S Destinations

Sarena Hotel – Zanzibar

About the Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Idyllically situated on the sea-front of ancient Stone Town, and flanked by an exotic mix of sultan’s palaces, Portuguese forts, ancient dhow harbours, and bright bazaars, the Zanzibar Serena Hotel is a haven of tranquillity and opulence amongst the bustle of one of Africa’s most ancient and most enchanting towns. A member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the inn has been styled to represent the epitome of Swahili style, ethnic elegance and Arabic opulence.


The resort is in Stone Town, which is in the ‘Old Town’ of Zanzibar City, which lies on the western side of the island of the same name. Zanzibar has an international airport, which is approximately 20 minutes flight from the mainland. There are daily flights linking Zanzibar with Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Arusha, the northern safari circuit airstrips and Nairobi (Kenya). Ferries and speed boats link Zanzibar with Dar es Salaam daily and with Pemba several times weekly. The airport is 7km south of Zanzibar Town and the journey takes 15 minutes by taxi.Airport transfers available upon request from the hotel.


  • Wide selection of rooms and suites: all with AC, satellite TV, WiFi
  • All-day Baharia Restaurant, Mdele Coffee Shop, Masahani Bar and Terrace Seafood Restaurant
  • Swimming pool and pool deck
  • Live music nightly
  • Treatment rooms.
  • Business centre, travel desk, taxi service
  • Wedding planning service
  • Gift Shop, news-stand and travel requisites kiosk
  • Baby-sitting, children’s dining/menus.

Our rooms and suites

After the heat and dust of Stone Town, the rooms in the Zanzibar Serena Inn are havens of cool and shade. With high ceilings, shuttered windows and cool white walls, they are constructed in the traditional Swahili manner, whereby the size is dictated by the length of the mangrove poles that make up their ceilings. Adorned with arched niches, antique plates and brass lamps; and featuring traditionally carved furniture with basket weave and ceramic inlay, the rooms are predominantly royal blue and white. Four-poster, net draped beds dominate, offset by delicate side tables, vanity units and louver doors giving onto balconies, some of which feature massive free-standing hammocks.

We offer Standard Rooms, Prime Rooms or Suites.

All our rooms and suites are equipped with: 24-hour room service, air-conditioning, WIFI, direct-dial phone, in-room satellite TV, mini bar, private safe, 240V/3 pin (square)sockets and shaver sockets, hair driers, mosquito nets, bathrobe and slippers, umbrellas, porter/concierge, airport shuttle and limousine service.

While most of our rooms are designated non-smoking, a number of rooms are available for smokers, but these should be booked in advance.



Cooled by the breezes of the spice island, located in the heart of romantic Stone Town, enjoying sweeping views across the Zanzibar waterfront; and with access to its own private beach facility, the magnificent Zanzibar Inn offers the ultimate escape from reality. It also offers a s…



Prime Rooms

Prime Rooms


Our exceptionally spacious Prime Rooms are presented in traditional Swahili style featuring traditional niches, fretwork cabinets and brightly coloured coastal cotton soft furnishings in cool blue. The four-poster beds are draped in mosquito nets and are generously king-sized.

Each room h…




Standard Rooms

Standard Rooms


Our 39 standard rooms are presented in traditional Swahili style featuring traditional niches, fretwork cabinets and a cool blue and white colour scheme. Each room has either a king-sized bed with mosquito netting or twin beds.

All our rooms and suites are equipped with: 24-hour room ser…

Dining at the Zanzibar Serena Inn

Constructed so that the waves lap to within inches of its open windows and the lateen-sailed dhows pass within metres of its tables, the Baharia Restaurant features fretwork screens, Omani carvings, Persian rugs and bright Swahili artifacts. The Zanzibar cuisine meanwhile, blends freshly caught seafood, fresh spices, luscious fruit and delicately flavoured vegetables.

The Baharia Restaurant

Lapped by the waves of the Indian Ocean, the Baharia Restaurant offers all-day international and Swahili cuisine. Weekly Swahili banquets are also held around the pool.

The Terrace Restaurant

On the roof of the Inn is our exclusive open-air Terrace Restaurant, which looks out over the bay and features a supreme selection of freshly-caught sea food.

The Masahani Bar

Presented in traditional Swahili style, the Masahani Bar also offers performances by traditional Taarab orchestras.

The Pool Terrace

Indoor and outdoor seating overlooks our pool terrace where a wide range of drinks and snacks are served all day long.

