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“True 5 star villa with the most impressive service and food” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Residence Zanzibar

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The Residence Zanzibar
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Kizimkazi
london
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“True 5 star villa with the most impressive service and food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2011

I’ve just got back from a really fantastic restful stay at The Residence, Zanzibar.

We flew into Dar es Salaam with BA and caught a little hopper flight over to the island with Coastal Aviation – the latter the smallest plane I’ve been on and a bit rustic but punctual and cheap – go for it as it was fun.

We stayed for 5 nights at The Residence, Zanzibar and took one of the beach villas. The accommodation has a plantation splendour to it, but manages to blend simplicity, space and comfort. There’s a luxury Zen-likeness to the whole place. Small touches in the room such as plenty of fluffy clean towels all smelling of exotic frangipani; yummy residence bathroom products (loved the bath salts and shower-gel); quality cotton bedding and fantastic turn-down service lived up to expectations. Treats such as the beautiful fruit bowl, daily herbal drinks and welcome petit fours made us feel truly spoiled. Oh and a big thanks to Linda was so sweet and helpful but then all the staff were. Other pluses are the butler service (service in general across the hotel was the best I’ve experienced real 5 star); plunge pool (substantially sized) and the push bikes (fun to zoom around the site). Oh and a great spa – I enjoyed a lovely relaxing massage and even fell asleep (first time ever)!

The beach is very pretty – pure white sands and turquoise waters and it’s kept super clean. Windy though and the sun’s strong so remember your high factors (there’s limited choice re SPF in the shop). However it’s the infinity pool that I enjoyed most. It’s amazing – completely glass at one end (get some pics it’s hilarious). Make sure you order a lunchtime picnic box by the pool – super fun.

The food at the resort is delicious and there’s an impressive choice…..from lobster, king prawns, scallops, steak, feta, indulgent puds – whatever you fancy. Every day there’s also a selection of fresh baked breads and pastries. Oh and lovely yummy hors d'oeuvres to enjoy pre-dinner with cocktails (try the ginger mojito or passion fruit daiquiri – wow!!). And if the weather’s not too good then enjoy the 24 hour room service – we did as it was rainy (unusual in October as supposed to be dry but the rains’ came early) but snuggled into a DVD and dinner in the villa. Again we felt really well looked after.

On one of the day’s we went into Stone-town. I’d saying if you’re staying for 3-5 days then do a half day city tour and if longer then a full day so you get some of the broader history. There’s some great shops/bargains to be had and amazing architecture and history to absorb.

Loved Zanzibar and so want to return - maybe Pember island next time too!

Room Tip: The beach villas are great. And the two beds easily would suit 2 couples as there's two seperate...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nooLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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846 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (198)
Date | Rating
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  • Danish first
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Middlewich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2011

Having arrived from safari and a few days at a beach villa down the road the Residence was like entering a different world. The grounds are huge and as previously mentioned the best way of getting around is either by requesting a golf buggy to collect you or using the bikes which are outside your villa. The villas themselves are beautiful with the most amazing bathroom I have ever seen which included 2 showers -1 indoors and 1 outdoors! There are so many special touches which separate this hotel from any others including a box of beautiful handmade sweets which were replenished when empty and herbal tea left in your room in the evening.
The one thing that really makes this resort are the staff within 24 hours of arriving they were all greeting us by name and nothing was too much trouble for them. As it was our honeymoon they organised a sunset cruise on a dhow and a special meal for us which we could have had in our villa, we chose to have it in the dining room and will always remember the staff singing as they brought us the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever tasted.

Room Tip: Get a sea view villa if you can afford to!
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Nelliefoxy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fleetwood, PA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2011

This resort is unbelievable. The service is the best I have found inZanzibar...the villas the most spacious, and the food the best. We have visited many resorts on Zanzibar, and this is by far the best. We were entertaining our family from the US, and every detail was perfect. Bikes were brought to our villas for our use, and we could have had every meal in the room if we had wanted. I highly, highly recommend this resort. I will definitely return. We are expats in Dar es Salaam, and we will be back and recommending this property to all.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MshackW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
114 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2011

We have just returned from 2 weeks of absolute bliss, from the personalised greeting on arrival to the butler unpacking your bags (and repacking on departure) what more could you ask for?
Well the staff become like family and all know your routines, we cycled around the site every morning before breakfast and my morinng coffee was waiting for me without asking . We had personalised Mauritian curries, exquisite steak and lobster that I had never set eyes upon before. Tailored dining at your room whenever you liked at no extra charge. A swimming pool with glass sides to it and a management team that could not do enough to help! Dont forget to visit the spa as the massages were very very relaxing
The family was catered for impeccably and the birthday dance , made the whole hotel stop and smile, left the hotel for a Dhow romantic cruise which is well worth doing and also visited Stone Town which is an education in itself.
I can not praise the Residence team highly enough, they were awesome!

Room Tip: Dificult as they are all beautiful, President suite was huge
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GrahamV54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mjw25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kisumu, Kenya
Level Contributor
44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Verdel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank raphaelsm
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

Property: The Residence Zanzibar
Address: Mchangamle, Kizimkazi 2404, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > 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 6 Hotels in Kizimkazi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Residence Zanzibar 5*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Residence Zanzibar lies within a lush, forested 32-hectare estate where five-star luxuries sit harmoniously alongside nature's untouched beauty. Feel your spirits soar amid extensive tropical gardens that meet with powder-soft white sand lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Inspired by the island's eclectic cultures, our luxury Zanzibar resort blends modern comforts with Swahili, Omani, British and Indian influences. Indulge in the privacy of the spacious villas, attended on if you wish by your own personal butler. Enjoy carefree days relaxing by your private pool, on the beach, or exploring the gardens on foot or by bicycle. Savour a taste of the Spice Island's unique blend of cultures and cuisines, and the pleasure of sensational spa treatments. Discover more of the island and the waters that surround it in a myriad of activities, from visiting historic sites and rare natural wonders to deep sea fishing and diving with dolphins. Whether you dream of a quiet couple's retreat or fun in the sun for the whole family, embrace all the delights of our island life at The Residence Zanzibar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Residence Zanzibar Hotel Kizimkazi
The Residence Zanzibar Zanzibar Island/Kizimkazi

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