The Residence hotel – the best in Zanzibar review

Zanzibar and safari in Tanzania

Zanzibar, the ultimate holiday destination and really an island that is different then the rest. Zanzibar is a true paradise and the perfect getaway with your loved ones. This island is single friendly, family friendly and for sure couples friendly. Talking about friendly, this island is filled with the most friendly people. You cannot avoid all those smiling and friendly faces, even if you wanted to;). So where to sleep and stay during your trip to Zanzibar? Let me introduce you to my now forever home away from home: Hotel The Residence is by far one of the nicest hotels I’ve been to. Here, you can experience paradise and I mean it.

» Read more about my 10 day route to Zanzibar and safari in Tanzania

The Residence hotel review

The hotel arranged a pickup (so no hustle at the airport) and from there it is about one hour to the Southern part of the island. This luxurious villa only five star resort is a retreat and offers you relaxation, privacy, unreal hospitality and the perfect romantic getaway. This resort is so big (32-hectare) located right at the white beach. You even have your own bicycle here, an aquarium pool (besides your own), luxurious spa, a gym overlooking the lush gardens and very very good food. From here you can really embrace everything Zanzibar has to offer.

The villas are very spacious as well, all with a private pool, indoor and outdoor shower, comfortable big bed (with mosquito net), beautiful big bathroom with bathtub and a living room. The private pool area is also very private due to the beautiful garden surrounding it. So if you’re looking for the perfect holiday, where you can enjoy your company this hotel is the best choice. The service is excellent, the staff is excellent and they will make sure that you’ll have nothing to worry or think about other than enjoying and relaxing.

» Book your room with sea-view at The Residence Hotel

The Residence hotel

The Food at The Residence hotel

From an amazing romantic candle lit dinner experience on the beach with music to the best walking buffet that you have ever had, the Residence hotel offers a great variaty of foods from local and world kitchens and hosts different dinner theme events every evening.

Breakfast exceeds expectations that you have from a five star hotel as it comes with fresh juices, local fruits freshly baked eggs, superfoods and for the sugartooth pancakes, waffles with home made chutney toppings from local fruits and everything else you could wish for to get you a good start of the day.

Lunch is done a la carte, made with care just for you to enjoy. A mix of local, Indian and Asian dishes and European style lunch hot and cold provided by the most friendly staff you could imagine. My personal favorite was the shrimp tartar that comes with fresh mango from the island and avocado. Also the catch of the day fish carpaccio I can recommend. The fish, a tuna that day was brought to the hotel by a local fisherman that brings an entire fish to the hotel on his motorcycle in the morning.

You probably figured that this is THE place to stay for a romantic getaway, also for dinner the Residence hotel has all the ingredients to give you a night to remember on the beach. With candle lights a table in the sand in a private setting with just the perfect food and wine combinations. We loved the view and special care from our waiter that wrote us a letter with loads of love messages from the heart. The fresh caught lobster we had was one of the best we ever ate and everything was just perfect.

One of the evenings the entire restaurant was moved to the beach for all the guests to enjoy a beach buffet dinner with local foods and local music accompanied with African dance by a wood fire. Among the hits were Jambo Bwana and The lion sleeps tonight, it was great entertainment. The buffet was simply great. A salad bar with anything you can imagine to put in a salad, fresh flatbread made in a big hot pan, with a bunch of mezze to choose from. I tried fish curry, beef skewers and octopus from the barbecue. Altogether this created a memorable experience and that’s what this hotel is all about. To make your stay as pleasant and memorable as possible.

Additional Information

Adress: Zanzibar, Tanzania | Area: Southern part of Zanzibar
Parking: Yes, you can park for free on a private parking place inside the resort.
Visa needed? Yes, make sure to order it through this link yourself. There are a lot of companies out there that try to earn a couple of 30 bucks more. But you can easily do so yourself and this way you can skip a big line at the immigration officer (make sure to print it out).
How to get there: I’ve flown business class with KLM from Amsterdam to Zanzibar directly. But you can either go directly to Zanzibar or transfer at Dar-Es-Salaam.
Is Zanzibar safe? Absolutely. Even for solo female travellers and I can say without any hesitation I didn’t feel unsafe for once. Compared to Amsterdam where men cat call you or follow you on every corner. There is not one men that looks at you the wrong way. The people from Tanzania are an absolute delight and not disrespectful in any way. Recommend for sure!
Language in Zanzibar: They speak English very well. Originally Swahili but I’ve also heard some French and even Italian.

Interested in knowing more about my experience in Zanzibar and my safari after in Tanzania?

Tanzania offers undoubtedly the most impressive game reserves in the world and I have been dreaming of going on a safari since I got my very first National Geographic magazine. From Zanzibar you can either go by boat (1,5 hours) or by plane (20 minutes). Going on safari will be an absolute unforgettable adventure. Admire the beauty of Africa and the countless animals you are going to meet. I advice you to book your flight directly to the Serengeti air strip.


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