I have been on beach holidays all of my life but this is a really exceptional hotel and must rate as the very best beach hotel I have stayed at - easily surpassing other hotels I have visited in South Africa, Zanzibar, Mocambique and Mauritius. We arrived in the late afternoon and asked to be upgarded to a two bedroom unit (we had mistakenly booked a luxury villa and needed something slightly bigger). The switch was painelss and fauirly quick. Although it cost a little extra the new villa was absolutely stunning and more suitable - although I did not see the unit we were originally booked into. The unit had a huge private pool and was virtually on the beach. The rooms were very well appointed and extremely comfortable with a noiseless airconditioner. The water pressure was brilliant and we had both indoor and outrdoor showers - extremely luxurious bathrooms. There was a good selection of TV channels as well (not that we watched TV). The resort itself is very large and a nice touch was to give the guests bicycles so that they can get around (made eating slightly more guilt free as well!). They offer various restaurants and in-room and beach dining at no extra charge as well. The food was brilliant and the variety was exceptional. The spa facilities were also ultra modern and clean. A wide variety of massages were offered at reasonable rates and although I didn't have one, two of our party did and really appreciated them. There are other activities such as volleyball and tennis but we din't use those facilities - they looked good though. Snorkelling and other water sports were free of charge and the diving was great (in a marine reserve so the sea life was extensive. The staff were amazing, pleasant and very helpful and never in your face (something which many resorts don't get right - the Residence certainly does get it right). I only have one 'complaint' and that was at the cost of the drinks. The pricing was excessive and should be moderated considerably. To pay USD 7 for a local beer (cost about USD 1 at a local shop) and the cheapest wine - admittedly a really great South African wine - was USD 44 per bottle - and these cost around USD 5 in South Africa) and gin and tonic at USD 10 each was really a little over the top. I guess they are catering for the European travellers and in that context it may not be seen to be excessive. This appears to be significantly more than other hotels on Zanzibar (in my experience anyway - in fact many include all drinks as part of the package). It didn't spoil my perception of what is a truly remarkable hotel
- 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