The picturesque archipelago of Zanzibar, located off the coast of Tanzania, attracts many visitors all year round. Zanzibar, also known as the “Spice Islands,” maintains a vibrant heritage, adorned with aromas of the past and traditional sailing dhows painting the horizon. The Zanzibar Islands embody Swahili, Arabic and European influences in both culture and architecture, and spice tours, visits to ancient mosques, and even a former Sultan’s palace will keep you on your toes.
It’s a veritable goldmine of experiences — from dolphin and whale watching to snorkelling in the Indian Ocean and kayaking through mangrove forests. If you’re planning a trip to the island, here are our top luxury hotels in Zanzibar.
Zuri Zanzibar Hotel and Resort
Zuri Zanzibar Hotel and Resort is one of the top luxury hotels in Zanzibar, boasting a private beach and lagoon, lavish beach huts and villas, delicious international menus, and a dizzying array of amenities and facilities to make guests feel right at home. With 56 thatched villas nestled among the palms of a tropical garden, the mood is strikingly casual and timeless and guests opting to stay here will have something to write home about.
Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar
Kilindi Zanzibar is a luxury hotel that consists of a series of white-domed Pavilion guest rooms set in 50 acres of lush tropical gardens. Kilindi, which was originally designed for Benny Andersson, one of the members of the 1970s pop group ABBA, is an authentic fusion of the best of Tanzania’s and Zanzibar’s diverse cultures.
White wooden-slatted shutters embrace wide-arched glassless windows in each of the Pavilion suites, offering unrivalled views of the Indian Ocean. The same openness allows the delicate sea breeze to billow through the rooms, carrying the delightful musical score of Kilindi’s colourful birdlife with it.
Intimate, stylish and oozing romance, Matemwe Retreat is one of the best luxury hotels in Zanzibar. Matemwe Retreat is located on an incredible stretch of private land just north of Matemwe Lodge and boasts four elegant villas. Each villa comes with a personal butler and includes a private bar area, a cool and airy double bedroom with a king-sized bed, and an ensuite bathroom with a sunken bathtub with stunning views of the sparkling ocean. Outside, impressively comfortable and private lounge areas invite you to enjoy the tropical climate, while the rooftop deck comes complete with a sparkling blue plunge pool, which provides panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.
andBeyond Mnemba Island
Exclusive yet unassuming, andBeyond Mnemba Island is an award-winning private beach paradise located just off Zanzibar’s northeast coast. At this romantic, private getaway, 10 oceanside bandas overlook a pristine coral reef — a scuba diver’s dream. andBeyond Mnemba has something for everyone, from snorkelling, swimming, and kayaking to massages on the beach and simply doing nothing.
Baraza Resort and Spa Zanzibar
Baraza Resort and Spa is an award-winning resort and a benchmark for luxury hotels in Zanzibar. The elegant architecture, complete with marvellous arabesque and filigree details, is a tribute to the island’s heritage, which dates back to the Sultans’ reign. All of the wooden furniture, as well as each Omani trunk and brass lamp, were custom-made for this opulent hotel. The resort boasts 30 villas with courtyards and private plunge pools. Additionally, there is an out-of-this-world spa, designed in the style of an Arabian harem, which offers a menu of rejuvenating treatments that you’ll want to try.
The Manta Resort
Nestled on the far north of Pemba Island, the Manta Resort epitomises an idyllic, secluded and unspoiled tropical getaway. Here, guests can indulge in barefoot luxury and enjoy the calm white sand beaches just metres away from a thriving coral reef. Manta Resort features an array of accommodation options, from its seafront villas and garden rooms to its one-of-a-kind underwater room, anchored to the ocean floor.
The resort is well-known for its relaxed yet modern extravagance, which is managed by kind and thoughtful staff members. It also has an elevated on-site restaurant, guest lounge area, swimming pool, and beach bar.
The Residence Zanzibar
Set on 32 hectares of lush tropical gardens, the Residence Zanzibar boasts 66 luxurious villas — combining modern style with the sophistication of the island’s African, Omani, and European heritage. Each villa comes fully furnished and provides the perfect blend of space and privacy. Outside, the lounge deck with wicker chairs and daybeds overlooks a 1.2-metre-deep private swimming pool and serene garden, beach, or ocean views. If guests want to explore the beautiful gardens and local surroundings, they are welcome to take a stroll or hop on the bicycles provided by the resort.
Park Hyatt Zanzibar
The Park Hyatt Zanzibar is located on the beachfront of historic Stone Town, a Unesco World Heritage site and the island’s beating heart. The elegant rooms and suites provide breathtaking views of the dhow harbours and the Indian Ocean. The Park Hyatt Zanzibar has 67 luxuriously appointed guestrooms, each with a private balcony and a magnificent ocean view, a lovely ensuite bathroom with a separate bath and an opulent rain shower, air conditioning, and satellite television.