Baraza is a new luxury resort, built in a traditional Swahili Arab style.
Baraza Resort & Spa: Our full report
Baraza Resort and Spa is a fairly new resort, owned by the same company that runs the adjacent Breezes Beach Club and Palms. The architecture is classic Swahili and the décor comprises the best of locally-crafted lanterns, beds and furniture – with a blend of Arabic and Indian elements. A lot of effort has gone into the decoration, and you’ll see endless white walls adorned with rustic gold pots and plates, mosaic floors and beautifully shaped archways.
On our last visit, in February 2012, we found a high-quality, international style hotel, which retains a great deal of character and interest.
Situated along the same beautiful long stretch of white beach as Palms and Breezes, Baraza is set in beautiful gardens and has a luxurious and breezy feel to it - helped by the white-and-gold colour scheme used throughout. It is all-inclusive, meaning guests can truly relax without having to part with any money. Guides walk up and down the beach, from whom you can order any drinks and snacks without having to move.
The 30 villas are all stylish with dramatic arches, sumptuous gold fabrics, intricate carvings and baraza benches. Antiques, hand-made furniture and intricate brass lanterns decorate the rooms. All have very similar facilities, including air-con, a minibar, a coffee maker, Wi-Fi, TV with a DVD player and an intricately carved writing desk.
Each of the spacious bedrooms has a large comfortable double bed, canopied with a mosquito net; cream tiled floors and local Zanzibari furnishings. There’s a separate dressing room and a lounge furnished in Arabic style, with low sofas, a sultan’s lounge-bed, a TV, tea and coffee making facilities and a minibar. This faces, through sliding glass, onto a private verandah with sun loungers, another day bed and a plunge pool. The en-suite bathrooms are very spacious with a freestanding bath and a shower.
These villas stand in five rows, parallel to the seafront, and differ mostly in location and number of rooms rather than style or facilities. They comprise:
- The 7 Ocean Front Villas are closest to the sea, and have one bedroom.
- The 7 Ocean View Villas stand behind, also with one bedroom each.
- The 5 Sultan’s Sea-facing Villa further back each have two bedrooms.
- The 10 Sultan’s Garden View Villas stand in two rows, furthest from the sea, they also have two rooms
- The single vast (254m2) Presidential Villa stands beside the sea – next to the Ocean Front Villas. It has two master bedrooms, each with its own ensuite, a large plunge pool and a small kitchenette - in addition a small self-contained unit for a maid or butler.
Other activities at Baraza include treatments at the beautiful spa (with Jacuzzi and pool); yoga classes; a large swimming pool; a ‘Sheesha bar’ – where you can sit and smoke Morroccan-style; a tennis court; a fitness centre; a library; business and conference centre and children’s club. The well-stocked watersports centre and PADI dive centre is shared with Breezes and Palms.
Our viewBaraza’s design feels a bit over the top – with gold everywhere – but it has a high-quality air and is very well finished, and so never feels tacky. Baraza’s service is efficient and its food good, so with extensive facilities it feels more like a smart hotel rather than what we’d think of as a ‘resort’. Its price tag is relatively high, but will still appeal to those wanting somewhere smart – especially to families for whom the 2-bed villas are ideal.
Ideal length of stay: 4 - 5 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 Baraza.
Owner: Family run with employed management. Same owners as Breezes and Palms.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: On our last visit to Baraza the food was delicious. A buffet BBQ lunch was served on the beach. There was a great selection of food including several different types of salads, breads and pizzas to choose from. The BBQ consisted of beef, chicken, vegetable kebabs and king prawns served with rice and potatoes. An ice-cream desert and coffee was served to the table.
Dining times are somewhat flexible but generally Breakfast is served between 7:30am - 10am, lunch between 12:30pm - 2pm, and dinner between 8pm -10pm.
Dinner is usually served in the Sultan Restaurant and is sometimes buffet-style and sometimes table service.
There is also afternoon tea served and if you’re hungry between meals there are snacks available.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are included.
Family holidays: Baraza would be a great place for families, with its long sandy beach; the sheltered shallow sea lagoon; not to mention the children’s club to look after children if parents prefer to have a break. The watersports centre provides a wide range of activities to keep children and adults alike occupied.See more ideas for Family holidays in Zanzibar
Beach holidays: Baraza sits on a beautiful long stretch of white beach on the Michamvi Peninsula. With plenty of loungers, a very large swimming pool and a great water-sports centre it is a fantastic beach getaway.See more ideas for Beach holidays in Zanzibar
Wellbeing: Baraza has an extensive spa, including an impressive Sultan’s bath where couples can enjoy a double relaxation treatment. A tennis court and fitness centre are also available. There are a wide range of treatment and courses available and sunrise yoga classes are held daily.See more ideas for Wellbeing in Zanzibar
Attitude towards children: Baraza welcomes children of all ages
Equipment: Baraza has equipment such as highchairs for children.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Baraza is a large resort with plenty of activities on offer, a large beach and a pool to keep children busy. Though parents should also be aware that children are their responsibility for the duration of their stay.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is WIFI in all rooms.
TV & radio: Large satellite TV/DVD players in all rooms
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: Baraza has a clinic on site, and there is nearby doctor they can use for more serious medical situations.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Baraza has a front gate which is normally closed and watched, as well as discrete security guards around the property.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all rooms.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: Baraza has the facility to exchange various currencies.