The Residence Zanzibar

Zanzibar, Tanzania

The hotel

The Residence Zanzibar is a wonderful retreat for couples as well as families, all the ingredients are here for the most perfect of holidays, including water sports galore and a world-class spa. Each guest is allotted their own bicycle and really, there’s no better way to explore the island. Alternatively, you can join a local excursion, taking in such wonders as the Jozani National Forest Reserve and the ruins of Persian baths and Omani palaces. The village of Kizimkazi is also close by (about 15-20 minutes) and famous for its dolphin safaris. At night, dine under the stars in the privacy of your own villa or enjoy delicious cuisine with a hint of spice at the Ngalawa Restaurant.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool
  • Kids Club
  • Babysitting service
  • Room Service
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Laundry Service
  • Internet Access
  • Beachfront location
  • Tennis

Where is it

On Zanzibar's southwest coast overlooking a mile-long stretch of beach and just 1 hour from Stone Town. Transfer time from Zanzibar Airport: 55 minutes.

Hotel information

66 villas. All with private swimming pool, furnished sun deck with wicker chairs and day beds, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, satellite TV, CD/DVD player, telephone, WiFi, mini-bar*, bottled water, tea/coffee maker, hairdryer, iron and board. Luxury Garden Pool Villa with large living room and separate bedroom with 1 king-size bed and sofa bed, sleeping maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

All Inclusive option: includes buffet breakfast, à la carte lunch (credit per person applies) and buffet or set menu dinner at The Dining Room Restaurant. Dinner can also be taken at Pavilion Restaurant. Selection of local beers, spirits, house wines, soft drinks and local still and sparkling water in all bars and restaurants. Mini-bar is included.

Half Board includes: breakfast and buffet or set menu dinner at The Dining Room Restaurant. All beverages including water excluded.

Full Board option: includes breakfast, à la carte lunch (credit per person applies) and buffet or set menu dinner. All beverages including water excluded.

Luxury Ocean Front Pool Villa have large living room and separate bedroom with 1 king-size bed and sofa bed, sleeping maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

Prestige Ocean Front Pool Villa set directly on the water’s edge and with views of the ocean from every window with large living room and separate bedroom with 1 king-size bed and sofa bed, sleeping maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

Frangipani Garden Pool Villa with large living room, master en-suite bedroom with 1 king-size bed, additional twin bedroom and sofa bed, sleeping maximum 4 adults and 2 children.

Frangipani Ocean Front Pool Villa with large living room, master en-suite bedroom with 1 king-size bed, additional twin bedroom and sofa bed, sleeping maximum 4 adults and 2 children.

2-Bedroom Presidential Villa steps from the ocean with large living room, dining room, bedroom with 1 king-size bed and sofa beds, sleeping maximum 4 adults and 2 children.

Ngalawa Restaurant (International cuisine), The Pavillion Restaurant (Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisine), The Dining Room Bar. Beachfront swimming pool. Spa*. Fitness centre. Floodlit tennis courts. Non-motorised water sports including kayaks, pedal boats, Hobie Cat sailing and snorkelling. Weekly yoga class. Bicycles. Excursions on request. Kids' club (3-12 years). Laundry/dry-cleaning service*. 24-hour concierge. Babysitting service* (on request). 24-hour room service*. Complimentary WiFi available across the resort.

4 nights between 20 Dec-6 Jan.

* Denotes local charge.

Rating summary

  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (1884)
  • Very good (198)
  • Average (73)
  • Poor (20)
  • Terrible (11)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Stay let down by poor sustainability and service

