After the first part of our trip on a fun and exciting safari, we continued onto the famous Spice Island of Zanzibar! Nestled in the Indian Ocean and famous for its beautiful beaches and historical heritage, Zanzibar constitutes an undeniable place for relaxation after a safari in Kenya or in Tanzania.
We stayed in the spectacular hotel The Residence Zanzibar. It was my first experience in a Residence resort and I will recount my amazing experience at this sublime and charming place.
The Resort and its wonderful interior design highlights
Located 55 minutes from the capital Stone Town, The Residence Zanzibar is not far from the village of Kizimkazi, well known for its dolphins. The entrance is magnificent and we arrive at the lobby, at the end of a long leafy lane. The tone is immediately set by the view of the columns and arches, which remind us of the Omani heritage, and the sea in the background completes this superb panoramic view, which I immortalised with these photos
The Residence Zanzibar offers 66 villas nestled in a large coco plantation, 6 categories, all with private pools. They are organised in 3 lines.
We stayed in a Luxury Garden Villa, sumptuous, spacious and delicately decorated. The high ceilings accentuate the feeling of space and fluidity. On the walls, the photos depict scenes from fife in Zanzibar. The light coloured marble floors highlight the carved wooden furniture. The villa is arranged in 3 distinct spaces separated by sliding wooden doors: a large living room, a spacious bathroom, and the bedroom. The ‘beige’ colour palette of the textiles brings freshness and brightness to the space. The large bay windows have sliding wooden blinds which let the light in softly.
In the bedroom, a monumental teak four poster bed, draped in white cloth, is at the centre of the room; with at its base, on a chaise longue, the team had carefully placed welcome presents, as seen on the photo
The bathroom is contemporary: 2 porcelain washbasins are set in a sculpted wooden unit. A superb bath is placed facing the bay window, and we find a second shower in a private corner of the garden.
This gorgeous villa with careful details, elegant, inviting, and warm, was in a nutshell, perfect for relaxation. Let’s not forget the bikes at our disposal, at the entrance of each villa.
Keeping busy at The Residence Zanzibar
I will now talk about the communal spaces of The Residence Zanzibar.
It must be noted how vast the domain is, many hectares, in the middle of which the resort is nestled. Each morning we had a bike ride and were amazed by the beauty of the carefully tended tropical gardens.
Also, The Residence Zanzibar has a superb infinity pool facing the sea, a real gem! We spent many afternoons there soaking in the sun!
The fantastic beach of the resort is the best place for pure relaxation, and to watch spectacular sunsets. Zanzibar is famous for its tides and the beach is accessible in the afternoons, perfect after a morning of sport or spent by the pool!
As far as activities are concerned, The Residence Zanzibar proposes tennis courts, free yoga lessons, and kayak and diving equipment are also at your disposal.
With a small contribution, you can also book a boat trip, on a traditional boat, to go diving or observe the dolphins.
The spa is a real peace haven; its decoration is both exotic and Zen. At the centre of 3 hectares of garden, it has 6 treatment rooms. Its whirlpool in the resting area, allows guests to totally relax. A wide variety of massages are on offer. I spent a lovely morning there with my eldest daughter Ayla
For the children, there is a Kids club, nicely arranged, offering a large number of fun activities. Mayssa, my 6 yeard old, had some really enjoyable moments with Beatrice and Jalia.
5 Star Resort Dining
In addition, we tried the different restaurants at The Residence Zanzibar.
First I must say that the design in the restaurants has been carried out with as much care as the rest of the resort. Large arches frame open spaces, giving way to a gentle breeze into the main restaurant; the Dining Room. The decoration pays tribute to Arabic and African culture, and we also find this mix in the dishes, where international cuisine meets Zanzibar flavours. We had some excellent evenings there, where a different band each night played music to accompany our meals. I must give a special mention to Christopher and Anna for their excellent service.
It was also in the Dining Room that we enjoyed copious and refined breakfasts every morning. It was Benjamin who welcomed us with a beaming smile
The Pavilion restaurant, open at night, celebrates oriental and Mediterranean cuisine. The tables are nicely arranged in the garden, decorated with fairy lights, conveying a soft and private atmosphere. We enjoyed a lovely evening there, cared for by Tatu and Josephine, with the beat of the dancing music played by a local band. It was there that I met the charming Prasanta, the main chef who was going around each table to greet the guests.
I will now describe a great experience we had for our third dinner of our trip; on the seafront, feet directly in the sand!
As I mentioned before, The Residence Zanzibar proposes a different culinary experience every night. That night, it was a gigantic barbecue on the sand, looking out to sea. Again the table decoration was beautifully done, and we were charmed by the gorgeous illuminated scene upon arrival. To complete this beautiful image, a campfire was lit on the sand and music entertainment was taken care of by a happy local band. Of course, let’s not forget the superb, varied buffet offering refined salads, puddings and diverse catches of the day.
How to conclude…
If not in saying that Zanzibar really earns its motto: ‘Spice up your life on the Island of Zanzibar’! And The Residence Zanzibar is the perfect place to totally switch off. It constitutes a veritable cocoon and is undeniably the perfect address for experienced travellers.
I also must mention the boundless kindness and professionalism of the hotel staff. Dressed in white, they welcome us, hand on heart, and like Renny, Edson and Wilfred, and were at hand to cater for our every need. Let’s not forget the adorable Marco, the concierge, who became a real friend to my little Mayssa.
With a mix of unparalleled Mauritius hospitality and Zanzibar spontaneity, I will recommend The Residence Zanzibar to all those in search of a lovely resort with high quality facilities, in which each person will feel unique… this, in the middle of the one and only Zanzibar!