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Romance, Monkeys & Dolphins at a Luxurious Beach Resort
Monkeys climb and jump around in the trees, while bright yellow birds build their nests in the palm trees and in the turquoise blue ocean you can meet dozens of dolphins. The Residence Zanzibar is an absolute paradise for humans and animals alike.
Located directly on a beautiful kilometer-long beach in the south of Zanzibar, the resort is set, in the middle of a 32-hectare lush, tropical garden.
Zanzibar is about 40 km off the east coast of Tanzania. With its palm-fringed white sandy beaches, warm-hearted people, quaint fishing villages, fragrant spice plantations, colorful markets, monkeys, dolphins and bush babies, it is a fabulous paradise in the Indian Ocean.
All 66 villas have their own pool with garden or sea views and offer a lot of privacy. You might even see a cute, small Elephant shrew scurry by and watch the monkeys climb onto the umbrella and to take a peek inside the villa.
Zanzibar has a lot of monkeys. The Red Colobus monkeys are endemic to Zanzibar. They were saved from extinction thanks to the efforts at the national park, Jozani Forest. However, these red monkeys leave the forest that is 27 km away and comfortably climb the trees at the resort. And the cheeky Black monkeys or White-throated monkeys, seem to be just as at home here.
Interview with Bruce Bowan
… the passionate General Manager of the Resort
“Our biggest asset is our people and I as a general manager I´m very proud of our team!” – Bruce Bowan
The elegant design of the luxurious 5-star resort is inspired by African, Omani, British and Indian influences. Everything blends in beautifully with the tropical garden and the natural surroundings.
The hospitality is typically African – loving and warm.
The monkeys sometimes even make themselves at home on the armchairs in the lobby.
Happiness comes in Waves
The beach at the resort is swept every morning. It is bright, white and miles long. The bathtub-warm water of the ocean is crystal clear and perfect for swimming at high tide.
Life is cool by the Pool
For relaxation and during low tide, the huge infinity pool beckons.
The sand may brush off.
The salt may wash away.
The tans may fade.
But the memories will last forever!!
In the afternoon, ice-cream is served as a refreshing snack at the pool.
The glass front overlooking the sea is quite spectacular!
Pool Villa Hideaway
Luxury Garden Pool Villa
The 155 square meter villas are traditionally furnished and offer plenty of space and luxury with a separate living room and bedroom.
The lounge decks have wicker armchairs and loungers overlooking the private pool and nature. Of course, a sea view is unbeatable, but even this hidden location in the tropical garden has its charm.
The king-sized covered bed ensures a deep, peaceful sleep – even with open doors. Fantastic!
One morning, the monkeys woke us. They also wanted to have a look at the villa. When they did not find any food, they decided to move on.
If you prefer privacy, you can enjoy every meal on your terrace.
With great attention to detail, the lovely employees take care of the villa and sometimes surprised us with a bouquet of flowers, flower petals on the bed or in the bathtub. Employees like Marseline, are the heart and soul of the resort!
The bright, spacious bathroom has chic double basins, a freestanding bathtub, a separate shower and private garden with outdoor shower. Here the small weaver birds bustle about.
From the bathtub, one can observe the small, bright, yellow birds building their nests. So cute to watch.
Ocean Front Pool Villas
The beautiful beachfront villas are situated right on the beach and offer breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean from every room. Pure romance!
Each villa has bicycles that one can use to explore the resort with.
While exploring, you might come across a few monkeys. And be warned, they are quite inquisitive. One jumped onto my leg, and the cheeky little bugger showed me its bum. Funny!
Good Food is Good Mood
The Dining Room
The Dining Room serves Indian, Arabic and Mediterranean cuisine with a traditional Zanzibar twist.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served here with wonderful views of the beach and the sea.
The breakfast selection is extensive with fresh juices, freshly prepared egg and hot dishes!
Almost all the hotel staff in Zanzibar, come from mainland Tanzania. Together with Mr. Shams, they take care of the physical well-being of their guests with a lot of dedication.
With a little luck, the monkeys also enjoy breakfast in the trees right by the restaurant. The red fruits or sugar sachets at the tables are very tempting.
And even at the main restaurant, the weaver birds are very busy building their intricate nests. One really is surrounded by animals everywhere.
The Dining Room Bar
The quaint bar is right next to the pool and is perfect for a refreshing drink by the pool or at sunset.
The bartenders are passionate about making colorful cocktails and snacks.
Sundowners on the jetty with canapés and delicious wine is especially romantic. You can relax and enjoy the incredible ocean view.
Dinner is served as a themed buffet or a set menu, and the selection is very diverse.
At the Indian buffet, the chef himself can sometimes be seen at the oven preparing delicious naan bread.
The food is delicious, and every evening another exciting meal awaited us.
Roasted Duck Breast
Sweet Potato Purée & Crispy Vegetable Mango Chutney with Star anise
Entertainment in the evening is also taken care of. These three “flowery” singers, for example, always ensure that there is a great mood at dinner on Thursdays.
With dinner on the beach, all the guests can enjoy a delicious BBQ accompanied by live music with their feet in the sand.
On some evenings, you can choose between The Dining Room and The Pavillon. In this somewhat remote restaurant, Mediterranean and dishes from the Middle East are served, with a touch of oriental culture and traditional music.
Keep calm and Spa on
The Spa, led by the Indian Spa Manager, has six spacious treatment pavilions, a large whirlpool, a sauna and a steam room. A variety of relaxing and beautifying treatments from the UK spa brand ila are offered. Indian Ayurveda treatments will be added soon.
