Zanzibar Beach Resorts

Known as the Spice Island, Zanzibar is more than just a beach location. It’s capital Stone Town is comprised of fascinating mix of cultural influences, and it is well worth spending a night or two here discovering the winding city streets.

The idyllic, palm fringed beaches provide the perfect location for some rest and relaxation after a whirlwind safari. From romantic retreats to family friendly hotels, all of our resorts are perfectly located, with luscious gardens leading down to the beachfront.

Zanzibar Beach Resorts & Hotels

Choose from beautiful beach resorts around the East and North coasts or stay in the heart of Stone Town.

Deluxe Seaview Room, The Z Hotel

The Z Hotel

North Coast

Hotel ★★★★
Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort Pool

Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort

North Coast

Hotel ★★★★PLUS
Karafuu Beach Resort Pool Bar

Karafuu Beach Resort & Spa

East Coast

Hotel ★★★★
Bluebay Beach Resort Restaurant Terrace

Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa

East Coast

Hotel ★★★★
Diamonds Mapenzi Beach Villa

Diamonds Mapenzi Beach

East Coast

Hotel ★★★★
Save up to 15%
Bedroom, Baraza Resort & Spa

Baraza Resort & Spa

East Coast

Hotel ★★★★★
Free Night Offer
Fumba Beach Lodge Open Air Restaurant

Fumba Beach Lodge

West Coast

Hotel ★★★PLUS
The Seyyida Hotel Terrace View

The Seyyida Hotel & Spa

Stone Town

Boutique hotel ★★★★
Zanzibar Serena Hotel Pool And View

Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Stone Town

Hotel ★★★★PLUS
Fundu Lagoon Room Interior

Fundu Lagoon

Pemba Island

Hotel ★★★★
Free Night Offer

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Where to Stay in Zanzibar

From laid back, rustic retreats to five star beach resorts, Zanzibar offers a wide range of accommodation, with many hotels offering all-inclusive stays as well as complimentary water sports and other activities.

Read on for an overview of the main places to stay on Zanzibar’s main island of Unguja (commonly just referred to as Zanzibar), plus an introduction to neighbouring Pemba which offers a luxurious, off the beaten track experience.

A number of Zanzibar hotels have private beaches, though the public ones are often equally as stunning. If you would like advice as to where to stay in Zanzibar, or the best rates for a hotel and flights, our Africa Experts are here to help. Just get in touch.

Stone Town

Stone Town derives its name from the pinkish-hued coral stone used to construct many of its buildings, from traditional Zanzibari townhouses, to bustling bazaars, mosques and churches. The city’s history is evident in its architecture, a unique mix of African, Arabian and European styles.

Along the seafront stand many of Stone Town’s grandest properties, including the ‘House of Wonders’, once the residence of the Sultan of Zanzibar but now a museum, having been the first building on the island to have electricity and the first in East Africa to install a lift!

Adjacent is Zanzibar’s Old Fort, built in the 17th Century by the ruling Omanis to defend the island from the Portuguese, and a few hundred metres down the road, the Old Dispensary, a fabulously ornate 19th Century building, now also a museum.

Freedom Favourite Hotel:

  • The Seyyida Hotel – a charming property located next to the Palace Museum on the Stone Town seafront. Its courtyard gardens and stylish room décor reflect Zanzibar’s Arabian history and the rooftop restaurant affords calming views over the Indian Ocean.

Menai Bay

Travel around 15 km south of Stone Town and you reach Fumba, a traditional fishing village and the gateway to the beautiful Menai Bay Conservation Area. Established in 1997, the Marine Reserve protects an area of 470 square kilometres, with mangrove forests hugging the shoreline, six small islands to explore and ecologically import coral reefs and seagrasses.

Menai Bay’s star residents are 200 humpback and bottlenose dolphins that often play in the bow waves of fishing and sightseeing boats. Day tours to Menai Bay pick up from most Stone Town hotels and Zanzibar beach resorts and include dolphin spotting, as well as snorkelling and lunch on an uninhabited islet.

