Want to hear something kind of crazy?

When my friend April and I began planning our adventure to Zanzibar, we had never met in person before!

We both are solo travelers who met on Instagram and ended up traveling to Kenya, Zanzibar, and Cape Town together over about a month last year.

Even though we had never met before, we quickly bonded online and over the phone, as we planned all the adventures we wanted to have in Africa.

Since Zanzibar was a new destination for both of us, we did a ton of research on where to stay.

We spent a few days in Nungwi, then moved down to Paje Beach, before finishing with a few days in Stone Town.

If you have the time to do something similar, I highly recommend it, since it can take a few hours to drive across the entire island.

Below is everything you need to know about where to stay in Zanzibar, including a list of the best hotels in Zanzibar for every budget!

Best Areas to Stay in Zanzibar

Nungwi

WHERE TO STAY IN ZANZIBAR - Ally-Nungwi-Beach-Zanzibar-Sunset-Dinner-oct-202

Nungwi is on the northern tip of Zanzibar and is popular for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters.

The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving.

It’s also a great place to stay if you’re looking for a lively atmosphere with plenty of restaurants and bars.

There’s even the Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond, where you can learn about and even swim with sea turtles.

Paje

Ally Paje Beach Zanzibar Oct.2022

Paje is a small village on the southeast coast of Zanzibar, and easily my favorite area we stayed in during our visit.

It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere with fewer crowds. There’s a younger vibe, and plenty of cute beach front restaurants, bars, and hotels.

The beach is wide and beautiful, with soft white sand and turquoise waters.

This area is popular for kite surfing, so if you’re an adventure seeker, don’t miss out on signing up for a lesson!

Stone Town

Ally in Stone Town Zanzibar Oct. 2022

Stone Town is a maze of narrow streets, alleys, and bazaars, with beautiful architecture and a rich cultural heritage.

It’s also a fascinating place to stay if you’re interested in history and culture, because it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

While you’re there, don’t miss out on visiting historic sites like the House of Wonders and the Old Fort, or simply wander around and soak up the atmosphere.

Kiwengwa

Kiwengwa zanzibar 2022

If you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxing vacation, Kiwengwa is an excellent place to stay.

It’s also home to some of the best resorts on the island, with private beaches, gardens, and pools.

Bwejuu

Bwejuu zanzibar

Bwejuu sits on the southeast coast of Zanzibar and has a reputation for its beautiful beach bungalows, plus some excellent restaurants.

It’s a delightful spot to stay if you’re looking for a more rustic, authentic experience.

The beach is wide and beautiful, with soft white sand and turquoise waters.

Kendwa

Kendwa

The stunning sunsets and lively nightlife make Kendwa one of the most popular destination on the northwest coast of Zanzibar.

Its beach is wide and beautiful, with soft white sand and turquoise waters.

Plus some great beach bars and restaurants with sunset views.

This area is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a fun, social atmosphere.

Best Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Zanzibar


Mnemba Island Lodge

For the ultimate luxury experience in Zanzibar, head to Mnemba Island Lodge, which is on a private island just off the coast of Zanzibar.

The resort has ten beachside bandas, each comes with its own private beach access and an outdoor shower.

You can spend your days snorkeling, scuba diving, or simply relaxing on the pristine white sand beaches.

If you’re here on a honeymoon, this is absolutely the spot to go.

Address: andBeyond Mnemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania



Zawadi Hotel

The Zawadi Hotel is a stunning retreat that’s perched on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean.

It has unparalleled views and luxurious villas.

Guests get to enjoy the hotel’s infinity pool, spa, and restaurant, plus their own private plunge pools and ocean-facing terraces.

Address: South East Coast, Michamvi, Tanzania



Matemwe Lodge

Matemwe Lodge is a beachfront resort on the northeastern coast of Zanzibar, with luxurious villas and suites.

Besides amazing beaches, it features a spa, a restaurant, and a variety of activities, including snorkeling, diving, and kayaking.

Address: Along Matemwe Beach, Matemwe, Tanzania



Fundu Lagoon

Fundu Lagoon is a resort that’s so secluded that it’s only accessible by boat!

The resort has just 18 rooms and suites, each with its own private deck and ocean views.

Guests can also enjoy the resort’s spa, restaurant, and private beach.

Address: PM55+9CM, Wambaa, Tanzania



The Residence Zanzibar

The Residence Zanzibar offers a range of accommodations, from villas to suites, set on 80 acres of beautiful gardens and white sand beaches.

The resort also features a spa, a fitness center, and a variety of activities, including snorkeling, kayaking, and yoga.

Address: Zanzibar, Tanzania



Kilindi Zanzibar

Kilindi Zanzibar is a luxurious resort designed by Neil Rocher, with private villas and spacious suites.

They also have a spa, a fitness center, and a variety of activities, including snorkeling, diving, and kayaking.

Address: Zanzibar, Kendwa, Tanzania



Matemwe Retreat

Escape to a secluded beach on Zanzibar’s coast for luxurious accommodations.

Matemwe Retreat has fabulous private villas and spacious suites.

Plus an amazing spa, restaurant, and a private beach.