Jun 30, 2020 ft6260 London, United Kingdom

We stayed here for five nights at the end of our honeymoon. Highlights included waking up to views of our private pool and the beach, huge buffet breakfast with so much fresh fruit, cycling around the estate on the bicycles, local band performing during dinner, ordering endless cocktails by the hotel pool. What a special time! The service could… Read more
We stayed here for five nights at the end of our honeymoon. Highlights included waking up to views of our private pool and the beach, huge buffet breakfast with so much fresh fruit, cycling around the estate on the bicycles, local band performing during dinner, ordering endless cocktails by the hotel pool. What a special time! The service could have been improved as the staff consistently forgot items e.g. bring a cup of tea without milk or the spoon and were very slow in clearing the tables. The concierge service was so disappointing - we had hoped to take a trip to swim with the dolphins but had to call them every day to chase up. I also needed help with locating my glasses which I had thought I left in the previous hotel and I was not informed of status. Additionally the food was very mediocre especially the Western and Asian cuisine. The local food including Indian cuisine was the exception though. I wish they had provided more evenings offering simple local food. I was also disgusted at the food portions and the amount of waste. I asked for half the size and was told this was not possible as the food had already been pre-portioned. This is a real shame and coming from a safari tour where there was such a focus on sustainability regarding water and plastic consumption and fresh local produce, this hotel was completely the opposite. Nowhere to recycle, bottled water, sheer amounts of food waste. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating BEAUTIFUL, PEACEFUL, FUN...THE PERFECT HONEYMOON GET AWAY

Jun 30, 2020 blakewsmith_

My wife and I planned our honeymoon to The Residence Zanzibar several months before the pandemic of 2020 erupted. Just as we felt confident in getting married amiss the chaos, we were also confident about our mission to honeymoon at The Residence Zanzibar. And, wow, do we not regret a moment of our efforts to be here. Before the trip even began,… Read more
My wife and I planned our honeymoon to The Residence Zanzibar several months before the pandemic of 2020 erupted. Just as we felt confident in getting married amiss the chaos, we were also confident about our mission to honeymoon at The Residence Zanzibar. And, wow, do we not regret a moment of our efforts to be here. Before the trip even began, the reservation manager worked closely with us via email to ensure our needs were met and satisfied from moment to moment. He created an itinerary that personalized our beautiful stay, and when hearing we were honeymooners, graciously upgraded us to a beachfront villa with many honeymoon perks. From the very second we arrived, the staff equally reflected the graciousness, respect, and hospitality that we received via email from the reservation manager. After a long journey from our country to the island, the staff took delicate care in making us feel welcome and their efforts only increased as our time went on. Whether it be helping arrange excursions on a moments notice, providing us bikes to explore the resort, being enthusiastically helpful and joining us as we searched for monkeys on the property, offering us coconut from trees outside our room, teaching us their language so we could say ‘thank you’ and ‘hello’, or freshing up our room every day with beautiful flowers and decor. The care, the detail, and impeccable service of these people is what makes this place so incredibly special. And that doesn’t hit the beauty of the The Residence! It is STUNNING. Indescribably beautiful. The public pool and dining area hold breathtaking views of the ocean, even offering a place to dine right on the beach (which on a non-windy night is the most beautiful option to take). The resort grounds have countless beautiful flowers, along with birds and monkeys you stare in awe of. We spent more than one afternoon on the resort looking for monkeys, never once having to leave the resort to see them, and it was our favorite activity (there are countless here!). The resort spa center was incredibly soothing and relaxing to our stay, a separate part of the resort that provided peaceful tranquility and exceptional accommodations. The dock and beach gave us some of the best sunsets every evening. There is not an inch of this place that we did not love. Our villa - inside & out - was gorgeous. We had views of the ocean from our sliding doors, a large comfortable canopy bed, a spotless private pool to swim at any time, and a bathtub so nice we used it for all our relaxing evening. Everything was more than we could have ever asked for. We only wish we could have stayed longer! In closing, it is impossible to not love this place and their people. We highly recommend all those who read this review to book immediately - honeymoon, family trip, or island getaway - come to The Residence Zanzibar. We only wish this review could fully encompass our experience, as words fail when it comes to expressing how we loved being here. We are forever grateful for the staff and their endless kindness to us during our honeymoon. We will genuinely miss Zanzibar, the baby blue waters, the wildlife, the kind locals, and the individuals of this resort who served us so very well. For those considering travel during COVID: the staff is incredibly responsible of maintaining your safety. Any interaction we shared with the staff was always with a mask and sanitization of hands. Even if we needed a pen, it was always newly packaged for us to use. And additional masks or sanitizers were placed in our room at arrival. If safety is your concern while here, we can say with full honesty the people of this resort are highly trained and care deeply that you feel secure so you may enjoy every second with your loved ones. The most deserving 5 OUT OF 5 review I have ever given. Thank you The Residence Zanzibar!!! Signed: The Smiths Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Excellent

Jun 25, 2020 CSK12020 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Amazing location and services ,beautiful beach view, private pool. Delicious meals. Clean rooms, nice decor. Prompt response from front desk. Very nice bathroom spacious and unique. Availability of all services.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wonderful end to our Honeymoon!

