Hoorah, here we are at what must be the best hotel in Tanzania, the Residence Zanzibar. I spotted this little gem months ago when I was investigating options for our upcoming trip to the Spice Island. At the time, the cost for five nights was over £2,500 and although I was prepared for a little indulgence on this trip, £500 plus a night is too painful for me! I have a pension to fund for god’s sake!
I eventually booked the hotel for £1632.91 for six nights on a half board basis. This certainly isn’t bargain bucket, so with that in mind, here are a few tips to help you save money on a stay at the Residence Zanzibar in exotic Tanzania.
Get a discount on your hotel room
This price included a 10% discount using a hotels.com voucher. Register for hotels.com for free using this link, book a stay and you will also start to earn discount vouchers.
Do not book the hotel transfer. We were quoted US $124 by the Residence for a one way transfer to the airport. Instead, we booked an airport transfer online with Suntransfer for the following price:
- Airport to Doubletree Hilton Stone town – €14.40
- Residence Zanzibar to the airport – €40.97
Taxis are cheaper still if you arrange them in person. In Stonetown, it seems every other person owns a taxi, so you are in a great position to negotiate. Online, Stonetown to Kimikaze costs around $60, but in person we got the same journey for just $40.
Food and drink
We opted for an half board package at the Residence, knowing that it was in a isolated position. We rarely eat lunch on vacation, and with three courses each evening, we are hardly going to starve.
Plentiful drinking water is provided in your room, so your only extras will be alcoholic beverages and any other snacks. Water is chargeable in the restaurant, so take the bottles from your room to keep costs down. A bottle of sparkling water costs $10, and large Kilimanjaro beers are $7 a pop.
I highly recommend drinking the wine however, which costs Just $7 for a large glass of the fantastic Spier wine. I loved this wine so much, I ordered a full case of it from South Africa when we returned!
Avoid booking trips through your hotel as you will pay a significant premium. In our hotel, a dolphin trip was $80.
Instead, have a chat with one of the guys walking up and down the beach, and you can book the same trip for $50 a head. Or, take advantage of the on site facilities to play tennis, sail or kayak and save your pennies. I was so desperate for a break on this trip that I had no desire to leave!
Why must the Residence be the best hotel in Tanzania?
This resort is the best hotel I’ve EVER stayed in, so surely it must be the best in Tanzania. Read ‘Discover Heaven on Earth at the Residence Zanzibar’ to find out why. I’ve stayed in some pretty amazing places, but everything about this hotel surpasses them all.
Yes, it even beats my honeymoon and that was bloody amazing. I’m sure some of you will argue that other hotels are the best in Tanzania, and I’d love to hear about them too. I’m already planning my return trip, but unless someone can convince me otherwise, I will be heading back to the Residence Zanzibar.