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Zanzi Resort
Zanzi Resort
Zanzi Resort

Zanzi Resort: Our full report

Zanzi Resort is located on the quiet west coast of the island, around 30 minutes north of Stone Town.

This is the ultimate luxurious hideaway if you are looking for a few days of privacy and pampering. The resort is nestled in 15 acres of manicured tropical garden and offers sweeping cliff-top views.

Arriving at Zanzi you'll be greeted with fresh coconut water and a warm smile from the friendly staff. Almost immediately you notice how quiet this area of the island is; Zanzi is a secluded haven without any direct neighbours.

The spacious resort is surrounded by lush vegetation and is thoughtfully designed throughout. There are 13 villas at Zanzi, and these are as follows:
  • Ocean Access Villas: These cliff-top villas have direct access to the ocean via a small path through the villa's own private garden. They come with a large private swimming pool, king-size bedroom, separate large bathroom, and spacious living room with dining area. You'll find amenities including powerful A/C, satellite TV, mini bar, tea/coffee making facilities, and a telephone for contacting the concierge. Outside there is a gazebo-style bed and deck furniture.
  • Ocean View Villas: These villas are the same as the Ocean Access villas, and offer spectacular ocean views, but do not have direct access to the sea.
  • Garden Bungalows: These are different in design, although they have all the same amenities as the villas. While they don’t have a private pool, they have a private, shady outside relaxation area. The garden bungalows are situated close to the main swimming pool and restaurant, with the beach and jetty just 2 minutes walk away.
  • Garden Family Bungalow: This two-roomed bungalow (both rooms with double beds, one with a living area) has a shared bathroom and the private patio has plenty of garden furniture.

    If you’d like to venture out of your villa – and it’s easy to envisage spending your entire stay enjoying the privacy of the villa pool and garden – you'll find a number of communal facilities. Just off the large, stylish restaurant-bar, there’s a small library and TV room, with games and DVDs. Near the main swimming pool an open air gym has natural work-out weights and ropes. Or if you fancy something a bit less energetic, you can book a yoga class. For ultimate relaxation, book a hot stone session in the Japanese ganban'yoku house, or a full body massage in the spa overlooking the ocean.

    In common with many parts of north-west Zanzibar, there’s not much of a beach at Zanzi due to the rocky terrain of old coral reefs. The team have worked hard to create a small artificial sandy area, and this is very pleasant indeed, although it is not big enough for all the guests to enjoy at once. To help overcome this, they have built an impressive long wooden jetty, with sun loungers and a telephone at the end so you can order from the bar. Steps from the jetty will take you straight into the crystal blue ocean, so it is possible to swim from here at all stages of the tide.

    When we stayed in 2019, we didn’t find the lack of a real beach was a problem, as there’s ample relaxation space in your villa garden or around the main pool, and the ocean can be very easily accessed throughout the day. However if you were hoping for long beach walks it’s important to understand that this might not be the property for you.

    Zanzi can arrange and book many of the activities usually available in Zanzibar, including diving, snorkelling, sailing, fishing, bicycle hire, and even horse-rising and golf. The team can also organise island excursions such as spice tours and Stone Town trips.

  • Our view

    Zanzi's emphasis is privacy and service. The staff here are impeccably trained and will go above and beyond to ensure that guests have everything that they need - and more - when you stay here. What it lacks in a decent-sized beach, it makes up for with its beautiful swimming pools, manicured gardens and peaceful atmosphere. With first class service and food, it is a great a place to relax and be pampered in a very quiet area of Zanzibar.

    Jessica Plumb

    Jessica Plumb

    Zanzibar expert

    Geographics

    Location
    Northern Zanzibar, Zanzibar
    Ideal length of stay
    4 nights or even longer if you enjoy relaxing on the coast.
    Directions
    It takes around 35 minutes to fly to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam, and then then it is a further one hour by car to Zanzi. As with many of the beach properties on Zanzibar the immediate approach to the resort can seem a bit a rough, but do not be alarmed - the bumpy journey is worth it when you get there.
    Accessible by
    Fly-and-Transfer

    Food & drink

    Usual board basis
    Half Board
    Food quality
    The team at Zanzi is very experienced and as a result the quality of the food is very high. The lodge has its own vegetable and herb plantation, and use locally sourced produce; the food at Zanzi is nothing short of excellent.

