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The Residence Zanzibar, Zanzibar Island

The Residence Zanzibar

This is a luxurious hotel which retains a feeling of privacy and quiet despite the fairly large number of villas. Set within tropical gardens on the cusp of a sandy beach, the property is a peaceful retreat where days are spent basking in the sun, sipping refreshing cocktails and taking a dip in the glass-sided infinity pool, which stretches out over the deck above the beach. Thoughtful and fun touches, such as being able to pick your own bicycle on arrival, bring this hotel to life. Guests can choose to eat privately in their villas or in one of two restaurants serving a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Our rating: Deluxe

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The spacious one or two bedroom villas are split into six categories. Luxury Garden Pool Villas and Luxury Ocean Front Pool Villas are identical in design, but the latter are located closer to the beach, while Prestige Ocean Front Pool Villas are situated on the beachfront, offering superb views of the Indian Ocean from every room. All of these accommodate either two adults and two children, or three adults and one child. Frangipani Garden Pool Villas have an additional bedroom with either twin or king size beds, whilst the Frangipani Ocean Front Pool Villas are closer to the beach. Meanwhile the Presidential Villa offers superb privacy, sea views and a large living room with spacious dining area, along with two en suite bedrooms with outdoor showers.

All of the villas feature a private pool and furnished deck, along with a host of modern amenities such as air conditioning, satellite TV and complimentary Wi-Fi.


The hotel is situated on the southwest coast of Zanzibar on a beautiful stretch of beach. The location is only an hour’s drive from the airport and Stone Town, which you can explore on half or full day trips from here. The low tides mean that it's not always possible to swim in the sea at certain times of the day.

Food and drink

The food here is excellent, with a good variety of locations and options to choose from at each meal. You can opt to eat privately in your villa or in one of the two restaurants, which serve a mixture of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. There are also activities such as barbecue lunches on sand banks, which combine well with a snorkeling trip.


Families can be accommodated easily in most of the villas and there's no minimum age. The kids' club is open from 8am to 5pm each day and offers plenty of activities to keep children amused, such as baking, making popcorn, visiting the nearby rescue animals and hair braiding.


The Residence is fantastic for couples who are on their honeymoon and offers ideas to make your stay here extra special, such as private dinners on the beach. Weddings can also be arranged here.

Facilities and activities

In addition to its infinity pool, the hotel has floodlit tennis courts, a fitness center, a Jacuzzi, a volleyball court, sauna and steam rooms and a spa which offers a wide range of treatments. There's also a 150 meter jetty leading out over the sea where you can practice yoga at sunset twice a week. A few times a week it also turns into a cocktail bar where you can enjoy breathtaking sunsets.

Activities available include snorkeling, diving, kayaking, pedal boating, bicycle hire and deep sea fishing. You can also visit Stone Town and head out on day excursions to Jozani Forest or out to sea on traditional dhow sailing boats.


Wheelchair accessible rooms are available.

Our opinion

The Residence Zanzibar is very much of an international resort standard rather than a traditional Zanzibari property, with an emphasis on modern comfort. The food is very good and the glass-walled swimming pool is a great place to relax and enjoy a swim when the tide is out.

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