The Residence Zanzibar
What We Love
- Location on quiet Kizimkazi Beach on Zanzibar’s south coast
- Villas have private pools, mountain bikes, dedicated butlers and indoor/outdoor bathrooms
- Centerpiece glassed-in infinity pool
- The first hotel spa in the world to offer Ohashiatsu treatments
What To Know
- The spa is open from 11am to 8pm
- Kids are very welcome, but the vibe is better suited to couples
- Free WiFi
- Poolside or beach dining available on request
- The ocean recedes at low tide but there's plenty of activities to keep guests busy
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Taking advantage of its location on Zanzibar’s undeveloped south coast, the all-villa resort sprawls across 80 manicured acres between wild fruit tree forests and the gin-clear Indian Ocean. From the cavernous, airy lobby to the terrace restaurant and lounge-chair-flanked infinity pool, the property gives a nod to Zanzibar’s multicultural past with a successful mix of arabesque, contemporary and British Colonial styles. All meandering pathways (best navigated on one of your villa’s private bikes) lead to the mile-long stretch of white sand beach — empty but for skinny palm trees, cocktail-proffering butlers and local fishermen.
Bed and Bath
Residence in name and nature, the hotel’s 66 freestanding villas feel like tricked-out private beach houses. Louvered shutters, dark rattan furnishings and whirring overhead fans in the living rooms lend an upscale tropical look, while bedrooms feel almost minimalist in their simplicity: mosquito-netted four-poster beds placed smack dab in the middle of the room, plus two wardrobes and a small writing desk. Palatial en-suite bathrooms have twin vanities, lovely L’Occitane products, modern egg-shaped tubs and both indoor and outdoor showers. Outside, private furnished decks have shaded daybeds made for two, as well as chilly plunge pools with views across the gardens or on to the white sand beach.
R&R comes naturally here, and most guests divide their time among the centerpiece glassed-in infinity pool, the beach and the spa. Make even a sideways glance at a lounge chair, and staff dressed in white tunics will appear with towels and offers of board games and snacks. Wander down to the sand, and your beach butler will be ready with a cold face towel and new rounds of Kilimanjaro beer on request. Swimming is impossible at low tide, when the ocean recedes almost a mile out to sea, but the resulting muddle of white coral, patches of seaweed and bright blue pools supplies a seriously photogenic backdrop for cocktails or sunbathing on the end of the long jetty. On the food front, the elegant beachfront Dining Room serves up an impressive buffet breakfast and à la carte Omani- and African-infused dishes for lunch and dinner, while the Pavilion Restaurant is the more formal choice for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare.
In the Area
Residence Zanzibar’s remote location and popularity with seclusion-seeking honeymooners means few guests venture far from the resort’s 80 acres and on-tap activities. Splurge on a treatment (or three) at the Spa, Residence’s star attraction with six private pavilions, a gym, sauna and steam room, and special Ohashiatsu massages. At high tide, take advantage of the free non-motorized watersports including snorkeling, kayaking and Hobie Cat sailing, or book more adventurous trips for an extra fee (the sunset dhow cruise is a must). Farther afield, the hotel can organize guided day trips to Zanzibar’s fascinating capital, Stone Town, the island’s renowned spice plantations or the nearby Jozani Forest Reserve.
How to Get There
My wife and I spent the first leg of our honeymoon at this property and it was the perfect start! The property is gorgeous, friendly staff, we stayed in a very spacious private villa right on the beach with our own pool. The food was good considering it was all inclusive (I would say better than we were expecting, but not five star quality). We loved having our own private bikes to explore the property and see all of the wild monkeys that come and go! The gym was very nice along with the spa. Highly recommend if you’re looking for something that is intimate and romantic. Only downside was the time of the year that we visited....we were expecting a nicer beach/ocean experience, but the seaweed was unfortunately all around. Check with the locals/travel agents before you book to ensure you are going at the right time of the year.
We spent 5 nights at The Residence Zanzibar in October 2019.
I am sure I am going to fall short of words while writing about my experience here.
We got lucky as we changed our booking last minute from another resort to The Residence.
The resort is an hour and half drive away from the airport. It is the perfect place to experience the most beautiful Sunrise and sunset. The property in nestled in a super green patch amazingly close to nature. The moment you enter you can feel a certain freshness around
We had a wonderful stay in an ocean view villa and Garden villa with pool, the service was impeccable what a truly wonderful hotel. The staff were very efficient and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble and they took time to recognise us personally. Thank you so much everyone who was working during our 5 nights stay .We found the staff to be very polite and professional at all times, Martin (food and beverage manager) and your assistant John thank you so much for making sure we had a memorable time, you work very hard everyday during our stay and took time to make sure we were enjoying our stay. Location was stunning and the food was amazing, breakfast, lunch, dinner and every small detail was taken into consideration. The spa is also, one of the best we have had. Thank you also to Pili and Shams
Thank you for a lovely stay we will definitely come back.
we enjoy the whole trip there. so quite and peacful. all are very polite and smill all the time. you can take tripes from there to all the other beautiful places as the blue lagun or the turtel island