Zanzibar Hotels and Accommodation
(Zanzibar, Tanzania, TZ, East Africa)
Zanzibar offers excellent hotel accommodation, ranging from top-end hotels in the larger resorts, to lodges and small family run guesthouses. Most hotel rooms can be found in Stone Town itself or on the eastern coast of the main island of Unguja.
If you can't decide between lodging in these two locations, then it is perhaps worth combining a short break in Stone Town with a beach holiday. That way, you get to enjoy the atmosphere of Zanzibar's most historic town and enjoy a spot of beach lounging on the island's perfect white sandy beaches.
Zanzibar's other islands are also worth considering, particularly if you fancy venturing off the beaten track to experience a side of this African country that has considerably less hustle and bustle. Island resort accommodation is also popular with the diving and water sports fraternity.
Where to Stay
Where you choose to stay in Zanzibar depends very much on the sort of holiday you have in mind. If elegance, heritage, a central Stone Town location and excellent service are all boxes that need to be ticked, then you are looking at the likes of the Dhow Palace Hotel, one of several converted palaces and mansions in Zanzibar that were originally the homes of wealthy merchants.
Likewise, the Zanzibar Palace Hotel has been restored from a crumbling ruin into a hotel that is fit for a sultan. Another rather splendidly restored mansion is 236 Hurumzi, a hotel that is perhaps better known by its former name of 'Emerson and Green'.
Lower budget accommodation options in Stone Town aren't in short supply either. Several small, friendly hotels can be found in the centre of Stone Town and are a useful base for exploring Zanzibar's attractions. Guests also get an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of this fascinating place without having to break the bank. That said, the main downside of a central Stone Town location is the noise. At their best, however, small hotels in Stone Town are sociable and relaxed places to stay. Some even have their own open-air roof terraces, which are great places to swap stories with fellow travellers.
Heading away from Stone Town, but staying on Zanzibar's main island, the accommodation is just as varied. In the village of Fumba, for example, Beach Lodge guests are greeted by tropical wilderness, as well as a dive centre and spa, and tree-top Jacuzzi. In Matemwe, visitors can opt for a rustic lodge or bungalow that is much more affordable than mainstream hotels, but still gives guests access to idyllic palm-tree fringed beaches. Kizimkazi, Pingwe and Bwejuu also offer comfortable beach resort lodging and guesthouses.
Other islands in Zanzibar include Pemba, situated some 80 km / 50 miles from Unguja and somewhat overshadowed by its larger neighbour. A few modest guesthouses are available in places like Mkoani, Chake Chake and Wete. Smaller still is the island of Chumbe, which has a small eco-lodge, and the island of Mnemba. The latter offers exclusive access to guests staying in its luxury lodge.