The Z Hotel is a small boutique hotel located in Nungwi on the northern point of Zanzibar and is ideal for English-speaking backpackers. Nestled among the hotel complexes on the north coast, this establishment has become a somewhat trendy place for the youth of today who love to travel but without compromising their comfort.
It is at very centre of Nungwi on the island's north coast. It will take around 50 minutes to get to the airport.
Next to the hotel is a diving centre that offers numerous different sports activities. Guests can even go on excursions out in the ocean to do some deep sea fishing.
Once you enter the fishing village of Nungwi, on the northern point of the island, you will easily find the Z hotel. This fairly small boutique hotel is well-known by English travellers passing through the island, mainly for its cocktail hour, enjoyed along with views of the sea and in the young and laidback atmosphere of the place.
Built next to the north beach, the hotel opted for the traditional makuti-style shapes mixed with a good dose of cement. However, the result isn't unpleasant, especially with the lush garden making the pathways look more attractive. Unfortunately, both the advantages and the disadvantages can be summed up in one single idea: the geographic location. It's an advantage because the tides on the north coast are relatively small, which means you can go swimming at any time of the day. Plus, being in the very centre of the village of Nungwi, you can easily go off and discover the other bars and restaurants in the village. Nevertheless, and precisely because it is in the very centre of the village, the hotel seems to be squeezed in among the many different constructions.
Nestled under the makuti roof, above reception, is a library-lounge space. Entering this area you can immediately feel the calm before taking off your shoes and setting foot on the rug and relaxing on the cushions that make up the main layout. Two computers provide Internet access but most of the guests come here mainly to relax in total peace and quiet. Once night falls, the whole place is filled with a sea breeze, which gently rocks the chimes at reception. This makes for some delicate music that goes perfectly with the melancholic daydreams of the evening.
Facing the sea, the swimming pool is pleasantly hidden by the surrounding vegetation. With the little space that was left, the owners wanted to create a small haven of tranquillity. In fact, the result is extremely pleasing: a small overflow pool with a direct view of the ocean and softened by the palm trees concealing the hotel. There is a bar just beside it as well as a wooden landing stage leading down to the beach.
There are 35 guest rooms in total, for a hotel that can be described as average-sized, in relation to the standards on the island. The main drawback is their size: it's not so much because they're really small, especially those on the ground floor, but because the obstructed view of the garden makes you feel very closed in, which isn't really to their advantage. As for the rest, we can't really complain about the quality of the services: the rooms are extremely clean and are furnished with wooden Zanzibar furniture, in an effort to combine modern comforts (a flat-screen television with international English channels, individual air-conditioning and room service) with traditional elements (wood, mosquito nets, etc).
Even the bathroom leans towards a rather designer style, but with some 'African' elements nevertheless, so as not to forget which continent you're on. A large open shower and wooden accessories make for a particularly inviting setting.
This might just be the nicest part of the establishment. First, because compared to the rest of the hotel, it is quite big. Second, because it stands on stilts and you can see the horizon getting lost in the colours of the Indian Ocean.
The main meals are taken on a large terrace, romantically lit up in the evening by lanterns that create a hushed ambiance, in perfect harmony with the rhythm of the crashing waves. Being run by English managers, the menu tends to offer English fare but has also left room for some local dishes: barbeques in the form of a buffet in addition to African-style BBQs, grilled fish, and Swahili specialties.
Heading up higher to the last floor of the makuti-restaurant, you will arrive at the 'Cinnamon Cocktail & Food Bar'. This space, with plenty of furniture, is composed of different spots for relaxing, colourful curtains, and small alcoves where you can sit and have a peaceful little cocktail or enjoy a special evening meal. Here you have à la carte table service.
If one thing's for sure, it's that the beach at the Z Hotel lacks space. Don't expect to find the long white expanses of the east coast, since the sand here has been particularly eroded by the ocean. At high tide, the water comes right up to the foot of the deckchairs, grouped together under the hotel's coral rock. The area is larger at low tide, with the main advantage that you can walk from one end to the other.
Nevertheless, it's not all negative. Thanks to its location, the Nungwi beach has very small tides, which means you can go swimming at any time of the day. This is a rather important detail, considering the green and sky blue colours of the ocean seem to be continuously begging you to come in for a swim!
Just nearby is a deep sea diving and fishing centre.
Hotel reviews based on comfort, location and price ratings of its categories
Hotel reviews based on its services and facilities.
Mark out of 10 for geographical location