Idyllically situated on the sea front of ancient Stone Town, washed by the aquamarine waters of the Zanzibar channel, redolent of the scent of cloves and flanked by an exotic melange of sultan’s palaces, Portuguese forts, ancient dhow harbours, dark slave markets, and bright bazaars, the Zanzibar Serena Inn is a haven of tranquillity and opulence amongst the bustle of Zanzibar.
Faithfully restored and lavishly embellished with a jackdaw collection of antique clocks, crystal chandeliers, fretwork screens, carved staircases, Persian rugs and brass-studded doors, the interior design concept is a fusion of authenticity and opulence that reflects the very essence of Zanzibar.
Each room is cool, white and constructed to the traditional design of a Swahili house, which is dependant upon the length of the mangrove poles that make up its ceilings. Adorned with arched niches, antique plates and brass lamps and featuring traditionally carved furniture, cool-ceramics, intricate fretwork, draped beds and louver doors giving onto wrought-iron balconies overlooking the Persian-bath pool and azure bay beyond, each room reflects a blend of essential Zanzibar and world-class elegance.
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 lazily whirring fans, a jewel-glass atrium, mangrove-pole ceiling, fretwork screens, Omani carvings, Persian rugs and bright Swahili artefacts.
The Spice Tour – A fascinating and informative tour of the fabled Spice Gardens of Zanzibar, which still supply 75% of the world’s spices, the tour also includes a visit to the Persian baths and the Sultan’s palace and finishes with a beach barbecue and a visit to the dark caverns of the Mangapwani Slave Caves.
Take a trip to the Jozani Forest Nature Reserve, the last red colobus monkey sanctuary in the world.
Visit the neighbouring island of Pemba and enjoy world-class diving and fishing and snorkelling in the famous Pemba Channel.
Take in a day’s diving around the magnificent coral reefs and wrecks of the Zanzibar coast.
Spend a day on the white sand beaches of Grave Island, Prison Island, Snake Island and the sandbanks of the Zanzibar channel.
Enjoy a cultural tour of Stone Town – visiting the Sultan’s Palace, the House of Wonders, The Old Dispensary Cultural Centre, the Old Slave Market, the Old Dhow harbour, the bazaars, the winding lanes and more.
Sandbank Picnic: This day cruise includes seafood lunch on a sandbank and a trip to Prison Island. Soda, water, wine and beer is also included. Any other drinks can be pre-ordered and will be charged to the client.
Sunset Cruise: Face towels are provided for each passenger on arrival at the dhow. Canapés are served by the butler onboard during the cruise.
- Extensive buffet selections or internationally themed dinners in our Baharia Restaurant
- Home-made cocktails and traditional fruit punches in our Masahani Bar
- Atmospheric ‘Sundowners’, on our exotic poolside terrace with uninterrupted views across the azure waters of the bay
- Traditional displays of Swahili dance, music and cultural performance
- Nightly performances of Taarab Music – a combination of African, Arabic and Indian influences that was first played in the 1820’s at the Sultan’s palace, Taarab is usually performed by a singer and accompanied by an orchestra comprising the Kanun, (similar to a zither) accordion, the nay (flute) and drums
- Seafood grills, beach cocktails and historic ‘Slave Cave’ tours at the exclusive Mangapwani Serena Beach Club and Restaurant
- Nightly wildlife and cultural talks, videos and film shows.