Tropical Paradise: The Dreamiest Hotels in Zanzibar

By Cathy Magnus,

If you’re looking for a charming tropical paradise, then Zanzibar has you covered. A jewel in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar offers beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters and dramatic sunsets, along with fascinating culture and history.

As a historic East African trading port, Zanzibar is a blend of African, Arabian, Indian and European influences. The capital of Stone Town offers a cultural and architectural mix of historic mosques, Sultan’s palaces, Portuguese forts and lively bazaars, whilst further afield you can visit the island’s spice plantations.

Once you’ve filled up on culture, there’s endless beaches just waiting for you to sit back and relax. Here are Zanzibar’s dreamiest hotels to kick your feet up in!

Zanzibar Serena Inn

Stone Town

Situated in two historic buildings, the Zanzibar Serena Inn is tucked against the seafront in the Old Town of Zanzibar. The opulent hotel is furnished in Arabic and Swahili style and all rooms have uninterrupted sea views. 

Relaxation comes easy here. Take a dip in the swimming pool, chill out at the Mangapwani Beach Club, or simply cast your gaze over spectacular ocean views from the terraced seafood restaurant. Bliss.

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Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

Nungwi – North Coast

Set amongst tropical gardens near Nungwi, the second largest town on the island, the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort has all you need for a relaxing break. Along with its infinity pools and epic sunsets, it also offers day trips to local destinations, an array of spa treatments and underwater sports.

Each suite offers views over the pool, ocean or tropical garden, and comes complete with a bath and walk-in shower. Those lucky enough to snap up an ocean-facing veranda can enjoy a resplendent sunset from the comfort of their own personal deck bed.

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Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa

Pwani Mchangani – North East Coast

The Ocean Paradise Resort & Spa features traditional African roundhouses with pitched makuti roofs, fitted out with all the comforts you might need. And of course, it goes without saying that a white sandy beach is right at your doorstep.

Each room is ocean-facing, with patio doors that open to a private balcony. With colourful gardens, a spa and the largest swimming pool in Zanzibar, you can kick back and take life slow. 

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The Residence Zanzibar

Kizimkazi – South West Coast

Fresh white linens and handsome wooden accents are signature to The Residence Zanzibar, whose design is reminiscent of the island’s African, Omani and European heritage.

Nestled among 32 hectares of tropical gardens, the individual villas are perfect for clearing your mind from the everyday. Let the world go by as you lounge on wicker decks, go for a swim or explore your surroundings by bike. Don’t want to lift a finger? You can even request a private butler.

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Sunshine Hotel Zanzibar

Matemwe – North East Coast

This moderately-priced gem is magical. It’s colourful, eco-friendly and more cosy-than-luxe. Expect authentic rooms and one-of-a-kind wooden furniture.

The best bit? You don’t have to be newly-wed to book the best suite of them all – the honeymoon suite. It comes with its own garden, a private plunge pool and beach access.

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Gold Zanzibar Beach House

Kendwa – North West Coast

The Gold Zanzibar Beach House is in Kendwa, a secluded, idyllic location that is free from tides and seaweed, leaving you with sparkling, clear waters. With white and gold tones and wooden furnishings, the rooms are all light and contemporary in design. 

Each of the rooms come with a private veranda, with ocean or garden views, and if you opt for an Beach suite you’ll also get direct beach access. If that’s not enough, book a villa for your very own jacuzzi!

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Sea Cliff Resort & Spa

Mangapwani – West Coast

The Sea Cliff Resort & Spa oozes charm, with Arabic towers, makuti roofs and elegant furnishings. As the name suggests, it is perched on a cliff with a backdrop of panoramic ocean views and a sprawling golf course – the only one on the island. 

Luxury rooms look out to the tropical gardens so you can fully unwind. Spa treatments, candlelit dinners and horse-riding along the beach at sunset are the order of the day here.

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