Sunshine Hotel

Sunshine Hotel: Our full report

16 rooms
Traveller's rating
Good (80%) From 3 reviews
Fine for children.
All year

Opened in June 2010, the sunny Sunshine Hotel is a new addition to the beachside accommodation in Matemwe, on Zanzibar’s east coast. Located on a lovely white stretch of beach, it’s a colourful, bright and vibrant place to stay, popular with young couples and honeymooners.

The Sunshine Hotel offers 16 en-suite rooms in chalets under makuti thatch, all spotlessly clean. The hotel tries to be as eco-friendly as possible, and the rooms have been designed so that sea breeze flows through, making air conditioning unnecessary. That said, each room has three fans – a ceiling fan, a standing fan, and a fan for the bed.

The rooms are divided into three categories –

  • There are two split-level Garden Retreat rooms which are the smallest rooms here, and they have no balcony. It has a bedroom on its first floor, and a small living room and bathroom below. In common with all the rooms, it’s been decorated in a bright, simple décor in a lovely warm and sunny yellow, in keeping with the hotel’s name. Each room has double or twin beds draped in a mosquito net, a small seating area and a wardrobe, as well as a safe and a lamp. The en-suite bathroom has a shower and a toilet.

  • The 12 Sunshine Suites are located in three bungalows: Clove, Cinnamon and Coconut. These have four rooms in each, two on the ground floor and two on the first floor. All have balconies, those upstairs with sea views, and those downstairs with garden views. Although the stairs to the upper rooms are quite steep, you will be rewarded by a lovely view of the beach once you get there!

  • The two suites, known as the Honeymoon Suite and the Blue Breeze Suite are located in a separate building right on the beach, with their beds facing the sea.
    • The ground-floor Honeymoon suite is billed as the hotel’s “most luxurious room" and has its own garden with a verandah and plunge pool.
    • Above this, the Blue Breeze Suite covers a similar area but has a large private terrace instead of a garden, with lovely views of the ocean and beach below. Its furniture was created by recycling an old pier from Stone Town
The main area of the Sunshine Hotel consists of a shady infinity pool with a small waterfall, just by the beach and surrounded by sunloungers. It’s backed by lush green garden filled with flowers and banana trees with enormous leaves. Next to the pool is a covered dining area, which has a small upstairs lounge with computers, slow internet and a small library.

The vibrant beachfront bar is a popular hangout, with an eclectic menu of refreshingly fruity cocktails on offer, as well as equally colourful and exotic curries and fresh seafood.

As with most hotels on Zanzibar, activities at the Sunshine Hotel include diving (arranged through a local dive centre), snorkelling and various trips and island excursions, such as spice tours. (NB: It’s essential that you read the Quadbike warning in the ‘Health & Safety’ section below for our comments on insurance issues regarding this activity.) Guests should note, however, that it is not possible to swim in the sea here at low tide because the sea goes out too far.

Our view

Sunshine Hotel is a good-value, welcoming beachside hotel that has a young and lively vibe. Its cheerful name is very appropriate, with bright sunny colours, friendly staff and a pretty beach giving a happy and relaxed atmosphere. It should appeal to those who like their hotel to have a bit of a buzz to it while remaining unpretentious.


Location: East Coast Zanzibar, Zanzibar

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, then it’s a further hour by car to the Sunshine Hotel.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: Breakfast is served from 7.30am until 10.00am and consists of a choice of bread, fruit, jams and spreads, as well as a hot option, with tea, coffee and juices to drink.

Lunch, served from 12.30pm until 3.00pm, tends to focus on light, fresh meals such as pasta, sandwiches and snacks.

At dinner, served from 6.30pm until 9.00pm, there is a choice of various hot dishes such as fish, seafood, curries and samosas, as well as chef’s specials that change daily. There’s even a Swahili-style banana for you to try.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £5-10

Drinks included: No drinks are included.

Further dining info: No rooms service is available.

Special interests

Family holidays: The fairly new, good-value Sunshine Hotel welcomes children of all ages. Due to its unpretentious, vibrant atmosphere, nice pools and friendly staff it’s a good choice for family beach holidays in Zanzibar. Cots and high chairs are provided by the hotel.

See more ideas for Family holidays in Zanzibar

Beach holidays: Located on a lovely white beach, typical of Zanzibar’s east coast, Sunshine Hotel is a fairly new, good-value place to stay which is colourful, bright and vibrant. Away from the beach’s attractions, it has immaculate gardens and a relaxed lounge and cocktail bar.

See more ideas for Beach holidays in Zanzibar


Attitude towards children: Sunshine Hotel welcomes children over the age of 8.

Property’s age restrictions: 8 +

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: Cots and high chairs can provided by the hotel.

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 protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: The hotel has affiliations with the local expat doctor and there are three first aid trained members of staff in the hotel at all times.

Quadbike warning: quad-biking is sometimes available as an activity from the Sunshine Hotel. As with any potentially dangerous activity, it’s vital that you take responsibility for ensuring that you have adequate travel insurance prior to getting involved. Be aware that some insurances cover quad-bike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings: check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: Sunshine Hotel is gated with two guards on the front gate. There are also two 24-hour guards on the beach.

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: On Request

Laundry facilities: Laundry is available for an extra charge.

Money: The hotel accepts Tanzanian shillings, US dollars, GB pounds and euros, and will offer an exchange service if they have enough cash.

Accepted payment on location: MasterCard and Visa are both accepted here but a 5% commission will be added.

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