Zanzibar Hotels

Flame Tree Cottages

Located in Nungwi, on the north coast of Zanzibar, the Flame Tree Cottages is a small family run hotel with only 16 rooms. The hotel is ideally situated for diving and snorkelling with five diving centres in its vicinity. It is nestled in a private tropical garden which lends it a calm feel. The owners are proud to acknowledge the local workmen who constructed the cottages, and the craftsmen who made their furniture and ornaments.

Accommodation at Flame Tree Cottages

Flame Tree Cottages present a variety of room sizes and styles housed in small garden cottages with verandas. These include a honeymoon suite with twin verandas (Desert Rose) and a 2 bedroom family suite (Rosemary and Thyme). All rooms feature air-conditioning, refrigerators, ceiling fans and WiFi access but no safes (though the cottages have a good reputation for security and a protected feel). The rooms are spacious and secluded. The bathrooms are slightly less modern than western expectations might assume and not as grand as at some of the area’s five star resorts, but are, nevertheless, clean and commodious.

Food and Drink at Flame Tree Cottages

The hotel restaurant offers a basic breakfast (included), dinner to order, and snacks throughout the day. Breakfast can be served privately on your room’s veranda and dinner can be served on the beach by candlelight on arrangement. A half-board option is available, but there are a number of other eateries in the local area if you wish to explore various culinary options. Food is good and very fresh. It also represents good value for money. Drinks also available are good quality and reasonable value.

What’s on offer at Flame Tree Cottages?

There are a variety of activities on offer locally as well as yoga classes and sessions at the hotel itself. As well as snorkeling and diving, big game fishing trips can be arranged through the local deep-sea fisheries as well as reef-fishing trips and sunset Dhow (traditional yacht) trips. The Dhow trips organized privately by the hotel are well-worth the extra cost for the privacy they offer.

Flame Tree Cottages is a family run enterprise and consequently the staff and managers take a great deal of pride in the service they provide. Staff are all local, as the business supports other local commerce and craft. Though this often means that English is not a particular easy language for them, they will always do their best to oblige and any problems will be dealt with very fast if reported to the main reception. The resort is continuously patrolled, adding to its ‘safe’ feel.

The hotel can feel removed from the beach. Although it is close it is necessarily set back on account of the tides which come up very high in this region. The beaches are picturesque and good for bathing in sea and sun. But be warned to take note of the tides as it is possible to get stuck on some of the cliff-side stretches of beach once the tide comes in. This means wondering inland which can be difficult and daunting. The beaches do get draggled in seaweed on occasion after high-tides, so don’t expect perfect white sands at all times! Also, touts are common in this region and you will be approached by locals attempting to sell goods on the beaches.

How to get to Flame Tree Cottages

The Cottages are about an hour and a half’s drive from Stone Town and the airport. The hotel will arrange transfers for a set fee.

The drive winds through poor parts of Zanzibar and can be disheartening to tourists, especially considering the almost hypocritical luxury on offer at many of Zanzibar’s resorts. It is important to remember that this country is still developing and that some scenes of difficulty are to be expected.

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