Amaan Kendwa Beach Resort in Kendwa
(39 rooms) PO Box 4769, Kendwa, Zanzibar; Ø 0777 492552/417127; e firstname.lastname@example.org (AMAANK 5º45.23'S; 39º17.436'E).
Built on the site of the demolished Amaan Annex, this neat little resort has been fully operational since Aug 2005. The petite sibling of Amaan Bungalows in Nungwi, this place is run by the same management team, has the same whitewashed, castellated buildings and lies under the same fluttering, international flags, but it is an altogether quieter option. It's a reliable and consequently popular retreat, so it's worth booking in advance during peak season.
Its 39 rooms run from the coral-rock cliff beside the beach, through sloping, densely planted gardens to reception and the bumpy track behind the village. Of the 3 categories, the furthest from the beach are the 11 garden rooms. A little Spartan inside with an uninspiring décor, these are clean and have sparkling white bathrooms, fans and mosquito nets. There are 21 seaview rooms set in 2 rows, those closest to the water commanding a worthwhile premium. These rooms are freshly painted in a suitably aquatic blue, with higher ceilings, tall glass windows – the burglar bars carefully missed off the seaward window so as not to spoil the view – and luxuries like mirrors and luggage racks. Set on the edge of a low coral cliff, the cool verandas in front of these rooms overlook the local children's beach football pitch, and sea beyond.
The large beach restaurant and bar, the Titanic, serves food and drink all day, under a huge makuti shade with the sand still underfoot. Although Kendwa Beach is beautiful, the small section immediately north of Amaan is where the village fisherfolk pull ashore and 'park' their dugouts and nets, and can get a little messy. Email and internet facilities are available at reception (US$2/hr, min half-hr slots), along with currency exchange. Garden view US$35/60/90 sgl/dbl/tpl; premium seaview US$40/75/110 sgl/dbl/tpl; front-line seaview US$50/90/120 sgl/dbl/tpl. All rates are b&b. Book directly with the hotel reception and receive a 10% discount. Payment must be in US$; no credit cards; 10% surcharge on travellers' cheques.