There were (at least) five reasons that made Shooting Star Lodge in Zanzibar the best place for our amazing week-long honeymoon.
If you’re considering it, we hope this helps you to make your decision:
The views- A view of the ocean is always spectacular, but the Shooting Star was a serious cut above most resorts in the “view” category.
Since it’s perched on a cliff overlooking the water, you get an amazing panoramic perspective of the whole eastern side of Zanzibar.
We loved watching the sun rise, the moon rise,
the tides changing throughout the day, the incredible shades of blues and
greens of the ocean, and the local fishermen heading out at various points
during the day.
The food- We didn’t go into the week thinking we were octopus fans, but after choosing it on the menu almost every day for 7 days straight, we fell in love with the stuff!
The meals were absolutely fantastic—freshly prepared and plated for lunch and dinner, with lots of delicious salads, cooked veggies, and the most amazing seafood we’ve ever tasted.
The breakfasts were also fantastic, with fresh fruit and juices, delicious Kenyan coffee/tea, omelets, crepes, and baked goods.
We splurged for the romantic dinner for two on the beach, and stuffed ourselves with tons of lobster, shrimp, and calamari, grilled fresh right next to us.
The regular dinner menu always gave four
entrée choices, two of which were seafood, cooked in a variety of fantastic
sauces/seasonings. We never had a meal that we didn’t love for the entire week
we were there.
The chill atmosphere- If you want to chill out, this is THE place to go.
Everyone was so relaxed, and it was a totally stress-free environment.
During the week we were there (right at the end of the rainy season, though we had no rain all week), there were never more than about 10 people at the resort the entire time, so it felt like we practically had the place to ourselves.
The staff arranged two half-day trips for us: to Mwembe Island for snorkeling, and a Spice Tour near Stone Town.
Other than that, we didn’t leave the
resort at all for a full week, and were perfectly happy reading, relaxing,
swimming, walking on the gorgeous beach, exploring the fascinating tide pools,
eating & drinking.
Although the suite had AC, we didn’t need it all week, since there was an amazing ocean breeze through the rooms day and night.
The overall experience- This was not a cookie-cutter resort by any means. It was authentic, unique, and one-of-a-kind, and that’s why we loved it so much.
Every single meal was cooked with care, Elly, the owner, made time to sit at the bar and have a drink with guests, we saw wildlife (geckos, hermit crabs, bushbabies) around the grounds in the evenings, and the gardeners were happy to climb up the palms and hand us freshly-picked coconuts anytime we wanted them! If I’d have to offer some constructive criticism, I’d say that the drinks were a bit overprices ($12 for a mixed drink; $6 for a glass of wine),
We strongly recommend this place if you are looking for a holiday to relax, enjoy great food and spectacular views.
We had originally planned to stay at two different places on Zanzibar but enjoyed it so much at Shooting Star that we decided to extend our stay there and not to go to a different place - also after receiving very positive feedback from other couples who had stayed at other places on Zanzibar before.
The top three reasons to make us extend our stay were the atmosphere, the fantastic view at the pool and the food:
The atmosphere is very laid back, yet the hotel is managed with great attention to detail by Jaqui and Sophia.
Staying a lot in larger hotel chains for work, I particularly enjoyed the friendliness and relaxed atmosphere, which is largely due to the staff and the small size of the hotel.