Azao Resort & Spa
What We Love
- Stylish beach spa digs on the Tanzanian archipelago on Zanzibar, with a choice of boardStaying on Zanzibar’s north-east coast, just an hour by car from Stone Town
- Welcoming guest rooms with large glass doors that frame the Indian Ocean
- Kicking back with ice-cold summer cocktails by the dip-worthy outdoor pool
- Upgrading to a Deluxe room for compelling ocean views
What To Know
- Super family-friendly with table tennis, a trampoline, and bike rentals
- Opt for a guestroom with ocean views
- Free WiFi
For those seeking laid-back beach glamour on the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar, this chic resort lures with a spot-on location right by the sugary white sands and glistening blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Best of all, you’ll be just an hour’s drive from the UNESCO-listed capital of Stone Town, should you fancy losing yourself in the labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways.
The mix of classic and contemporary décor that reveals itself on arrival continues in the luxe guest rooms – all of which have high wooden ceilings, marble flooring, and large glass windows to frame postcard-perfect views of the natural surrounding landscape. Expect large beds dressed with mosquito nets, lovely bathrooms worth whiling the hours away in, and an above-average amount of creature comforts to complete your stay.
Elsewhere, you’ll find an outdoor pool with swim-up bar, well-equipped gym with free weights and cardio machines, and spa with treatment rooms for all sorts of spirit-soothing pampering. Equally impressive are the dining options, most fabulously the all-day buffet restaurant for ingredient-driven international cuisine and the relaxed shisha lounge for puffing away on a hookah pipe.
How to Get There
I stayed at the Azao resort in Zanzibar for 5 days, after 4 weeks in Tanzania volunteering, climbing Kili and going on safari. I booked a “full board” package and was looking for a relaxing time to rest at the end of my time in Tanzania and Zanzibar.
The hotel itself was good, with the room itself being very comfortable. The pool and outdoor bar area were fine and there’s a small gym and spa (with sauna and steam room) on site which is useful. The restaurant served an abundance of food (4 course meal with generous portions), which I took full advantage of! The staff were always very friendly, polite and happy to help with anything.
This would be a hotel to relax and get away from it all. There are no events, pool-aerobics or corny activities. Most of the resorts on the east side of Zanzibar aren’t near any real “built-up” areas. The tide was also out quite a bit when I stayed but I’m not one to sit on the beach all day when on holiday. I did go on the Stone Town and Changuu Island (Prison Island) tour and there are various other activities that can be booked through the hotel or it’s partners (PADI diving, swimming with dolphins, quad biking, etc). Booking via the hotel may be seen as expensive but it’s relatively easy to find a local guide/taxi driver who can offer an alternative.
I traveled with my husband to Zanzibar in the end December 2018 to spend the New Years Eve on this beautiful island. At Azao Resort we booked the Delux Ocean View Villa which was a great choice - beautiful view of the ocean side and perfect atmosphere for relaxation. The resort has an amazing, huge pool with nice bar which serves food as well. The resort is placed on the huge landscape which makes you feel you are in a totally private area, big enough for a nice walk. Despite the fact there is a lot of villas, there is a unique ambiance of silence and privacy. However, the pool and the pool bar delivers a nice entertainment. The staff very friendly and helpful, special thank you to the General Manager - Mr. Khaled Mahdy for his help and assistance. Highly recommend, one of the best experience in our travel life :) Agnieszka & Mouhamed from Dubai
We'd noticed some bad reviews and given the place the benefit of the doubt. How I wish we'd listened to those bad reviews!
We had a terrible time here. The room was dirty. The bathroom was home to plagues of insects and we found a big locust in the room after housekeeping left the door open. That was in addition to the gecko that was living in our room. The mosquito net had multiple holes in it.
The food was poor quality, overpriced, and gave no choice for vegetarians. One salad, one sandwich, one pizza. For three days. The restaurant and pool play the same ten songs on loop all day every day.
Service was really poor. When we reported problems they were met with shrugs and many public-facing staff couldn't understand English. Food and drink we ordered did not appear. Dirty plates and rubbish covered in flies that we asked them to clear were left for hours in the sun.
As others have reported, the beach is covered in smelly, slimey seaweed. I know they can't help nature but it does make the beach unusable. I thought they'd been exaggerating. They were not.
We were staying on New Year's Eve and when we checked in the reception staff tried to add a 'compulsory' $90 surcharge for New Year. We refused to pay it because they had not told us about it in when we booked it in July or at any point since. Two more times they tried to charge us the extra and we had to argue. The surcharge was supposedly to pay for the seafood buffet (I'm a vegetarian) and terrible, noisy drumming that went on all through dinner that night. We left the dining hall as quickly as we could and found a quiet spot to stargaze and see in the New Year.
It took an hour to check out because of the slow service and incompetency of the staff. We were late leaving for the airport because of them, not that they seemed particularly bothered.
The best thing about our stay (other than the clear skies full of stars) was the snorkeling trip we arranged through an agent at the hotel. For $45 each we were driven to the north of the island and snorkeled for several hours. As well as lots of beautiful tropical fish, we were lucky enough to see and swim with dolphins. The snorkeling was based out of another hotel, Zanzibar House, which seemed really nice, had friendly staff, good food, and was directly on the beach. We wished we'd stayed there.
My Boyfriend is now my Fiancé and we have this Beautiful Resort as part of our story!
We booked 9 nights with an all inclusive package, and I was ready to give them 25 stars after only day 2. The Staff were amazing, so accommodating, so friendly, constantly smiling and such a pleasure to deal with. Our room was large with a high roof, which made it feel super spacious, the air con was a life saver, the bed was huge and so comfortable, good pillows and we were often greeted by adorable towel swans and messages written in flowers. The resort was quiet and we were treated like royalty. They arranged shuttles to nearby beaches, packed lunches, trips to the city, and our favourite was the romantic dinner set up; under the stars, surrounded by the sea with beautiful flowers and kerosene lights, the food tasted even more delicious... Speaking of which, SUCH good food, the variety was exceptional, breakfast lunch and dinner we ate like kings. The pool was paradise, perfect temperature at any time of day and the swim up bar was awesome. There were paddle boards, and excursion opportunities, and fantastic massages, and divine cocktails. The tide is insane and goes from being right up at the resort where you can swim or explore the bays and busy sea life, then pulling all the way out leaving you to be able to walk to the same awesome coral caves you had just swam to.
Genuinely; Rose, Rehema, Edson, Mohamed, Silima, Moses, Yoram, Benson, Nehma thank you for everything, it genuinely felt like we were saying farewell to family when we departed. I'd definitely recommend it and return any day if I could.
We had an absolutely fantastic stay at Azao – from the service, the food and the rooms. The minute we arrived Farhat – the Guest Relations Manager, welcomed us with a huge smile and throughout our stay she went above and beyond her call of duty to meet our needs, which in some instances were last minute. The restaurant and bar staff were equally professional and consistently gave us high quality service throughout the duration of our stay. My husband and I were celebrating our birthday and with coordination between my sister and the staff, we got a surprise birthday cake accompanied by song and dance by the restaurant staff. All our requests were alwsays met with “hakuna mathatha”. The chef continuously ensured that the food had enough variety – ranging from soups, fresh salads to the best prawn curry I’ve had. I definitely recommend Azao for any holiday maker and as a family we’ll definitely visit again in future.