Melia Zanzibar

Melia Zanzibar: Our full report

124 Rooms
Good for all ages.
All year

The Melia Zanzibar (formerly the Zamani Zanzibar Kempinski) is one of the island's largest resort complexes, owned by the international Spanish-owned hotel group. Located on Zanzibar’s east coast, 4km north of Kiwengwa, it has an extensive beach front with a private jetty, and a separate private beach 1km to the south of the main hotel complex. This large resort offers an extensive range of facilities and services for leisure travellers and business visitors.

Arriving at the Melia's strictly controlled entrance gate, you drive up to the first-floor level for the hotel's main lobby, reception, art gallery and library, all overlooking the manicured gardens, with the beach beyond. It's all marble-tiled floors and statement water features. There's a shoeshine machine, jewellery and crafts shops. You get the picture.

Downstairs, there's the Spice Market restaurant and an excursion programme desk run by one of Expert Africa's main excursion and transfer partners on Zanzibar, Fisherman Tours.

The Melia Zanzibar has 124 rooms in total – 110 standard rooms, 7 villas and 7 pavilions, all with satellite TVs, minibars, tea- and coffee-making facilities, bathrobes, and digital safes. All the rooms have jacuzzis and there's an outside shower in every room except the pavilions.

There is Wi-fi access throughout the resort and you'll find printouts of the daily Melia News in all the public areas, a Melia group newspaper collating world news for guests.

There are multiple restaurants at Melia Zanzibar: the main restaurant, Spice Market, which offers a variety of different food, buffet-style and has entertainment in the evening; Aqua, which serves a set menu from 7-10pm; the Pool Bar; the Jetty Restaurant and Bar, which requires a reservation and is open from 7-10am and from 5pm-1am (there's a DJ here from 9.30pm on Wed and Sun); The Level, which is a lunch venue for premium guests only (others can eat there for an extra charge, as an alternative to the pool bar); and the beach restaurant at Gabi Beach, which serves Italian-inspired cuisine and has a regular Monday evening barbecue, where all guests eat as the Spice Market is closed.

The hotel also has a business centre, and three conference rooms.

Melia Zanzibar has a variety of activities on offer. Overlooking the beach is the Amphitheatre, where yoga and exercise classes take place. You will also find a Kids' Club, a 60-metre outdoor leisure pool, tennis and basketball courts and table tennis. For snorkelling, sailing, kayaking, boat cruises and volleyball, head to the Beach Club at Gabi Beach.

Noisy golf carts move you between the hotel and its private beach, Gabi Beach, to the south of Shooting Star Lodge. This is a private beach with a restauranmt and bar-disco. The Surfs Up kite surf centre here rents boards and kayaks, and offers instruction. The hammocks are free, as are the cabanas - first come, first served.

For relaxation, there’s the Anantara Spa. Managed and operated exclusively by professional Thai therapists, it has six private treatment rooms, two private outdoor massage pavilions and a 23-metre outdoor lap pool. There is also a beauty salon, gym and sauna, with treatments offered by Thai masseuses. Products in use are Elemis (UK) and Africology (South Africa). Use of the sauna is restricted to over-16s and use of the gym to over-18s.

For diving, the Melia has branch of the One Ocean PADI diving operation based at the Blue Bay Resort. You'll be booked and measured up here for your diving kit, then driven to Blue Bay to set off, usually to Mnemba Atoll.

Our view

The Melia Zanzibar is a very large and busy resort hotel. Arriving out of the bush environment of east coast Zanzibar, it comes as a shock, especially in comparison with most other hotels along this coast. However, if you're looking for a fun, well-run machine with lots of facilities, this could well be a good choice.


Location: East Coast Zanzibar, Zanzibar

Directions: It's a half-hour flight from Dar to Zanzibar, and then it's a further one hour by road to the Melia.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Bed & Breakfast

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £15-20

Drinks included: Drinks are not included.

Further dining info: Yes


Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome at Melia.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.

Special activities & services: The hotel has a kids’ club (0-4 only accompanied by their parents, 4-12 alone), a large pool and a variety of activities to keep children entertained.

Equipment: All the equipment you'd expect at a large, international resort hotel is available here.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: Generator backup.

Communications: There is free Wi-fi throughout and reasonable Airtel signal.

TV & radio: All rooms come with phones and DSTV.

Water supply: Mains

Water supply notes: Small bottles of drinking water are supplied free of charge.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: Melia Zanzibar has a branch clinic of Global hospital, staffed by Italian and Tanzanian nursing staff.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: The hotel is accessed through high, guarded gates and is secured by a 24-hour security team who patrol the property.

Fire safety: Every building has fire extinguishers, and fire-training by an outside contractor takes place every month.


Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: A laundry service is available for an extra charge.

Money: There are safes in each of the rooms.

Accepted payment on location: Cash in Tanzanian Shillings, Euros, US dollars or UK pounds is accepted for payment. Credit cards (Amex, Visa, MasterCard) are also taken, with a 10% surcharge for cash withdrawals and no change for hotel payments.

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