Ila means “earth” in Sanskrit. Natural plant and mineral ingredients ensure well-being, healing and relaxation.
The relaxation massage is excellent and highly recommended. The charming and experienced therapists genuinely understand their craft.
After the massage, you can relax in the large whirlpool.
Yoga, tennis, cycling, fitness center activities, kayaking, paddle boat hire, Hobie cat sailing and snorkeling are included. Kite surfing, deep sea fishing, dolphin safaris, dhow cruises and scuba diving are available at an additional cost.
One can always join a yoga class at the new yoga pavilion amidst the natural surroundings at the spa in the afternoon. It is conducted by the Spa Manager himself and is a marvelous balancing experience.
Children from 4 years old can visit the resort. The Smiling Monkey Kids Club has a daily changing, exciting program just for them.
The cooking class is really cool. With Abduly and a lot of fun and simple ingredients we learned how to cook a delicious fish curry with spinach and ugali (similar to polenta). Delicious!
Recipes: Zanzibar Fish Curry | Chicken Curry with Chappati | Spinach
Of course, the ultimate highlight is a boat tour with the chance to see some dolphins and even swim with them. Most boats in Zanzibar, go out to sea very early, but you still have the opportunity to find dolphins later in the day. And then there are fewer boats around.
Thanks to our excellent guides, we were lucky! When you find dolphins, you wait for the right moment and jump into the water! The dolphins are skilled swimmers, but for a few moments you can swim with them, observe them under water and sometimes even hear them.
For snorkeling, you should take a trip to Pungume Island. The reef there is still pristine, and there are tons of beautiful, colorful fish. Add lunch on the beach, and you have a winning combination, a perfect day on the beach and in the sea.
A Spice Tour, to the spice plantations, is a must. You also get to know the country and its people a bit better.
We visited the ZITO Spice Farm. So interesting!
In addition to nutmeg, pepper and the lipstick fruit, there is much to discover. You should also use the opportunity to buy some spices and take them home. You will not get them any fresher than here!
Mr. Butterfly (watch video) is already a bit of a celebrity. With ease, he climbs the highest palm trees and even sings while doing so. And he sings very well indeed!
With a lot of passion, unique things are made from palm leaves for the visitors. Impressive!
At Jozani Forest, the chance to see monkeys is about 50%. At The Residence, it is nearly 100%. We really saw monkeys every day. The Jozani Forest and the mangroves are still worth a visit.
Honeymoon & Wedding
The Residence is the ideal spot if you are looking for some romance. The possibilities for romantic dinners on the beach are endless.
Honeymooners get 25% discount and an exotic fruit bowl, beach bag, a local pareo “Kitenge”, and a romantic dinner during their stay. A minimum stay of four nights applies, and the special is valid up to 9 months after the wedding.
We felt very much at home at The Residence Zanzibar! The variety of animals makes it utterly unique – almost as if you were in the wilderness! Going for a leisurely ride on the bikes through the resort, taking a refreshing dip in your own pool or enjoying the sunset at the enormous infinity pool – extremely relaxing and very romantic! With great attention to detail, no effort is spared to ensure that guests have a memorable stay. The location, directly on the beach and the proximity to the dolphins, is perfect. And the endearing employees are the icing on the cake, they make your holiday unforgettable. Highly recommended!
Room: 66 pool villas with sea or garden views (one or two bedrooms)
Flight duration: about 11 hours nonstop from Germany to Zanzibar with Condor, about 15 hours with Emirates via Dubai
Transfer: 58 km from the airport, about an hour and fifteen-minute drive, we can highly recommend Bamanga style as a driver and guide
Vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Yellow fever (we were not checked, but without it, entry is not possible)
Air Temperature:22 – 32 degrees Celsius
Water Temperature: 24 – 27 degrees Celsius
Time difference: CET +2 hours
Best travel time: December and January are hot and dry; July to September is mostly dry with pleasant temperatures; March to May is rain season; Short rain showers are possible at other times.
Price: from 575 EUR / night including half board in the Luxury Garden Villa
Special offers: 25% discount from 4 nights (bookable 15 days in advance) including half board
Activities: Dolphin Cruise, Cooking Class, Spice Tour, Yoga, Water Sports and much more
Highlights: Superb pool villas with loads of privacy, chance to meet monkeys, dolphins and beautiful snorkeling areas are close by, dedicated staff, delicious food, beautiful infinity pool
Perfect for: Romantics, Nature lovers, Animal lovers, Couples, Honeymooners, Families
The Residence Zanzibar
PO Box 2404 Zanzibar, Tanzania
P 255 245 555 000
Top 25 Hotels, Africa – TripAdvisor Traveller Choice 2019
Top 25 Luxury Hotels, Africa – TripAdvisor Traveller Choice 2019
Top 25 Hotels for Service, Africa – TripAdvisor Traveller Choice 2019
Top 10 Hotels, Tansania – TripAdvisor Traveller Choice 2019
Top 10 Luxury Hotels, Tansania – TripAdvisor Traveller Choice 2019
Top 10 Hotels for Service, Tansania – TripAdvisor Traveller Choice 2019
Zanzibar’s Leading Resort – World Travel Awards 2016
Top 10 Hotels for Romance, Tanzania – TripAdvisor Traveller Choice 2014
Last year, we also visited the beautiful The Residence Mauritius!
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Note: Our stay was sponsored by The Residence Zanzibar. Thank you so much! Nevertheless, the opinions expressed in this article are as always, 100% our own!