A luxury hotel that marries beach beauty with city heritage
Beach | City | Diving | History & culture | Honeymoon | Relaxation
Found right on the seafront of Stone Town, this is the ideal mix of historic intrigue and pristine white sands. Indeed, you’ll be treated to an exotic mix of sultan’s palaces, Portuguese forts and colourful bazaars along with the chance to gaze out on ancient dhow boat harbours. But, for the ultimate in relaxation, head to the Serena's private beach club. Here, you can combine seafood barbecues and sun worship with a whole range of water sports in the turquoise ocean. It's the perfect, relaxing end to a safari experience.
Taking its notes from Stone Town’s eclectic mix of worldly influence, the Zanzibar’s delightful rooms combine Arabic opulence with Swahili style. All high ceilings and cool white walls, it’s a true oasis retreat, with everything from antique plates to brass lamps and basket-weave furnishings providing added intrigue. The four-poster beds take centre stage, dressed in flowing nets – many of them look out to balconies furnished with oversized hammocks. Those with a sea view are particularly impressive.
Despite its bijou size, the Serena offers an excellent array of dining options. Its signature offering, the Baharia Restaurant is the most impressive, with Indian Ocean waves lapping at its open windows as sailed dhows drift past. Fretwork screens, Persian rugs and Omani carvings round off the aesthetic – the perfect backdrop for the chef’s Swahili feasts. Expect fragrant spices and fresher-than-fresh vegetables. The Terrace Restaurant is equally enticing. Positioned on the hotel’s open-air rooftop, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy some just-caught seafood. But, for that true Zanzibar experience, look into the beach barbecue.
For some more casual dining, head to the outdoor pool to enjoy a range of drinks and snacks, while the Mdele Coffee Shop offers the perfect start to the day between Swahili coffee and freshly baked pastries. Keeping it traditional, there’s also nightly live music in the bar from a Taarab orchestra. And, if you’re tired of relaxing on the beach – or returning from a spice tour, scuba dive or whale-watching cruise – there’s also a collection of treatment rooms to soothe any sightseeing aches.
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