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
Should deserve The Leading Hotels of the World award. The staff were all very friendly, and would always check you had everything you needed. Benjamin was extremely helpful during my stay, giving me information on the area.
All interactions with The Residence were pleasant and helpful. Friendly, knowledgeable, and engaging staff that regularly went out of there way to ensure high standards of service. The location is remote and therefore perfect for relaxing and enjoying a true Zanzibar experience.
This is a wonderful property with a beautiful nature allover. The service is prompt and people are amazing! You can't stop loving every bit of your stay there. The food quality is great with a nice variety as per your choice.
We stayed at The Residence for a week and found it nothing short of exceptional.
All the staff are extremely friendly, making us continuously welcomed and creating a home like environment.
We spoke to various members of the team who expressed their delight at making their guest happy and this was really the case. Everyone from the waiter and waitress service team to the housekeeping and spa team added a special touch to our trip. We never once saw any of the team without a smile and giving a warm welcome.
We took advantage of the daily Yoga sessions lead by Vijay.
A special mention to Shams and Anesen who went above and beyond to cater for our very specific dietary requirements throughout our entire stay.
We have been just for one day and was perfect, really good wine, good variety of food, i pick sea food and fresh fish and was really good and attentive service.
Creative barrels cocktails in the bar ;)and fresh fruit around the pool round the day.
Love the pool !!!