Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Stonetown, Zanzibar.
Due to a continued strong response from readers, we have been running another batch of ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews over the past couple of months. This time we wanted to hear about your ‘unique’ experiences and we’ve once again received a great amount of suggestions. As always you can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews by clicking here.
Today’s hotel, which will be final review in this current batch of ‘My Favourite Hotel’, is the Park Hyatt Zanzibar. Here is reader Minhaal’s review:
“In the 2000s, there was a gap in proper 5 star hotels in the Stonetown area of Zanzibar.
In 2015, the Park Hyatt Zanzibar opened its doors and changed the hotel landscape in Stonetown. I had the opportunity to stay at the property in November of this year; it did not disappoint!
Most tourists opt to visit the more resort-y areas of the Island (Nungwi, Paje). However, Stonetown does offer something unique for tourists visiting Zanzibar.
The narrow alleyways, classic Zanzibar-style buildings (and doors), street food in Forodhani gardens, the “Bayt al Ajaib” and other attractions offer more local culture and history than you would find in the resort towns of Nngwi and Paje.
As a Tanzanian, I always recommend visitors to the island to spend at least some time in Stonetown, and preferably stay a night or two, depending on their itinerary.
Location of Park Hyatt Zanzibar
The property is located on the western shore of the island, a 10 minute walk from the Zanzibar port where ferries arrive from Dar-es-salaam on a daily basis. Karume International Airport is a 15-20 minute drive away depending on traffic.
The hotel is close to some of the best local attractions:
- Forodhani Gardens (5 minutes walk), a street food paradise.
- Bayt al Ajaib (5 minutes walk), a landmark building in Zanzibar, translating to “House of Wonders”.
- Prison Island (30 minute boat ride), an iconic island, home to century old tortoises and an old prison. Boats can be hired at the Hotel, or with nearby vendors.
- Shops and restaurants all within walking distance of the hotel
As far as Stonetown goes, you can’t beat the Park Hyatt’s location.
Reception and check-In
I was greeted at check-in by Taryn, the Front Office manager who acknowledged my World of Hyatt Discoverist status, as well as the fact that I had booked via Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. She outlined all the benefits and I was promptly shown to my room, all in all in less than 15 minutes.
Rooms at the Park Hyatt Zanzibar
The rooms made it difficult to spend a lot of time outside of the hotel. These were as large as a 1 bedroom apartment, with a living area, kitchenette, two toilets, a bath and a shower.
The décor was in line and consistent with the rest of the property, very Zanzibary with a touch of luxury.
The tech was slightly outdated. The iPod dock was at least 5 years old and the TVs weren’t SMART enough to connect to your device for audio.
The property is simply gorgeous. The infinity style pool overlooks the Indian Ocean, where you can watch the constant movement of local “Ngalawas” and ferries from Dar-es-salaam.
The restaurants carry the same theme as with the rest of the property; the consistency in décor was quite remarkable.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Our stay included a breakfast spread each morning and a $100 credit per room for three rooms. Naturally, we ate at the property quite a bit.
The breakfast spread at the Park Hyatt Zanzibar was in my top hotel breakfasts. You had your standard eggs made-to-order (special mention for the Zanzibari poached egg with Avocado, delicious!), waffles and pancakes and then a collection of local and continental dishes including coconut curried lentils, lamb, steamed veggies and salted kingfish. The breakfast alone would keep us going into mid-afternoon.
We had lunch at the property a couple of times as well. Highlights included the Zanzibari kachori, Chilly Chicken (with pineapple) and the steak sliders.
For dinner, honourable mentions go to the garlic sautéed jumbo prawns (which had a hint of sweetness to them) and a chicken curry that I cannot recall the name of but was delicious.
The staff at the hotel were well-trained, attentive and polite.
I had an issue with the shower in my room which took too long to fix. In return I received a free spa package, the best one the hotel had to offer, worth $200!.
One of us required speedier internet access and the manager was kind enough to get us a USB device with high-speed internet.
Park Hyatt Zanzibar is a game changer for hotels in Stonetown, offering access to all the local attractions without forgoing the comfort of a top hotel.
In my previous visits to Zanzibar, I preferred to stay in Nungwi and make trips to Stonetown to visit the sites and food spots. Now I will strongly consider staying at the Park Hyatt, before making a trip to the resorts of Nungwi.”
Booking Park Hyatt Zanzibar
Pricing starts at £270 per night for Summer 2021 or for 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night. Given our general 1.2p valuation for a World of Hyatt point, a redemption here could be excellent value. The hotel website is here.
HfP’s hotel booking partner, Emyr Thomas, can access special rates at Park Hyatt Zanzibar via the Hyatt Prive programme which is exclusively offered to luxury travel agents.
If you book via Emyr and pay Best Flexible Rate, you will receive:
- Upgrade at time of booking
- Complimentary breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
- $100 USD equivalent hotel credit
- Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary wi-fi
World of Hyatt update – January 2021:
Get bonus points: Hyatt’s current promotion is ‘Bonus Journeys’, which is now extended to 28th February 2021. You can learn more in our article here.
Buy points: If you need additional World of Hyatt points, you can buy them here. There is a 30% bonus on points purchases until 23rd February.
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from Hyatt and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.