Address: Matemwe Beach Matemwe TZ, 3275, Tanzania



Zuri Zanzibar Hotel & Resort

Zuri Zanzibar Hotel & Resort is a luxurious retreat on a beautiful white sand beach.

Besides a stunning beach, the hotel also features a spa, a fitness center, and a variety of activities, including snorkeling, kayaking, and yoga.

Address: Kendwa Zanzibar TZ, 73107, Tanzania



Baraza Resort & Spa

Baraza Resort & Spa is a luxurious Zanzibar-inspired resort with villas and suites.

It’s got a spa, a fitness center, and a variety of activities, including snorkeling, diving, and windsurfing.

Address: Bwejuu Beach South East Coast Paje Michamvi Road Dongwe, Zanzibar 2284, Tanzania



Hotel Riu Palace Zanzibar

On the northeastern coast of the island, enjoy the luxurious Hotel Riu Palace Zanzibar with its selection of villas and suites.

The resort’s got a fabulous spa, restaurant, and private beach.

Address: Nungwi Rd, Nungwi, North Coast Zanzibar 73107, Tanzania



Zanzibar White Sands Luxury Villa

Zanzibar White Sands Luxury Villa is a beautiful beachfront villa on the east coast of Zanzibar.

The villa has four bedrooms, each with a private balcony or terrace overlooking the ocean.

It’s also got a private swimming pool, a bar, and a dining area.

This is the perfect spot for families or groups of friends who want to enjoy a luxurious stay in Zanzibar.

Address: Paje Beach, Paje, Tanzania


Mid-Range Hotels and Resorts



Essque Zalu Zanzibar

On the northeastern coast of Zanzibar, you’ll find the delightful Essque Zalu Zanzibar.

This luxurious resort offers a range of accommodations, from private villas to spacious suites.

Guests can also enjoy the resort’s spa, restaurant, and private beach.

Address: TZ, Nungwi 3151, Tanzania



Constance Aiyana

Constance Aiyana is a luxurious resort offering a range of room options, from private villas to spacious suites.

They also have a spa and restaurant in case you want to have a chill day at the hotel.

Address: 4M7H+3PV, Makangale Beach, Pemba Island, Tanzania



The Z Hotel

The Z Hotel is a boutique hotel on the northern tip of Zanzibar that is adorable.

This hotel has 35 rooms, each with a private balcony or terrace overlooking the ocean.

The hotel has a rooftop restaurant, a bar, and a swimming pool. The hotel is near the beach, and there are plenty of water sports and activities available.

Address: Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar City, Tanzania



The Melia Zanzibar

With private balconies or terraces overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Melia Zanzibar is a superb beachfront resort on the east side of the island.

The best part is that it’s got a ton of amenities, including three restaurants, two bars, a spa, and a fitness center.

There’s also a large swimming pool and a private beach where you can relax and soak up the sun.

Address: 29V9+P7, Kiwengwa 00200, Tanzania


Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Zanzibar Serena Hotel is a beautiful hotel in the heart of Stone Town.

It’s cool because the hotel is in two historic buildings that they took lots of effort to restore.

The hotel has traditionally decorated rooms with stunning views of the Indian Ocean.

Plus, the hotel has a rooftop restaurant, a bar, a swimming pool, and a spa.

Address: Shangani St, Zanzibar, Tanzania



Sea Cliff Resort and Spa

Sea Cliff Resort and Spa is a beautiful resort on the west coast of Zanzibar.

They have 120 rooms, each with a private balcony or terrace overlooking the ocean.

It’s got three restaurants, two bars, a swimming pool, and a spa.

The resort is near the beach, and there are plenty of water sports and activities available.

Address: Kama Village, Mangapwani P.O.Box: 1763, Zanzibar Tanzania


Budget Hotels and Guesthouses



Jafferji House & Spa

Jafferji House & Spa is a luxurious boutique hotel in the heart of Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town.

They offer a range of accommodations, from spacious suites to private apartments.

If you want to hang out at they hotel, they’ve got a spa, a rooftop terrace, and a restaurant.

Address: 170 Gizenga St, Zanzibar, Tanzania



Sharazad Boutique Hotel

Sharazad Boutique Hotel is a beautiful hotel in Stone Town. The hotel has 8 rooms, each with a private balcony or terrace overlooking the ocean.

You can chill at the rooftop restaurant, or hang at at their bar, or swimming pool.

Staying here also means you’ll be near the beach, and there are plenty of water sports and activities available.

Address: Kibigija, Jambiani Zanzibar, Tanzania


Zanzibar Coffee House

Zanzibar Coffee House offers budget-friendly rooms with traditional Zanzibari décor.

The rooms are cozy, with mosquito nets and fans to keep you cool at night. The staff is welcoming, and they can help you arrange tours and activities around the island.

Plus, the guesthouse features a rooftop terrace where you can enjoy stunning views of the city and the ocean while sipping on a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Address: 1563, 64 Mkunazini St, Zanzibar, Tanzania



Tembo House Hotel

This is where April and I stayed while we were exploring Stone Town.

Tembo House Hotel, a historic hotel on the seafront in Stone Town.

