Amani Beach is a relaxed beach lodge that is great for families.
Amani Beach: Our full report
Amani Beach, neighbour to Ras Kutani, occupies a beautiful stretch of broad white beach. It sits in 46 hectares of beautifully manicured gardens, with plenty of wide-open lawns dotted with palm trees.
Its rather eccentric previous owner built Amani Beach as a hobby. Together with his wife, he created a stylish lodge that has a real mix of European and Swahili styles. The buildings are all crisp white washed stone with terracotta-tiled floors, reminiscent of buildings you might find on the coast of Italy or Spain. Yet the thatched roofs and occasional piece of Zanzibari furniture remind you that you are in Africa and on the Swahili coast.
The 10 spacious cottages have white-washed walls and thatched roofs. The large, tiled verandas extend out onto the lawn and house a hammock, which is the perfect place to relax and read a book. Going inside, through the large French widows, you’ll find a spacious and airy bedroom. These rooms have air-conditioning and a fan, and so are delightfully cool during the day.
The rooms at Amani Beach have been put together using a mix of European and Africa materials. For example the tiles have come all the way from Germany and Italy. However most of the furniture, including the enormous beds and beautiful Zanzibari boxes, have been sourced locally.
The rooms are big enough to act as triples or even quadruples for families. They are certainly very spacious and are bright and breezy in feel.
The rooms at Amani Beach all have en-suite bathrooms, accessed through a large arched doorway with shuttered doors. The bathrooms are tiled in continuation with the bedrooms and contain a bath and a separate shower, both with hot-and-cold water. To one side, through a door for privacy, is the toilet and bidet.
The dining area at Amani Beach is set up away from the beach and extends inside and outside for different dining locations. The red terracotta-coloured tiles and white washed walls give the impression that you are in an Italian villa. Yet the arched doorways and furniture do add a Swahili slant to its style. Above the main dining, up a flight of stairs, is the TV and games area. With a pool table and satellite television this is a great place to entertain the kids in the evenings.
Down by the sea is the beach bar – here you can find drinks throughout the day, and this is also where buffet lunches are served. It is a comfortable open-sided thatch area, with lovely views out over the sea. The simple wicker chairs and sofas set on tiled floors are a cool place to retire out of the sun during the heat of the day.
Just adjacent to the beach bar is the large rectangular swimming pool with plenty of loungers and grass lawn around it. The large pool is great for kids, though its rather uniform shape is a little lacking in character. However the area around it is spacious and great for sunbathing or relaxing in the shade. To one side there’s a lovely big garden filled with indigenous plants.
Activities offered at Amani include surfing, and mountain biking, and they can also arrange horse riding.
It’s worth noting that Amani has recently been bought by a large hotel chain, who plan to add another 20 rooms. Whether this makes the place seem crowded or takes away some of its peace and character remains to be seen.
Our viewAmani has a lovely spot on the beach and it is a bright and welcoming hotel. Its one main problem is that it could be anywhere in the world – the few Swahili artifacts are not enough to mask its European feel.
Ideal length of stay: 2-3 nights
Directions: Amani Beach is only about a 15-minute flight from Dar es Salaam, or a 2-hour drive away.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: Breakfast at Amani Beach is a buffet, which usually consists of cereal, pancakes, fresh fruits and yoghurts. You can also order tea and coffee as well as a cooked breakfast with eggs and bacon, from the waiter.
Lunch is a small set menu, usually including salad, pastas and cold meats.
Dinner is a more formal 3-course affair in the main restaurant. This is either a buffet or a-la-carte, depending on how many people are staying.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are not included in the full board rate.
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Amani Beach
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions here.
Special activities & services: Amani Beach can offer babysitting – nannies need to be requested in advance.
Equipment: Cots and highchairs are available, as well as inflatable toys for the pool.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Amani has a very family friendly feel to it. The areas are well spaced and there is an abundance of room for kids to have fun, whilst not getting under other guests feet.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is intermittent cell-phone reception at Amani Beach. You can ask to use the hotel’s phone, though this will be charged to your final bill. Free internet access is available to guests.
TV & radio: There is a TV in the bar.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: There are first aid-trained staff on site and the hotel has associations with a local doctor; for more serious cases you would need to fly to Dar es Salaam.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There are guards on site 24 hours a day.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are found in every room.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Extra Charge
Money: No currency exchange is offered at Amani Beach
Accepted payment on location: Though Amani Beach prefer guests to settle their bills in US$ cash, you can also use credit cards. Please note that to use a credit card there is a 5% surcharge. You may also use Travellers’ cheques, for which there is no charge.