The Mdele Coffee Shop

Adjacent to the pool, the Mdele Coffee Shop offers traditional Swahili coffee, fresh-baked pastries and a wide range of international beverages and snacks.

The Mangapwani Beach Barbeque

A short drive from the Inn, the Serena’s exclusive beach hideaway offers a superb Swahili seafood lunch buffet.

Room service

We offer a 24-hour room service, which features an extensive menu offering everything from the classic club sandwich to a delicately-spiced curry. We are also delighted to serve a private lunch or dinner in your room or suite; or to provide cocktails and canapés on your private terrace.



Conferences, meetings and events
at the Zanzibar Serena Inn

The sumptuous Zanzibar Inn Conference Suite is located on the ground floor of the Inn and has been decorated in traditional Zanzibar style. It can accommodate up to 40 participants in a range of different room layouts and offers a wide range of services which include:

  • PA system, table microphones, cordless microphones, TV/Video/DVD, LCD projector/screen, podium, white boards/flip charts and markers
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Delegate pads, pens/pencils and 1-litre mineral water
  • Modern, modular events furniture, which can be tailored to your specifications.
  • Business support (secretarial services, photo-copying, WiFi and a full range of global communications)
  • Registration staff and conference organization support
  • Floral services
  • 24-hour generator back-up
  • Travel desk for onward bookings or local safaris
  • Concierge services
  • Limousine and taxi services
  • ‘Meet and greet’ services
  • A wide range of CEO suites
  • Health and spa services
  • Team-building programmes.

Entertainments, dinners, receptions and cocktails can also be held in a choice of two highly prestigious, alternative venues namely:

The Sultan Hamoud’s Palace, the fabulous sea-front ‘House of Wonders’; a magnificent iron-built structure, built in 1883, with central courtyard, slender pillars, sweeping staircases and broad verandas with spectacular views over Stone Town and the Zanzibar channel

The equally impressive and newly restored ‘Old Dispensary’; one of Zanzibar’s finest historic buildings and now a Cultural Centre offering dance, song and musical displays.


Weddings and honeymoons at the Zanzibar Serena Inn

Few venues can be more romantic than the spice island of Zanzibar, where the Zanzibar Serena Inn stands in prime position on the sea front. Offering a sublime selection of wedding venues within the Inn and around its grounds, we can also offer some unique historical venues.

As to formalities; from registrar to certificate, cake to champagne, all will be arranged. We also offer some unique family and friends accommodation packages, ‘his and hers’ pre-wedding grooming, flowers for the venue and the bride, wedding planning service, professional banquet catering and limousine service.

Options Include:

  • Flower-bowered, sea-terrace ceremony
  • Swahili bedecked cocktail reception by the pool.
  • Wedding reception in the former Sultan Hamoud’s residential palace, the ‘House of Wonders’ or in the newly-restored Old Dispensary, one of Zanzibar’s finest historic buildings
  • Wedding on a traditional dhow
  • Wedding on a deserted island in the Zanzibar Channel
  • Traditional henna body decoration for the bride
  • A beach wedding at our Mangapwani Serena Beach Club
  • Swahili cultural entertainment, dance and song
  • Taarab orchestra or local choir
  • Photography and videoing of your special day.




Family time at the Zanzibar Inn

At the Zanzibar Inn, we appreciate the importance of quality family time. We’re also committed to ensuring that you can relax, secure in the knowledge that the children are having as great a holiday as you are. With this in mind we offer a wide range of family-friendly room options; children’s dining; baby-sitting, and plenty of adventure, sports and educational entertainment for children of all ages.

Family accommodation

We can arrange for adjoining rooms for the accommodation of families. We can also provide additional beds, cots and baby-sitting services (prior notice appreciated).

Children’s meals

All our meals are generous buffet-styled presentations, with something to suit absolutely everyone. High-chairs can be provided, as can baby-friendly food. We are also delighted to offer slightly earlier children’s meals (as early as 12 noon and 6.30 pm) – tailored to suit your children.

Children’s entertainment

The lodge offers its own swimming pool (supervised by a qualified life-guard but not suited to small children other than under parental supervision). Additionally we offer:

  • A selection of board games and cards
  • A children’s playground (in the square in front of the Inn)
  • Guided Stone Town Walks
  • Day trips to the surrounding island
  • Dolphin, turtle and whale spotting