Zanzibar Hotels

The Blue Oyster Hotel

This is a small German owned hotel in the village of Jambiani. It does not offer the resort experience (i.e. no swimming pool/spa), but, for a fraction of resort prices, gives guests the chance to stay on a beautiful and unspoilt stretch of Zanzibar’s eastern coastline. The hotel offers bed and breakfast packages, though its restaurant is also open for dinner.

Accommodation at The Blue Oyster Hotel

Blue Oyster’s 13 rooms rise around a modern courtyard. Some have sea views, while some overlook the courtyard garden. The hotel offers singles, doubles, triples and four-beds. All rooms are clean, tastefully decorated and reasonably sized. All bar one room is en suite, but even this room has a private bathroom very near.

Food, Drink and Service at The Blue Oyster Hotel

The hotel restaurant serves breakfast daily, and dinner can be booked in advance. Food is good, locally sourced and fresh. The evening menu is predominantly fresh local fish so those not keen on seafood might have to consider other options for dinner. This should not be a problem as there are many local resorts and beach restaurants in the area. The food that is on offer is good quality and generally very well prepared as well as being good value for money.

Staff at the hotel are very friendly and knowledgeable. They are on hand to help guests to book excursions and tours and to offer advice for those travelling on to other parts of the island. The hotel is kept very clean and rooms and beds are treated for mosquitoes daily (you may have to hand your key in at reception to ensure this happens). Though the dinner service can prove a little slow this is common on Zanzibar, where staff tend to take a more relaxed approach at meal times.

What’s on Offer at The Blue Oyster Hotel

Activities on offer at The Blue Oyster include snorkelling and fishing trips on the hotel’s boat, scuba diving organised by Easy Blue Divers and trips including; swimming with dolphins, to the Jozani Forest and Stone Town excursions. There is always the option of borrowing beach towels and beach beds and lying on or walking along the beach and exploring the sea, or bathing. Beach boys (local youths selling goods and services) may approach you, but be firm and make it clear that you are not buying and they will leave you alone.

You can pay by credit card at the hotel, but to avoid surcharges, consider taking euros rather than standard dollars. Being German the hotel prices everything in this currency.

How to get to The Blue Oyster Hotel

Jambiani is approximately and hour’s drive from either Stone Town or Zanzibar Airport. The hotel will arrange transfers for an agreed rate. Alternatively a taxi will take you there and a shared minibus runs daily from Stone Town to Jambiani and back (see Getting Around for more details).

Much of the coastline of this peninsula has been developed to reflect the luxury requirements of Western travellers. However, the surrounding villages and the roads reflect the poverty of Tanzania. Although hotel websites may advertise these places as ‘charming and traditional’ they may simply appear run-down.

Although the tourist industry has proved a destructive force in many parts of the country, it is also useful to bear in mind that many resorts and hotels are now contributing to funds to support locals and environmental projects that are advancing through Zanzibar.

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