This page has been created to help you imagine your perfect luxury holiday to Zanzibar. Find, on the left of this page, our collection of hotels and start dreaming about your luxury holiday in Zanzibar. Zanzibar is an archipelago made up of Zanzibar and Pemba Islands, and several islets. It is located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles from the Tanzanian coast, and 6-degrees south of the equator. Zanzibar Island (known locally as Unguja, but as Zanzibar internationally) is 60 miles long and 20 miles wide, occupying a total area of approximately 650 square miles. It is characterised by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs. The magic of historic Stone Town - said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa - is the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar. Zanzibar's local people are an incredible mixture of ethnic backgrounds, indicative of her colourful history. Islam is the dominant religion, and practiced by most Zanzibaris, although there are also followers of Christianity and Hinduism. Population is estimated at 800,000, with the largest concentration being Zanzibar City which has approximately 100,000 inhabitants. Zanzibaris speak Swahili (known locally as Kiswahili), a language which is spoken extensively in East Africa. Many believe that the purest form is spoken in Zanzibar as it is the birthplace of the language.
It may not have a particularly romantic name, but Stone Town is the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar, little changed in the last 200 years. It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings. This one-upmanship is particularly reflected in the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors - there are more than 500 different examples of this handiwork. You can spend many idle hours and days just wandering through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways. Most of the houses that can be seen today were built in the 19th century when Zanzibar was one of the most important trading centres in the Indian Ocean region. The coraline rock of Zanzibar was a good building material, but it is also easily eroded. This is evident by the large number of houses that are in a bad state of repair. Several buildings have already been renovated and the Stone Town Conservation Authority has been established to co-ordinate the restoration of the town to its original glory. A classic example is the restoration work done on the Old Dispensary. As a result of sensible policy, nearly all of the major hotels built in Stone Town are housed in renovated buildings.
Gourmet Cuisine & Dining Out - A spicy luxury holiday in Zanzibar
With Zanzibar known as the 'Spice Islands', it's little surprise that spices play an important role in the cuisine here. With African, Arab, Goan, Indian and Chinese influences, traditional food is truly a fusion experience.Most restaurants feature spices in their menus although there are also Italian, Thai and other international establishments for those looking for something a little closer to home! Bars can be found in Stone Town and in many of the hotels and restaurants around Zanzibar Island. A particular favourite is Dhow Restaurant situated in Zanzibar's Stone Town harbour. Moored in Stone Town's enchanting harbour, the Dhow Restaurant recreates the Zanzibar of a bygone age, when dhows were the only link between the archipelago and the world beyond. Beautifully restored from a working dhow handcrafted on Pemba Island, she formerly traded between the Zanzibar archipelago and the East African coast, laden with spices like its forbearers with only the stars for navigation. Now anchored opposite the old Sultan's palace, the House of Wonders, and the bustling colour of Forodhani Gardens, the Dhow Restaurant provides a unique and private view of Stone Town's captivating waterfront in an atmosphere of traditional elegance. Once on board, a delectable buffet of the finest Swahili dishes awaits, using the freshest ocean catch and the best spices of the island. In the magnificence of the immaculately restored Dhow Restaurant, the crew serve an elegant feast of grilled lobster, succulent prawns, and an array of island specialities. This culinary experience is uniquely complemented by the surroundings of the lavishly restored dhow, as passing sails capture the moonlight and the waterfront's radiance seduces the imagination.
Nightlife & Party with Locals
As one of the world's most cosmopolitan destinations, Zanzibar is blessed with a rich history of music, religious practice and culture that has evolved over the centuries to provide us, and the world, with a unique and varied selection of musical and cultural diversity.