Zanzibar Hotels

Hotel Casa del Mar


This is a small bed and breakfast hotel situated in the increasingly popular tourist destination of Jambiani. This small village on the eastern peninsula of Zanzibar is still a quiet spot despite the development of many hotels here over the past few years. It benefits from unspoilt beaches (though seaweed is farmed locally so expect plenty of this) as well as a tidal lagoon which makes bathing possible at both high and low tide.


Accommodation at Hotel Casa del Mar


Casa del Mar has only 14 rooms housed in two buildings. The 8 lower ground rooms are simple and spacious with en suite shower and WC. The 6 first floor suites are split level and include living rooms, bathrooms and a king-size double futon bed. Extra beds may be added to cater for families or groups. All rooms have private balconies and are furnished with locally made items and decorated with East-African art. Rooms are basic but generally clean and comfortable. Be sure to be clear when booking how many adult beds are required as miscommunication can lead to ‘twin’ being misinterpreted.


Food, Drink and Service at Hotel Casa del Mar


Though a B&B, the hotel does offer a good restaurant serving a variety of fresh local dishes including an array of seafood, meat dishes, salads and savoury pastries. The menu mixes Swahili and Mediterranean flavours. Food is good and reasonably priced, though it is somewhat less characteristic of Zanzibar than one might expect. As with most restaurants in rural East-Africa meals must be ordered in advance and service tends to be slow. The hotel bar serves fresh juices, tea and beers (all at a good price). Wine is available also, but in this region tends to be overpriced for the quality available.


Staff at the hotel are generally friendly and obliging and service is good if a little leisurely by Western standards. However, any major problems with accommodation will be dealt with quickly and efficiently in most cases.


Things to do at Hotel Casa del Mar


The hotel is nestled in a well kept tropical garden which lends it a peaceful feel. There is also a small pool. This is less for swimming than for cooling off after a day in the sun and sea. The beach by the hotel, though not private, is never crowded. It suffers from inescapable ‘beach-boys’ who try to sell tourists goods and services, but there are few beaches on Zanzibar that do not. The hotel can help organise snorkelling trips in association with local fishermen and these are well worth doing. Excursions such as to Stone Town and the Jozani Forest can also be arranged through the hotel. Village tours with the village chief are a really good way to get a real insight into the lives of Jambiani’s locals.


The hotel does not offer TV or internet, but the neighbouring internet café welcomes hotel guests.


How to get to Hotel Casa del Mar


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 from Stone Town to Jambiani (see Getting Around for further 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 that environmental projects are advancing through Zanzibar.



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