Sunshine Hotel: Our full report
Located on a lovely white stretch of beach the Sunshine Hotel is a new addition to the beachside accommodation in Matemwe, and offers a bright and vibrant place to stay on Zanzibar's east coast.
Not to be confused with Zanzibar's old 'Sunrise Hotel', the Sunshine Hotel opened in June 2010, and offers 16 rooms in chalets under makuti thatch. These are all decorated in a lovely warm and sunny yellow, in keeping with the hotel's name. The rooms are divided into three categories – the 12 standard rooms, which are known as 'Sunshine Suites', the two smaller garden retreats and the two luxury rooms, which are aimed mainly at honeymooners. The rooms are similar, all with double or twin beds draped in a mosquito net, a small seating area and a wardrobe. Decoration is simple and bright, and the rooms are spotlessly clean. All the rooms have three fans – a ceiling fan, a standing fan, and a fan for the bed. There's also a safe and a lamp.
With the exception of the garden retreats, the rooms all have balconies, some upstairs with sea views, and some downstairs with garden views. The stairs to the upstairs rooms are quite steep but you will be rewarded by a lovely view of the beach. The Sunshine Suites are located in three bungalows, Clove, Cinnamon and Coconut, with four rooms in each, two on the ground floor and two on the first floor. The luxury rooms are located in a separate building right on the beach with one on the ground floor and one on the first floor. These have their own garden (or terrace for the first floor), plunge pool and beach banda. An old pier in stone town was recycled to make the furniture. In these rooms the bed faces the sea and there is private beach access.
Each room has an en-suite bathroom with a shower and a toilet.
Sunshine Hotel tries to be as eco-friendly as possible, and the rooms have been designed so that the breeze from the sea flows through and therefore no air conditioning is necessary. The rooms do all have fans though.
The main areas of the Sunshine Hotel consists of a shady infinity pool with a small waterfall, just by the beach and surrounded by sunloungers, the lush green garden filled with banana trees with enormous leaves. Next to the pool is the covered dining area which has a small upstairs lounge with computers, slow internet and a small library.
As with most Zanzibar hotels, activities here include diving (arranged through a local dive centre), snorkeling and various trips and island excursions. Guests should remember that it is not possible to swim in the sea at low tide because the sea goes out so far.
Our viewSunshine Hotel is a bright and welcoming beachside hotel that has a lively vibe to it. This hotel should appeal to young couples and honeymooners who like their hotel to have a bit of a buzz to it while retaining a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere.
Ideal length of stay: We would recommend a stay of at least three nights.
Directions: It takes around 35 minutes to fly to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, and then it's a further one hour by car to the Sunshine Hotel.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Breakfast is served from 7.30am until 10am and consists of a choice of bread, fruit, jams and spreads, tea, coffee, juices as well as a hot option.
Lunch is served from 12.30 until 3pm and tends to be light, fresh meals such as pasta, sandwiches and snacks.
Dinner is served from 6.30 until 9pm and has a choice of various hot dishes such as fish, seafood, curries and samosas. There's even a Swahili Style banana for you to try. On top of this there are chef's specials that change daily.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No drinks are included.
Attitude towards children: Sunshine Hotel currently accepts children of all ages but there are plans to introduce a minimum age of 12 in the future.
Equipment: The camp doesn't provide any cots, high-chairs or special equipment for children.
Generally recommended for children: Sunshine Hotel appeals mainly to young couples, and so there's more of an adult feel here.
Notes: Children should be under parental supervision at all times.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: WiFi is available in the restaurant and the hotel will let guests use their phone in an emergency.
TV & radio: There are no TVs or radio here.
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: The hotel has affiliations with the local expat doctor.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Sunshine Hotel is gated and there are two beach guards and two front gate guards. The guards on the beach are there 24 hours.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are available in the main areas. The hotel also has a pump that takes water from the swimming pool that can be used in an emergency.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Laundry is available for an extra charge.
Money: Laundry is available for an extra charge.