Home to an emerald-colored ocean and beaches with soft pearl-white sands, Zanzibar is a gem that attracts tourists worldwide. After a day full of lounging in the sun and hitting the local markets for grilled meat on sticks or shopping for local potteries, it makes sense to have a cozy place to retire to. That’s where Zanzibar’s fabulous boutique hotels come in. Devoid of tacky high rises and generic decor, boutique hotels make you feel as if you’re staying in a private mansion with its own personal flair. At these fabulous hotels, you’ll find added perks of boutique restaurants as well as luxury spas that wait on their guests on hand and foot. Get ready to feel like a star, from extravagant beach-side hotels to hidden inns within steps from the city’s center, here are some of the top boutique accommodations you must stay in on your next trip to Zanzibar.
Zanzibar Palace Hotel
This hotel is the best for being in the heart of it all and is just a stone’s throw away from exciting markets and things to do. Guests will notice touches of Arabian, Indian and English decorations throughout the establishment, giving them a dash of several cultures at once. Expect to be pampered with fine silk, Persian rugs and fragrant aromatherapy. Each room has its own personal charms and truly transport their guests into an exotic paradise like an E.M. Forster’s novel. In addition, the hotel has its own luxury spa that offers massages, facials, body scrubs and beauty treatments like pedicures. Zanzibar Palace Hotel also has its own dining, the Palace Restaurant, with its own mouth-watering seafood menu with ingredients brought in only hours earlier from the Indian Ocean.
Stone Town is home to the luxurious Kisiwa House where modern touches meet historic architecture. Visitors delight in the finest details throughout the hotel like white drapes on their bedposts, carved woodwork on staircases, brass fixtures and golden tea trays. The historic building has been standing since 1840 and was previously owned by a wealthy merchant during the reign of a 19th century sultan of Oman. This means, you’ll sleep in the same four walls that ancient founders have spent their nights. Today, guests can have their royal escape in one of its stunning rooms and dine at Darini, Kisiwa’s own elite restaurant serving freshly-caught lobsters before finishing up with spiced tea and pastries. The restaurant has its own view of the Indian Ocean and a private beach within steps from the rooms.
Essque Zalu Zanzibar
This place might not exactly roll of your tongue easily, but it’s truly a luxury paradise of beach comforts. Essque Zalu Zanzibar has its own unique take of sunbathing where guests not only lay directly on the beach but also, above water. The hotel has a long, impressive luxury dock with lounge chairs and dining tables surrounding by the emerald-green ocean. Keep in mind, the water is shallow and crystal clear, making it an excellent opportunity to look at tropical fish from above. Guests will admire the series of small white cottages with thatched roofs perched on rocky cliffs, their own private bedroom retreat for the evening. While this hotel has 40 suites, its layout of cottages are separated by tropical gardens give it a more, personal feel, hence we felt the need to still include it.
Kasha Boutique Hotel
Looking for that little tropical oasis with a private beach, large outdoor pool that faces the ocean and Swahili-style spas? Then take your date to Kasha Boutique Hotel. Like Essque Zulu, guests will stay in their own exclusive private cottages (they have 11 villas) with private access to the beach and lagoons. The hotel is so private that guests say that they’ve felt they had the whole beachfront to themselves. Guests will enjoy the glamorous Swahili-style interior and sun deck. For couples, treat yourselves to a romantic poolside dinner as a parade of fishermen sail by as you eat your Indian seafood ravioli.
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