Jun 5, 2020 sarahharrison86 Essex, United Kingdom

I'm a little late with this review because we stayed last September! We rounded off our Honeymoon with a week at The Residence and what a wonderful week it was! It was so relaxing! Our room was amazing - it was so big and the bed was very comfortable. We had an issue with the air conditioning but they sent a couple of guys round to fix it so that… Read more
I'm a little late with this review because we stayed last September! We rounded off our Honeymoon with a week at The Residence and what a wonderful week it was! It was so relaxing! Our room was amazing - it was so big and the bed was very comfortable. We had an issue with the air conditioning but they sent a couple of guys round to fix it so that was no problem. The plunge pool was excellent for the afternoon's we didn't want to be by the main pool and we loved sitting on our terrace reading until the sun went down. The bikes were a lovely touch to get around during the days. We booked drinks at sunset on the jetty which was lovely however, we'd been told it was exclusive and you could only go if you'd pre-booked it. While we sat there a couple of people just wondered onto the jetty and hung around watching the sunset. They weren't told to leave and got enjoy for free what we had paid for. Highly recommend a visit to the spa. As part of our honeymoon package, we got a couples massage which we booked up. On leaving the spa we were given another voucher for a reduced price massage which we quickly booked up. Between The Residence and our safari in PE we'd had 3 massages in 9 days! The food was very good. I'd have liked to have seen a few more vegetarian options for lunchtimes as I quickly got bored. However I did ask them to make a vegetable pesto past for lunch which they happily did for me and it was delicious! Breakfasts were my favourite - so many options! Dinners were also very good as different things were open on different nights. The themed buffets were very good quality and again, lots of options. Gemma was a joy to be with at breakfast and lunchtimes. The entertainment was a little hit and miss like it usually can be. We thoroughly enjoyed the acrobats and also the band on the beach. The only thing we felt was missing was something in the evenings like some live music or a piano player etc. It would have been lovely to sit around for longer in the evenings. We were full board so only had to pay for our drinks but our bill for the week was fairly pricey - around £500. The only thing that annoyed me a little was on checkout we paid our bill but we still had around 1.5 hours until we were being picked up for the airport so when we ordered some drinks we then had to go back to reception to settle another bill. We also asked for 2 bottles of water to take to the airport and we were charged around £5 for them. I honestly expected that we might have been given the bottled water for our travels after we'd just paid £500 for a weeks worth of drinks. They ought to have you settle your bill when your taxi arrives unless you are leaving before check out time but nevertheless, we had a great time. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating From Home to Home

May 17, 2020 Miss Marie L Greater London, United Kingdom

A lot has happened in the world since I visited The Residence, Zanzibar late last year, appreciation of travel and gratitude of how lucky we have been to travel to such wonderful destinations! I have lost count of how many times I have visited The Residence. Once those front gates open to the hotels grounds it’s just like stepping into the… Read more
A lot has happened in the world since I visited The Residence, Zanzibar late last year, appreciation of travel and gratitude of how lucky we have been to travel to such wonderful destinations! I have lost count of how many times I have visited The Residence. Once those front gates open to the hotels grounds it’s just like stepping into the dream. Every stay here has a different experience, the aim at The Residence is to ensure every guest has a wonderful and memorable stay! I cannot compliment enough all of staff at this hotel, they bring a total charm, attentiveness and customer care beyond expectations to every detail. If you are needing to relax under the sun, with a mixture cultural activities, watch a phenomenal sunset with a cocktail or two or three…… and then swan into dinner and enjoy the evening entertainment (with a lot of laughter) then The Residence, Zanzibar is the place for you, from home to home. A Big “Thank You” to Bruce the General Manager and all of his staff who work relentlessly behind the scenes to ensure every guest has a magical experience. Until the next time as I eagerly (and I am sure The Residence repeat guests) wait for those front gates will open again to welcome us back! Read less