Zanzibar Hotels


The Z Hotel

This is classed as a luxury boutique hotel located in Nungwi on the northern tip of Zanzibar.

Accommodation at the Z Hotel

The hotel is mid-size and offers various styles and standards of accommodation.  Deluxe Garden View rooms overlook the hotel grounds (less garden than yard), Deluxe Sea View rooms are better and look out to the ocean, Interconnecting Rooms, Roof-Top Suites, Ocean Front Cottages with private decks over the sea and the Z Suite, a 70 meter square open plan room with 2 terraces and an outdoor jacuzzi.

Rooms vary in size and cleanliness.  Some feel rather cramped, and the views from those that do not overlook the ocean have poor views.  The bedrooms are advertised as ‘designer’ and ‘luxurious’ but in actuality many are very sparsely furnished with very plain and cheap seeming furniture.  Ensuite bathrooms are a reasonable size but in need of much updating and maintenance.  Rooms feature air conditioning and mosquito nets.  However the hotel’s electricity generator can be unreliable and this interferes with the air conditioning.  This region is plagued with many bugs and the hotel has had problems combating insects inside the premises.

Rooms all have balconies and feature LCD flat screen TV, iPod docking station, telephone & Wi-Fi internet access, safe, mini-bar and hair dryer.

Food and Drink at The Z Hotel

The hotel’s Sarouche restaurant is a good size and has wonderful ocean views.  The hotel offers a table service dinner and occasional themed buffet nights.  Breakfast is continental with cooked options available to order and fresh fruit.  

While the food is generally high quality and nicely prepared it is not as ‘special’ as the hotel advertises it to be.  The hotel has a tendency to standardize menus, this means that any delicate flavours can get ‘smothered.’  So while reasonable, the catering is somewhat basic and there have been some hygiene concerns with the restaurant due to insects, especially on buffet nights and at breakfast.

Drinks, tapas and standard bar food (fish and chips etc.) can be purchased in the Cinnamon Bar.  This first floor ocean view bar has a friendly but slightly tacky atmosphere. Drinks are reasonably priced and the selection of alcoholic drinks is not bad.  As with most of Zanzibar, cocktails tend to be rather oddly mixed, do not expect Western style mixed drinks!

Service at The Z Hotel

While staff are friendly and management are obliging there are many training issues. Staff are often referred to as “still learning” while it is easy to by sympathetic, the level of service and professionalism is not what it should be at a hotel of this class.  The hotel has recently undergone some staff changes and it is hoped standards have raised in accordance.

The hotel offers a number of facilities including a fully equipped Spa, well-maintained and pleasant pool and private beach.

The hotel has had some issues with local cats that frequent the grounds and the areas around the pool and beach.  Management are making efforts to resolve this issue.

Things to do at the Z Hotel

The hotel is located close to a professional Dive Centre.  Snorkelling amongst the diverse marine life that inhabit the nearby coral reefs is also hugely popular and can be arranged through the hotel.  There are also opportunities to organize deep sea fishing trips.

Excursions to Stone Town and throughout Zanzibar can be organized, though the hotel is some way from the capital.  Excursions on offer from the hotel include visits to Jozani Forest, Spice Tours, Prison Island Excursion and Mnarani Turtle Sanctuary.

While small, the hotels private beach is quiet and pleasant.

How to get to The Z Hotel

Nungwi is approximately an hour’s drive from either Stone Town or Zanzibar Airport and the hotel will happily arrange transfers for guests for an extra cost of around $40 one way.  Alternatively, a shared mini bus runs from Stone Town daily for around $10 or one can opt to travel in a daladala (route 116).  These bus-come-trucks can take far longer (up to three hours) and are not comfortable.  However, they are cheap and if you are looking for a real-life Zanzibari experience you might consider them.

The drive winds through poor parts of Zanzibar and can be disheartening to tourists, especially considering the almost hypocritical luxury on offer at many of Zanzibar’s resorts.  It is important to remember that this country is still developing and that some disquieting scenes are to be expected.

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