The Residence Zanzibar Hotel

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If there is one thing that currently lets The Residence Zanzibar resort down it is the arrival road from the main road south which is almost as bad as those we encountered on safari,

but it does succeed in making the gates of the hotel appear as a most welcome sight.

Once inside the resort itself you are swept through perfectly manicured gardens (the only sign of the resort being only 1 year old is that some of the plants are still waiting to bush out) to the lobby area.

This is expansive, open to the elements (when good weather) and affords and excellent view of the stunning central infinity pool which is almost Olympic sized it is so long.

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We were taken to our villa overlooking the gardens which was beautifully presented, luxuriously appointed and very spacious.

True, you could at this stage be anywhere in the world, as the decoration is very neutral in tone, but as a result it ought to please most people and offend no-one.

There was a fruit basket waiting on the living room table along with some dainty cakes and these were topped up throughout our stay.

The infinity pool outside is large enough and long enough to have two swimming side by side getting 6-8 strokes in and was really welcome when the main pool was taken over by parents with children.

The food was always excellent standard although the prices are quite steep. We regularly spent $60 on lunch (not included in our rate) and at dinner there was a menu of the day (either a degustation or a choice of two for starter, main and dessert) or a credit of $50 towards the a la carte.

Wines started at $30 a bottle (for a rose) and went uphill quite steeply from there. However, we were on honeymoon so it didn't matter to us, but you might want to check about a full board rate if it's not much more expensive when booking.

The resort provides bicycles outside the villa to get around and these proved very handy to get to places including the spa which was on the other side of the resort from our villa (I used the spa twice - once for the couples massage and once to get a facial - both were lovely and the staff charming).

There are also golf carts to transport you when you don't feel like climbing on a bike. At no point during our stay did we feel any pressure to give tips to staff and so we did so when we felt they had given additional service above and beyond as it should be.

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