Four Days at Qambani, Zanzibar
Just a bit more north of the place, we spend the nights before lies one of the island’s most exclusive places to stay. Knowing that there’s an unofficial rule in Zanzibar saying the less indication, the better the hotel, Lukas and me weren’t confused that there was no signage on the road indicating the hotel. At some point, we reached a road that couldn’t be in worse condition. Now, also Lukas began to doubt if we ever reach the Quambani, where we were planning to spend the last days of our Tanzanian adventure. Finally, the driver knew the way exactly and stopped in front of what looked like the hotel. Impressive that a driver from Stonetown knows a hidden luxury hotel one hour away, he probably can never afford. Africa is a country of contrasts, and that’s one of the signs indicating the big gap between the rich and the poor. However, the natural beauty of Zanzibar is simply outstanding, and that’s why it’s essential to have many tourists supporting the local people. And that’s what makes Quambani stand out from the other hotels on the island. They really go above and beyond to let you feel the genuine African hospitality with all the warmth and generosity.
Once we arrived, we were welcomed warmly by the Assistant Manager of the property who accompanied us to the lobby. We seat down, and soon afterwards she came back with a refreshing towel and a welcome drink. It was nice to just sit in the comfy sofa, talk to the manager and listen to the waves from the sea underneath the hotel. A few minutes later, they told us that the villa is ready and we could join for a tour. Needless to say that Quambani is totally different from other luxury properties on Zanzibar - in terms of design and in terms of philosophy. Here at Quambani, everything goes easy and smooth without any rules and regulations. You come for breakfast, lunch and dinner whenever you want and you basically can have every dish you want. The highlight? Definitely the open kitchen with a eat and take whatever you wish to option! So whenever you feel to have something to bite, just help yourself and the chefs will prepare something for you - or you can even do it yourself. Just like you want to do it.
Our room, called “Africa” was a luxurious one-bedroom villa in the first row overlooking the sea and the pool. Basically, it was divided into an entree with a daybed and a vast wardrobe that had a minibar with soft drinks and water, a bathroom and a bedroom. We even had a second floor which looked like it was once used as an outdoor day bed but nowadays rather looked as if it is not in use anymore. We preferred to use the terrace in front of the bedroom instead with two lounge chairs to chill and smoke a cigar before dinner. Next to the four-poster bed, the bedroom came with an armchair, a writing desk as well as a Bluetooth music box by Sonos. In general, we love Bluetooth boxes as they are very cool as you can listen to our own playlists. My personal highlight of the room was the airy bathroom that looked like out of an interior design magazine. The stunning freestanding bathtub made the centre of the bathroom, with a semi separated toilet, double vanities and open shower. All the toiletries came in an eco-friendly glass dispenser and had a delightful smell. They actually come from Zanzibar - these were the same ones as we had in the Lemala Kuria Hills lodge.
I have to highlight the fantastic housekeeping service, replacing the towels and freshening up the room twice a day. A lovely welcome amenity consisted of a bottle of sparkling wine from South Africa along with a welcome letter. One of the advantages of the Quambani resort is the fact that you can basically walk all over the property. It’s a one minute walk to the beach, the pool is halfway, and the main building is just above the pool. What I loved most was that the dinner locations changed every day. One day we were dining at the pool, the other day in front of the main building. Wherever I looked, Quambani always reminded me of an Aman Resort. I think it was the immersive amount of space every guest had plus the personal care by the staff members that made me feel this way. Another highlight at the property is the infinity pool overlooking the turquoise Indian Ocean. While the daybeds could have more comfortable mattresses, the finger food and drink service on the poolside were always on par. Afternoon snacks are included in the rate as every other meal such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Only the drinks are at an extra cost - water excluded. During our stay, we never had to remember the staff of our room name, and they also tried to call us by our names whenever they had the chance.
I would say that the food offer is rather classic with simple dishes such as fillet of red mullet with potatoes for dinner and vegetable lasagna from a limited lunch menu with one daily changing dish. Quality of the food was always excellent though. In the end, you are not staying at Quambani for the food but the stunning scenery, array of amenities and genuine staff members. What impressed us most was the situation of how they managed our departure. At breakfast, the assistant manager came to meet us and asked what flight we would be on. Since our flight was at 2 am, we didn’t have plans other than hanging around at Zanzibar airport for 12 hours. She then genuinely offered us to stay in the resort until 10 pm for no additional cost. We only paid until noon, so she had all the right to charge for an overuse. Best of all: they came to the pool at 11 am and told us that we would even be able to keep the villa so that we can have a nap before leaving. In the end, the housekeeping also came to our room during the check-out day and cleaned the entire room again plus made the bed as well. This way, we gained some sleep before the long haul flight via Nairobi.
With excellent rooms, a very dedicated service, personal attention by the general manager Axel (he walks around the resort for dinner to talk to each guest), a stunning infinity pool, white sand beach, tasty food and unique location, Quambani is definitely a must-stay place in Zanzibar. Lukas and I were impressed by this outstanding resort and besides highly recommending to stay there all your vacay, we suggest to also get out of the resort by bike and head down to the famous The Rock Restaurant. It’s touristy but since it’s just a 20-minute bike ride, a fun activity to do when staying in Quambani. Axel really does a great job here and the entire management is so genuine that every staff member follows this beautiful and pleasant philosophy.
Disclaimer: During our stay in Zanzibar, we were guests of the Qambani Zanzibar for editorial purposes. Opinions are our own as usual and have not been influenced. Luxury Executive is a blog published by tourism experts and all reviews purely focus on the hotel and destination.