Baraza Resort & Spa: Our full report
Baraza Resort and Spa is an all-inclusive resort set in beautiful gardens along a long stretch of white-sand ...... beach on the Michamvi Peninsula. The architecture is classic Swahili, the villas stylish, and the facilities extensive.
Owned by the same company that runs the adjacent Breezes Beach Club, Palms and Zawadi, set along the same beach as them, Baraza has a luxurious and breezy feel. Since it is all-inclusive, guests can relax without the concern of extra costs. Indeed, you don't even have to move from the beach, as guides walk up and down the sand, ready to take your order for drinks and snacks.
On our last visit we found a high-quality, international-style hotel, which retains a great deal of character and interest. 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.
The 30 villas at Baraza 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, and TV with a DVD player. Each villa has a private plunge pool.
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, and an intricately carved writing desk. This faces, through sliding glass, onto a private veranda with sunloungers, another day bed and a plunge pool. The en-suite bathrooms are very spacious with a free-standing 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:
- Seven Ocean-Front Villas, which are closest to the sea, and have one bedroom.
- Seven One-Bedroom Villas which stand behind the ocean-front villas, also with one bedroom each.
- Five Sultan Villas, which are further back, each with two bedrooms.
- Ten Garden-View Villas. Standing in two rows, furthest from the sea, these also have two rooms.
- The vast (254m2) Presidential Villa is beside the sea – next to the Ocean-Front Villas. It has two en-suite master bedrooms, a large plunge pool and a small kitchenette – as well as a small self-contained unit for a maid or butler.
The spa at Baraza is built in a similar style to the rest of the property with an Arabic design and featuring a number of striking Omani arches. It is one the largest and most impressive spas we have seen on Zanzibar. Walking inside you are met with the warm smell of spices and feel instantly relaxed. There are seven treatment rooms here, these are mostly designed for one person however there are a few rooms which are suitable for couples. The team of trained therapists can offer a range of indulging treatments including Thai massages, scrubs, manicures and also hair treatments. There is also a separate yoga studio and large relaxation area set next to a beautiful pool. Pre-booking spa appointments is highly recommended, especially in high and festive seasons.
The well-stocked watersports centre and PADI dive centre at Baraza is shared with Breezes and Palms, and sited at Breezes. Other facilities at Baraza itself include a 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; fitness centre; library; business and conference centre, and an impressive children's club.
Baraza's design feels a bit over the top – with gold everywhere – but it has a high-quality air and is very well finished, so never feels tacky. The hotel has remained much the same over the years, and has maintained a high standard. The service is efficient and the food good, and this, combined with extensive facilities, makes it feels more like a smart hotel than a 'resort'. The price tag is relatively high, but Baraza should appeal to those wanting somewhere smart – especially to families, for whom the two-bed villas are ideal.
- Michamvi Peninsula, Zanzibar
- Ideal length of stay
- 4 - 5 nights
- It takes around 30 minutes to fly to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, then it’s a further hour by road to Baraza.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- On our last visit to Baraza we did not have time to eat here however when we visited previously a buffet barbecue lunch was served on the beach with a great selection, including several different salads, breads and pizzas. The barbecue consisted of beef, chicken, vegetable kebabs and king prawns served with rice and potatoes. An ice-cream dessert and coffee were served to the table.
Dining times are somewhat flexible but generally breakfast is served 7.30–09.30am, lunch 12.30–2.30pm, and dinner 7.30–9.30pm. Dinner is usually served in the Sultan Restaurant and is sometimes buffet-style and sometimes table service.
Afternoon tea is also served, and if you’re hungry between meals there are snacks available.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Yes, at an extra charge.
- Drinks included
- Drinks are included with the exception of champagne, premium wines and top shelf spirits.
- Family holidays
- The luxurious Baraza, built in a beautiful Swahili-Arab style, is fantastic for family beach holidays in Zanzibar with children of all ages. Come for a sandy beach and sheltered lagoon, a pool, water sports centre and beautiful gardens!
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Beach holidays
- Baraza sits on a beautiful long stretch of sandy white palm fringed beach on the Michamvi Peninsula. With plenty of comfy loungers, a very large swimming pool and a great water sports centre it is a fantastic beach getaway.
- See ideas for Beach holidays
- Diving & snorkelling
- Located on Zanzibar's south east coast, Baraza is close to some fantastic dive sites. Walk along the beach to the PADI dive centre at Breezes Beach Club, novices can learn to dive while more experienced divers can explore the outer reefs.
- See ideas for Diving & snorkelling
- Baraza has an extensive spa, including an impressive Sultan’s bath where couples can enjoy a double relaxation treatment. There is a wide range of other treatments and sunrise yoga is held daily. A tennis court and fitness centre are also available.
- See ideas for Wellbeing
- A luxurious resort with a rather opulent design, Baraza is a great choice for couples, friends and families looking for a high-end beach retreat with access to a pristine white sandy beach and lots in the way of onsite activities and facilities.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- Baraza welcomes children of all ages.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions at Baraza.
- Special activities & services
- Baraza has an excellent children’s club suitable for 4 -12 year olds. There are a large selection of toys, games, crafts and even a small swimming pool covered in a sun shade. The club is open and staffed in high season. During off peak periods it can be opened on request but requires adult supervision.
Childminding and babysitting are also available, at extra cost.
- Baraza has equipment such as highchairs for children.
- Generally recommended for children
- Yes. Baraza is a large resort with plenty of activities on offer, a large beach and a pool to keep children busy.
- Parents should be aware that children are their responsibility for the duration of their stay.
- Power supply notes
- There are three round pin plugs in all of the rooms and there are adaptors at reception for guests to use.
- There is WiFi in all the rooms.
- TV & radio
- All rooms have a large satellite TV/DVD players.
- Water supply
- Transported in
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- Baraza has a clinic on site, and there is a doctor nearby for more serious medical situations.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- Baraza’s front gate is normally closed and watched, and there are discreet security guards around the property 24 hours a day.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers in the main areas and smoke detectors in all of the rooms.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- A laundry service is available for an extra charge.
- Baraza has the facility to exchange US Dollars, GB Pounds and Euros.
- Accepted payment on location
- Baraza will accept payment for any extras in US dollar or Tanzanian shilling cash, or by MasterCard, Visa and Amex.
Other lodges in Michamvi Peninsula
Alternative places to stay in this same area.