Sunset Bungalows in Kendwa
(31 rooms) PO Box 3546, Kendwa, Zanzibar
Ø 0777 414647/413 818
A faded upturned surfboard stuck into the beach marks Sunset Bungalows' location. The board is in fact the sign for a sizeable beachside structure known as the Bikini Bar, where the staff's T-shirts proclaim 'No bikini; No party'. Here, underneath the huge mukuti roof, circus-style swathes of blue and white fabric are draped. Outside, on wooden decking, large, white, Embassy-branded umbrellas shade diners indulging in US$6 lunches, featuring everything from fresh fish to egg and chips. On the adjacent stretch of beach, a bonfire pit is surrounded by wooden benches making it a popular after-dinner drinks spot, while the permanent volleyball net keeps the energetic entertained.
Set back from the sea, on the beach behind the restaurant and bar, 2 widely separated rows of bungalows have been built perpendicular to the sea. These are extremely pleasant with solid furniture, bold-coloured fabrics (turquoise bed linen with white and cerise mosquito nets), white en-suite bathrooms, mains electricity, an electronic safe and AC. A shady terrace in front of each looks out onto white sand and feathery casuarinas. Higher up, on the coral cliff above the beach, 31 standard rooms are dotted around a pretty garden, overflowing with colourful hibiscus and bougainvillea. Suitable for dbl or tpl occupancy, these rooms are large with a bold Yin Yang symbol engraved in the concrete floor. Comfortable beds, white en-suite bathrooms, proper wardrobes, maroon-cushioned chairs, a coffee table and even a kitchen sink come as standard in these rooms. Open since 1999, Sunset remains a reliably good choice on this stretch of beach. Standard roomUS$40 dbl or tpl; beach bungalow US$60/65 dbl/tpl. Prices go up US$5 in high season.