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“Best so far in Zanzibar” 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
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Best so far in Zanzibar”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Spent one night at the residence with a group of friends. We had been all over Zanzibar and decided we were ready for a secluded resort where every need was taken care of. Our rooms were amazing. Everything was well prepared for our arrival by 11 am. Private pool at your villa allows you to choose between joining others at the main pool or having a romantic hideaway swim. The villa comes with 24 hour butler service. Great for replenishing ice, renting a DVD when the rain came for an hour or so, and a beautiful breakfast in bed.

The food was very well done. Many options to chose from. The seafood BBQ was wonderful. The staff were exceptional. They took care of our every need.

For those looking to save some money on their trip to the residence, I would suggest bringing your own drinks for those cocktails by your pool. A local beer was 6 usd. A bottle of water was 5 used.

Things to remember: This is still Zanzibar. There will be power outages, which only last a few seconds as their generators kick in. The beach is secluded so you won't find any wild beach parties here. Get a taxi from the airport. They are safe, they should know how to get there, and it will cost you far less then the price the hotel charges.

I would highly recommend the residence and look forward to booking at their other hotels outside of Zanzibar.

Room Tip: While beach villas have a great view, everyone will have a direct view to you in your "private...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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343 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 (95)
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St Peter Port, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
113 helpful votes 113 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

I had previously stayed at the Essque Zalu Zanzibar and I travelled another hour and 15 minutes to get the Lovely Residence Villa's. We drove down a 4 kilometre stoney , uneven drive it could not be very good for the suspension of vehicles that go back and forth to the hotel everyday but when we arrived what a sight.

We were greeted by Michael and Lucy and staff members again with a lovely cool face towel and refreshing drink in the lovely reception area where we could clearly see the stunning beach ahead of us.

We were all given our Villa Key's and ths time we all had a Villa each , I was Villa number 100 and we were taken to them in a little buggy as it is a good twenty minute walk to get there . As soon I walked in the lounge area all I kept saying was Wow , there was a lovely big lounge with sliding doors out on to the deck where I had my own swimming pool and ahead of that the beach with two sunbeds for my use whilst I was there.

There was another slidiing door from the lounge to my bedroom with a big kingsized four poster bed with all the mosquito nets around it facing out on to the deck and beach again, then another sliding door going in to the massive big bathroom with his and hers sinks a lovely free standing big bath again in front of the window so you can take a bath with amazing seaview and because it was on the westcoast you could watch the amazing sunset from your bath, in addition to this there was a glass fronted massive walk in shower again could fit four people and opposite that was a glass fronted toilet with bidet , then it had a glass door to go outside where there was an outshower it had a tall wall around it but I did feel a bit vunerable that when you were in the shower or bath or toilet that someone could be peering over the top but that was just the way I felt I had never stayed in anything as stunning as this before.

At each villa there are two bikes depending on the occupancy of the Villa and this is to get around the resort with ease as you can imagine the accomodation is all made up of individual one and two bedroomed private villa's with their own pool's so the resort is quite big and it enables you to ride around at your own leisure or you can call the lobby for a staff member to come and get you in the buggy.

The Hotel had kindly organised us all to have a one hour body massage to sample the amazing spa that they have there so we were asked to meet at the restaurant at 1900 for pre dinner drinks, we were greeted by Lucy who took us down on to the beach in which they had some lovely comfortable seating and the tables was set up where we were going to enjoy our dinner under the stars, they had dug some holes out all around the table in the sand and had sunk some little candle holders and it looked stunning, we had champagne and cocktails then we enjoyed our amzing dinner under the stars, it was truely an amazing experience and I had wished that it could have been shared with my husband but they can arrange this for couples etc so well worth doing if you can.

We all went back to our Villa's where our Butler had been in and had turned the bed down and had closed all the mossie curtains ready for our return, I must admit I did feel a bit nervous of being on my own in such a massive big villa and I was the end one and it only had a low wall between the resort and a plantation but I am sure I felt this way because I am used to staying in Hotels where your room is contained in one building and the fact that I was there without my husband made me feel a little more uneasy,

I eventually fell asleep after shuttimg all possible doors and leaving a light in the bathroom and the lounge area and woke uo at 6 the next day and opened the curtains and windows to that amazing view again , I didn't have anyone to disturb so I jumped in the shower and went out along the beach to take some photos, it was just so peaceful.

I went on the local Dhow arranged by the hotel to go snorkling off a reef , it was a bit overcaset but the sea was lovely and warm and the majority of the group went in , I then wanted to make the most of my private Villa and pool and went back to just laze and swim and laze and swim.

The atmosphere at the Hotel Restaurant is lovely and I also enjoyed the hour long relaxing body massage , they have a lovely childrens nursey where they have qualified staff that even teach them how to cook so with this resort I would recommend it for children they even have a little pet corner with a donkey and rabbits which was sweet.

After getting over my fear of being on my own in the Villa I thought it was the most amazing accomodation that I had ever stayed in, I love everything about it , the spacious villa's the lovely Restaurant, the gardens, the spa the little touch's with the bikes and your butler comes around at night and gives you lttle gifts like bath salts , soap, beach bags etc , I would definately recommend The Residence as a get away from it all holiday to enjoy after maybe going on a safari and you just want to chill out in pure luxury , Thank You Michael and Lucy for making our stay so memorable

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weybridge
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

We stayed for just one short night at The Residence Zanzibar, during our trip to the island.

