“I will go anywhere, provided it is forward.” David Livingstone
The majestic Park Hyatt Zanzibar occupies a prime location on the beachfront in Stone Town. The hotel is steeped in history, culture and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Behind the understated front entrance lies a stunning luxury hotel that offers guests an ideal base from which to explore the narrow alleyways of Stone Town on foot.
The hotel is spread across two areas, the Mambo Msiige wing, a traditional Omani mansion dating back to the 1800’s and the newer Zamani Residence. Both areas are connected via an open courtyard filled with botanicals, including a 200-year-old mango tree, by day it’s an art gallery with easels displaying local paintings. The white washed exterior is offset by a tasteful interior filled with influences from Swahili culture alongside Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements.
The public areas are adorned with Omani arches, ornate wooden carvings, traditional Zanzibari doors alongside colourful persion rugs. Mambo Msiige has gone through many guises, such as an official government building and a WWII hospital, before it was transformed into a luxury hotel. The lobby has a small fountain, walls decorated with local art and hanging metal lanterns light the space.
A sweeping waterfront veranda spans the back of both areas of the property connecting the whole hotel. It’s a stunning spot for sundowners and home of the ocean front infinity pool and the restaurant terrace as well as several shaded nooks. The hotel lobby, library and Anantara spa are located in the Mamdo Msiige wing while the Dining Room restaurant, Living Room bar, two retail outlets and the majority of the rooms are situated in the Zamani Residence.
Behind the simple all-white front facade, peppered with oversized potted palms, are sixty seven elegant and comfortable rooms, including eleven suites, are spread across the two buildings. We stayed in a stylish and spacious ocean facing deluxe king room in the Zamani Residence with a four poster bed, seating area and private balcony overlooking the Indian ocean. The room was elegant and well equipped, with traditional lamps and vintage photographs framing the large draped bed that was extremely comfortable, in fact so comfy it was hard to get up for early morning excursions. The large bathroom had two sinks, walk-in rain shower, separate toilet and a free standing bath, wooden doors could be slide back to provide a bath with a view. Amenities were from local brand, Inaya Zanzibar.
Dining wise, breakfast lunch and dinner is served in the main restaurant, the Dining Room which offers a menu of local and international dishes. We dined there daily for breakfast which offered a good range of options including an egg station, fresh coconuts and a daily green juice made to order alongside its regular breakfast buffet. The service was attentive and friendly. We had lunch there too with plenty of fresh options and vegetarian choices, the menu was varied and affordable. The poolside drinks service was also efficient.
The Living Room bar is an elegant space that serves a range of wines, beers, premium beverages and cocktails, they did however run out of diet coke and amaretto during our visit. The outdoor veranda seating fills up quickly around sunset so my top tip would be grab a place early and settle in to watch with a cocktail.
Additional dining is offered at the nearby Beach House restaurant, a standalone venue that’s just a short stroll from the hotel’s entrance. The conceptual restaurant combines traditional decor and regional dishes with modern influences and excellent service. The menu features local, fresh and seasonal ingredients with a choice of Zanzibari favourites as well as multicultural cuisine, fresh seafood and with Italian head chef Popi at the helm, delicious pizzas. The restaurants pièce de résistance is not only its fabulous beachfront location but it’s extensive collection of gins and its creative juniper based mixology menu.
We had a very enjoyable dinner here and sampled some of the cocktails which combine different varieties of gin with local herbs and spices such as cloves, cinnamon and saffron. If you are staying in Stone Town this is a must-visit, try their newly launched menu and gin fans should experience their Gin Journey. I recommend the Beach House Salad, Pemba Island Bouillabaisse (as eaten by the other half) and the chocolate fondant served in a cup.
The hotel doesn’t have a private beach but the lively local beach is just below the hotel. Colourful dhows bob about in the water here along with fishing boats and further at sea, cargo ships, it’s the departure point for the trip by wooden dhow to nearby Prison Island and the sandbar. If you venture out to the beach that stretches to the nearby harbour expect to be approached, like in Stone Town itself, by the local vendors selling their trinkets, spices and trips.
The Park Hyatt Zanzibar is a charming place to stay for a few days in Stone Town. This luxury hotel seamlessly blends its history with contemporary features to fulfil the needs of the modern day traveller. With top notch service, comfortable rooms, various dining options, a stunning beachfront backdrop and prime location in the heart of Stone Town, what’s not to love.
The Nitty Gritty
Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Shangani Street, Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Telephone: +255 24 550 1234
Check-out: 12 noon
Central location in Stone Town
Great dining options
The Not so Good…..
Noisy locals on beach outside very morning
Read more about Zanzibar in previous post In Pictures | A Postcard From Zanzibar
We travelled to Zanzibar from Abu Dhabi via Muscat with Oman Air.
We paid for our stay but received a complimentary upgrade and dinner at the Beach House. The views in this post are all my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2019. All rights reserved. Two additional photos used with courtesy of Park Hyatt Zanzibar