view.
The quality of the food is very high, and some of the best we have had in a top end resort.
Dinner for two with a bottle of wine is around 150 USD.

Beach
Not the best beach on Zanzibar, but very well kept.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2011

We are travelling with our kids at least twice a year, this time we chose a safari in Tanzania and then some relaxation in Zanzibar. We found the residence by searching 5 star hotels in Zanzibar, we knew that it was just recently opened, and we dared to take the risk of an opening period. We must say that the treatment we got was more than amazing and let me clarify: First, we took a family room with a private swimming pool, the rooms have all the amenities, and they are beautifully decorated. Second, the food was amazing, breakfast, lunch, dinner - you name it - and even the cutlery, glasses are in very good taste, everysmall detail was taking into consideration.The spa is also, one of the best we have had and we were very surprised. Last but not least - the team - the service, the hospitality ofwere more than excellent.We highly recommend!!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2011

The Residence is trully the best place to stay in Zanzibar.
You feel treated like a VIP and the staff is amongst the best in the all of Africa.
Everything is perfect to the dot while the hotel has just opened.

Room Tip: Get a villa near the common buildings
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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

Address: Mchangamle, Kizimkazi 2404, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Kizimkazi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center 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 4 hotels in Kizimkazi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Residence Zanzibar 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the South West of Zanzibar, Tanzania, The Residence Zanzibar has 66 spacious villas each luxuriously appointed with stylish contemporary furniture, private swimming pool and attentive service.The Residence Zanzibar is set on 32 ha of perfectly manicured gardens and a Spa that offers the finest Carita products.It boasts a mile-long powdery white sand beach, flanked by coconut palm trees and a Jetty that stretches 150m out into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Residence Zanzibar Hotel Kizimkazi
The Residence Zanzibar Kizimkazi

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