Where to stay
The hotels below all lie alongside (or within a few hundred metres of) the main road between stone town and bububu/fuji beach. They are listed in the order you would pass them coming from the direction of stone town.
Maruhubi Beach Villas
(10 rooms) m 0747 451188; e firstname.lastname@example.org; www.maruhubibeachvillas.com/ www.zanzibarmaruhubi.com. Situated close to the eponymous ruins some 3km north of Stone Town, this attractively low-key new resort has a superb location on a sandy beach offering views back to the House of Wonders on the Zanzibar waterfront as well as to Mtoni Beach. Accommodation is in airy and spacious semi-detached bungalows with AC, fan, large netted dbl bed, self-catering facilities, and balconies facing a mangrove-lined inlet. There is also a large makuti restaurant offering a selection of seafood and other dishes. US$80/90 sgl, b&b, low/high season; US$110/130 dbl, b&b, low/high season.
Mtoni Marine Centre
(31 rooms) Ø 024 2250140; m 0747 486214; f 024 2250496; e email@example.com; www.mtoni.com. Situated in Mtoni, on the north side of Zanzibar Town, about 4km from the port, this marine activities centre is also a very good hotel, set in extensive gardens overlooking the bay and a large stretch of each. The management style is relaxed and efficient – a perfect combination. There's a range of en-suite rooms with AC, and the food is very highly rated, in particular the sushi, and many people come from Zanzibar Town to eat even if they're not staying. Snacks start at US$3–5, and you can enjoy an excellent meal for US$10–20. The twice-weekly beach buffet barbecues (US$12) are particularly popular. At the other end of the gardens, the Mcheza Bar is a more casual beachfront place, serving straightforward items such as pizza, sandwiches and burgers for around US$3.50. Mtoni is also well known for its popular sunset dhow cruises, which offer great views of Stone Town in the evening light (US$10 pp, inc snacks and soft drinks). All-day dhow cruises are also arranged, at US$40 including lunch, drinks and snorkel gear, with discounts for hotel guests. If you want to stay nearer your room, the hotel also has a swimming pool. The staff can also arrange tours, car hire, boat trips and so on. Mtoni Marine is also the official Visa International assistance agent for Zanzibar. A taxi from town to the hotel is US$4, and from the hotel to the airport US$10. US$60–95 sgl, b&b; US$80–120 dbl, b&b.
(5 rooms) m 0744 286369; e firstname.lastname@example.org. Also known as Kalinge's Garden Bungalows, this affiliate of the wellknown Belgian-run café in Arusha lies in shady green gardens about 7km from Stone Town along the Bububu Rd, within walking distance of Fuji Beach. It's a relaxed set-up, owned and managed by a friendly Belgian–Tanzanian couple, and it offers uncluttered accommodation in rustic four-bed ensuite bungalows suitable for budget travellers and families. Facilities include free airport pick-ups and transport to and from the Stone Town, as well as a home-cooked plat du jour for around US$3–5.
Rates: Bungalows US$15/30/40/45 sgl/dbl/tpl/qdr,
Imaani Beach Villa
(6 rooms) Ø 024 2250050; m 0741 333731; e email@example.com; www.imani.it. This small and delightful hotel sits right on the beach outside Bububu, about 9km from Stone Town. Thereare about 10 rooms, with huge beds and en-suite bathroom, all decorated in local style. Meals in the Arab-style restaurant, with low tables, cushions and carpets on the floor, are around US$20. A taxi to/from town is US$6.50, and the hotel also has bikes for hire which are free for guests. Rates: US$55 pp, b&b.
(4 rooms) Ø 024 250050; m 0741 333731; e firstname.lastname@example.org; www.houseofwonders.com. On the edge of the beach, this beautiful old house – once owned by the sultan and occupied by Princess Salme – is set in lush gardens surrounded by a high wall. It's a private and exclusive place, with just 4 airy bedrooms, wide verandas and shady balconies, and is a perfect place for hire by small groups (which means you get cheaper rates too). With the lovely old furniture and historical links it's amazing this place isn't a museum; staying is a unique and privileged experience. The only disadvantage is that, like the Imaani next door, the high wall doesn't stop the noise of music drifting over when there's a disco at Fuji Beach Bar, a short distance along the sand. Youcan buy food for the cook to prepare, or use the restaurant at the Imaani next door. This hotel can be booked through Imaani Beach Villa or directly via the House of Wonders. Rates: US$120–150 per room, inc the services of a cook and housekeeper.
Bububu Beach Guesthouse
(8 rooms) Ø 024 2250110; m 0747 422747; e email@example.com; www.bububuzanzibar. com. Set in Bububu village, this guesthouse is a simple place but clean, friendly and very relaxed, and the adequate en-suite rooms with nets and fan seem good value. Meals are available, and the guesthouse is very near Fuji Beach, which has a bar and restaurant. The
guesthouse can also arrange spice tours, rental cars and motorbikes. There's a free transfer service to/from town twice a day, or you can catch a daladala: those on Route B run regularly between Bububu village and Zanzibar Town. From the daladala stop on the main road in Bububu village, it's a short walk down a dirt track towards the beach to reach the hotel. Rates: US$15 pp.