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
Poolside or beach dining available on request
The ocean recedes at low tide but there's plenty of activities to keep guests busy
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Romantic escape for seclusion and spa time, with just 66 villas on 80 unspoiled acres fronting a mile-long beach
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.