Zanzibar Hotels

Echo Beach Resort

This is a small luxury hotel overlooking a stretch of private beach near the village of Bwejuu on Zanzibar’s eastern peninsula. The resort is remote enough to ensure privacy from other tourists, while at the same time other resorts can be reached by foot if one fancies meeting a few new faces.

The hotel is renowned for two things; its food and its design.

Accommodation at Echo Beach Resort

Rooms are housed in 9 two-storey modern bungalows of Zanzibari stone with traditional makuti (palm thatched) roofs. Traditional architecture and details interplay with more modern, slick décor. The overall feel of the accommodation is clean, bright and yet homely. All rooms are large with designer en suites / wet rooms (salt water sourced) and private verandas. All have good air-conditioning as well as ceiling fans. Some rooms have sea view while others overlook landscaped gardens.

Dining at Echo Beach Resort

The hotel’s restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All food is carefully prepared, high-quality and locally sourced. Breakfast is full English. The evening menu is three course al a carte. It is one of the more varied and exciting menus offered by resorts and hotels in this region, most offer large buffets. Like the décor, modern and Western tastes are complimented by Swahili flavours and touches, and visa versa. There are always fish, meat and vegetarian options to choose from. The hotel’s bar is renowned for being a relaxed spot to enjoy a reasonably priced cocktail (around USD 8) with the owners, staff and other guests.

What’s on offer at Echo Beach Resort?

Staff are all very friendly and keen to help. The family-run feel of the hotel gives the impression that staff are very comfortable in their jobs. Staff will even help you learn a traditional game of Bao. Having the owners mainly on site is also a reassuring touch. The hotel is well cared for and kept very clean.

The hotel beach is lovely to explore on foot at low-tide and guests can walk out as far as the coral reef (jelly shoes are a good idea to avoid sea urchin stings). One can also swim at high-tide and the reef is good for snorkelling along. The hotel’s pool is a good size and has its own Jacuzzi. The hotel has its own PADI scuba diving instructor whose prices are very reasonable. The hotel can arrange many excursions including to the Jozani Forest and the Spice Plantations. Although such trips do add up in cost they are worth paying for.

The hotel has an internet connection which guests can use. The connection speed is one of the fastest on the island.

How to get to Echo Beach Resort

The resort is approximately one hour’s drive from Stone Town or Zanzibar Airport. The hotel will happily arrange transfers. Alternatively you can arrive by taxi or hire car.

Much of the coastline of this peninsula has been developed to reflect the luxury requirements of Western travellers. However, the surrounding villages and the roads reflect the poverty of Tanzania. Although hotel websites may advertise these places as ‘charming and traditional’ they may simply appear run-down.

Although the tourist industry has proved a destructive force in many parts of the country, it is also useful to bear in mind that many resorts and hotels are now contributing to funds to support locals, and that eco-tourism projects are advancing throughout Zanzibar.

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