The property is easy to get to from Stone Town, so within a couple of hours you can be fully relaxed in what can only be described as a truly palatial villa. The experience starts when you are taken to your villa by a little buggy - emphasising just how large the manicured green grounds are that surround the property! You enter into a spacious, light lounge area, complete with stocked mini bar (soft drinks only), and a DVD/CD/TV system, and sliding doors that open out onto your private wooden deck, complete with a small wicker table and chairs, sun loungers and a comfy lounging seat. Every villa has a private pool, which is large enough to actually have a sensible swim in if you feel the need to work off some of the wonderful food that you will be eating here (more about that later!).

The bedroom does not disappoint either - huge open windows that open out onto your private verandah as well, and a massive en-suite bathroom, complete with a gorgeous deep bath, and an outside and inside shower. If you book an Ocean Front Villa, you can lie in bed with uninterrupted views out (apart from the odd palm tree) over the ocean - so they really do live up to their name!

Every villa has a private butler, and you simply dial up housekeeping and put in your request, and shortly afterwards, your butler brings your drinks/food to you - but do check the price list carefully, we misread the cost of the wine (we read the by glass price rather than the by bottle price - good job we realised this before opening what turned out to be a US$150 bottle of Cloudy Bay wine!).

I would describe the style of the villas as very contemporary, rather than authentically African - the decor would actually not be out of place in a New York penthouse suite! Until you look out of the windows, however, and see the pool, the verandah, the palm trees and the ocean of course!

Because of the private pool and the verandah, the fact that the beach is tidal so it does disappear at high tide did not worry us - in fact, we did not even leave our villa from when we arrived early afternoon until we headed out for dinner in the evening.

The food is OUTSTANDING - at dinner, you have the choice of a set menu or a la carte (for which you pay extra for but if you are on the Full Board basis you do get US$50 offset per person against the total cost). The service was outstanding too - attentive waiters around, but not at all intrusive, and extremely efficient and oh, so so polite and courteous! Dining here was a complete joy (even the rather cheesy 4 piece band that were playing during dinner added something to the occasion, though it was not the best rendition of ‘Lady in Red’ that I have ever heard, I must admit!). Breakfast was buffet style, with an incredibly good choice of fruit, breads, pastries, and a hot selection too.

The Spa is lovely - a good range of treatments are on offer, and somewhere where I could have imagined enjoying a treatment or 2 had we been staying here for longer.

The reception area is welcoming and open, the main pool area is beautiful, and overall, this is truly a 5* property in every respect - accommodation, service, food, location. It is a luxury oasis, and perfect for anyone looking for something exceptional and top-end.

Room Tip: The Ocean Front Villas have the best location.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chislehurst, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

We spent 7 days at The Residence following a safari. This is by far the best hotel we have stayed in. The service was immaculate. We were late arriving but were given room service on our arrival on our patio. A great start. The grounds are well maintained. The villa was and the private pool a really good size.
All the staff were exceptionally polite, friendly and happy and made a real effort. We went snorkelling with dolphins (which we would recommend) and visited Stone Town (disappointingly run down) but otherwise spent time in the hotel to enjoy it all.

Dinner on the beach was a real treat.

The Residence was perfect and we would certainly go back.

Room Tip: Garden villas aren't overlooked from the beach
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

In September we spent 10 days of our Honeymoon at the Residence in Zanzibar. From the moment we arrived until our departure the customer service was fabulous! We arrived late in the evening after being on safari in Selous so we were delighted when room service was delivered and served on our patio, next to our private pool, complete with flowers and candles. We had an ocean facing room and we were anxious to see the Residence in the light of day - we awoke to bright skies, white sand and blue ocean. Our days at the Residence were idyllic. Salum and his crew made our Honeymoon cruise delightful. I had a deep tissue massage with Caroline in the Spa - she was great!
Mr. Soon made every meal a delight! Especially our special candlelight dinner on the beach - extraordinary - thank you Soon!
Dinners at the Pavillion were delicious and fun. Meals at the restaurant were excellent and we were made to feel very welcome by Linda, Almas, Cosmos, the beautiful Jeromina, Eliya and Juma. And Francis made the meals in our villa so special! Edith's housekeeping staff did a great job - our room was always spotless and the turn-down service each night was perfect! The bedding was so rich and comfy we could hardly wait to jump in!
The staff at the Residence is a REAL differentiator - when they say you are welcome - they mean it! I can't wait to try the other Residence locations and of course, plan a return trip to Zanzibar!
Special thanks go out to our travel coordinator Jane Eastwood - you delivered above and beyond our expectations! xoxo Terri and Andrew

Room Tip: we loved our ocean-facing room!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012 via mobile

What a place!!! We had ten nights at The Residence following a safari. This was our honeymoon and all the staff, particularly Soon and the restaurant team, made every day more special than the last. This included creating a magical night with dinner on the beach just for us. Nothing was too much trouble and the lengths they went too to make you feel like the most important person in the resort were world class. The attention to detail and the quality of the facilities were outstanding and we would recommend the hotel without hesitation. If you want to feel like royalty but live like a rock star book now!!

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We stayed at the The Residence soon after they opened and it was incredible. From the design of the villas to the food to the service, we have never experienced service like this anywhere else in Africa. You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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 1
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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