Qambani: Our full report
Qambani is a luxurious property on the tip of Zanzibar’s beautiful Michamvi Peninsula.Set on a low cliff above a white sandy beach, it has 270m of seafront and stunning ocean views. Originally built as a family home, it has now opened its doors to the public and offers high quality accommodation with a very personalised service.
Qambani has a modern yet distinctly African feel to it and clearly reflects the owners’ personal taste. Contemporary African artwork hangs on the walls and the neutral colour scheme is accented by splashes of bright reds and blues. The whole atmosphere of Qambani is about relaxing and enjoying your surroundings and the welcoming staff will go out of their way to make you feel at home.
The expansive lounge is an open area beneath a makuti thatch roof. In the evening, Arabic brass lanterns and soft lighting give the place a warm and welcoming feel. The space is subdivided into separate seating areas, with large, plush sofas and wooden coffee tables, creating a feel of privacy. Relax on one of the sofas or enjoy a cocktail at the well-stocked bar. As with every other room at Qambani, the lounge has WiFi, and a wireless sound system.
From the lounge, 40 louvre doors open onto a large terrace where baraza benches look out to the Indian Ocean. This space also transforms into an outdoor dining area, and is home to a small plunge pool: great for a refreshing dip. Connected to the terrace is a sizable dining room with a large wooden table at its center.
Qambani also boasts a media room with comfortable sofas, a large flatscreen TV, a PlayStation and an extensive DVD collection. Alongside you’ll find a small gym with a selection of exercise equipment. There is also a small wellness area where a number of spa treatments can be arranged.
Unusually for many properties on the Michamvi Peninsula, Qambani is set on a large plot of land, giving a real feeling of space and privacy. Sunbirds are attracted to the fruit trees and flowering bougainvillea that fill the expansive gardens, and Suni antelope roam the grounds.
Qambani has two swimming pools. The large infinity pool, with a trendy pool bar and several loungers, is set below the main living area and enjoys spectacular views over the Indian Ocean. The second is a split-level salt-water pool, from which a path leads down to the sandy beach below. This wide expanse of white coral sand forms a small cove where at low tide you can walk out to the reef beyond. Given Qambani’s remote location we expect that the beach will remain fairly quiet and undisturbed.
Qambani has six villas of varying sizes, all of which have been built with thatched makuti roofs and ocean views. All villas are air-conditioned and come complete with WiFi and a Sonos sound system; they also contain an electronic safe, an espresso machine and a mini-fridge. The villas are furnished in a clean, modern style with a neutral colour scheme, although different furnishings and fabrics give each a distinctive feel.
- One-bedroom villas. Of the three one-bedroom villas, the Africa and Plantation villas are both set over two floors and have a comparable layout. Each has a double bedroom that opens out onto a wide veranda, plus a large bathroom with a free-standing bath, and a small living area. Up a flight of steps is an open area with a day bed; this is covered by the thatched roof, but the front is open, so you will get a fresh sea breeze. The Sundowner villa is set apart from the others and is closest to the ocean, giving it a real feel of privacy. It has a similar layout to the other one-bedroom villas at Qambani, but with the addition of a large rooftop veranda with a wrap-around seating area, giving unimpeded ocean views.
- Two-bedroom villas. These two villas, the Castaway and the Coastal, have a large open-plan double bedroom whose en-suite bathroom has a bath, his and hers basins and an outside shower. A separate twin room is also en-suite. Both villas have a good-sized living area with a large sofa and coffee table set just below the main bedroom, and a private veranda with outside seating and a hammock.
- The Sultan Villa comprises two double bedrooms, each with a large en-suite with his and hers sinks, a free-standing bath and an outside shower. These rooms are joined by a central open-air living area which opens out onto a large terrace.
The owners at Qambani are committed to achieving a low carbon footprint. They currently have 136 solar panels which provide the majority of the power for the property. Grey water is also being collected and used to water the garden.
We are excited by Qambani! It provides a fresh, modern beach retreat with plenty of style and character. The luxurious villas are very spacious and provide plenty of privacy, while attentive staff gives Qambani a welcoming, homely atmosphere.
Country manager: Zanzibar
- Michamvi Peninsula, Zanzibar
- Ideal length of stay
- 4–5 nights
- It takes around 30 minutes to fly to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, and then it's a further hour by car to Qambani.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- Dining, as with everything else at Qambani Luxury Resort, is a very personalised service. Guests are encouraged to chat to staff on arrival about their individual preferences and Qambani’s chef, Axel, will prepare meals to your taste. He will happily make suggestions based on seasonal specials and local delicacies but there are no written menus. Dining times are very flexible and are based around your preferences. Meals can be eaten in a number of locations, from the large communal dining room to the veranda, the pool bar or even a private dinner on the beach. Eating in the kitchen and watching the chef is welcomed at any time.
The food is excellent. It was well presented, flavoursome and used very high quality ingredients. When we last visited in June 2016 we ate on the outside terrace and enjoyed melt in the mouth tuna, marinated giant prawns and an assortment of puréed vegetables. The chef here is experienced with his use and presentation of ingredients: plates were consistently colourful and attractive.
- Family holidays
- Qambani is a great choice for families looking for luxury in Zanzibar. Three of the villas are ideal for families, either with adjoining or separate rooms. Children can use the kayaks, swim in one of two pools and cook up tasty treats with the chef.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Qambani offers a secluded location for those looking for a romantic honeymoon on Zanzibar. Enjoy strolling along the quiet beach or relaxing by the infinity pool whilst the attentive staff will make it a stay to remember.
- See ideas for Honeymoons
- Beach holidays
- Tucked away at the northern tip of the Michamvi Peninsula, Qambani boasts a wide expanse of quiet beaches and blue waters. It is a fantastic spot to lie back, relax and enjoy your surroundings on a beach holiday in Zanzibar.
- See ideas for Beach holidays
- With six beautiful villas, excellent food and personalised service, Qambani is a small and luxurious boutique hotel on Zanzibar's pretty east coast. Stroll along the beach, go for a massage, take a dip in one of two pools and enjoy a sunset cocktail.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- Qambani welcomes children of all ages.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions.
- Special activities & services
- Child-minding and babysitting can be arranged.
- There are no specific children’s equipment but the shallow saltwater pool is suitable for kids. Qambani has a selection of board games as well as a PlayStation in the media room.
- Generally recommended for children
- Children are welcome at Qambani, but it generally has a rather adult atmosphere.
- There are steep cliffs and a deep pool so children should be supervised by a parent or guardian.
- Power supply notes
- Power is mostly run by solar panels but there is a back-up generator.
- Qambani has free WiFi in all rooms and villas.
- TV & radio
- The media room contains a large HD TV with satellite channels. There is a Sonos sound system in all rooms.
- Water supply
- Transported in
Health & safety
- Medical care
- Many of the staff are first-aid trained and there is a first-aid kit on site. There is a local doctor on call and a hospital in Stone Town.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- There are 24-hour locally trained security guards at all corners of the property, with additional staff at night.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are located in all communal areas and also in the villas.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- A laundry service is included at Qambani.
- Small amounts of currency can be exchanged on site. There is an electronic safe in each villa.
- Accepted payment on location
- All major credit cards are accepted and they also accept cash payments in GB sterling, US dollars, euros and Tanzanian shillings.
Other lodges in Michamvi Peninsula
Alternative places to stay in this same area.