Situated off the coast of Tanzania, the picturesque archipelago known as Zanzibar attracts many visitors to its pristine waters and welcoming communities. Known as the ‘Spice Islands’, Zanzibar still holds true to a vibrant heritage, decorated in scents of the past with traditional sailing dhows painting the horizon. The Zanzibar Islands embrace Swahili and Islamic influences in both culture and architecture and will keep you on your toes with spice tours, visits to ancient mosques and even a former Sultan’s palace.
From sea safaris spotting dolphins and whales, snorkelling pristine coral reefs, or kayaking through mangrove forests, it’s a proverbial treasure trove of experiences. If you’re planning a trip to Zanzibar, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 Zanzibar luxury hotels and best resorts for those idyllic, white sand, swaying palm tree island escapes:
1. Mnemba Island Lodge
Exclusive, yet unpretentious, Mnemba Island Lodge is located on the northeast coastline of Zanzibar. Mnemba Island Lodge offers a romantic getaway for honeymooners or couples, and activities for traveling families including the wild child program that teaches kids all about the mystical properties of the ocean.
If you want to appreciate a sublime sunset in privacy, fresh sushi and chilled champagne can be delivered to beach loungers, or romantic candlelit meals can be served against the backdrop of waves softly breaking. Reconnect with yourself and rejuvenate your body doing yoga classes on the beach, encounter diverse marine life snorkelling or diving azure waters, or simply soak up the sun from the comforts of the lodge. You’ll experience a getaway steeped in history with enticing activities to choose from.
- Private sunset dinners
- Spend time in the Indian Ocean snorkelling and scuba diving
- Enjoy whale watching and turtle tracking
- Wild child program of fun activities for kids
- Indulge in relaxing spa massage treatments
Honeymooners, couples & families.
2. Matemwe Retreat
Luxurious villas in remote Zanzibar make up Matemwe Retreat. The retreat’s interior décor, celebrating locally produced pieces, creates a palpable tropical holiday ambience. Soft and easy relaxation is promised in this tranquil space, leading onto private plunge pools that overlook panoramic views of inviting Indian Ocean shores.
Dedicated to luxury and seclusion, Matemwe Retreat is only a 30-minute boat ride from Mnemba Island and the Mnemba Atoll – the most important conservation area in Zanzibar. The Mnemba Atoll is a great destination for first time divers and marine wildlife enthusiasts with over 400 species of fish to encounter. After a day of activities, you’ll return to seafood buffets, rooftop bar cocktails or lunch excursions to the local sandbank and Muyuni Beach.
- Private roof terrace and plunge pool in villa
- Massage and spa treatments
- Historic excursions into Stone Town for spice tours
- Scuba diving, snorkelling and reef exploration
- Sundowner dhow cruises at dusk
Couples & honeymooners.
3. Matemwe Lodge
Blanketed by white shorelines on the warm Indian ocean coastline, Zanzibar’s Matemwe Lodge provides a backdrop for bliss. Soak up the sunset in a hammock poolside or participate in a range of water activities and revel in marine wildlife encounters. Matemwe Lodge is the benchmark for luxurious tropical escapes in the protected coral-fringed lagoon that each chalet overlooks.
You’ll be able to explore the coral reef and its rock pools, set sail on a traditional dhow, snorkel, or dive the pristine Mnemba Atoll. You can relax at the spa when you’re not out experiencing the many historical and recreational seaside activities on offer at Matemwe Lodge.
- Daily cultural excursions into Stone Town for a spice tour
- Snorkel in aquamarine waters of the Mnemba Atoll
- Visit Muyuni Beach for picnic lunches
- Open-air restaurant dining; sustainably curated gourmet dishes
- Swim with wild dolphins and turtles in colourful reefs
Couples, honeymooners and families.
4. Zawadi Hotel
Ascending a cliff with awe-inspiring views of the Indian Ocean, Zawadi Hotel’s location is simply unbeatable and is one of the most coveted locations in Zanzibar. Heading onto the beach, you will practically taste the salt water on your lips, hearing the waves kiss the shore. Discover the 400 species of fish that make their home in the reefs right on your doorstep.
Go snorkelling, scuba diving or try stand-up-paddle-boarding with passionate and expert guides. Zawadi is about losing yourself in tropical retreats where nature takes centre stage. Be sure to have a look at the best time to visit Zanzibar when planning your trip.
- Kayak through mangrove forests
- Swim with bottlenose dolphins
- Encounter endangered monkeys at Jozani Forest
- Tour Stone Town’s historic sites
- Experience a tranquil spa treatment at one of the top hotels in Zanzibar
Family getaways & honeymooners.