I've been to Zanzibar before, but went to the south, so I was really not sure what to expect, despite perusing its site for several days.
The rustic look of Mnarani Beach Cottages resort is awesome, as is the panoramic view of the sea you're welcomed with.
A walk to Nungwi, which is just around the corner, is well worth the effort, as here is the beach you're looking for.
Make your way along the beach to several of the less-isolated hotels for meals or cocktails.
The hotel itself is beautiful and well thought-out: the boardwalk juts out over the beach in all the right places, and there are three access points to the beach.
The honeymoon suite -
though not as isolated as you may wish - has its own honeymoon bed overlooking
the sea. It's the perfect relaxation spot. There are hammocks and swings all
over the chill areas, and the bar is also perfectly situated.
The service is brilliant, and the excursion offerings are also good.
We went with the hotel to Mnemba Island for a snorkelling trip and lunch, and though I suffered from seasickness the entire way, it was great fun.
The hotel also offers
kayak and snorkelling gear hire, so you'll never find yourself without anything
to do if you're tired of lazing around.
The room service is also excellent, with a turn-down and clean every day. There are laundry services on offer as well, though we didn't take that option.
The rooms themselves are also perfect: they are decorated with traditional Zanzibari furniture, and have four-poster beds that are ideal for those necessary mosquito nets.
Mnarani Beach Cottages is a small, intimate and reasonably priced lodge on the quieter flank of the Nungwi Peninsula.
The bungalows are nestled privately in a cove near the lighthouse on the tip of Nungwi.
Mnarani is Swahili for the word "lighthouse" and was named due to its location next to the lighthouse found on the northern tip of Zanzibar Island.
Divers will appreciate its reasonable proximity to the Mnemba Atoll (just less than two hours away) and for part-time partygoers the lively bars and restaurants of Nungwi are just a 20 minute walk away
Mnarani Beach Cottages has 17 comfortable rooms , situated along sandy paths in the greenery.
They're all en-suite with hot water and mosquito nets. The 12 standard makuti-thatched cottages are small, arranged in pairs and face the sea.
They are furnished in simple Zanzibar style and are decorated with fresh blue, pink and white shades. The four new apartments are more spacious and are recommended for couples or families, since the children can sleep downstairs in the lounge and the adults upstairs (in an open-air bedroom).
A romantic wooden honeymoon cottage called Mahaba House situated at the edge of the property for privacy and has its own garden and access to the beach.
Mahaba is an open-plan, double-storey cottage with a kitchenette and sitting room on the ground floor, which leads out onto a large balcon.
Mnarani Beach Cottages has a fantastic restaurant where you can sample local cuisine.
You'll be offered lots of freshly caught seafood, literally bought straight from the fishermen as they return with their morning catch for preparation that evening
Overall, we had a great time at Mnarani. It's nice and isolated from the major tourist locations along Nungwi, allowing a perfect romantic destination, but is still close enough to the village and these resorts if you'd like to adventure. There is also a turtle sanctuary around the corner which is a must-visit location.
In summary, would we go back ................ absolutely .... did we have a great time ....... absolutely ............... was it money well spent ................. hell yeah