The Ultimate Zanzibar Travel Guide Series: Where To Stay & Eat
To end this series, I’ll be sharing my favorite places to stay and eat in Zanzibar. You can catch up on the other posts here. All the restaurants listed here, I visited and had at least two meals. For the hotels, I only stayed in one but for the others, I will share reviews I’ve gotten from people. All locations mentioned are either in Jambiani or Stone Town, so make sure to choose Jambiani as your destination *wink*.
WHERE TO STAY
NUR BEACH RESORT
Located in Jambiani, Nur Beach Resort was where I stayed while I was in Zanzibar. The first thing I loved about this hotel was how they held our rooms for us because we could only pay when we arrived. I had previously read a few reviews about the hotel always over-booking, so I was a little worried. But we got there and everything was perfect. The interior decoration was really interesting, especially for a small village where books aren’t so much of a thing. There were boat shaped book shelves hanging on the wall with lots of interesting books decorating them. This was the restaurant area and that led to a swimming pool area that kinda looks like an infinity pool.
The rooms spread out on both sides of the pool, made up of 10 small huts, 5 on each side, with private entrances. Each room is basically a bachelor space with its own bathroom and toilet behind the bed, this gets funny when you’re sharing with someone who you’re not so comfortable with. All beds are covered with mosquito nets as mosquitoes are a big thing in Zanzibar. The best part about the room was how they made decorations with sheets and flowers every morning after they cleaned, it was terribly sweet.
The booking came with breakfast so we had a meal there every morning. From bread rolls to home made jam, bacon, eggs and delicious juice, it was a feast every morning. You should totally try their passion fruit and mango juice, it is everything. The restaurant is open all day till 8pm or so, you can order your lunch and dinner there if you have no plans of going out. They have a wide range of delicious meals to choose from. The best meal I had here was a pasta meal the chef made for me out of the mussels I caught. He actually broke them and cooked for me and only charged for the pasta, and it was delicious.
I’d totally recommend this place if you’re visiting Zanzibar. The location in Jambiani is perfect and you’re right by the beach. The staff are completely amazing and the service is everything, the rooms are neat and spacious and the aesthetics is just perfect.
CASA DEL MAR HOTEL
This hotel is right beside Nur Beach Resort in Jambiani, and I’ve heard they work together. A lot of travelers have ‘complained’ about having to be moved to Casa Del Mar because Nur (pronounced Nu-ur) was overbooked. I put complained in quotes because Casa Del Mar is way better than Nur, known to be fancier and more expensive. So, imagine paying for Nur and getting Casa Del Mar at Nur’s price. I actually was praying they’d be overbooked, haha.
Don’t know much about the place, never visited but I’ve heard from lots of people that it’s an amazing place to stay, except a little more pricey. I’m sharing pictures I got from the internet, I didn’t take these myself, but it sure looks amazing.
CORAL ROCK HOTEL
Coral Rock hotel is a beautiful hotel located in Jambiani. I actually never had the opportunity to go into the hotel itself to see what it looks like but I visited the outdoor area and restaurant, and believe me, this is THE place to stay. Their aesthetics is top notch and the position on a coral rock right above the ocean is amazing. The outdoor setting is quite lovely and romantic and big enough for walks and swimming in their huge ass, beautiful swimming pool. Can’t say much but let the pictures do the talking.
WHERE TO EAT
CORAL ROCK RESTAURANT
This lovely restaurant (yes, it’s the restaurant in the hotel mentioned above), is located in Jambiani village. It was an amazing find as the couple we were best friends-couples with on the trip, found the restaurant on one of their walks and told us we had to visit. Fortunately, on the first day we visited there was a buffet going on and it was AH-mazing. I had so much to eat, my tummy started to hurt, it was that good! I think it was $30 for an all-you can eat buffet, and trust me, it was worth it. There was sea food, pasta, rice, veggies, YOU NAME IT! It was certainly a blast.
The next few times we visited – yeah we went there quite often in just one week lol – we got to try their drinks and shots, especially on my birthday. And yes, they were nice enough to give us free shot because it was my birthday. The owner even gifted me a T-shirt for my birthday but that’s story for another blog post. You should look out for the ‘A Hilarious Experience & Other Stories’ post coming up soon, it’ll be highlighting all my best, funniest and most amazing experiences, including the story of the T-shirt, and pictures too (it’s a really funny one), so you should totally subscribe so you’re kept in the loop.