It’s got a beautiful courtyard with a swimming pool, as well as a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the ocean.

Best of all, the rooms are spacious, with air conditioning and private bathrooms.

Address: Shangani Street Forodhani Street Zanzibar TZ, 0004, Tanzania


https://youtu.be/6F2RfZs0qMQ

Emerson Spice Hotel

This is a boutique hotel in the heart of Stone Town.

The rooms are comfortable, with air conditioning and private bathrooms.

Emerson Spice also has a rooftop restaurant that serves delicious food and offers stunning views of the city.

Address: 1494, Tharia Street TZ, 1497 Kiponda, Zanzibar 4044, Tanzania



Maru Maru Hotel

Maru Maru Hotel is a charming hotel in the heart of Stone Town.

The hotel has a rooftop terrace with city and ocean views, a swimming pool, and a restaurant offering local and international cuisine.

The rooms are comfortable with air conditioning and private bathrooms.

Plus, the staff is friendly, and they can help you arrange tours and activities around the island.

Address: TZ, Gizenga St, 4043, Tanzania



Makofi Guest House

Makofi Guest House is where April and I spent our first few days in Zanzibar.

This place is absolutely adorable, close to the beach, has amazing food, including a breakfast that comes with your stay.

Plus, they a really friendly staff, and they won me over with the baby kitten that they had just adopted.

The rooms are basic, but super cute!

Just be aware there’s no air conditioning, and bathrooms and showers are communal.

Honestly, the bathroom bit put me off a bit initially, but it really wasn’t that bad.

In fact, I’d absolutely book it again.

Address: Nungwi, Tanzania


Tips for Choosing the Right Accommodation in Zanzibar

Consider Your Budget

paje beach resort zanzibar tanzania 2022

Accommodation options in Zanzibar range from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts.

So sit down and figure out your budget and what essentials you can’t live without.

It’s also good to check the hotel’s placement within town to make sure it’s an area that you want to be in.

This will help you narrow down your options and find the best accommodation that fits your budget.

Whatever you do, make sure even if it’s a tad bit more that you end up in a spot you’re excited about.

Location Matters

tembo hotel

Another important factor to consider when choosing accommodation in Zanzibar is the location.

Zanzibar has many areas, each with its own unique vibe and attractions.

If you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation, then consider staying in one of the beachfront areas, like Nungwi, Paje, or Kendwa.

If you want to explore the history and culture of Zanzibar, then I’d recommend staying in Stone Town.

Read Reviews

zanzibar boat ride

I always read a million reviews before deciding on anything these days, especially when it comes to booking accommodations.

Reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality of the accommodation, the location, and the overall experience.

Look for reviews on popular travel websites like Google Reviews, TripAdvisor, or Booking.com.

You should pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded understanding of the accommodation.

Oh, and don’t forget to take into how account how recent each review is.

Amenities

Ally Nungwi Beach

When deciding where to stay in Zanzibar, don’t forget to make a list of the amenities that are important to you.

Do you want a pool or a spa?

Do you need air conditioning or Wi-Fi?

Do you want to be beach front?

Make a list of the amenities that are non-negotiable, and the ones that would be nice to have, and look for accommodation options that offer those amenities.

Book in Advance

Ally Paje Beach Resort Zanzibar Oct. 2022

Since Zanzibar is a popular tourist destination. It’s important to book your stay a few months before going, especially if you’re going during peak season (June to October).

FAQs

How Many Days Should I Stay in Zanzibar?

Ally Zanzibar Mnemba Island Snorkeling Boat Trip Oct. 2022

Deciding how many days to stay in Zanzibar depends on your travel goals and budget.

If you want to explore the island’s historic sites, beaches, and culture, plan to stay for at least five to seven days.

My friend April and I stayed about two weeks to make sure we took our time to enjoy everything.

However, if you’re on a budget or have limited time, you can still experience the best of Zanzibar in three to four days.

Which Side of Zanzibar is Best to Visit?

nungwi beach sunset

Zanzibar has two popular sides: the east coast and the west coast.

If you’re looking for a more authentic and local experience, then you want to head to the west coast.

It’s less crowded and more laid-back, with fewer tourists and more traditional villages.

The east coast has beautiful beaches and is more developed than the west coast.

If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, the east coast is the best side to visit.

It has more activities available including snorkeling, diving, and kite surfing.

Where do Celebrities Stay in Zanzibar?

Ally Zanzibar Island Oct. 2022

Zanzibar is a popular destination for celebrities, including Bill Gates, who owns a spot on Mnemba Island Lodge.

Some of the most popular celebrity hotspots in Zanzibar include:

Wrapping It Up

Ally Stone Town Tanzania where to stay in zanzibar

I hope this has given you the inspiration to plan your perfect stay around the island.

Personally, I’m excited for the day I get to go back to Zanzibar.

I’d love to spend like a month in Paje working remotely. It was absolutely gorgeous, and my favorite place we stayed on the island, followed by Nungwi Beach, and Stone Town in last place.

While Stone Town was nice, and I’m glad we explored it, I much rather would’ve spent a few extra days hanging on the beach.

So whatever you, give yourself an extra beach day when planning!

 

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