Mtoni Marine Hotel in Zanzibar

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No doubt there are more polished places to stay but for us, Mtoni Marine was exactly what we wanted after a week camping safari. We wanted somewhere quiet to relax but didn't want to get stuck on a resort which was too far away from Stone Town to visit regularly for restaurants, tours etc.

Mtoni is a $6 taxi ride into Stone Town.

The rooms are large and modern with a large bed and mosquito nets.

We were there in low season so the main restaurant was closed but the sports bar served food which was decent.

The staff were friendly and watching the locals watch the FA cup was fabulous and very lively!

Breakfast was adequate although a bit boring as it was the same thing everyday.

We didn't book half board because we wanted to go into Stone Town for meals.

The highlight was the infinity pool which was beautiful and made up for a less than fantastic beach. There is also a spa which has fantastic but expensive massages.

There are always a good mix of 'locals'- expats from Dar and inland TZ and overseas visitors.

It's very family friendly so there are lots of kids around on the weekends.

If you want a long white sandy beach, this isn't for you although it's on the beach (and a small lagoon) so you get the atmosphere but not really recommended for swimming, snorkeling etc.

The buffet breakfast is very good. The sports bar has decent food too (I highly recommend the Tiger Woods pizza) and is a great choice for 'sun-downers'.

There is a more upscale restaurant known for its seafood dishes where you can dine on the beach- very romantic.

There is a wonderful spa that uses all natural ingredients from the island and the therapies are excellent.

The owner of the spa has a small tour company that does different kinds of excursions on the island and in Stone Town, well worth considering.

They have a nice shop with a tailor on site should you want something made for you.

There are two computers with free internet near reception.

Any excursions you desire can be arranged from reception.

The Mtoni Palace Ruins are right next door and the hotel has been instrumental in helping to restore them. Definitely give that a visit.

The rooms are spacious, have a/c, adequate storage, a safe,bottled water daily, a writing desk, good nets and a small balcony. The bathrooms are also good sized. The gardens are lush. They have several family apartments.

I've stayed here many times and will continue to come back.

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