    Dining at Zanzi is very flexible, you can eat where you want, when you want. The kitchen is not closed until they know that all their guests have everything they require. During our stay it seemed the majority of guests were eating in their private villas, or in the main restaurant, but tables can be arranged in the gardens, the jetty or on the small beach. Meals are highly personalised and the chef will tailor dishes to your individual preferences and dietary requests.

    Breakfast - There is an extensive a la carte menu, and you can expect all the usual breakfast items, alongside some more unusual options including the traditional Swahili breakfast with fish soup, chapati and red beans. We enjoyed pancakes served with coconut and cardamon banana.

    Lunch - For lunch you can choose from a number of local or international light dishes and snacks, for example seafood, salads, sandwiches and burgers.

    Dinner - The dinner menu changes daily depending on what the chef sources in the local market, but always includes two appetizers, three main courses, and two desserts to choose from. We enjoyed a delicately flavoured vegetable soup, with a parmesan crisp, followed by a beautifully cooked snapper with pea purée, and finished off with a passion fruit fool. It was exquisite.

    Special interests

    Luxury
    A luxurious hideaway, the Zanzi Resort is tucked away in a quiet area of the island. The 13 villas are spacious and beautifully designed, and each Ocean Villa has their own private pool, ideal for a relaxing and secluded beach break.
    See ideas for Luxury

    Children

    Attitude towards children
    There are no age restrictions but young families are not strongly encouraged.
    Property’s age restrictions
    None
    Special activities & services
    There are a few children's board games, DVDs and pool floats, but otherwise there are no special children's activities. Baby sitting can be arranged with the ladies in house keeping.
    Equipment
    Yes
    Generally recommended for children
    No
    Notes
    Parents should be aware that children are their responsibility for the duration of their stay. Zanzi has an adult atmosphere, and whilst families will be very well treated and warmly welcomed, we do not feel that this is a very child friendly property.

    Communications

    Power supply notes
    Back up generator.
    24/7 electricity, charging faculties in room. European round pin plug standard in the rooms here, but adapter plugs are also provided.
    Communications
    Extremely good WiFi throughout. Patchy cellphone signal. Telephones are provided in every room.
    TV & radio
    Sat TV and DVD player in all rooms. There is also a small TV room in the central area.
    Water supply
    Mains
    Water supply notes
    Fully plumbed.

    Health & safety

    Medical care
    The property is fumigated once a week and the staff are confident that the property is malaria fee. However Zanzibar is a malarial area, and Expert Africa would strongly recommend suitable precautions, including prophylaxis are taken. There is a first aid box on site for minor illnesses and injuries. For more serious medical problems a local doctor can be called.
    Dangerous animals
    Low Risk
    Security measures
    Zanzi Resort is gated, and there security guards discreetly patrolling the resort.
    Fire safety
    There are fire extinguishers outside each room and in the central areas.

    Activities

    • Birdwatching

      Birdwatching

    • Boat trip

      Boat trip

    • Horse-riding

      Horse-riding

    • Scuba-diving

      Scuba-diving

    • Snorkelling

      Snorkelling

    • Watersports

      Watersports

    Extras

    Disabled access
    On Request
    Laundry facilities
    24 hour service. Extra charge of $3-$7 depending on the item.
    Money
    Zanzi can offer a small amount of currency exchange or cash back service. There are electric safes in each room for storing cash and other valuables.
    Accepted payment on location
    All major currencies are accepted including US Dollars, Tanzanian Shillings, Pounds, Euro. there is a 4% surcharge on card payments and Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted.

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