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
Excellent, I highly recommend this establishment: staff welcoming and paying attention of all details to make you comfortable and forget stress. Very professional yet friendly. The food is delicious and the place so wide you don’t feel the presence of the other clients.
Beds and bathroom are a must! You just sleep like a baby cat!
Asante Sana to the whole team and special thanks to the management team and Adam who kindly offered us a late check out, so we can get all set for flying back to Paris in good shape!
We have just had an amazing holiday at The Residence. The staff and service is simply superb. The facilities are incredibly well managed and maintained. The food was beyond our expectation even with our strict dietary requirements. We really recommend a stay at The Residence
Had stay with husband at the residence zanzibar and also enjoyed in swimming pool. Great hospitality, fabulous food, Nice and clean beach recommended to friends and colleagues for visit and to stay. Provided excellent services.
Had enjoyed great vacation with The Residence Zanzibar for 3 days.
Delicious food with very comfortable room stay and F&B services. staff is very friendly
with many smiley faces. feel like second Home in Zanzibar
Wish to come back soon with family.
We stayed here for 5 nights after a hectic week of safari camps. The journey to get here was lengthy, especially the drive along an unmade road for 20 minutes, but it was so worth it. The resort is just beautiful. We were there at the start of December & it wasn't too busy. We had a bit of rain, but it's the short rain season, and that didn't alter our enjoyment. We were completely wowed by our bungalow. It was the size of a flat! Scrupulously clean & with great air conditioning - a must for someone who struggles with the heat. It was hot outside & very steamy, but the room was a wonderful refuge. All the facilities were lovely & the room had a really airy feel to it - plenty of space.
We deliberately did nothing for our entire stay, apart from swim in our own plunge pool, relax, sleep & eat. It was perfect. We almost did some archery but unfortunately we were a bit poorly (tummy) so had to pull out.
A lovely touch is that the resort provides (pink) bicycles for all guests. It's a bit of a walk from one end to the other, so you can cycle around. Your bike has your villa number on it, so you can't lose it amongst all the other identical bikes. Kids bikes & baby seats also provided.
The staff were lovely, always saying 'jambo' or looking to help you. Can't fault them at all across the board - room cleaners, restaurant/bar staff, front desk, grounds. Such an enjoyable stay.
The main pool is amazing to look at as the end of it is glass & you can see in. The mind boggles at how much pressure was put on that glass to contain all the water. We didn't make use of the pool, which had the bar & dining area right next to it, opting to stay in our rooms & use our own pool.
There were plenty of tours on offer for the island but we didn't take advantage of any. Partly we just needed to rest & partly because the journey back into Stone Town was over an hour & we couldn't face it. For me, it was too hot to walk around for a few hours. However, for those who wanted to do it, there was plenty on offer.
The hotel also had its own water sports (canoeing, pedaloes, banana boat) on offer for those who were feeling more energetic.
All in all a wonderful 5 nights to end our very special 30th wedding anniversary trip. We feel thoroughly spoiled!