Park Hyatt Zanzibar’s beachside location and proximity to historic Stone Town make it the ideal place to stay on the East African island.
When it comes to coastal destinations, Zanzibar ticks all the boxes. There are sparkling aquamarine waters, white-sand beaches and, of course, luxurious retreats. But the Tanzanian island is famous for one more thing: Stone Town, a World Heritage-listed neighbourhood with winding maze-like alleys, crumbling mansions, bustling bazaars and historic ruins at every turn.
If you want to conveniently explore both these facets of Zanzibar, base yourself at the Park Hyatt hotel, located on the island’s west coast and literally a stone’s throw from some of Stone Town’s most famous sites.
Most of the 67 guestrooms offer uninterrupted Indian Ocean views and many feature private balconies – the perfect spot from which to view the passing dhows (traditional sailboats) against the backdrop of a setting saffron sun. Make the most of the four-poster bed swathed in white linen and the sprawling bathroom with a marble benchtop, freestanding bath and rain shower. Other in-room facilities include complimentary wi-fi, an iPod docking station and coffee machine.
A mere 20 minutes’ drive from Zanzibar International Airport, the hotel enjoys an absolute beachfront setting within the bounds of Stone Town. Go for a walk and explore some the historic quarter’s top sites, from the Old Fort (which dates back to the 17th century) to the poignant Christ Church Cathedral, an Anglican building on the site of what was Zanzibar’s biggest slave market.
The hotel is housed in two interconnecting buildings – a 17th-century mansion, Mambo Msiige, which leads to the new purpose-built wing, the Zamani Residence. Soak up the old-world grandeur with a cocktail in the Library, a decadently furnished room in the old section. Then make your way to the new building’s Dining Room, with high ceilings, vast windows and a stellar seafood-focused menu. The spicy fish tagine is a stand-out.
The hotel’s beach-facing swimming pool is a fantastic spot to get some sun and observe everyday Zanzibar life. Locals frequent the beach all day, particularly at sunset, when hordes of agile youngsters work out on the sandy strip, transforming it into an open-air gym. Think of it as Zanzibar’s own Venice Beach. But where you really want to plonk yourself is The Spa. Opt for the Zanzibar Spice Journey – 2.5 hours of relentless pampering, including a massage, a scrub, a foot rub and a facial.
There’s a dedicated concierge desk in the lobby. But feel free to ask for the hotel’s Australian-born general manager, Garry Friend, who has a soft spot for guests from Down Under. He loves sharing his Zanzibar favourites and often takes guests on a walk in Stone Town, depositing them at live-performance venues only locals know about.
There’s a leafy courtyard in the centre of the hotel’s old section. Grab a table next to the fountain, order a cocktail and take in the elegance of the centuries-old building.
Location: Shangani Street, Stone Town; Zanzibar, +255 24 550 1234
Style: Historic and grand
Perfect for: Leisure travellers
Number of rooms: 67 rooms and suites
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