This restaurant is the local restaurant for both tourists and locals. If you’re looking to eat proper Zanzibari food, then you should definitely visit. EVERYONE will tell you you have to visit, yes, it’s that popular. I don’t even remember the names of all the food I had. There’s LOTS of food to choose from and you get to eat in a proper Zanzibari setting with people sitting at tables, eating with their hands, that was interesting to watch. It is located in the heart of Stone Town and anyone will be able to give you directions if you just ask. Yes, be a tourist and ask.
The food is certainly delicious and you absolutely have to try it. Your trip is not complete if you haven’t had a meal from Lukmaan’s restaurant. As soon as you walk in, there are attendants who’ll take your order as you point to the different food through the glass. One thing that wasn’t so much fun was not knowing how much each food cost, so you’re just pointing and not sure what it’ll all cost in the end. I’d suggest you ask your attendant to tell you what the prices are before you finalize your order.
FORODHANI NIGHT MARKET
Forodhani Gardens Night Market is the local night fish market located in the Forodhani Gardens, by the ocean, also in the heart of Stone Town. Just ask your driver to take you to Forodhani Gardens, but bare in mind that it is a night market that only opens at exactly 6pm. You can find all sorts of sea food here. I mean I had crabs, mussels, calamari, prawns, snails, octopus, and more. They also sell other kinds of meat like chicken and duck, which are absolutely delicious too.
There are lots of different people selling, so you just have to make your choice. I usually go for the one who has the most sea food options. Few of them have crabs, so I always stuck with the one who has crabs, because if he has crabs, then he has everything else. Don’t forget to negotiate and also don’t forget to order a drink to go with your delicious meal. There’s sugar cane juice, passion fruit juice and more, and what’s amazing is that you can have them mixed for you. Altogether, it’s an amazing experience, gives the same vibe as buying suya at night in Nigeria. Oh, don’t forget to request for their super hot chilli sauce, it definitely makes the meal more delicious, if you’re into chilli, that is.
There is one other restaurant I visited on the day we went riding in the rain, but I can’t seem to remember its name. It’s on the east side of Nur Beach Resort, more than 10kms away. It might be difficult to locate but it’s a hotel and restaurant and you’ll see its top level while on the beach. It has a small bamboo fence and has a very local but luxurious vibe to it. I had my first carpaccio meal there and it was beyond amazing, I really do hope you find it. If miraculously you do on your trip, would you be so kind and let me know?
I’m glad this series is finally over and I’ve been able to download all I learnt – well not all – in Zanzibar, and share my experience and tips with you guys. I honestly, really hope this series has been helpful to you. If this series has helped you, please be so kind and let me know in the comments section. Are you making a Zanzibar trip soon? If yes, leave a comment and tell me all about it. I’m also very happy to hear suggestions from you guys on what you’d like to read on here.
The Guest Feature Series starts on Monday and I’ll be sharing other people’s views and stories on here, with no filters. At least you guys can catch a break from my steady rants (haha). After the guest feature series is done, I’ll be sharing a very personal post about my Zanzibar trip, I think it’ll be the most fun thing I’d have written in a while, and I bet you guys will love it too. If you want to receive an email once that post is up, I’d suggest you subscribe to the blog asap.
I also recently went on a really crazy adventure in one of the other towns in the Western Cape province called Mossel Bay. It’s a 4 and a half hour drive from Cape Town. A 6 hours if you’re a chicken like me who’s major scared and can’t see properly, but left her glasses in Zanzibar. It is such a beautiful town. I also explored Wilderness, a small town on the Garden Route (which comprises Mossel Bay, Wilderness and other small towns). I can’t wait to share that experience with you guys, there were lots of major scary moments when I thought I’d have a seizure from the amount of fear I was feeling – haha. It was an amazing experience all together and I can’t wait to share it with you guys.
Don’t forget to subscribe below guys and leave your comments, let me know what you think. Till next time, xoxo.
A software developer with an intense love for travel and fashion. Sharing all my travel adventures and style ideas with you, one post at a time. Glad you're here. Enjoy!