Freedom Favourite Hotel:

  • Fumba Beach Lodge – a relaxed and rustic collection of 26 cottages with a beachside bar and open-air restaurant that serves up delicious local cuisine, including freshly caught fish delicately seasoned with the exotic spices Zanzibar is famous for.

East Coast Zanzibar

You can choose a new beach each day on Zanzibar’s East Coast. With soft sands and warm waters, it is impossible not to relax in this idyllic part of the island.

Many of Zanzibar’s luxury hotels are located here, in particular alongside the spectacular Kiwengwa Beach in the north east, and near the village of Pingwe on Michamvi Peninsula. The 7 km long Jambiani Beach is also worth a day’s dedication, to swim in the tranquil lagoon protected by a barrier reef just off shore.

Freedom Favourite Hotel:

  • Karafuu Beach Resort – with delightful thatched rooms set in gorgeous tropical gardens and an oceanfront pool with swim-up bar, it’s hard to leave the Karafuu Resort. Make sure however to explore the rockpools at low tide and swim in the natural lagoon.

Nungwi & Northern Zanzibar

A small town on the very northern most tip of the main island of Unguja, Nungwi has a stunning palm-fringed beach and a large natural lagoon that is home to the Mnarani Aquarium, a sanctuary for injured sea turtles and nursery for hatchlings.

Surrounding Zanzibar’s north coast are numerous colourful coral reefs, including those at Mnemba Atoll. Snorkelling and scuba diving trips can be arranged in Nungwi or by your hotel.

Freedom Favourite Hotel:

  • Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort – just outside Nungwi, the Royal Zanzibar is set in 8 hectares of beautifully tended tropical gardens and has an infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean. All-inclusive stays are available.

Central Zanzibar

Central Zanzibar is dotted with villages, many of which have grown up around the spice plantations the island is famous for. Once the world’s largest exporter of cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, vanilla and lemon grass and annatto were also grown in sizable quantities. Spice tours can be pre-booked with your Zanzibar holiday.

Unfortunately the profit in growing spices, led to the deforestation of much of Zanzibar’s tropical woodlands. The Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park now protects the last remaining natural forest, home to the rare red colobus monkeys and deer-like Ader’s Duiker, which you can go in search of on a guided tour.

Pemba Island

Pemba is the second largest island in the Zanzibar Archipelago, with equally gorgeous beaches. There are fewer hotels and resorts than on the main island of Unguja, but all within a couple of hours reach of Pemba Airport, located just outside the largest city Chake Chake.

Pemba has retained a more traditional economy than its southern neighbour, with its undulating, fertile lands ideal for growing tropical fruits and spices. It is a peaceful and tranquil island, about as far away from the nine to five as you can get.

If you are keen to explore as well as relax, you can take a guided walk through the Ngezi Forest in the north east, home to vervet monkeys and the endemic Pemba flying fox. Around the island there are some incredible snorkelling and diving sites, including the untouched corals and colourful marine life surrounding the tiny Misali Island off Pemba’s west coast.

The Zanzibar to Pemba flight takes 30 minutes, with the reward easily outweighing the added effort.

Freedom Favourite Hotel:

  • Fundu Lagoon – an all-inclusive boutique resort, popular with honeymooners and couples looking for an off the beaten track romantic retreat. With just 18 thatched bungalows that lead down to miles of sandy beach, it is a perfect place to focus on each other’s company.

Next steps…

Whether you are looking for seven nights in sun and would like a price for your chosen Zanzibar resort or you would like help planning a complete Tanzania safari and beach holiday, our friendly team will be pleased to help.

Zanzibar beach resort prices can fluctuate, but our Travel Experts will always find the best rates for you. With FREEDOM, you can book your hotel, flights and experiences in one place, for full ATOL protection.

Get in touch to make your Zanzibar dreams a reality!

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