Honeymoons are notoriously daunting to organise. A lot of pressure on one holiday which really, has to be a holiday of a lifetime and kick start married life in the most romantic way possible.
Essentially, you don’t want your ‘honeymoon period’ to be destroyed by shoddy accommodation, mediocre food and a trip which would have been better spent at a nice Airbnb in Cornwall. This is where we come in, and where Zanzibar does too. A combination of one of the most idyllic Indian Ocean spots, and the knowledge of a team with over 20 years experience on Zanzibar means you will never be let down by overcooked chicken and greasy sinks (I know).
Although internet research is a hugely helpful resource for honeymooners seeking their perfect getaway, the atmosphere of a place can never be appropriately represented by a few photos and some reviews saying ‘great spot!’ or ‘delicious food’ or ‘my light broke!!’. On our visits we know what we are looking for, going in with an eye for romance and with 20 years experience & knowledge of what makes honeymooner’s tick.
So from a recent visit, one of our team has made a run down of our absolute favourite spots, so here goes… The best of lower, middle, high and even higher budgets…! Also, some tips to get you out and about in the best ways possible on your Zanzibar honeymoon.
The best rustic & quirky budget honeymoon hotel on Zanzibar
Pongwe Beach Hotel. With it’s classically Zanzibar style, comfortable and colourful rooms, excellent pool and with one of the best beaches on the island, Pongwe is a marvellous option for those who want a funky yet affordable option. For an added luxury (for around $40 extra per person per night) treat yourself to a sea view suite upgrade which includes your own private pool – an added luxury fit for a honeymoon. There is a reason Pongwe is difficult to get space at!
The best bigger yet luxurious budget honeymoon hotel on Zanzibar
Zuri Zanzibar is the new exciting addition to the Zanzibar hotel scene. With 54 rooms, it is a bigger hotel which may put some intimacy seeker honeymooner’s off. However, there is a reason we love Zuri so much. There is nowhere else on the island which offers such luxury for such an affortable price. The room types are all pretty similar, apart from the Ocean View Room with a jacuzzi… For obvious reasons, alike with Pongwe, it could be a good idea to upgrade to this option for a honeymoon. Aside from the value for money, Zuri actually is on the most beautiful beach on the whole island. It is set in a true Indian Ocean paradise, so if an unbelievable beach is at the top of your priorities, Zuri is your place.
The best mid-range honeymoon hotel on Zanzibar
Zawadi is one of the more glossy mid-range options on Zanzibar. The rooms are pristine & the glass doors romantically frame some unbelievable views. Each room is fitted with it’s own little plunge pool – a nice added luxury. The menu is delicious, and Zawadi really does go the extra mile to ensure your honeymoon is extra special with spontaneous sundowner cocktails & it’s 7 nights for 5 offer making it great value for money. The evening dinner is also an experience with Zanzibari dancers, making each meal unique. Tip: the massages here are unbelievable.
The best high-end honeymoon hotel on Zanzibar
Xanadu Villas are all absolutely exceptional. The chef is ex-michelin star so you know every meal will be a culinary experience. There are 6 villas of varying luxury, but all with your own private pool and ample room to move around. It is quirky, very tastefully designed & acts as the ultimate unique & romantic Zanzibar getaway.That is if it is available – the Umande Villa is the most affordable by far and as such is always booked out. However, Mbingu is the presidential villa, and with a price tag to match, it is often free up… If you are after a Zanzibar hotel experience of a lifetime, then Xanadu is your one.
The best (higher) high-end honeymoon hotel on Zanzibar
Mnemba Island. Wow. What can we say – it is pure barefoot, Indian Ocean luxury. Mnemba Lodge sits on it’s own private island, so a stay here really does offer an unparalleled beach experience. At 1,700 per person per night, so it should be though! If you have deep pockets and really want to go all out on your special holiday, then we would send you nowhere else.
And the best of, well, something completely different…
Fundu Lagoon. Set on Pemba Island, Fundu Lagoon is for those who enjoy underwater adventures, being off the beaten track, and generally a rustic luxury which many return to year after year. Fundu is a really quirky honeymoon option for the diving-mad who also want their little slice of secluded luxury. The only downside here is that Pemba does not boast the same idyllic white beaches as Zanzibar at all… For some though, this is not so much on the agenda, so if you are one of these couples them Fundu is an exceptional option which we absolutely love. For the real beach enthusiasts, some time on Zanzibar and Pemba could provide a really very special honeymoon.
Fanjove Private Island. If you are looking for the romance of a private island without breaking the bank, then Fanjove offers just this. A really special place, with immaculate beaches & excellent service, Fanjove epitomises beach-shack-chic. For the adventitious,the lovers of nature and the romantic wilderness seekers who don’t like air-conned luxury, Fanjove is the ideal honeymoon retreat.
The best hints and tips to make your Zanzibar honeymoon special
Aside from the well known Zanzibar excursions like diving, snorkelling, sunset cruises (the list goes on), we know you want to make your honeymoon as special as possible – here are a few hidden experiences which not many people know about…
The Island at Pongwe. Not somewhere conventional to stay at all… As the island literally sits on a tiny rock formation set slightly off the coast and as such could be lacking the privacy (ironically) that a honeymoon deserves if you were to stay here. However, The Island at Pongwe offers delicious food at their restaurant – perfect for a lunch time excursion with a twist. Book in advance though!
Emersons on Hurumzi rooftop restaurant. If you are staying in Stone Town then head over to the rustic & charmingly Zanzibari Emersons on Hurumzi rooftop restaurant for some delicious food & a truly authentic, romantic atmosphere. You have to book for dinner… Beware this is a Zanzibar experience not for the precious, as you sit around tiny tables on floor cushions in true Stone Town fashion, which really is all part of the experience.
Well, we hope this helps whittle down some options for your Zanzibar honeymoon. Of course, there are other fantastic options, but here at Tanzania Odyssey we know there are a lot of bad hotels on Zanzibar too… The ones we recommend we wholly trust, rate & have personally visited to ensure your experience there will be as exceptional as it deserves to be.